In-Vitro Fertilization : IVF Process

IVF Process

At our convenient locations in Spartanburg and Greenville, Columbia, SC and Asheville, NC, In Vitro Fertilization cycles are carefully planned and monitored. IVF patients will need a baseline ultrasound (U/S) done on cycle day (CD) 2 or 3 to rule out any ovarian cysts or uterine lining problems.

All IVF patients will have pituitary suppression with either Lupron or Antagon. Different protocols will use different combinations of medications and your specific protocol will be determined by the physician and IVF team.

The patient will use injectable gonadotropins, usually 2 to as much as 8 ampules, daily for 7 to 10 days beginning on CD 3. The patient will also require serial monitoring with U/S and blood testing for estradiol levels to evaluate adequate ovarian response and follicular development (usually 4 to 6 monitoring visits).

The IVF cycle will include a Pregnyl (hCG) injection to trigger ovulation and timing of IUI based on U/S size of ovarian follicles. Egg (oocytes) retrieval is performed approximately 36 hours after the hCG shot. Egg retrieval is performed under light anesthesia sedation with ultrasound guidance.

After the egg retrieval step of the IVF cycle is complete, fertilization is performed in the lab with either insemination (placing sperm and eggs together in a small dish and allowing natural fertilization to occur) or by Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) (see ICSI video) in which a normal sperm is injected into each egg to allow fertilization to occur. Fertilization rates are generally 60 to 80% for both methods. ICSI is recommended for men with very poor sperm counts, anti-sperm antibodies, some case of unexplained infertility and history of poor fertilization in the past.

Embryo transfer will be on either the 5th day after egg retrieval. Your day of transfer will be determined by the IVF team. How Many Embryos Should I Transfer?

If there are available excess embryos of good quality, cryopreservation (freezing) can be performed. Frozen embryo transfers can then be done at a later date.

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