In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) commonly referred as IVF. It is the process of removing oocytes (eggs) from the woman’s ovaries and combining them with sperm in a laboratory dish. Once the embryo has been cultured for 3 – 6 days it can be transferred to the woman’s uterus with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy. While there are many other treatment options available, IVF success rates are much higher than other fertility treatment options like Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and may shorten the time to a successful.
There are several factors that may lead a Fertility Doctor to recommend an IVF treatment, including:
- Age related Infertility
- Blocked fallopian tubes/Tubal Factor
- Genetic/Chromosomal factor
- Male factor
- Unexplained infertility
A woman's ovarian function is diminished with age. In many cases, this reduced function can be overcome through the use of IVF.
The only options for treating significant tubal damage are surgical repair or by the use of IVF which bypasses the fallopian tubes.
IVF can be effectively treated with a combination of surgical and medical therapies. IVF is also effective as a second line of treatment if initial treatment is unsuccessful.
IVF with Preimplantation genetic testing may be recommended when there is a possibility, indicated by your medical history or advanced maternal age, that your embryos could be affected by a genetic disease.
Approximately 30% of infertility is related to male factor problems such as structural abnormalities, sperm production disorders, ejaculatory disturbances and immunologic disorders.
Approximately 20% of couples will have no identifiable cause of infertility after completing a comprehensive evaluation. IVF is often successful in these cases.
IVF Step One - Ovulation Induction
Hormone injections are given to stimulate multiple eggs. Daily gonadotropin injections are given to stimulate the development of the eggs. These are usually given subcutaneously (under the skin). A Fertility Doctor then monitors the progress of ovulation induction with ultrasounds and blood levels over when applicable.
IVF Step Two - Egg Retrieval
An egg retrieval is performed by placing a special needle into the ovarian follicle and removing the fluid that contains the egg. This procedure is performed by visualizing the follicles with a vaginal ultrasound probe. To avoid any discomfort sedation is recommended.
IVF Step Three - Fertilization and Embryo Culture
Eggs are identified by an expert and experienced embryologist and placed into an incubator. The eggs are fertilized with sperm the same day by conventional insemination or by Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). The eggs will be checked on a daily basis to document fertilization and growth. We have the ability to grow the embryos for five or six days until they reach the blastocyst stage. For some patients these blastocysts may have a greater chance of implantation and increase the chance of pregnancy. Any embryos that are not transferred can be cryopreserved for future use.
IVF Step Four - Embryo Transfer
The embryo/embryos chosen for transfer are placed through the cervix into the uterine cavity using a small, soft catheter. This procedure usually requires no anesthesia. Embryos may be transferred on day 3, 5, or 6 after egg retrieval. In addition, in some cases a Fertility Doctor might recommend to cryopreserve the embryos and have a Frozen Embryo Transfer instead.
We have performed thousands of successful IVF procedures and we welcome the opportunity to work with you to help you achieve your dreams of having a family. When you schedule your free consultation at CARE Fertility you will meet with a fertility specialist who will take an extensive medical history of you and your partner and address all the concerns you may have.