In vitro fertilization is a technique that gives new hope for achieving pregnancy to couples with infertility due to irreparable fallopian tube damage or endometriosis, a male factor, or undetermined causes.
What’s Involved with IVF
- The technique includes stimulating the ovary with special injection medications called gonadotropins, which cause the development of multiple follicles, that contain developing eggs.
- The size and number of developing follicles is monitored in our office with both ultrasound and blood hormone levels.
- When mature, the eggs are retrieved by ultrasound-guided needle aspiration through the vaginal wall.
- In the embryology laboratory, eggs are fertilized with sperm and incubated for 2-6 days in fluid closely resembling that found in human fallopian tubes.
- Embryos are then transferred directly into the uterus through the cervix in a short outpatient office procedure called an embryo transfer procedure.
- Two weeks later, a pregnancy test is performed. After pregnancy is established, the patient returns to the referring physician for prenatal care and delivery.
- Pregnancy rates depend on many factors, most significantly the woman’s age.
How Many Embryos to Transfer?
- Our clinic follows the guidelines recommended by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine for the maximum number of embryos transferred.
- Women who are at especially high risk of multiple pregnancy may undergo blastocyst transfer (e.g., previous IVF success, young women with tubal disease, multiple embryos, etc.). This involves the transfer of more mature embryos 5 to 6 days after oocyte retrieval.
Where Do Most of the ‘Monitoring’ Ultrasound Visits Occur?
- Monitoring takes place at our Raleigh location seven days a week. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment you may contact our office during regular hours on weekdays at 877-338-4693.
- Many patients are monitored by their hometown infertility or OB-GYN physicians through our satellite program.