In Vitro Fertilization
While some people are nervous about needing IVF, and the costs associated, this treatment approach does represent the most advanced treatment and technology available for fertility care. IVF is one of the most commonly used treatments, read on to learn more…
A quick overview of IVF:
When conception happens naturally, an egg which has been released from an ovary is fertilized by sperm in the woman’s fallopian tube. Through IVF, the process of fertilization occurs in a lab, where embryologists carefully select and combine the egg and sperm. Successfully fertilized eggs are monitored until they reach the blastocyst stage, and often undergo genetic testing prior to check for any concerns. The team selects the best embryo for transfer into the woman’s uterus, where it will continue to develop throughout pregnancy.
Starting at the start, have you asked yourself:
- What is my timeline?
IVF maximizes your chances of conception, and is certain cases is the most direct path to bring home baby faster.
Should I do IUI, or go straight to IVF?
If you are learning more about IUI and IVF, and deciding where your money is best spent, make sure you understand your diagnosis. Not all patients are good candidates for all treatment options.
- How many children make up my ideal family?
If you are hoping to have multiple children, an IVF cycle allows for egg and embryo freezing for use now, and towards a future pregnancy. Both egg and embryo freezing are safe and effective options to preserve your future fertility options.
- What are your financial considerations?
Do you know if your employer or insurance provider has fertility benefits, such as medications? If you are an Ontario resident, are you eligible and can you afford to wait for a funded cycle? While IVF is more expensive, depending on your diagnosis IUI may be by a good use of limited funds or one-time medication coverage.
The details of an IVF journey
IVF is safe and effective for individuals and couples looking to conceive, and Anova’s healthcare team will be with you every step of the way to oversee your treatment. If you have any questions, please reach out.
1. During your initial intake and diagnostic cycle, your health care team will learn more about what may be preventing you to become pregnant
2. With this information, we will tailor a personalized treatment protocol, and discuss the different options together before deciding on the path forwards
3. IVF treatment begins with stimulation of the ovaries with fertility and other medications to allow for several follicles to grow and mature.
- These follicles contain eggs, and are monitored for their size and function
- You are stimulated using drug amounts that are optimized for your medical profile
- During this process, we monitor you extremely closely to ensure that you are safe, you are responding as expected to the medications, and that your follicles are developing as expected.
4. When ready, an egg retrieval is planned. Under conscious sedation, the physician will collect the eggs from the follicle.
5. The embryology laboratory fertilizes the egg using sperm, which is where IVF gets it’s name: ‘in vitro’ (in glass) fertilization.
- In the lab, specialized culture conditions are used that greatly enhance the chances of a successful fertilization & embryo development
6. 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.
7. The best embryo is chosen for transfer into the woman’s uterus.
- Remaining eggs are cryopreserved (frozen)
- Extra embryos are often created, and can be safely stored cryopreserved (frozen) for future use
8. Your next visit to the clinic is at the 2 week post-transfer date, where we will run a blood test to confirm that the transfer was successful and a pregnancy has been created.
Who should consider IVF?
There are times when In vitro Fertilization (IVF) using Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)-IVF may be the best course of action. Some examples may include cases of:
- Advanced maternal age
- Impaired sperm production or function
- An ovulation disorder, such as polycystic ovary syndrome
- Blockage or damage of the fallopian tubes
- ≥2 unsuccessful IUI attempts
- Uterine fibroids
- Genetic conditions – if you or your partner is at risk of passing on a genetic disorder to your child
- Unexplained infertility