In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In vitro fertilization   (IVF)

  • IVF is a fertility treatment in which a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm are combined in a laboratory in order to achieve fertilization.
  • After growing the fertilized egg (embryo) for several days in an incubator, one or several or more embryos can then be placed in a woman’s uterus to achieve a pregnancy.
  • Embryos can also be cryopreserved (frozen and stored) to be used at a later time.
  • IVF is an effective treatment for a variety of male and female infertility conditions.
  • If IVF treatment is successful; the embryo will implant in the uterus and result in a pregnancy. Any remaining embryos can be frozen and stored for future use or donated to other couples. IVF can overcome most causes of male and female infertility.
  • IVF is a complex technique involving five basic steps:

  • Superovulation, the process of stimulating a woman to release multiple healthy eggs, as opposed to the single egg a woman normally ovulates.
  • Egg retrieval and sperm collection.
  • Insemination and fertilization of the eggs by the sperm.
  • Embryo development and genetic testing (if needed).
  • Embryo transfer into a woman’s uterus.

Common reasons   to undergo IVF:

    Age related infertility
  • A woman’s egg quality diminishes with age. IVF can give an older woman a better chance to conceive by increasing the number of eggs she produces, enhancing selection of good quality eggs, or by allowing her to use donor eggs to create embryos.
  • Recurrent pregnancy loss/miscarriage
  • Depending upon the underlying issue for recurrent pregnancy loss, IVF may be an effective treatment in helping to begin a successful pregnancy by increasing the number of candidate embryos and possibly using PGD or PGS to enhance successful implantation.
  • Unexplained infertility
  • One fifth of infertile couples are diagnosed with unexplained infertility, and these couples often achieve pregnancy using IVF.
  • Anovulation
  • If a woman is not ovulating (anovulation), ovulation-inducing pills often aid in achieving pregnancy. But if she is unable to achieve pregnancy with these conservative measures, IVF can be used, which has very high success rates.
  • Damaged fallopian tubes
  • If significant tubal damage exists, the only fertility treatment options are surgical repair, which has a low success rate, and bypassing the fallopian tubes using IVF.
  • Male infertility factors
  • Typically, male infertility factors involve low quantity or quality of sperm. In these cases physicians recommend IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
  • Endometriosis
  • Endometriosis can cause infertility but can be successfully treated using a combination of surgery and medication. If the first round of surgical or medical treatment fails, IVF is an appropriate next step.
  • Low ovarian reserve
  • If a woman has a low number of eggs in her ovaries, the IVF process can be used to stimulate healthy eggs to develop, allowing the reproductive endocrinologist to collect mature eggs directly from the ovaries. In particular, younger women with low ovarian reserve who generally have good egg quality would have better success rates with IVF treatment.

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