In-Vitro Fertilization

Fertilizing the egg

There are two ways that an egg is fertilized by IVF: 
traditional and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI

misc image
Figure 6.1 Traditional IVF fertilization.


In traditional IVF fertilization, thousands of swimming sperm are placed next to the egg in a laboratory dish. Fertilization occurs when one of the sperm enters into the outer layer or cytoplasm of the egg. See Figure 6.1 Traditional Fertilization.
misc image
Figure 6.2 ICSI.


For a variety of reasons, sometimes the sperm cannot penetrate the outer layer of the egg. The egg’s outer layer may be thick or hard to penetrate or the sperm may be unable to swim. In these cases, a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can be done along with IVF to help fertilize the egg. In the ICSI process, a tiny needle is used to inject a single sperm into the center of the egg. See Figure 6.2 ICSI.

CARE Fertility is a leader in ICSI. Our clinic had the first baby born from ICSI in North Texas. We also had the first local use of ICSI for the treatment of male factor infertility.
The IVF process, step-by-step
To begin, both partners are carefully evaluated to ensure they’re good candidates for IVF.

In the IVF process, an egg is fertilized with a sperm solution and implanted back in the uterus through the cervix. The process follows a carefully regulated schedule, and takes about three weeks after testing and preparation. See Figure 6.3 IVF process.


Ovarian stimulation: 

The woman uses fertility injections to increase the number of eggs that are produced.


Egg retrieval: 

Egg retrieval is performed using ultrasound guidance in the safety of our onsite accredited surgical center with board certified anesthesiologists.


IVF laboratory:

The sperm and egg are combined in the IVF laboratory. If ICSI is indicated, it is performed at this time. Once fertilization occurs, the fertilized egg, now an embryo, grows in a laboratory for 1 to 5 days before it is transferred to the woman’s uterus.

Embryo transfer:

Embryo transfer:

Once an embryo forms, it is placed back inside the mother’s body through her cervix.