IVF and Advanced Fertility Treatment
In Vitro Fertilization - Embryo Transfer
What is it?
In Vitro Fertilization, commonly reffered to as IVF, is the process of manual fertilization by combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory culture dish. When the IVF procedure is successful, a procedure known as embryo transfer will be combined, which is to physically place the embryo in the womb.
How does it work?
  • Monitoring of the Ovarian Follicles and Ovulation Induction
    The patient begins taking fertility medications to encourage development of eggs within the ovaries. These medications stimulate the follicles to produce more than one egg in a cycle. Ultrasound examinations assist in predicting the time of expected ovulation. Urine or blood test samples are taken to check hormone levels.
  • Egg Retrieval and Sperm Preparation
    Eggs are retrieved through a minor surgical procedure that uses a small hollow needle. It will be directly passed into the ovary containing follicles via an ultrasound-guided puncture. This technique is performed on an outpatient basis and sedation and local anesthesia are provided to reduce any potential discomfort. The follicular fluid is given to the embryologist, who examines it under a microscope to find the eggs. The entire procedure takes approximately 20 minutes. After one hour of observation in the recovery room, patients are allowed to return to their home or hotel. During the egg retrieval, the male partner provides a semen sample. The sample is delivered to the lab where it undergoes a clarifying process.
  • Fertilization and Embryo Culture
    The collected sperm and eggs are placed and mixed in an incubator for fertilization to occur (conventioanl insemination). Certain circumstances may exist that eggs are unlikely to become fertilized. In such a case, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be used.
  • Embryo Transfer
    Embryo transfer is a simple procedure that does not require anesthesia. The selected embryos are inserted into a thin tube and guided toward the female's uterus, where it is hoped they will continue their natural fetal development. The transfer typically takes place three days after egg retrieval, or five to six days after retrieval in the case of a blastocyst transfer.