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IVF / ICSI with Ovarian Stimulation

In this process, the egg cells (oocytes) are retrieved from the ovary, and merged with sperm in a laboratory. This is called "in vitro," meaning "in the test tube".


  • IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) and ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) differ in how the sperm enters the egg cell. With IVF, one of many sperm penetrates the egg cell independently. In ICSI, a single sperm is introduced directly into the egg cell using a fine needle. When there is a significant impairment of sperm quality, ICSI treatment is more effective. If there is no sperm in the ejaculate, a testicular sperm extraction (TESE) can be performed beforehand to obtain fertilizable sperm.

  • During the natural cycle, the body grows one or sometimes two follicles. In classical IVF/ICSI, the ovaries are stimulated to grow multiple follicles, allowing for the retrieval of several eggs. There are various stimulation protocols, and we will determine the right one together. Stimulation usually starts at the beginning of the cycle, shortly after menstruation. Two types of medications are injected, one to stimulate the simultaneous growth of multiple follicles, the other to prevent premature ovulation. Expect to undergo two to three ultrasound checks during stimulation, all of which will take place at the OMVIA clinic.

  •  Once your ultrasounds and blood tests show the follicles have reached the optimal size, we will schedule the egg collection. You’ll have an injection to trigger ovulation in the evening, and then we collect the eggs in a day surgery procedure 35-37 hours later. For this, we accompany you to the Lucerne Cantonal Hospital. The procedure is usually done with light sedation. We locate the follicles in the ovaries using ultrasound guidance and collect the fluid containing the egg from the follicle using a thin needle through the vagina. The procedure takes about 10-20 minutes and you will need some time to recover before going home the same day.

  • We will call you the next morning to tell you how many of your eggs successfully fertilized. Depending on the number of embryos that develop, we will plan the embryo transfer for two, three, or five days after the egg retrieval. In special situations, the transfer is scheduled for a later cycle to ensure your safety and to achieve optimal chances for pregnancy (e.g., in cases of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome or when the uterus is not optimally receptive). For the embryo transfer you return to Lucerne Cantonal Hospital for an ambulatory procedure. Your Fertility Specialist will place one of your embryos in your uterus under ultrasound guidance, using a very fine catheter passed through the cervix. 

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