In Vitro Fertilization

What is in vitro fertilization (IVF)?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a procedure in which eggs are removed from mature follicles in the ovary and then fertilized in a special environment in our laboratory. The fertilized eggs grow and divide for three to five days after which the resulting embryo is transferred into the uterus.

In order to prepare a woman for IVF, she is given medication to stimulate her ovaries to produce a large number of eggs, (the average is 6-12), rather than the usual one. A large number of eggs increases the chance of successful fertilization. Successful fertilization increases the number of embryos available for transfer in a fresh or thaw cycle.

Who is a candidate for IVF?

IVF may be a successful treatment for women with blocked or absent fallopian tubes, those suffering from ovulation disorders, or endometriosis. It has also proven to be an effective treatment for couples with unexplained infertility and male factor problems.

What risks are associated with IVF?

The most common complication of IVF is multiple pregnancy. This occurs in approximately 40% of cases when two embryos are transferred. Normally, the result is a singleton pregnancy. Elective single embryo transfer reduces the multiple pregnancy rate to 1-5%.

In vitro fertilization includes a surgical procedure for retrieval of eggs. As with any surgery, some risk is involved. It may include discomfort associated with aspiration of the follicles. There is a slight chance of bleeding or pelvic infection or other injury. These complications occur in less than 1% of cases.

Another potential complication of IVF is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS occurs when a great number of eggs develop on the ovaries. OHSS is generally mild but 1% of IVF patients require a short hospital admission. OHSS resolves spontaneously.

How do I learn more about IVF?

ONE Fertility offers information evenings every month. These meetings are open to all patients of ONE Fertility. Team members will explain our services and what a couple may expect.