IVF Treatments in Cyprus

/IVF Treatments in Cyprus
IVF Treatments in Cyprus 2016-10-13T11:20:32+00:00

IVF Treatments at the Cyprus IVF Clinic, sits at the very heart of our treatment programme. However, as a dedicated team we also recognise that straightforward IVF may not suit all patients. We are a fertility clinic, and we are firmly committed to accommodating our patients. We are proud to incorporate some ground breaking fertility medicine advances into our treatments. This means that we can provide our patients with a wide range of choices, designed to fit into your personal situation.

Modern medical science has provided us with significant assisted reproductive technologies and breakthrough treatments that help people experiencing difficulty achieving a successful pregnancy to finally conceive. Some of the most popular ivf treatment methods are described below, in brief:

IVF Treatments

IVF started as a treatment addressed to women that had a physiological issue related to their womb or reproductive system overall (i.e. blocked fallopian tubes or endometriosis) and were unable to conceive naturally. Today, IVF in Cyprus, and across the globe, is a treatment carried out to treat male factor infertility, unexplained infertility, low sperm motility or count, reduced ovarian reserve, and more. However, it’s also used as part of our PGD (Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis) Gender Selection program.

IVF is a procedure where the woman’s eggs are removed and then combined with sperm and fertilised outside the body. The hatching embryo stays inside a highly sophisticated, state-of-the-art incubator for 3-5 days, before being implanted in the uterus. The only problem with this treatment is that not all couples can have it in their countries due to the stringent guidelines that apply (i.e. women over 42 years of age are not allowed to receive IVF in the UK), which make it almost impossible for some patients to access the required services. IVF in Cyprus, though, is for everybody wishing to have a child.

If a woman cannot produce egg cells (low egg reserves) for IVF in Cyprus or abroad (or normal pregnancy), then egg donation is her best option. It is a situation very common among older women since the number of ovarian follicles is progressively reducing after her 30s or 40s. Also, women that experience premature menopause (could be as young as 20 years of age), as well as cancer patients with infertility due to a recent chemotherapy, can also benefit from an egg donation program. Finally, mothers with a serious familial disorder that don’t want to risk passing it on to their children can require egg donation.

The egg donation program at Cyprus IVF Clinic has an extensive database of pre-screened*, young (usually between 20-26 years old) and perfectly healthy egg donors, whom we harvest 10-20 eggs from only at the time of your need, that are then used exclusively for the specific patient’s IVF cycle consumption. Of couse, the selected egg donor ovulates in synchrony with your menstrual cycle, if you want to use fresh eggs.

* Egg donors are tested for genetic diseases, infectious diseases, such as AIDS/HIV, Hepatitis C and B, Syphilis, German Measles, Cytomegalovirus, and many more, and then screened every 2 months to ensure they remain healthy.

Important Note: Egg donation is a process that is also strictly confidential at Cyprus IVF Clinic so neither the donor nor the child can trace one another at any point, unlike other countries (i.e. the UK), where children have the right to ask for their donor’s identity, once they get 18 years old.

Embryo donation is a life-saving procedure for couples that face infertility problems and cannot use their own eggs or sperm to produce embryos. It is also a popular option for single women. Couples that have had a child through IVF and are no longer interested in expanding their families can donate their cryopreserved or fresh embryos so that others can use them. It is a process you may also hear referred to as “embryo adoption” and is very similar to egg donation.

At Cyprus IVF Clinic, you can either opt for fresh or frozen embryo transfer. In the first case, we stimulate the woman’s ovaries to produce more quality eggs by giving her hormonal medications. When the eggs have developed to a desirable size, we call her for egg retrieval. That same day, we collect the eggs, we also call the selected male donor to provide us with a semen sample. We inject the sperm into each egg (ICSI procedure – see below). During the following 5 days, the fertilised eggs grow and form the blastocyct (groups of cells) and are then transferred to the recipient’s womb (up to 3 quality embryos). In the second case, we use cryopreserved eggs that are thawed or defrosted for 15 minutes and then transferred to the recipient’s womb.

After an egg is fertilised, it is left to culture and develop into a blastocyst (small group of cells), which doesn’t take more than 5 days. Then, it is implanted in the mother’s uterus to start the pregnancy, where it becomes a foetus. To manage to implant the embryo to the walls of the uterus, we need to break through the exterior of the blastocyst (aka Zona) with the use of a laser or mechanical or chemical means, so the embryo to make the implantation process easier. Embryos resulting from IVF in Cyprus or ICSI (see below) may have a hard time hatching. This is when Assisted Hatching comes in and saves the day.

Assisted hatching is recommended to women in their late 30s or women with a high FSH level. It is also an excellent option for patients whose embryo did not implant successfully during a previous IVF cycle.
To help the embryo implant successfully and not be rejected by the mother’s immune system, we make sure that the gene HLA-G (Human Leukocyte Antigen G) is always present when the embryos are implanted. That aside, there are cases where we strongly suggest the use of EmbryoGlue, a culture medium that is proven to help implantation through hyaluronan and nutrients.

Some women don’t feel comfortable with the idea of having donor eggs. On the other hand, it’s not easy to accept that the quality of your eggs deteriorates over time. However, you can give it a try and benefit from a Tandem Cycle procedure, where you get to use your own eggs in conjugation with donor eggs that will all be fertilised using your partner’s sperm. So, if your eggs fail, you can still have increased chances to have a successful pregnancy leading to healthy childbirth. Kindly note, though, that it’s a procedure that you won’t find anywhere else but the Cyprus IVF Clinic. The procedure itself is quite similar to IVF in Cyprus. You are given hormonal medications for about 8 days to produce more quality eggs. Then, you will need to come to our clinic to scan and evaluate your ovarian reserve and endometrial thickness. If results show that your eggs have reached the desirable size, you are given the Pregnyl injection. The egg collection procedure takes place 36 hours after the injection and is carried out to both you and the egg donor you have selected. The harvested eggs are then fertilised by your partner’s sperm. Once the cells develop to an embryo, our fertility specialists will give you all the necessary information regarding the embryos’ nature so you can decide which one(s) you will choose to have transferred (your own eggs, the donors’ eggs or a combination). It’s a method perfectly suited to women with a poor ovarian reserve or egg quality and offers high success rates.
If the male partner has low sperm count, it’s important to test a semen sample to determine sperm quality. If it isn’t found competitive enough for an IVF cycle, then couples can consider donor sperms. The process requires you to specify the exact characteristics you want the donor to have. Then, we match your desire with the best possible donor from our exhaustive list of donors. Interested couples can access that database (the largest in the world) through Cryos International website, which was originally accessed by hospitals and physicians only. Now, private customers can also choose the donor that meets their exact criteria.

Needless to say, the donors’ health is thoroughly screened for various diseases (including infectious diseases) and also have spermiograms frequently to ensure the high quality of the sperm at all times.

Our Gender Selection program is one of the most popular programs at Cyprus IVF Clinic (success rates over 99.9%) and allows couples and single women to choose the gender of their planned child. As soon as you complete your IVF in Cyprus, we gather the embryos and perform a sophisticated biopsy procedure called Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) to determine the sex of each embryo. Then, the chosen embryo based on your gender preferences is returned to the mother’s womb. The ones not selected are safely cryogenically stored in our labs for future use. After that you will need to stay for, at least, a week at our centre, where you will be provided with a comfortable room to relax and enjoy the most of your visit.

That aside, PGD can also reveal any genetic disorders that the child may be born with. Therefore, it’s a screening process that also gives valuable information besides the gender of the embryo.

Note: Gender selection through PGD is not legal in any country but North Cyprus and is carried out by a leading OB-Gyne and IVF specialist and the only specialist licensed to perform these procedures in the island, Dr Firdevs.

The PGD procedure is a perfectly safe used to screen a 3-day embryo for over 400 genetic disorders (i.e. Becker Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebellar Ataxia, Diabetes Insipidus and Down Syndrome) and is also part of the Gender Selection program, as previously described. During this process, the mother is given hormonal medication to produce eggs that we collect. Then we sample the father with sperms to fertilise the egg and produce an embryo. On their 3rd day (8-cell stage), we remove one or two cells from the embryos containing a nucleus from the incubating embryos as samples, which are tested for any abnormalities within 48 hours so couples can be informed of results and potential implications before the embryo’s 5th day (implantation day). Of course, couples will need to submit to an IVF process in Cyprus IVF Clinic whether they have fertility problems or not.

All transferred embryos are screened for chromosomal abnormalities, using the FISH (Fluorescence in-situ Hybridization) technique that speeds up the process that would have otherwise needed several days to be completed. It is definitely a procedure that demands expertise and in-depth knowledge of the processes involved.

ICSI is a treatment widely used to treat male infertility. It’s a method where we fertilise an egg by injecting a single best sperm into it. There are various ways to select the best sperm, such as PESA, MESA or TESE (see male infertility below). Then, the egg with the injected sperm is kept in incubators with strictly controlled temperatures so fertilisation can take place, and is transferred to the mother’s uterus on day 3 following the egg collection.

For men with normal sperm morphology of less than 4%, we recommend Intracytoplasmic Morphological Sperm Injection (IMSI). Embryologists analyse sperm samples under a powerful microscope and select the premium quality sperm to inject into the eggs. Thus, IMSI increases the potential for a successful pregnancy and live birth rate. It is also a method that can benefit patients who, even though they had good quality eggs, had an unsuccessful implantation in previous IVF cycles, as well as patients with low fertilisation rates.

Testicular failure is experienced by 1 in 100 men nowadays and, luckily, it can be treated with the modern surgical procedures performed at Cyprus IVF Clinic. Thanks to advanced techniques and new, sophisticated equipment, male infertility is significantly reduced. Men that don’t produce sperm suffer from Azoospermia, a condition where sperm is created but cannot be mixed with the semen due to physical obstruction, such as blockage in the tubules (Obstructive Azoospermia) or sperm is not created with no evident physical obstruction (Non-Obstructed Azoospermia).

To treat male infertility, we use PESA (Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration). The process requires local or general anaesthesia and involves the insertion of a fine needle into the epididymis (the tube that connects the vas deferens to efferent ducts) to extract fluid that’s then analysed to select the best sperm to use at the ICSI process mentioned above.

Other methods include TESE (Testicular Sperm Extraction) that’s analysed below, and MESA (Micro-epididymal Sperm Aspiration), which is highly recommended to men diagnosed with blocked vas deferens. It involves sperm retrieval directly from the epididymis and instant conduct of ICSI, and requires general anaesthesia.

Men that have had a vasectomy done or an unsuccessful reversal vasectomy can benefit from this method greatly. It is carried out under local anaesthesia. During the15-minute procedure, a fine needle is inserted into the testis and extracts testicular tissue sample that is analysed by our fertility specialists to select the best sperm to use for ICSI.
Cryopreservation or also referred to as freezing is a method where the harvested eggs are frozen using liquid nitrogen for future use. It’s an egg preservation method preferred by many young women that freeze their eggs while at a young age so they can use them to conceive when they feel the time is right. IVF in Cyprus makes great use of cryopreserved eggs and helps couples or single women that want to have a child achieve their dream. Of course, freezing an embryo is a complex multi-step process that needs to be handled with extreme caution and only by expert embryologists. At Cyprus IVF Clinic, it’s carried out in controlled lab settings that provide the embryo with the best environment to remain in a dormant state.