In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
In Vitro Fertilization offers new hope and possibilities for couples who would otherwise be unable to have children. IVF involves stimulating the woman’s ovaries with fertility medications to produce many oocytes (eggs) that mature and ripen, at which point they are retrieved while she is under anesthesia, and fertilized with her either her partner’s sperm or donor sperm in the laboratory. This creates embryos which are carefully monitored by our team of embryologists for 3-5 days, and then one or more are placed into her uterus with the hope that implantation will occur and establish a pregnancy. The pregnancy rates for IVF far exceed those of any other form of fertility treatment. Success rates vary from one IVF center to another the physicians at Fertility Specialists of Texas have consistently demonstrated success rates above the national average.
A review of the process of In Vitro Fertilization is detailed in a separate section of the web site. The decision to proceed with in vitro fertilization can be one of the most important and difficult a couple can make. The amount of information and details involved in an IVF cycle can seem overwhelming, and many questions arise throughout the process. This page of our website is designed to give you a general idea of what to expect, but please, remember that each patient will receive an individualized plan to maximize her chances of pregnancy. It is our goal to provide the highest quality in IVF care, including educational tools and emotional support.
Reasons to do IVF
There are many different causes of infertility, some of which are definite indications that IVF may be the treatment of choice. For example, tubal obstruction means the sperm and the egg cannot meet in the tube, but since IVF bypasses the tubes, pregnancy becomes truly possible. Another factor best treated by IVF is a very low sperm count in the male. In IVF sperm are placed together with the eggs in a petri dish, and are therefore, not required to swim through the cervix, uterus and into the tube to fertilize the egg. During IVF, an additional procedure can also be performed in which a single sperm can be injected directly into an egg. This is known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI and is addressed in more detail on the male factor page in this website. IVF is often the most efficient and quickest route to pregnancy for a woman who is over 35. IVF may also be recommended for a patient with unexplained infertility who has undergone several unsuccessful attempts with fertility medications and intrauterine insemination. As you explore your diagnosis and treatment options with our physicians you and your spouse can consider whether IVF might be right for you. All patients and their partners are required to complete a thorough infertility evaluation prior to beginning their IVF cycle.
Testing for Women Prior To IVF
- If you have had a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), your fertility specialist will want to review the results to rule out the possibility that you have a hydrosalpinx.
- Your husband will have a semen analysis to assess the concentration, motility and morphology, and a semen culture to check for the presence of bacteria.
- Your uterine cavity will be evaluated by Saline Infusion Sonohysterogram (SHG, or SIS) to make sure there are no abnormalities such as uterine polyps or fibroids, which may interfere with implantation.
- A trial transfer will be performed at the time of the SIS to measure the depth of the uterine cavity so that the embryos can be transferred into a predetermined location within the cavity during the actual IVF cycle.
- Blood tests for you and your husband.
While most of the treatments and procedures involve the woman, we encourage the partner to be as much a part of the IVF cycle as possible. The importance of the emotional support of the husband cannot be overemphasized. Daily injections, frequent appointments, ultrasounds and blood tests are required of the woman, in addition to the egg retrieval, and embryo transfer. Therefore, we encourage the partner to administer the injections and attend appointments whenever possible. IVF is an exciting commitment that couples make to each other as they work together to fulfill their dreams of having a baby.