What is in vitro fertilization?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that takes eggs from the mother (or a donor) and sperm from the father (or a donor) and combines them in a lab for fertilization. Once fertilization occurs, the embryos are transferred to your uterus.
When is IVF used?
IVF typically is used after other types of fertility treatments, like fertility medications, have failed. It can be helpful in achieving pregnancy when infertility is caused by:
- Low sperm count or sperm motility problems
- Structural problems with the uterus or fallopian tubes, including damage to the fallopian tubes or scarring (adhesions)
- Problems with ovulation or problems with the ovaries
- Uterine fibroids
- Heavy cervical mucus
- Antibody issues that cause egg or sperm destruction
- Some genetic disorders
- Unexplained fertility problems
What happens in in vitro fertilization?
IVF has five basic steps:
- Fertility medications are used to “ramp up” ovulation so it’s easier to retrieve your eggs. Multiple eggs are used in IVF since some will not develop into embryos. Transvaginal ultrasounds and blood tests determine when you’re ovulating.
- Dr. Tureanu retrieves your eggs through a minimally invasive procedure that uses a hollow needle to extract the eggs. During this procedure, you receive medication to keep you comfortable.
- The sperm sample is collected.
- Eggs and sperm are combined and stored in a lab dish to promote fertilization. In some cases, a single sperm is injected into the egg to increase the likelihood of fertilization. Eggs are monitored to confirm that fertilization has occurred.
- The embryos are transferred to your uterus through a slim catheter (or hollow tube), usually 3-5 days after your eggs are retrieved. Implantation usually occurs 6-10 days after the embryos are transferred.
As a reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Tureanu is skilled in the most advanced IVF techniques for the highest success rates and greater confidence in your care.
How successful is IVF?
IVF success rates depend on several factors, including the cause of infertility, lifestyle factors, and general maternal health. One of the biggest factors that can influence the success of IVF is your age. In the U.S., women under age 35 have the highest live birth rate following IVF at 41-43%. The success rate declines steadily with age, and women who are over the age of 40 have 13-18% chance of having a live birth following IVF treatment. Dr. Tureanu has significant experience in reproductive endocrinology and can help you understand your success rate and other possible pros and cons during your office visit.