Treatment options available at Genea Elements IVF include IVF, ICSI and frozen embryo cycles. When you first come to Genea Elements IVF, you will undergo comprehensive diagnosis and work-up with a highly qualified and experienced Fertility Specialist to establish exactly what’s happening with your fertility. You will only be referred for IVF if that’s what you need to help you have a baby.
All Genea Elements IVF patients have access to our specialist fertility counsellors at no extra cost as part of your cycle.
Step 1: Begin treatment and monitoring
Once you’re underway and depending on the type of cycle you’re having, you’ll likely start with a blood test to check that your body is ready to go. For the next week or so, you will administer fertility medication each day through a diabetic-style pen. This medication, a form of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), stimulates your ovaries to produce more eggs than would be produced in an unmedicated cycle.
For the next three or four days after the first week, you’ll probably add another injection each day, so you’re administering two injections a day. The second injection is designed to block ovulation and stop the eggs being released early.
During this 10 day period, you will also need to come into the clinic for blood tests to measure your hormone levels and ultrasounds to measure the number and size of your ovarian follicles (where your eggs develop). These blood tests and ultrasounds are conducted between 7.30am and 9am, helping you fit them in before work and must be conducted at your home clinic – either Bella Vista or Wollongong.
Step 2: Egg collection
Once your blood tests and ultrasounds show that you have the best possible number and size of follicles, we schedule your egg collection. You’ll have a trigger injection of hCG (human chorionic gonatrophin) in the evening, and then we collect the eggs in a day surgery procedure 36 hours later.
The egg collection procedure (OPU) takes place just before ovulation would have occurred. Don’t worry, your Fertility Nurse will let you know the right time to come into the clinic. It’s a day surgery procedure which is usually done with a local anaesthetic and light sedation. We locate the eggs in the ovaries using ultrasound guidance and collect them using a small needle. The procedure takes about 10-20 minutes. While it’s a relatively short visit, we recommend you take the day off work. If you have a male partner, they will be required to give a sperm sample on the same day. There are private collection rooms at the clinic.
Your eggs are taken straight to the laboratory and placed in culture medium ahead of fertilisation with sperm in approximately three hours. Your Embryologist will call you the next morning to tell you how many of your eggs successfully fertilised.
Step 3: Embryo development
Any eggs which fertilised successfully (embryos) are placed in Genea’s exclusive Geri™ incubation system and monitored for several days. With Geri™ we are closer than ever before to mimicking the undisturbed natural environment of a woman’s body – where a human embryo would normally be. Geri™, Genea’s benchtop incubator with individually controlled incubation chambers for each patient and time lapse camera allows scientists to continuously monitor embryos while they remain undisturbed, eliminating the need to open the incubator to check on embryo development.
Step 4: Embryo transfer
Five days after your egg collection you will return to the clinic for an embryo transfer. In the day surgery, a Genea Elements IVF Fertility Specialist will transfer one of your embryos into the uterus through a very fine catheter passed through the cervix. The procedure is very similar to a pap smear and you can usually go to work afterwards.
On the 11th day after your embryo transfer, you will need to have a blood test to find out if you are pregnant. Your pregnancy test results are usually available by mid afternoon and your Fertility Nurses will call you whatever the result.
If your cycle results in any extra embryos, they can be frozen and stored for later use. At Genea Elements IVF, we use the world’s first automated vitrification instrument – Gavi™ – to freeze embryos. Having embryos frozen means that if you return for another cycle, you do not need to start all over again. A frozen embryo transfer is a much simpler process.