In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a very successful treatment option for infertility. Prior to any IVF treatment, one of our board-certified fertility experts will meet with you to review your history and establish a plan for your unique needs.
IVF is a procedure in which a physician removes eggs from the ovaries and fertilizes them. The eggs are fertilized either by placing sperm on the eggs or by injecting a single sperm into each egg using a technique referred to as “intracytoplasmic sperm injection” (ICSI). The resulting embryos are observed and grown in our IVF laboratory, where they are graded for quality and transferred to the recipient's uterus.
All procedures required during an IVF cycle, including ovarian stimulation and monitoring, egg retrieval and embryo transfer, are performed on-site in our state-of-the-art facility.
Pretreatment testing may be necessary and include blood work to determine hormone levels, semen analysis and uterine assessment. To ensure you have the best outcome, we will evaluate your initial assessment and results from your pretreatment testing to finalize your personalized treatment plan.
Ultrasound & Ovulation Medications
After the evaluation and pretreatment preparation, if necessary, you will have a baseline ultrasound to measure the lining of your uterus to ensure a healthy environment before starting medication and to assess egg production. You will begin hormone injections to stimulate the growth of multiple ovarian follicles. Monitoring your hormone levels for several days is important to measure appropriate growth.
The monitoring visit consists of a monitoring ultrasound, a blood test to monitor hormone levels and accurately assess egg maturity. Your provider will have a brief discussion of your progress during these visits. The monitoring phase of the IVF cycle usually requires three to six visits.
The IVF egg retrieval procedure takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes. After an anesthesiologist provides you with adequate intravenous sedation, your fertility provider will aspirate the follicular fluid from each of the follicles. The embryologist immediately identifies each of the oocytes (eggs) and count them as they are found. The eggs are then placed into the incubator.
After egg retrieval is complete, you will be taken back to the recovery area. You or your partner will be told the final egg count prior to leaving the clinic. Recovery after egg retrieval takes one to two hours on average. Do not plan to drive or return to work after egg retrieval, as you will not be allowed to drive yourself home.
The day after egg retrieval, an embryologist will call you with fertilization results, which usually arrive before 1 p.m.
Ultrasound Guided Embryo Transfer Technique
Most patients are asked to return on day 3 following egg retrieval to discuss their embryos. At that time, the decision will be made to either proceed with day-3 transfer or to allow the embryos to develop in the lab for another 2 days. The number of embryos, patient’s age, and information from previous cycles can influence the day of transfer.
This simple procedure usually requires no anesthesia. Your doctor and embryologist will discuss the number of embryos to transfer that will provide you the highest probability of success and the lowest probability of high-order multiple births. You will be given ample time to discuss your embryos and decide on the number of embryos to transfer. You also will receive pictures of your embryos being transferred.
A blood pregnancy test will be performed approximately 14 days after the day of egg retrieval.
If more embryos survive than are needed at the time of an embryo transfer, you may choose to have your embryos frozen (cryopreserved) for later transfer. Cryopreservation in a cryobank allows for subsequent frozen embryos transfers (FET) and additional attempts at conception without having to undergo additional stimulation with gonadotropins. Embryo freezing improves the overall safety and lowers the cost of infertility treatment.