This discussion focuses on the progress made in IVF technology, which encompasses its introduction, process, and benefits. It’s crucial to comprehend that three generations of IVF technology exist, each with varying success levels. It’s essential to clarify misunderstandings about these generations and compare and contrast them to comprehend their differences better. The primary difference between the three generations, namely Conventional In Vitro Fertilization (First Generation), In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) (Second Generation), and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) (Third Generation) IVF technology, is their applicability to different populations. It’s incorrect to assume that the latest technology is always superior, which is why it’s crucial to comprehend the unique features of each generation of IVF technology to make an informed decision and increase the chances of success.
Conventional In Vitro Fertilization
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a technique that involves external fertilization, also known as the embryo transfer technique. The first generation of IVF, available since 1978, uses the same culture medium for the eggs and sperm to allow them to merge freely, similar to natural fertilization. This method is called IVF-ET or first-generation IVF.
IVF-ET primarily addresses female infertility issues caused by endometriosis, dysregulated endocrine function, and obstructed fallopian tubes. However, low sperm count in males can potentially lead to IVF failure.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
The second generation of IVF is intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Unlike the first generation, where sperm and egg fusion occurs freely, the second generation requires the procedure to be carried out under a microscope. Using a specialized stabilizer, the egg is held steady, and a single sperm is extracted using a needle and injected through the zona pellucida and cell membrane into the egg’s cytoplasm. The sperm is then released into the cytoplasm.
ICSI is primarily suitable for addressing male infertility issues such as a low sperm count, immotile sperm, the absence of ejaculation (where a small amount of sperm is still present in the vas deferens), or motile sperm that cannot fuse with an egg.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
The third generation of in vitro fertilization is known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), which builds upon the technique of the second generation, focusing on genetic diagnosis prior to implantation. Once the embryo reaches the 4- to 8-cell stage, one or two cells (blastomeres) are extracted, and molecular diagnostics are used to conduct genetic testing to ensure the embryo is free from hereditary diseases before implantation.
This technology is suitable for both male and female infertility issues. It is especially appropriate for women over the age of 34 who are in their late maternal age, couples who share a genetic condition, patients with a history of frequent spontaneous abortions, and those with chromosomal abnormalities. By using preimplantation genetic diagnosis and next-generation sequencing (PGS/NGS), this method helps prevent the transmission of genetic diseases from one generation to the next (PGD).
Oocyte Rejuvenation (also known as Pronuclear Transfer or PNT)
The AI embryo selection system is an improved embryo grading system based on the 3.5-generation IVF. The accuracy of this technology depends significantly on the database used during the process, in addition to utilizing the built-in database provided by the Time-lapse manufacturer. With 6 years of experience in reproductive medicine and more successful IVF procedures completed, IVF Asia Group can provide more effective programs for intended patients in the Philippines.