Traditional IVF

Traditional In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a procedure where eggs are surgically retrieved from the ovaries, combined with sperm in the laboratory, incubated, and the resulting embryos are transferred into a woman's uterus. IVF is a process that is tailored to each individual patient based on their specific diagnosis and fertility history. With Traditional IVF an important predictor of success is the age of the egg provider. FCOC personalizes IVF treatment based on the patient and her personal needs and desires.

The process of IVF allows us to select the embryos we believe have the greatest likelihood of becoming a healthy baby. The entire process of IVF at FCOC is designed to increase the odds of a successful single pregnancy while minimizing costs and stress for the patients.

There are six basic steps in the IVF and embryo transfer process:

  • Ripening of the eggs (ovarian stimulation) initiated by prescribed fertility medications that stimulate egg production. With Traditional IVF, multiple eggs are initially retrieved as some eggs will not develop or fertilize during the process. Transvaginal ultrasound is used to examine the ovaries and blood tests are taken to check hormone levels.
  • Retrieval of the eggs through a minor surgical procedure that uses ultrasound imaging to guide a hollow needle through the pelvic cavity to remove the eggs.
  • Sperm sample is provided and prepared for fertilizing the eggs.
  • Sperm and eggs are combined in a culture dish and stored in a lab to encourage fertilization. The fertilized eggs are now considered embryos.
  • Resulting embryo(s) are then transferred into the woman's uterus three to five days following fertilization or frozen for transfer into the uterus at a later date. A small tube or catheter is inserted into the uterus to transfer the embryos.
  • The hormones estrogen and progesterone are used to support implantation and early pregnancy.

The success rate of IVF depends on a number of factors including reproductive history, maternal age, cause of infertility, and lifestyle factors.

In the United States, the live birth rate for each IVF cycle started is approximately:

  • 41-43% for women under age 35
  • 33-36% for women ages 35 to 37
  • 23-27% for women ages 38 to 40
  • 13-18% for women ages over 40

For IVF, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has guidelines as to how many embryos should be transferred, however not all clinics abide by these guidelines. FCOC adheres to ASRM guidelines to maximize the chance of pregnancy while minimizing the risk of a multiple gestation pregnancy. The decision of how many embryos to transfer depends on the number of eggs collected, the maternal age of the patient and any medical factors that may affect the success of pregnancy. FCOC’s goal is to achieve a healthy single pregnancy.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a treatment for men with varying degrees of male infertility including, low volume, concentration, motility and morphology. ICSI is the process of fertilizing an egg by selecting a single sperm in the laboratory for injection directly into the egg. This procedure is different from traditional IVF in which the sperm is placed into a petri dish with the egg to fertilize naturally.

ICSI is performed at FCOC only when indicated. At FCOC, we personalize our approach and treatment to each individual patient or couple. Our goal is to provide our patients with a healthy baby.

PGS: Preimplantation Genetic Screening

PGS is an advanced screening method that detects whether an embryo has the right number of chromosomes. This technology allows for embryos, with the correct number of chromosomes, to be selected for embryo transfer, improving the chances for a successful pregnancy.

In some cases embryos are evaluated for normal chromosomes by preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) and frozen for transfer when the results are available.

All women will have some embryos that have missing or extra chromosomes, which are termed aneuploid embryos. The percentage of aneuploid embryos increases with the mother's age. Women over age 35 have almost double the risk of aneuploidy in comparison with younger women.

Aneuploid embryos are generally not viable. These embryos fail to implant, and those that do implant, generally result in miscarriage. The most common genetic abnormality seen with the live birth of an aneuploid embryo is Down Syndrome.

PGS involves removing a few cells from the embryo after the egg has been fertilized. These cells are sent to an independent genetics laboratory, where the embryo's DNA is screened for the correct number of chromosomes.

PGS is available at FCOC and may aid in improving your chances for having a successful pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend PGS for your IVF cycle, or if you have any questions or concerns about PGS, please ask your doctor.

PGS may not be covered by insurance. Please speak with our financial staff if you have any questions regarding treatment costs and insurance coverage.