In Vitro Fertilization, is one of the most common and effective treatments for many people with reproductive complications. Several factors may necessitate proceeding to IVF, such as genetic diseases, medical history, issues with sperm or egg quality or quantity, recurrent miscarriage, and various other possibilities. The team at RMA of Southern California will closely monitor your IVF cycle to increase the chance of success.
An IVF cycle includes several important steps.
IVF Stages at a Glance
At RMA of Southern California we customize our treatment plans for each patient based on the factors of the patient’s infertility issues. After your initial testing and examinations which includes laboratory testing, ultrasounds, and uterine evaluation you will discuss with your doctor and start your IVF cycle.
The goal of the second stage of the IVF treatment is to harvest as many mature eggs as possible from the ovaries. During the last seven to ten days, patients will receive daily subcutaneous gonadotropin injections that stimulate the production of multiple eggs instead of a single egg normally produced each month. Our experts and nursing team will closely monitor the treatment progress using blood work and ultrasound. Once the eggs reach the appropriate size, a final injection of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) spurs the eggs to the final maturation stage and starts ovulation.
An egg retrieval procedure will be scheduled 36 hours following the final injection. This is a 30 minute in-office procedure. You will discuss with your physician whether or not you would like anesthesia or even possibly acupuncture during the surgery. Doctors will use an ultrasound probe to guide the needle into the follicles of the ovary to collect the eggs. Your physician will do their best to retrieve all ovarian follicles and the fluid is sent to the lab to count the number of eggs retrieved. Most women can return home after an hour or two following the procedure. Following retrieval, the patient starts injections or vaginal delivery of progesterone to prepare for the implantation of the embryo five or six days later.
During this stage, eggs are mixed with sperm from the male partner or donor to start fertilization. After approximately 16-20 hours, the embryologist will check to see if fertilization has occurred. If male infertility is the issue, single sperm may be injected into each egg using Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). Your RMA of Southern California team will keep you updated as the embryos develop. After the embryos continue to rapidly divide and expand into the blastocyst stage, genetic testing can help determine the most viable embryos using the Select CCS platform. It is safe to biopsy the embryo to collect the genetic material required for testing. RMA of Southern California only uses blastocyst biopsy for the best possible results. After the development process is complete, patients return for the embryo transfer five to six days after the retrieval procedure.
Learn More About Select CCS.
After the embryo development has been completed your physician will review the embryology data with you at the time of transfer. Your physician and the embryologist will make their recommendations along as to which embryo to transfer. Using a catheter inserted through the cervix, your RMA of Southern California team will transfer no more than two of your embryos to the uterus using ultrasound for guidance. Thanks to effective embryo screening technologies, RMA of Southern California performs an increasing number of Single Embryo Transfer (SET) procedures today. Progesterone therapy continues for another 14 days following egg retrieval. We’ll confirm the pregnancy with a test, and if confirmed, you will continue progesterone treatment for another three to four weeks until your placenta produces enough progesterone on its own to sustain the pregnancy.
Learn More About Single Embryo Transfer (SET).
If you have any more questions about the IVF process, contact us today.