When it comes to infertility treatment, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is considered the most effective treatment solution because it tends to have the widest range of uses with the highest chances of success. At ReproMed in Toronto, we have helped many patients achieve their family planning goals with IVF, which may utilize a couple’s own eggs & semen or donor specimens, depending on the needs and preferences of the couple. Keep reading for a basic overview of what you can expect with IVF to learn if it is the right option for you to start a family.
What Can IVF Treat?
IVF is an effective treatment therapy that can help address many different causes of infertility such as: blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, women who have ovulation disorders like PCOS, recurrent miscarriage that may require preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), endometriosis, unexplained infertility, cases involving third party reproductive like egg donation & surrogacy. It is also effective for addressing male factor items like: low sperm count, poor motility, and procedure requiring testicular sperm extraction (TESE).
What Are the Steps Involved?
IVF is an advanced treatment therapy that has some unique steps to help a patient achieve a successful pregnancy. Here are the 5 main components to the IVF process: – link to infographic
Step 1: Simulation
The Fertility Specialist will map out a detailed protocol of the steps associated with the preparation of the IVF cycle. Working with the primary care nursing team, the patient will follow the steps of the protocol through a series of blood tests, ultrasounds, and the taking of fertility medications to help stimulate the ovaries.
Step 2: Egg Retrieval
The primary care team will educate the patient about the upcoming egg retrieval procedure that will be performed at the fertility clinic. The Fertility Specialist will use an ultrasound-guided needle to drain the follicles while the Embryologist assesses the quantity of eggs being retrieved.
Step 3: Fertilization & Embryo Culture
There are two types of techniques in which fertilization can occur.
- Conventional IVF: Oocytes (eggs) are assessed. Sperm is washed and assessed. Oocytes and sperm are put together in a culture medium where the fertilization happens.
- IVF Using ICSI: Oocytes are stripped by removing surrounding cells, and the assessed. Sperm is washed and assessed. A single sperm is selected and injected into the egg. The injected oocyte is placed in a culture medium to continue the fertilization process.
The fertilization is assessed 18 hours later after insemination/injection. The Embryologist will use a complex methodology to assess the quality of the embryos on Days 2,3,4, and 5 of embryo development.
Step 4: Embryo Transfer
The Embryologist will share the embryo assessment with the Fertility Specialist to select the best embryo(s) for transfer. Assisted Hatching is employed just before the transfer for patients older than 38, patients with recurrent implantation failure, and all frozen embryo transfers. The Embryologist will load the embryo(s) into the catheter and provide it to the Fertility Specialist. The doctor will then inject the embryos into the uterine cavity under ultrasound guidance.
Step 5: Embryo Freezing & Storage
All unused embryos can be frozen for future attempts at a pregnancy. Freezing techniques (vitrification) guarantee high survival rates (95%) and pregnancy rates comparable with doing fresh embryo transfers. Embryos can be stored in liquid nitrogen for more than 10 years without any detrimental effect on embryo quality.
What Are the Chances of Success?
Several items affect the success rates of advanced reproductive therapies. The most important factors include: the female’s age, the cause of infertility and the clinical and technical proficiency of the treating Staff. At the ReproMed, we take pride in being among the institutions with the highest success rates. You can learn more by visiting our success rates page . With the care of the physicians and staff of ReproMed in Toronto, you can explore your options with IVF to undergo fertility treatment with the most realistic expectations for success. Call us at (647) 558-1486 to schedule a consultation so that you can discuss your fertility care.