In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) FAQs
In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves the fertilization of eggs with sperm — with the process taking place outside of the woman’s body. The embryo is taken from the dish and placed in the mother’s uterus using a fine tube.
In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is one the most well-known and established fertility treatments available. IVF treatment involves combining retrieved eggs with sperm in the controlled environment of an embryology laboratory. The resulting embryos are then placed in the woman’s uterus.
IVF treatment is often recommended if you have one of the following problems:
- Uterine fibroids
- Fallopian tube damage or blockages
- Disorders that affect ovulation
- Premature ovarian failure
- Problems with sperm quality or quantity
IVF can also be used to ensure that embryos aren’t affected by genetic diseases and to preserve your fertility if you will be undergoing cancer therapy or want to delay parenthood for other reasons.
A transvaginal ultrasound probe is inserted into your vagina to identify follicles. The needle then punctures each egg follicle and gently removes the egg through a gentle suction.
Once eggs have been successfully retrieved, they go to our IVF lab where the eggs are identified and placed in a culture for incubation. Using the sperm from your partner or those of a donor, our embryologist will inseminate the eggs and place them in an incubator. In the majority of instances, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, will be used, which calls for the injection of one individual sperm into each oocyte. After four to six hours of incubation the eggs are examined and the healthy eggs are selected, which can be fertilized or frozen for future use.
Within about 18 hours from the time of fertilization the eggs begin to grow as embryos. Before being transferred into the uterus, the eggs will be observed for two to five days. Five days after fertilization takes place, the blastocysts are then placed in the woman’s womb.
When you feel ready, schedule a consultation with your IVF specialist to go over what might have been learned from the failed IVF attempt. We suggest waiting one full menstrual cycle before undergoing another IVF stimulation. It can take up to 6 weeks for inflammation to resolve.
Some side effects after IVF may include:
- Passing a small amount of fluid (may be clear or blood-tinged) after the procedure
- Mild cramping
- Mild bloating
- Breast tenderness
As with most medical procedures, there are potential risks. More severe symptoms include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Decreased urinary frequency
- Shortness of breath
- Severe stomach pains and bloating
- Ten-pound weight gain within three to five days
The success rate of IVF depends on various factors which include:
- Reproductive history
- Maternal age
- Lifestyle factors
- Cause of infertility
The live birth rate for each IVF cycle started is approximately:
- Women under age 35: 41-43%
- Women 35-37: 33-36%
- Women 38-40: 23-27%
- Women over the age of 40: 13-18%
The average cost of an IVF cycle ranges between $10,000-$15,000. The cost is dependent on insurance coverage, patient characteristics, and treatment.
The length of time that you will be taking the injections will depend on the IVF plan chosen for you. Typically patients receive injections for 8 to 10 days, but some must take them for a little longer.