In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

Dr. Anita Singh
Board Certified in Reproductive Endocrinology,
Infertility, Obstetrics and Gynecology

818-889-4532 (4LFC)

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In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In Vitro Fertilization, also commonly known as IVF, is the treatment of choice in cases of infertility when both fallopian tubes are blocked. However, IVF may also be used for unexplained infertility, endometriosis, cervical factor infertility, ovulation disorders, or when a man has a low sperm count. In Vitro Fertilization is the process by which eggs (oocytes) are retrieved from the ovary, fertilized by the sperm in the laboratory, and cultured into early embryos. The embryos are then transferred into the uterus.

Embryos - LifeStart Fertility CenterSince multiple oocytes are desired in order to enhance the likelihood of pregnancy, stimulation with injectable gonadotropins is usually required. Frequent monitoring is necessary during this stimulation time with ultrasounds and blood tests. When these diagnostic methods indicate that the time is appropriate, an hCG injection is taken to mature the eggs. The eggs are retrieved from the ovary just before they are ready to be ovulated.

The eggs are retrieved by ultrasound guided needle aspiration through the vagina. Transvaginal oocyte aspiration is done using intravenous anesthesia.  Your partner also provides a semen sample on the day of egg retrieval. 

After aspiration, the embryologist will determine the number of eggs obtained and classify them as mature, immature, post mature or degenerative.  The semen sample is then processed in the IVF laboratory and both sperm and eggs are placed in a dish and fertilization takes place (in vitro) outside the patient’s body in the laboratory. The fertilization process takes approximately 10-20 hours. Embryos are then cultured for 3-5 days before being replaced back in the uterus by a simple technique much like intrauterine insemination.  The embryo transfer involves loading a thin catheter with the embryos and then gently placing this catheter under ultrasound guidance through the cervix and into the uterine cavity.

Generally, 2-3 embryos are transferred back into the uterus depending on the patient’s age, embryo quality and physician recommendation.

The patient usually receives progesterone to support implantation and embryo growth.  The first pregnancy test is usually 12 days following the embryo transfer.

According to national statistics, approximately 25 to 35 percent of women who try In Vitro Fertilization conceive. However, the likelihood of success can vary from 0 percent to 70 percent depending on such factors including the women's age, the reason for the infertility, and the experience of the IVF program.


For more information on the IVF process, please read from some of these sources:

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine

RESOLVE - The National Infertility Association

American Fertility Association

The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination (INCIID)

 

Medical Disclaimer

The information on this website has been provided to you for educational purposes only by LifeStart Fertility Center.  This information is not to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.  Any link on the LifeStart Fertility Center website does not imply that we endorse any of the products or services listed on these links. 

 

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