In Vitro Fertilization

While some might feel nervous about in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the associated costs, this treatment is among the most advanced—and the most commonly used. Let’s look more closely at IVF.

A quick overview of IVF

When conception happens naturally, an egg which has been released from an ovary is fertilized by sperm in the fallopian tube. In IVF, fertilization takes place in a lab, where embryologists carefully select and combine an egg with sperm. Successfully fertilized eggs are monitored until they reach the blastocyst stage, and often undergo genetic testing to check for any concerns. The team then selects the best embryo for transfer into the woman’s uterus, where it will continue to develop throughout pregnancy.

Good questions to ask when considering IVF:

IVF maximizes your chances of conception, and in certain cases is the most direct path to growing your family.

If you’re comparing IUI with IVF and wondering where your money is best spent, make sure you understand your diagnosis. Not all patients are good candidates for all treatment options.

IVF allows you to freeze eggs and embryos for use at a later date. Both egg and embryo freezing are safe and effective options to preserve your future fertility options.

Do you know if your employer or insurance provider provides fertility benefits? If you’re an Ontario resident, are you eligible and can you afford to wait for a funded cycle? Depending on your diagnosis, IUI may be a good use of limited funds or one-time medication coverage.

In this form of IVF, an egg is fertilized by direct injection of sperm.

Some of these tests are covered by OHIP. If you have concerns about cost, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


The IVF journey in six steps

IVF is safe and effective for individuals and couples looking to conceive. If we decide together that it’s the right treatment option for you, we’ll be with you every step along the way.

IVF treatment begins with stimulation of the ovaries with fertility and other medications to allow for multiple follicles to grow and mature.
  • Most follicles contain eggs and are monitored for their growth.
  • You are stimulated using medications and dosages that are optimized for your medical profile.
  • During this process, we monitor you closely to ensure that you are safe, that you are responding as expected to the medications and that your follicles are developing as expected.
Next comes egg retrieval. You’re placed under conscious sedation, and your physician collects the eggs from your ovaries.
Our embryology laboratory fertilizes the egg using sperm.
  • In the lab, specialized culture conditions are used that greatly enhance the chances of a successful fertilization and embryo development.
  • This is where IVF gets its name: ‘in vitro’ (in glass) fertilization.
Embryos are carefully observed during their development in the laboratory and are graded for quality.
  • In addition to this grading, we often use sophisticated genetic testing to check for any issues.
The best embryo is chosen for transfer into your uterus.
  • Remaining embryos are cryopreserved (frozen) for your future use.
  • Extra embryos are often created and can also be safely cryopreserved.
Your next visit to the clinic is two weeks after the transfer. We run a blood test to confirm that a pregnancy has been created.

Who should consider ICSI-IVF?

With in vitro fertilization using intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI-IVF), a single sperm cell is injected directly into the cytoplasm of the egg. This can increase the number of eggs that are successfully fertilized, boosting the chances of a successful pregnancy. We may recommend this measure based on a number of factors, including:

  • Advanced maternal age
  • Impaired sperm production, function or quality
  • An ovulation disorder, such as polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Blockage or damage of the fallopian tubes
  • Two or more unsuccessful IUI attempts
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Unexplained infertility