Fertility and Reproductive Medical TeamIntroduction
The Assisted Reproductive Center of National Taiwan University Hospital possesses a strong team for infertility treatment, which provides intrauterine insemination, in-vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, blastocyst transfer, laser assisted hatching, cryopreservation of oocytes and embryos, oocyte donation, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis, all of these treatments being offered with high success rates. The Center’s clinical and research results have been published in well-renowned medical journals. The Center, working at an international level of reproductive technology and clinical experience, assists infertile couples in conceiving and delivering healthy babies.
Specialties and Services Provided
In-Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer (IVF-ET)
In our Center, the most appropriate method is chosen for ovarian stimulation and for monitoring follicular growth. Oocyte retrieval is performed through trans-vaginal ultrasound guidance. The oocytes are fertilized in vitro. The embryos are transferred into the uterus at the 4-8 cell or blastocyst stages.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
ICSI, which achieves high fertilization rates, has been effectively used to treat infertile men with severe semen abnormalities (such as oligospermia, poor motility and morphology). To enhance ICSI performance, the Center has developed an easy and efficient way to handle the sperm cell membrane by dissecting a sperm tail at the top without damaging its centrosome.
Treatment of Azoospermia
As long as the testees still retain some spermatogenic function, microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA), and testicular sperm extraction (TESE) are applied to patients with obstructive or non-obstructive azoospermia to obtain sperms for ICSI . The sperms retrieved can be cryopreserved for future use.
Blastocyst culture and transfer has been used to increase the implantation and pregnancy rates in IVF treatments. It can reduce the number of embryos transferred and the risk of multiple pregnancies.
Laser Assisted Hatching
For those embryos with zona thickening or hardening with repeated implantation failures, assisted hatching with laser zona thinning may improve implantation and pregnancy rates.
Oocyte, Embryos and Ovarian Tissue Freezing
Both the conventional slow freezing method and vitrification can be applied for freezing oocytes, zygotes, cleaving embryos, blastocysts, and ovarian tissues for future use. Female patients who might lose their ovarian function due to surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy may maintain their fertility via oocyte or ovarian tissue cryopreservation. Considering both aspects - oocyte ageing and spindle recovery - is essential for a successful oocyte cryopreservation program.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
Genetic examination for the blastomere or trophoblast retrieved from embryos can be used as a method of preimplantation diagnosis to prevent hereditary diseases. PGD is indicated for single gene diseases (such as thalassemia, and cystic fibrosis), X-linked diseases (such as hemophilia, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy), chromosomal aneuploidy, unbalanced translocation with habitual abortion, etc. It may permit a selective transfer of normal embryos to prevent the need for and the risk of artificial abortion when an abnormal fetus is carried.
Who Needs Our Services?
Couples who encounter infertility problems after general treatments may seek help with our Assisted Reproductive Center.
With a history of more than twenty-five years in the field of assisted reproduction, the internationally renowned Center has offered treatment in over 7,500 cases, achieving a success rate which is superior to the international average. The Center provides service in Chinese, English and Japanese. Patients from the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Mainland China, New Zealand, Australia and India have been treated successfully.
2. Our faculty members were invited by Professor Porcu of Bologna University (Italy), one of the most prominent scholars in cryoperservation of oocytes, to present a special speech at an international symposium hosted by the Reproductive Center of Bologna University.
3. Our faculty members were invited by the chief editors Professor Liebermann and Professor Tucker to write the chapter of Oocyte Cryopreservation in the book Vitrification in Assisted Reproduction.
4. Our team became the first one in Asia to successfully implement the “International Study of Long-acting FSH”.
5. By applying the blastomere biopsy single cell preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) technique, we successfully selected the first unaffected HLA-identical embryo for in vitro fertilization in Asia.
Featured Story (in 2007)
Liza is a successful career woman from Manila, the Philippines. She and her husband had been trying to have children of their own for more than five years. They tried various infertility treatments in the Philippines, including one course of in-vitro fertilization (IVF). None of those treatments proved to be successful.
From a close friend, Liza learned about the Infertility Center at the National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH). She was informed that NTUH has a very high success rate in IVF, and that NTUH charges lower fees than many other clinics in Asia. Through the NTUH Web site, Liza contacted one of the IVF specialists. He gave Liza some preliminary information about the IVF treatment utilized at NTUH, explaining her the functioning of processes like the stimulation of ovaries, oocyte retrieval, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, and the implantation of sustainable embryos.
Since Liza did not speak, read, or write Mandarin Chinese and had never visited Taiwan before, she was referred to the International Medical Service Center (IMSC) of the hospital. A nurse practitioner at the IMSC, who spoke Filipino, reached Liza via email and grew to know her well. The IMSC staff helped Liza find a suitable hotel where she could stay during her treatment. The nurse practitioner accompanied Liza through a series of consultations, examinations, and laboratory tests. The IMSC staff also helped arrange for Liza’s husband to travel to Taiwan.
During the course of Liza’s treatment, the IMSC staff showed Liza the famous night markets, shopping centers, and tourist attractions of Taiwan. She was accompanied to a Catholic church which had a parish priest from her home country. Liza said she was surprised at the extra efforts extended to her by the IMSC staff. She remained in constant e-mail contact with the staff to express her gratitude.
After the implantation of the fertilized eggs, Liza and her husband returned to the Philippines. Several weeks later, Liza informed the IMSC staff that she was pregnant with twins. The entire IVF treatment cost Liza about 4,000 US dollars (the referenced cost was in 2007, please consult us for the latest cost), Liza said such an outstanding and efficient service was well worth the money. She added that the NTUH had made her dream come true.
(Last revised: 2018/02/27 by Joyce)