WHAT IS IVF WITH DONOR SPERM?

IVF with donor sperm is an option used for a couple in which the male partner is medically unable to produce viable sperm, has a very poor semen analysis, or when there is a genetic problem that could be inherited from the male.

IVF PROCESS

IVF with the eggs of the female partner and sperm from a donor

Visit by Patients for Medical Examination

Both the male and female partner must visit the clinic for a medical examination, blood tests and a consultation with an embryologist. The embryologist will explain how IVF with donor sperm works.

Stimulation

Patients must take the medication prescribed after the medical examination. The female partner will visit on day two or three of her menstrual cycle, when hormonal investigations are done along with an ultrasound. The ovaries are stimulated with medication to promote the growth of follicles containing the eggs; this process can last for eight to 12 days. The response of ovaries (quantity and quality of follicles recruited) is monitored through ultrasounds and blood investigations at regular intervals.

Egg Collection

After eight to 12 days of taking the medicine, an injection (Trigger) is administered to assist with the final maturation of the egg and loosening of the egg from the follicular wall. The patient will visit the clinic for the egg retrieval process, which will be performed 34-36 hours after the trigger administration. Egg retrieval is a day care procedure that is performed with ultrasound guidance under sedation to make it painless. The eggs are then retrieved and processed by an embryologist.

Selecting a Sperm Donor

The couple must select a donor sperm sample from the donor sperm bank, with help of the donor list provided by the sperm bank. The identity of the donor is kept anonymous as per the ICMR Guidelines.

Fertilization

In this step, every mature egg is given a single sperm. There are different procedures the laboratory can use to fertilize the collected eggs. The decision of which one (or which combination) of these will be used by the embryologist is based on the past history and the present status of the gametes. All details are explained to patients in their appointment with the embryologist prior to the cycle. One of these procedures is intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and another is physiologically selected intracytoplasmic sperm injection (P-ICSI). The semen sample is processed in the andrology laboratory and evaluated prior to its use. After the sperm is injected into the egg, the egg is cultured in an incubator and checked for fertilization after 16 to 18 hours. Once the egg is fertilized it’s called an embryo, which is cultured in the embryology laboratory for three to five days.

Embryo Transfer

Based on the quantity, quality and growth of cultured embryos, the embryologist selects the best embryo and an appropriate day for transfer into the uterus of the female partner

After Transfer

After embryo transfer, specialists may prescribe medicines to enhance the chances of embryo implantation. After the stipulated period of time, pregnancy tests are conducted to confirm pregnancy.