In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF (in vitro fertilization) is a process in which eggs, retrieved from a woman’s ovaries, and sperm provided by her husband, partner or donor, are fertilized in our laboratory and then placed back into a woman’s uterus (as an embryo) when fertilization has occurred.
Our Providence fertility team is composed of world-class specialists and leaders in the field of reproductive medicine who have helped thousands of couples successfully conceive via IVF.
We are committed to providing you with the highest quality of personalized care and support that every patient deserves – and will utilize technologies that maximize your chance for a successful pregnancy.
IVF May Be Right for You If:
- You are of advanced maternal age
- You have damaged or blocked fallopian tubes or prior tubal ligation
- You have endometriosis
- You have diminished ovarian reserve (high FSH)
- You have male factor infertility, including decreased sperm count and blockage
- You have unexplained infertility
Steps of an IVF Cycle
Stimulation and Monitoring – If IVF is determined to be a good treatment option, based on your individual situation and desires, and you chose to move forward, your physician will prescribe fertility medications to take on a daily basis at home, which will stimulate your body to produce multiple eggs at a time. While you are taking this medication, you will be monitored at our facility to evaluate the number of ovarian follicles, or sacs that contain eggs. Vaginal ultrasounds and blood samples, can be taken at any of our locations.
Oocyte (Egg) Retrieval – When enough eggs have fully matured, you will undergo a minor medical procedure called a “retrieval” to remove the eggs from your uterus. Mild anesthesia will be used to minimize any discomfort during the retrieval.
Fertilization and incubation – The eggs are then combined with the man’s sperm in a laboratory setting – and closely monitored by highly trained laboratory technicians. A micro-insemination technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection known as ICSI (“ik-see”) may be used by the embryologist. In ICSI, an embryologist injects a single sperm directly into an egg under a microscope with a tiny needle. This insures that the sperm penetrates the egg and an embryo results.
There are usually several embryos that are closely monitored by these technicians over the next three to five days as they continue to develop.
Embryo Transfer Procedure – If the embryos have developed normally during the incubation period, a reproductive endocrinologist transfers a predetermined number of embryos through the cervix into the uterus via a catheter that is hollow and can release the embryo into the uterus. Age, medical history and other factors play a role in determining how many embryos to impact. Anesthesia is not required for this procedure, although valium is given to relax the uterus.
Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) – Unused embryos can be cryopreserved (frozen) in liquid nitrogen and thawed when you determine you want to use them. Any time after fertilization, embryos can be frozen, but it is most common to wait until day three or five.
Pregnancy rates with frozen embryos are similar to those of fresh cycles.