IVF – In Vitro Fertilization
IVF or In-Vitro Fertilization is one of the premier treatments available for fertility today. Our Fertility Centers in Austin and San Antonio tailors your cycles to your specific needs.
What is In-Vitro Fertilization?
In-Vitro Fertilization, or IVF, is a premier treatment available for fertility today. The process takes an egg and a sperm from the bodies of a male and female and combines them into a dish in a laboratory. The fertilized eggs are then transplanted into the female’s uterus a few days later where, hopefully, the egg will implant into the uterine lining and an embryo will form and develop into a happy and healthy pregnancy. The team that performs the IVF process specialize in reproductive medicine and have received training in the evaluation and treatment of infertility in men and women.
Developed in the early 1970’s, the IVF process was originally intended to treat infertility caused by damaged or blocked fallopian tubes.
In 1978, the first IVF baby was born in the United Kingdom named Louise Brown. Since then, the number of IVF procedures performed yearly increased exponentially, with success rates climbing steadily as well. There are several stages in the IVF treatment process:
- Ovarian Stimulation and Monitoring: hormones are provided to the patient in order to maximize the chances of successful fertilization by causing the patient to release more eggs. The patient is then monitored so the physician can tell when to adjust and deliver the injections.
- Ovum Retrieval: The ova (egg) is retrieved when the patient is sedated and comfortable. The retrieval takes place through the vagina under the guidance of ultrasound
- Culture and Fertilization: After retrieval, the oocytes are fertilized with sperm, either by placing the sperm on top of the egg or using ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) to inject a single sperm into the oocyte.
- Embryo Transfer: About 1 to 3 of the best embryos are transferred into the uterus of the patient and is allowed to implant. The rest of the embryos may be cryopreserved (frozen). After 11 days, the patient returns for a pregnancy test. Under ideal conditions, women under 38 can conceive around 50% of the time.