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In vitro Fertilisation - IVF

IVF means in-vitro-fertilisation, fertilisation of egg cells by sperms outside of the body. Since the first test tube baby was born in 1978, this method has been further developed and refined. In Germany, the first IVF-baby was born in 1982 in Erlangen, where it was conceived in the local “IVF-laboratory”.

During this procedure, the ovaries are stimulated with hormones by means of injections, that you can administer yourself, so that many egg cells can mature. After triggering ovulation, egg cells are collected through the vagina under local anaesthesia shortly before it and are put into a nutrient solution together with the sperms of the man. Then we transfer the fertilized egg cells or embryos into the uterine cavity.

Egg cell retrieval

19 follikelpunktionAbout 36 hours after triggering the ovulation with a hormonal injection (for example hCG), the egg cells are withdrawn by suction from the vagina under local anaesthesia. A vaginal ultrasound examination is carried out for this purpose. With the help of a guide rail attached to the ultrasound probe, the puncture needle can be precisely inserted directly into the ovary, in order to withdraw follicular liquid with egg cells from a follicle by suction. By means of a lasting ultrasonic monitoring it can be done very gently, complications are very rare.

The intervention must be carried out under general anaesthesia or more frequently under a light general anaesthesia as for example in the case of gastroscopy. After the intervention, we observe the patient for a maximum of two more hours, before he can leave the Fertility Centre of Mainz on the same day.

Biological part of IFV

20 gegenueberstellung ivf icsiAfter the sperm collection from the man by means of masturbation and preparation of ejaculation with the help of washing and centrifugation procedures, the egg cells and sperms are put together into a special nutrition solution. The sperms penetrate the egg cells without further help. About 50 to 70 per cent of the egg cells can be fertilised this way.


The fertilised egg cells develop into embryos through cell division:

  • Day of the egg cell puncture+1 day= (pronuclear stage, not an embryo yet)
  • Day of the egg cell puncture+2 days= four-cell stage
  • Day of the egg cell puncture+3 days=eight-cell stage
  • Day of the egg cell puncture+4 days=16-cells to berry-like stage (morula)
  • Day of the egg cell puncture+5 days= berry-like stage to vesicle stage (blastocyst; expanding or hatching blastocyst)

Remaining in this stage indicates a possible defect of the embryo and its inability to develop further and nidate. Only 30% of those pronuclear stages achieve the blastocyst stage!

Already one day after the egg cell retrieval, you can find out per phone whether the fertilisation and development has been successful.


21 embryotransferUp to a maximum of three embryos are placed into the uterine cavity two to five days after the egg cell removal with the help of a plastic catheter. No anaesthesia is needed for that. Right after the transfer, the patient can leave the Fertility Centre of Mainz.