What Are The Steps to IVF?
Step One – Fertility drugs & Hormone Injections: are taken to stimulate your ovaries to develop a greater number of mature eggs ready for fertilization. Women respond in different ways, and your doctor will monitor you carefully. Ultrasound scans and possibly blood hormone tests will be offered determine how well your eggs are responding and as a safe-guard.
Step Two – Egg retrieval and sperm collection: Ultrasound is used to detect when your eggs are ready to be retrieved from your ovaries, using a fine, hollow needle attached to an ultrasound scan probe. You may feel mild discomfort during the procedure. While your eggs are being collected, your partner will need to provide a fresh sample of semen. If donated sperm or frozen sperm are being used, the sample is taken from the freezer. The sperm is washed and the best-quality sperm extracted ready to fertilize the eggs. The sperm is then combined with the eggs in a dish and left to culture in an incubator.
Step Three – Fertilisation and embryo transfer: Within one day of combining the eggs and sperm, the dish is checked to see if any eggs have been fertilized. Any fertilized eggs will each have become a ball of cells called an embryo, or a blastosyst at day five. Pre-implantation screening (CCS) may be performed at this stage. The healthiest embryos are chosen to be inserted into the uterus. Prior to implantation, you will take additional medication to help thicken your uterus lining (endometrium) to increase the likelihood of success.
What is IVF?
In vitro fertilization, commonly referred to as IVF, is the process by which eggs are removed from your ovaries and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory culture dish, hence “in vitro,” which means “in glass.” The term IVF is now often used to refer to the entire process by which a woman becomes pregnant using Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), including ovarian stimulation, oocyte retrieval, in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer and embryo/oocyte cryopreservation.
Unlike the simpler process of intrauterine insemination — in which sperm is placed in the uterus and conception happens otherwise normally — IVF involves additional steps which include medication and medical procedures to extract the egg or eggs from the woman. Once an embryo or embryos form, they are then placed in the uterus. Since its introduction in the U.S. in 1981, IVF and other similar techniques have resulted in more than 200,000 babies.
What Causes of Infertility Can IVF Treat?
- Low sperm counts
- Problems with the uterus or blocked/damaged Fallopian tubes
- Problems with ovulation
- Antibody problems that harm sperm or eggs
- The inability of sperm to penetrate or survive in the cervical mucus
- Unsuccessful use of fertility drugs or other treatments such as IUI
- Unsuccessful after two year of trying to conceive
- Other unexplained reasons for infertility
RSMC offers some of the most experienced San Diego
Our highly-experienced embryologists and lab specialist have over 30 years combined experience with a variety of situations, including some of the most challenging fertility cases. During that time, they established over 30 selected protocols for the IVF process, which can translate into hundreds individual treatments. Every situation is unique and there are so many factors that can affect fertility. Having a number of selected protocols means starting with the best option of treatment for your individualized situation. Most importantly, you can take advantage of our experience with thousands of cases to give you the best chance for a successful pregnancy and of growing your family.