What is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is an established medical treatment for a wide variety of infertility diagnoses including unexplained infertility. This procedure involves the removal of a mature egg or eggs and sperm and manually fertilizing them in a laboratory dish outside the womb. Healthy embryos are then transferred back into the uterus at the appropriate time with the goal of implantation and further embryo development. The fertilization of the eggs can be carried out by means of the conventional In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) technique or by Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).

In Vitro Fertilization involves four steps:

Stage 1

Ovarian Stimulation and Monitoring – In order to maximize the patient’s chances for successful fertilization, a patient undergoing In Vitro Fertilization usually takes hormones in the form of injections to increase the number of eggs produced in a given month. Frequent monitoring is performed to continuously follow a woman’s ovarian response, allowing the physician to adjust and time medication dosage appropriately

Stage 2

Under sedation, the reproductive specialist extracts mature eggs via ultrasound guidance. Egg retrieval is a minimally invasive procedure that normally takes less than 15 minutes. Patients can typically resume normal activity within the next day.

Stage 3

Embryologists use high-power microscopes and steady precision to fertilize the eggs with sperm in the embryology laboratory. At times, the sperm are released on top of the oocyte to fertilize it. In other cases, especially when there are less than one million living sperm, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is used where a single sperm is micro-injected directly into the cytoplasm of the ovum.

Stage 4

A fertility specialist will transfer the minimum number of healthy and mature embryo(s) back into the uterus, with the goal of implantation in the uterine wall. This procedure usually does not involve any sedation. The physician will use ultrasound to guide a small catheter through the cervix and deposit the embryo(s) in the uterus. The embryo transfer procedure takes only a few minutes and recovery time is less than a day. Remaining viable embryos can be cryopreserved and used for subsequent transfer cycles.

Who is a candidate for In Vitro Fertilization?

The ideal In Vitro Fertilization candidate is in overall good health. Beyond that basic requirement, it’s really a question of your individual situation. In Vitro Fertilization is effective in treating many different causes of infertility and is often a good option for:

Couples who have not been able to conceive for more than 6 months. Couples who haven’t been able to get pregnant on their own after half a year are often very successful with In Vitro Fertilization. Women at all stages of their reproductive years have gotten pregnant using In Vitro Fertilization, using their own or donor eggs.

Women who have been unsuccessful with other fertility treatments, including fertility medications and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). It can be extremely discouraging and painful to try several different Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) treatments without success, but In Vitro Fertilization often offers hope where other methods have failed.

People suffering from most types of infertility, including:

  • Tubal factor infertility: If you have scarred, blocked, damaged or missing fallopian tubes, In Vitro Fertilization is an excellent option, as the In Vitro Fertilization process bypasses the fallopian tubes entirely. It’s often a more effective (and less invasive) alternative to surgical solutions.
  • Endometriosis: In Vitro Fertilization can offer a way forward for patients who have been affected by endometrial scarring.
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): In Vitro Fertilization is considered a highly effective treatment for infertility caused by Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
  • Male factor infertility: Low sperm count or issues with sperm quality can often be addressed by In Vitro Fertilization and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) if necessary.
  • Age related infertility: In Vitro Fertilization may offer a better opportunity for older women.
  • Unhealthy eggs/sperm: With the help of donors, In Vitro Fertilization can provide a path to a baby even when the odds are stacked against you.

Couples who may be able to conceive either on their own or via low-tech treatment within 2 to 3 years but don’t want to take risk of waiting to discover that they are not pregnant. If you’re ready to start your family now and have decided you don’t want to take your chances, In Vitro Fertilization can offer you a measure of control over your fertility that you won’t get from a “wait and see” strategy.

Couples or women who want pregnancy on demand. LGBT couples and single women who want to have a baby and have not been able to conceive via Intrauterine insemination (IUI) may turn to In Vitro Fertilization to have a baby on their terms and their timescale.

Infertility has many causes. It’s best to be evaluated ahead of time so a complete medical report can be sent. It’s important to have regular checkups, to be in good health, and your body be ready for pregnancy via healthy living before the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) cycle.

We’re a specialized fertility center with a unique approach

We are pleased that you are considering visiting our center for specialized fertility care, and we look forward to meeting you at your initial consultation. We have helped thousands to become parents and we will be right by your side on your journey towards a healthy family.

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