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Fertility treatment: the lowdown
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IVF (in vitro fertilization) is available for couples who, for whatever reason, cannot get the spem to fertilize the egg by natural means. Ovulation is controlled using hormones and then fertilized eggs are implanted into the uterus.

The production of eggs is stimulated with an injection of gonadotropin. This is carried out under strict medical surveillance using the correct dose of hormones and ultrasound scanning to detect the presence of egg follicles.

Once eggs have been produced, they are harvested when they are mature but haven't yet been released. hMG (human menopausal gondotrophins) is used to stimulate ovulation, and then 36 hours later, follicular liquid (that contains the egg cells) is removed transvaginally (using a needle and ultrasound). The egg cells in the follicular liquid are fertlised with harvested sperm, and 2 fertlised eggs reimplanted in the woman's uterus.


Sarah Horrocks
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