The heart of the IVF clinic is the IVF laboratory, because this is where the embryos are actually made. The IVF lab is often "off-limits" to patients in most IVF centers, which is why most patients don't have a clue what goes on in the IVF lab.
Here's a guided tour of our IVF lab, to familiarise you with what happens to your eggs and embryos, and how the IVF lab helps you to make a baby.
- This is the soul of the IVF lab - the CO2 incubator, where fertilization occurs, and your embryos are carefully grown under controlled conditions, which mimic your body's environment.
- This is the IVF culture medium, in which embryos are cultured and nourished. Most IVF clinics use ready-made medium, which is quality controlled and extensively tested. We import ours from Vitrolife, one of the world's best companies.
- Microscopes are the work-horse of the IVF lab, and allow the embryologist to inspect your eggs and embryos. The circular plastic dish on the heated platform of the microscope is a petri dish; and the central well contains the culture medium in which the embryos are grown .You can see what embryos look like under the microscope here.
- This is the micromanipulator, where ICSI is performed. It is also used to perform the embryo biopsy when doing PGD. It allows us to visualise the eggs , sperm and embryos because of the high degree of magnification it offers; and also allows us to precisely manipulate the fine pipettes which are used to perform surgery on the egg and embryo !
- This is the computer-controlled embryo cryopreservation unit , which allows us to freeze and store embryos.
- These are liquid nitrogen containers, in which sperm and embryos are frozen and preserved at -196 C.