making a baby “in the laboratory” is becoming more and more frequent

It’s European Fertility Week. In France, one in eight couples consult for parenting difficulties. 10% of couples remain infertile after two years. In Poitou-Charentes, two centers support them: the University Hospital of Poitiers and the fertility center in La Rochelle. A difficult, long and strewn with pitfalls.

This simple gesture, placing her hands on the stomach cradling a baby, is the result of the long journey of Gaëlle Noblet and her companion.
The girl was 31 years old when she planned to have a child. But nature is different. After a year and a half of “baby tests”, her doctor advised her to get tested.

Gaëlle Noblet then turned to the La Rochelle fertility center. 500 in vitro fertilization, IVF, are done there every year.
That morning, 33-year-old Sarah began the most important phase of her first IVF: egg retrieval. His wife was also asked, he was in the laboratory, at the same time, to donate sperm.

In this clinic, egg retrieval is done under general anesthesia.

I’m going to sleep, of course I won’t feel anything, but now, I admit that I’m stressed.

Sarah, in the process of medically assisted childbirth

The gynecologist-obstetrician, Nicolas Proust, commented on the development of this sample: “We introduced the ultrasound probe at the vaginal levelto find the ovaries. Our eyes are focused on the screen and especially on the needle so we don’t lose sight of it. Once the syringe is filled, it is immediately placed in a thermo-heated case to respect the chain of heat.

The syringe was immediately transferred to the laboratory. It was the biologist doctor specializing in medically assisted childbirth, Olivier Moreau, who managed the rest of the operations: “We will find the oocytes in the puncture fluid to put them aside, separate them, and as soon as possible put them in contact with the spermatozoa of the husband to promote fertilization which, in a few days, will give of embryos. that we can transfer to the uterus of the same patient.”

Some embryos may develop after this first stage. Put them in a machine, very hot.

The embryos are cultivated for several days in incubators that are truly artificial wombs

Olivier Moreau, medical biologist who specializes in medically assisted reproduction

This center shows a result of 35% success for its in vitro fertilization, against 22% on average in France.
Good numbers for sure but don’t hide the difficulties for each course.

For the couples I tell them, there is a very, very good chance that you will have children with us at the center… But after how many attempts and after what treatments? We won’t know that in advance.

Nicolas Proust, gynecologist-obstetrician

We must really be prepared for hopes and disillusions. Now pregnant, Gaëlle has been through it all. In four years, the girl tried three inseminations and this was the second embryo of her IVF that worked. An emotional roller coaster ride he will never forget.

Psychologically, you still have to be strong! You have to accept failures. We don’t live in a bubble! There is also our environment next door with announcements, births around.

Gaëlle Noblet, mother to be

He continued, prompting a delicate coexistence between work and this parallel calendar, composed of the hours of several appointments per week. This medical follow-up protocol requires a lot of energy, physically and mentally. In this context, “it is sometimes complicated to have a form”.

Gaëlle didn’t want to know if it was a boy or a girl. He wanted to keep a little magic, after all those very medical years.

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