Treatment of Infertility

Once the cause of infertility has been established, your Fertility Specialist will suggest a course of action.

This may involve addressing conditions like endometriosis, PCOS, fibroids, polyps, uterine abnormalities, etc. first. This can be done with either medication or, if more advanced intervention is needed, surgery.

Thereafter, you may proceed with attempting conception by way of the fertility treatment your Fertility Specialist recommends as suitable for your unique diagnosis.

Not all couples require highly specialized fertility treatment. At Genesis Reproductive Centre we offer a range of fertility treatments ranging from simple to highly specialized treatment tailored to your specific requirement.

infertility treatment options offered at Genesis Reproductive Centre

Ovulation Induction (OI)

Your Fertility Specialist will prescribe medication to stimulate the ovarian follicles to produce, mature and release at least one egg.

You will see your Fertility Specialist on a regular basis for an ultrasound scan to monitor the progress of the follicles and to determine the perfect time for intercourse to maximise the chance of conception.

OI is also used alongside intrauterine sperm injection.

 It is only recommended for patients with confirmed fallopian tube patency, minimal pelvic disease and where the quality of sperm is sufficient.

Indications for OI:

  • Anovulation
  • PCOS

intrauterine sperm injection (IUI)

This treatment is similar to ovulation induction with the difference that, instead of intercourse, a sperm sample is prepared in the laboratory and injected into the uterine cavity at the time of ovulation.

The male partner produces a sperm sample which is then prepared in the laboratory by a special procedure called sperm washing.  The embryologist separate the less active sperm from the better ones and hereby maximize the overall quality of the sample to be used.

The insemination itself is a very delicate and painless procedure. It involves the insertion of a small catheter into the uterine cavity through the cervix. The sperm is then slowly released into the uterine cavity through the catheter.

IUI is less effective than in vitro fertilization but is much less invasive and less expensive. After about 3-6 failed attempts at IUI, it could be beneficial to switch to IVF.

Indications for IUI:

  • When donor sperm needs to be  used
  • Anovulation and PCOS
  • Cervical abnormalities
  • Endometriosis
  • Mild sperm abnormalities
  • Sperm allergy 

In Vitro fertilization (IVF)

IVF typically involves the following:

  • Stimulating the ovaries with medication and/or injections to produce a larger quantity of  eggs. Medication is also given to prevent ovulation from occurring to grant the eggs enough time to mature. You will need to see your Fertility Specialist on a regular basis for an ultrasound scan to monitor the progress of the follicles.
  • Ovulation is triggered when the eggs have matured sufficiently. This is achieved with an injection.
  • Egg retrieval then takes place under ultrasound guidance and under light sedation. The Fertility Specialist inserts a needle through the vagina into the ovary and removes the eggs that have matured. 
  • The male partner produces a sample of semen. In the laboratory, the embryologist selects the most active sperm to use for the fertilization of the eggs.
  • The eggs are fertilized in a culture dish with the selected sperm.
  • The resulting embryos (fertilized eggs) are allowed to grow in the laboratory for about 2-5 days under the supervision of the embryologist.
  • One or two of the embryos are transferred from the culture dish into the uterus through the vagina. The number of embryos transferred are determined by the woman’s age and likelihood  of conception.
  • The remaining embryos can be frozen and stored for use in future attempts at conception.
Indications for IVF:
  • Damage to the fallopian tubes
  • Pelvic abnormalities such as adhesions, endometriosis
  • Severe sperm abnormalities
  • PCOS and anovulation
  • Diminished ovarian reserve and advanced maternal age
  • Unexplained fertility
  • When Preimplantation Genetic Testing is needed where chromosome abnormalities are a concern.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

ICSI resembles the process of IVF but the fundamental difference is that with ICSI a single sperm is selected and injected directly into an egg for fertilization to take place.

ICSI has been used in many centres around the world since it was pioneered in 1992. It poses no more risk to foetal abnormalities when compared to people conceiving naturally. In many centres almost half of all IVF cycles performed include the use of ICSI.

Indications for ICSI:

  • Low sperm count
  • Poor sperm motility
  • Poor quality sperm 
  • Blocked sperm ducts

Frozen embryo transfer (FET)

This is the procedure where the remaining embryos that were frozen from an initial cycle of IVF are transferred to the uterine cavity.

The first few steps of IVF are not necessary as there is already a fertilized egg ready to be implanted.

You will however be prescribed medication to aid in preparing the uterus for the transfer of the frozen embryo an you will need to see your Fertility Specialist for regular ultrasound scans to monitor the condition of the endometrium. 

Sperm and egg donors

The use of donor sperm are required when the male partner does not produce sperm of sufficient quality for fertilization, or no sperm at all. The same goes for the use of egg donation. If a female has low ovarian reserve or produces eggs of insufficient quality for fertilization, donor eggs are used. Some couples require the use of both.

The couple can either make use of a known donor or a sperm bank or egg donation agency.

At Genesis Reproductive Centre we have our own in-house sperm bank. All sperm are screened for genetic and venereal (sexually transmitted) diseases including HIV. 

For egg donation, we only make use of reputable egg donation agencies. We will assist you every step of the way in the process.

Surrogacy

On the rare occasion, couples prefer or need to make use of a surrogate to carry their unborn child to term. At Genesis Reproductive Centre we are able to assist you with the process.

A couple can make use of either a known surrogate or acquire a surrogate from a specialized agency.

It is important to note that it is a lengthy process which involves getting approval from The High Court and treatment cannot commence before approval is granted.

All parties involved, including the spouse of the surrogate, will be subject to medical tests as well as psychological evaluation.

Your Fertility Specialist will assist you every step of the way.

Fertility Preservation

This is typically useful to patients who would like to save their eggs or sperm before undergoing treatment for cancer, but it is also useful for people who would like to start a family later in life when fertility declines.

For the preservation of eggs the same procedure is followed as for IVF. The ovaries are stimulated to produce a large quantity of eggs, ovulation is triggered and then the eggs are retrieved by a Fertility Specialist. The eggs are then cryopreserved in the laboratory for use when the patient is ready.

For the preservation of sperm, the patient provides a sample of semen that is then cryopreserved in the laboratory for use when the patient chooses.

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