For many couples, conceiving a child can be a life-altering decision. As you weigh your options, it’s important to consider all of your family building and pregnancy-related decisions with the help of your CF care team and support network. This includes understanding the common methods of assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
IVF involves collecting eggs from your body and mixing them with sperm cells in a laboratory dish to fertilize outside your body. The fertilized eggs are known as embryos. Once they’ve been successfully implanted in your uterus, you can begin your pregnancy journey.
In intrauterine insemination, a sample of prepared semen is inserted into your uterus through a catheter. The process is usually performed just prior to or after ovulation, the small window of time during which an egg and a sperm can attach and create an embryo. During the preparation of semen, proteins are washed from the sample, leaving only concentrated sperm.
For men who are experiencing azoospermia, a condition in which no sperm is present in the semen, it may be necessary to extract sperm using a surgical procedure. This technique is known as microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration or MESA.
In MESA, a fine needle is inserted from the scrotum into the epididymis. Then the epididymal tubules are dissected with the help of an operating microscope. When the sperm-containing fluid spills out, it pools in the epididymis bed. The sperms are then aspirated from this fluid and sent to the lab for sperm extraction. They can be used in the IVF ICSI procedure, or they can be cryopreserved for future use. in vitro fertilization mesa