We understand that starting the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process can be daunting. We find that patients have a better experience on their journey if they thoroughly understand the steps in the process and know what they can expect. We broke down the IVF process into simple steps to provide an overview of what to expect.
The IVF Process
Before IVF begins, a thorough fertility assessment is done. IVF is a personal process tailored to your individual needs. In general, these are the process:
Use of synthetic hormones to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs.
This can be done in your doctor's office.
A semen sample is collected from your partner. Or, donor sperm may be used.
Fertilization in the Lab
Eggs are analyzed for quality and then combined with sperm. This is done through traditional IVF or through intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a specialized form of in vitro fertilization (IVF) that involves injecting a single sperm directly into an egg.
Embryo Transfer or Freezing
Embryos are developed in the lab to the blastocyst stage and are then transferred to your uterus or a surrogate's uterus by a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist (REI).
Fresh Embryo Transfer
Fresh embryo transfers are done shortly after fertilization.
Frozen Embryo Transfer
Frozen embryo transfers are done after the embryos have been frozen and thawed. Frozen embryo transfer offers more scheduling flexibility and allows for the use of embryos created during a previous IVF cycle.
Some studies suggest that frozen-thawed embryos may have better implantation rates than fresh ones. Any embryos not implanted may be frozen for future use.
Pregnancy Test and Early Monitoring
You'll come into our clinic for a pregnancy test nine to fourteen days after embryo transfer.
For those with an initial positive pregnancy, we'll check blood hCG levels every 2-3 days.
An ultrasound will be performed and repeated during the first trimester until a normal healthy heartbeat is confirmed.
Graduation to Your OBGYN
Once pregnancy viability is confirmed (usually around 8-10 weeks), you will be referred back to your OBGYN for ongoing care.
Start the IVF Process
Get started with the IVF process today. Our knowledgeable providers and supportive team will guide you each step of the way. The first step in the process is having a consultation with a reproductive physician to evaluate your personal situation and review the treatment options available for you. Contact us today.