You are here: Home  Treatment options  IVF

IVF - In-Vitro-Fertilisation

In vitro fertilisation – Latin for fertilisation in a glass – is a method of artificial insemination. It was developed in the 1960s and 1970s by Robert Edwards, who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery in 2019, and Patrick Steptoe. Louise Joy Brown, the first person to be conceived by IVF, was born on July 25, 1978 in Oldham, England.

During IVF, the female egg cells are fertilised by the male sperm cells ‘independently’ and without assistance, in a test tube. A prerequisite for IVF is therefore good to very good semen quality in men.

IVF/artificial insemination is used here in Linz:

  • if the fallopian tubes are blocked or not working properly
  • with cervical stenosis (a closed or difficult to pass cervix)
  • in endometriosis
  • with polycystic ovary syndrome
  • with unexplained infertility
  • with advanced maternal age

The timeline for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment in Linz:

IVF treatment begins with hormone stimulation of the woman, there are two variations:

  • Agonist (long protocol): The so-called down-regulation of the body’s own hormone production begins the pre-IVF cycle. The pituitary gland responsible for this is suppressed using medication. As soon as the menstrual period begins, the patient begins hormone stimulation for about 10 days. During this phase she administers daily hormone injections herself to stimulate egg cell maturation in the ovaries. Several follicles should develop at the same time. A supervising assistant at the KIWI Linz provides precise training on how to administer hormone injections during the course of IVF treatment.
  • Antagonist (short protocol): There is no down-regulation in the previous cycle and the patient starts hormone stimulation on the second day of her menstrual period. Hormone preparations are used individually or in various combinations. The supervising doctor at the Kinderwunsch Institut Dr Loimer creates a stimulation plan tailored to your needs.
  1. During the approximately 10-day stimulation phase, one or two ultrasound examinations are carried out at the Kinderwunsch Institut Dr Loimer or at the gynaecologist to measure the number and size of the follicles.
  2. During the second ultrasound examination, the time when ovulation is triggered and the date for egg retrieval are set.
  3. The ovaries are punctured through the vagina using ultrasound to see them; the patient us usually given pain relief and a brief sedoanalgesia (similar to a colonoscopy).
  4. At the same time as the egg retrieval, the partner produces the semen material, as this is required for the subsequent fertilisation of the egg cells in the IVF laboratory.
  5. Men with problems producing semen can do so externally and bring it to the Kinderwunsch Institut in a timely manner, keeping it at body temperature. In this case it is necessary to clarify the problem with the doctors at the Kinderwunsch Institut Dr Loimer BEFORE the start of treatment.
  6. After the semen has been produced, it is processed in the laboratory to improve the cells’ ability to fertilise.
  7. The biologists then bring the egg and sperm cells together in a nutrient-rich liquid and store them in an incubator. This is where the egg cells are fertilised – for in vitro fertilisation.
  8. Under the microscope, it is possible to tell whether a sperm has penetrated an egg cell from the two ‘pronuclei’ which contain the genetic material of the sperm and the egg.
  9. Fertilised egg cells (usually only 2/3 of the original egg cells) remain in the incubator for up to five days, where they develop to the blastocyst stage.
  10. Embryos or blastocysts can be returned to the patient’s uterus on the second – but at most on the fifth day after fertilisation. In most cases, only a few of the fertilised egg cells develop into blastocysts.
  11. The process of placing the embryo back is called the ‘embryo transfer’, this is done under ultrasound view with a thin, flexible catheter through the vagina. Most women find the procedure has little or no pain.
  12. A pregnancy test can be carried out exactly 14 days after the embryo transfer. In 60 per cent of IVF treatments this is positive and new life has emerged.