What is IVF?
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the most successful fertility treatment you can undergo using your own eggs and sperm (or donor sperm). If a woman is struggling with infertility, IVF has become a very common assisted reproductive procedure.
The IVF process is a multi-step process where one or more eggs are retrieved from the ovaries and then fertilized in our laboratory. IVF treatment is a noninvasive procedure requiring only a fine needle stick into the ovaries under mild sedation administered by a physician anesthesiologist.
After the first IVF baby was born in 1978, Mary Louise Brown in England, the pregnancy rates have drastically improved. Women in their mid-thirties now have more than a 50% chance of having a live birth as a result of undergoing IVF.
First, fertility drugs are injected daily to stimulate the ovaries to produce the maximum quantity of eggs. Then ultrasounds and blood tests determine when eggs are ready to be harvested.
Second, the eggs are removed in a process called follicular aspiration. Local anesthesia or sedation anesthesia is usually used. The eggs are then placed with the partner's sperm in the laboratory where fertilization occurs.
Lastly, several pre-embryos are placed back inside the woman’s uterus through her cervix. Positive pregnancy will be known within two weeks.
Approximately 2/3 of eggs become fertilized and about half of those fertilized eggs develop into good quality embryos. Transfer of the embryos to the uterus may occur between the third and fifth days after egg retrieval.
IVF Success Rates
The number of embryos transferred back into the patient's uterus depends on her age and the quality of the embryo. Typically, women under their mid 30’s only have 1 embryo transferred and older women may have 2 transferred.
The goal is to avoid a high order multiple pregnancy such as triplets or greater since these cases are associated with premature deliveries, and complications such as neonatal lung immaturity, seizures, and other medical problems.
Visit our Success Rates page.