What is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most common types of assisted reproduction. IVF is also one of the most successful forms of achieving a pregnancy since the pregnancy success rates are about four times higher than other methods like intrauterine insemination.
IVF is one of the most successful forms of achieving a pregnancy
IVF is utilized with fallopian tube occlusion, male infertility with very low sperm count, endometriosis, or for unexplained reasons where other conventional ovulation medications treatments have failed. The process involves extractions of the women’s eggs (oocytes) outside the body and using the partner’s sperm to fertilize the egg to produce an embryo.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a process that takes place outside of the body. Medications in the form of injections are used to imitate the body’s natural hormones and develop multiple eggs. The eggs are removed from the ovaries, and are combined with sperm in a culture dish. The removal is called egg retrieval or aspiration. Placing the eggs back is called Embryo Transfer. An embryo is a fertilized egg or the union of a sperm and an egg. As the embryo develops, the goal is for the cells of the embryo to double daily until it reaches the blastocyst stage and then will be vitrified (frozen). The embryos will grow in culture for 3-5 days and their cells will double daily.
During their growth the abnormal embryos will stop dividing during these five days. Some of the embryos can also undergo genetic screening by the extraction of about 5 cells from the outer coat of the embryo called PGS, complete chromosomal testing or PGT-A (Preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy). This genetic testing will screen all 46 chromosomes including gender if requested. Results of the testing will usually take two weeks and once you receive your result you can make a decision as to which embryo to transfer back into the uterus.
Once normal embryo development has occurred, usually 3 to 6 days after the egg retrieval, the embryos are cryopreserved (frozen) and then transferred into the uterus at a later date by a catheter. This process is called embryo transfer. The best embryos will be selected for the final transfer into the uterus and they will typically implant in two days. A pregnancy test is performed two weeks later.
Why Choose IVF?
Some of the common reasons patients undergo IVF include:
- Blocked Tubes
- Unexplained Infertility
- Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), for elimination of genetic diseases
- Recurrent Spontaneous Abortions With Genetic Etiology
- Male Causes Such As Low Sperm Count, Low Motility, Or Lack Of Sperm
- Failed Therapies with Ovulation Induction
- Advanced Female Age
- Women with low ovarian reserve
- Donor Egg Cycles
- LGBTQ Individual or Couples
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