Knowledge Sharing

2013.01.29

In Vitro Fertilization Q&A

Author: The team leader of Infertility Laboratory, Hong Ming-Zhou,  in Lee Women’s Hospital


Q :What is in vitro fertilization (IVF)? Who are suitable for in vitro fertilization treatment (IVF)?
During in vitro fertilization (VIF), the sperms are obtained from the husband through masturbation, and then fertilized by the wife’s eggs picking out by the vaginal sonography in an infertility laboratory. Then the embryos will be implanted into the uterus for development.
Indications for in vitro fertilization (IVF) include bilateral blocked fallopian tubes, defected fallopian tubes, absent fallopian tubes, endometriosis, male infertility, immune factors, and unexplained infertility.

Q :The stages of in vitro fertilization (IVF).

  • Ovulation induction:The medications will be used to increase the number of eggs your body produces.
  • Ultrasound guided egg retrieval:Ultrasound guided transvaginal puncture of ovaries.
  • Sperm preparation:Selected sperm is obtained through masturbated semen by following in sperm washing.
  • In-vitro fertilization:The sperm and the egg are incubated together in a culture media in order for the actual fertilization to take place.
  • Embryo culture:Cleavage stages of embryo development are into 2 cells, then 4 cells, then 8 before the cells compact into a morula, then a blastocyst forms.
  • Transfer:Patients lie with face up. Implantation involves inserting a thin tube called a catheter inserted into your vagina, past your cervix, and into your uterus to implant the embryos.
  • Attachment:Progesterone supplementation promotes embryos to attach on uterus.
  • Pregnancy test:A pregnancy test such as urine or blood test and ultrasound is scheduled after two weeks following the embryo implantation.


Q :What is In Vitro Fertilization?
In vitro fertilization/Embryo transfer (IVF/ET) is a fertility method wherein the egg is fertilized outside the woman’s body. The cultured fertilized eggs will develop to 2 cells, 4 cells, and 8 cells, turn into blastula or blastocyst after 48 hours, then implant into the uterus via vagina, past your cervix on day 2, day 3, day 4 or day 5, respectively, depending on patients’ needs. This method is suitable for patients with blocked or sticky fallopian tubes on both sides, or patients with multiple artificial insemination failure.

Q :What is Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer?
Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT) involves removing a woman’s eggs, mixing them with sperms, and immediately placing them into a fallopian tube. However, healthy fallopian tubes are necessary for a GIFT treatment.

Q :What is Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer?
Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT) is the laparoscopic placement of the fertilized embryo which was divided into 2 cells after 24 hours into the fallopian tube. Healthy fallopian tubes are necessary for a ZIFT treatment.

Q :What is Tubal Embryo Transfer?
Tubal Embryo Transfer (TET) involves the laparoscopic placement of the fertilized embryo which was divided into 2 to 4 cells after 48 hours into the fallopian tube. This has the added advantage of allowing the embryologist to assess the mitosis of embryos prior to laparoscopic transfer, ensuring that the implantation rate and the best quality embryos are those transferred. Healthy fallopian tubes are necessary for the TET treatment.