In Vitro Fertilization Procedure

In vitro fertilisation procedure includes the following stages:

Multiple ovulation protocols:
This stage includes administration of certain medication to each woman, in order to produce many ovarian follicles and therefore multiple eggs.

Egg collection:
After ovulation, egg collection follows, during which one or more eggs are retrieved and immediately transferred in culture material in the laboratory. Then, they are assessed for their development stage and their quality. At the same time, the partner’s sperm is processed and fertilisation technique is selected that can be the classic in vitro fertilisation or microfertilisation (ICSI).

In vitro fertilization:
The next day after fertilization (1st day of culture), there is a fertilisation check. Averagely, approximately 7 out of 10 mature eggs are successfully fertilised, but in special cases this rate can be lower. Fertilised eggs are transferred into special culture material and their growth is monitored. Embryos culture can take 2 to 3 days, or in case we select embryo transfer in blastocyst stage 5 to 6 days.

In REA embryological laboratory there is a special area with negative pressure and strong induction, for techniques that require the use of volatile materials (e.g. embryo biopsy). This way, air quality is not affected in the embryological laboratory.

Embryos are assessed for their division rate and their morphological characteristics. Embryo culture aims to reach the ideal conditions that will allow embryos to grow successfully. At the end of the culture, best developed embryos are those selected for embryo transfer. If there are good quality embryos in excess, they can be cryopreserved for future use. In addition, before embryo transfer and in case zona pellucida surrounding embryos is thick, assisted hatching can be used.

Embryo transfer:
Embryo transfer, during which embryos are put in the uterus via a flexible catheter, is a painless and quick procedure, but it is very important for the final result. The selection of embryos to be transferred and their number play a very important role. Typically, 1 to 3 embryos are transferred, while in case the woman’s age is over 40 years, up to 4 embryos may be transferred. Success rates generally increase if more embryos are transferred, but the risk of multiple pregnancy increases as well.


Rea Maternity Hospital
383, Siggrou Ave. & 17, Pentelis 17564 Palaio Faliro, Athens, Greece
Tel: +30 210 9495000, fax: +30 210 9495999, email: