In-Vitro Fertilization

OU Physicians Reproductive Medicine
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What You Can Expect With the IVF Procedure

In most cases, the female will take hormones so she will be able to produce multiple eggs each month instead of only one. A test will be administered to determine whether the eggs are ready for retrieval.

Before the egg retrieval process begins, the female will be given injections of a medication that allows the developing eggs to begin ovulation. Timing is important; the eggs must be retrieved just before they emerge from the follicles in the ovaries. If the eggs are taken out too early or too late, they won’t develop normally. Tests and Ultrasounds are used to be sure the eggs are at the right stage of development before retrieving them.

During the IVF procedure, the staff will locate follicles in the ovary with ultrasound and remove the eggs with a hollow needle. The procedure is relatively quick and in most cases takes less than an hour to complete.

Once the retrieval has been completed, the female’s eggs will be mixed in the laboratory with the male partner’s sperm. The fertilized eggs are kept in our fertility practice under observation to ensure optimal growth. Soon the embryo reaches a critical blastocyst stage in which it is time to transfer back into the female’s uterus. More than one embryo can be transferred into the uterus. This procedure is completed in the fertility offices and is generally quicker than the retrieval of the eggs.

A catheter will be inserted through the vagina and cervix and into the uterus, where the embryos will be deposited. To increase the chances of pregnancy, it is possible that three or four embryos will be transferred at a time. However, this means that the female could have a multiple pregnancy.

A pregnancy test will be performed about two weeks after the embryo transfer.

According to national statistics, approximately 25 to 35 percent of women who try In Vitro Fertilization conceive. However, the likelihood of success can vary from 0 percent to 70 percent depending on such factors including the women’s age, the reason for the infertility, and the experience of the IVF program.