What is the IVF process?
There are many steps involved in the IVF process, but try not to become too overwhelmed by the process – that’s why we are here. Together, we will discuss what you can expect throughout the treatment process, review all of the medications, and learn about the testing that will be done. Although the IVF process is complex, one of our board-certified fertility specialists at the Center for Reproductive Health & Gynecology will try to simplify it for you and walk you through it one step at a time.
During our initial consultation, one of our board-certified fertility specialists will meet with you and discuss your case, diagnosis, and possible treatment options in detail. If you are an IVF candidate and you decide to proceed with your treatment, they will review the various tests that will be required in preparation for your cycle and identify and review the dates of your cycle.
In preparation for your cycle, both partners will need to have a few blood tests (HIV 1+2, HTLV I & II, Hep BsAg, Hep C ab, RPR). The male partner or sperm donor will need to provide a semen sample for semen analysis. A sperm sample may be frozen to serve as a back up for the actual procedure. Once the evaluation is complete, you will be able to start your treatment cycle based on available schedule and your menstrual cycle. We understand that you are anxious to begin treatment as soon as possible and we make every effort to get you started right away.
Prior to starting the cycle, our IVF coordinator will meet with you again, review the medication schedule, and make sure that you are familiar with the drugs and the methods of administration. Once the treatment is in progress, you will be coming to the office periodically, typically on day five, seven, and nine of your injections) for monitoring of your response to the medications. This usually includes a blood test (Estrogen, E2 level) and an ultrasound on each visit. With each visit we will notify you of your progress and make sure that you know what will happen next.
Once your ultrasound and blood test results indicate that it is time for us to retrieve your eggs, we will ask you to stop all fertility drugs and take a medication called hCG. This medication will allow one of our board certified fertility specialists to retrieve your eggs in a timely manner. The retrieval (aspiration) is done under ultrasound guidance in a procedure room in our Beverly Hills office. You will be receiving medication to put you to sleep for a period of 10 to 30 minutes under the supervision of an
anesthesiologist. Your male partner or sperm donor’s sperm will be needed on this date.
Insemination and Fertilization
Following the egg retrieval procedure, you will be contacted and will receive an update of the status of your embryos. The day after the aspiration (24 hours) you will find out how many eggs have fertilized. On day two (48 hours after aspiration) you will be informed of how many fertilized eggs (zygotes) are dividing and the number of normal appearing zygotes. On day three we will decide to either transfer the embryos or grow them to the Blastocyst day 5 or perform genetic testing.
We will contact you to schedule the embryo transfer date. The options are a day three transfer or a day five transfer (blastocyst transfer). The final decision is made on day three (72 hours) when we will make an assessment together as to the best option for you with respect to an embryo transfer date (day three versus day five).
After the embryo transfer you will be asked to stay on bed rest for one day and stay home for an additional two days of rest. You will be asked to continue your progesterone supplementation until the confirmatory pregnancy tests are done 10 to 12 days later. If we are blessed with a positive pregnancy test, you will need to continue the progesterone for the first 11 to 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Contact us with IVF Questions
The IVF process can seem daunting to some of our patients who are entering their first cycle, but rest assured that each board-certified fertility specialist at our centers understands your concerns and is ready to support you through every step of the way.