In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

Frequently Asked Questions for Assisted Reproduction

In Vitro Fertilization

The spearhead of infertility treatment is undoubtedly the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards succeeded in 1978 in the United Kingdom the first pregnancy with IVF. Since then, the technique has evolved, enriched, simplified and became very efficient. Today 2-3% of all children are born by IVF treatment. For our country this means that 2.500-3.000 children are born as a result of assisted reproduction every year, which means that six "test tube" babies come in the world every day. This contribution is significant, especially for a country with severe demographic problem as Greece.

In Vitro Fertilization, as indicated by the meaning of the expression in vitro, is the fertilization outside the human body: Instead for the fertilization of the egg by the spermatozoa, occurring naturally in woman’s fallopian tube, it is performed in the laboratory. This is mainly the bypassing of a particular function of the body, when, for various reasons, it cannot be achieved inside the human body.

Indications for IVF

There is a plethora of primary and secondary indications regarding one or both partners.

The primary indications are:

• Lack (caused by the removal) or occlusion of fallopian tubes centrally or peripheral (hydrosalpinx).

• The complete lack of spermatozoa (azoospermia), which requires surgical sperm retrieval.
• The case of very low number of spermatozoa with impaired motility and morphology (severe oligo-astheno-teratozoospermia).

The secondary indications are:

• Long period of subfertility.

• Advanced age of the woman.

• Severe sperm problems (severe oligo-astheno-teratozoospermia).
• Unexplained Infertility.
• Failure of previous milder treatment methods.
• Severe endometriosis.
• Preimplantation genetic diagnosis for various diseases.
• Prior treatment with chemotherapy in young women.
• Donation of eggs, sperm and embryos.
• Surrogacy.

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