What is in vitro fertilization – IVF?
- Stimulating multiple follicles and eggs to develop
- Egg retrieval to get the eggs
- Fertilizing the eggs in the laboratory
- Embryo transfer to the uterus
- Louise Brown was the first IVF baby in the world. She was born in July of 1978 in England. Louise was 28 (in 2006) when she had her own baby (without IVF).
- Hundreds of thousands of children are now born every year as a result of IVF
- For an overview of IVF, see In vitro fertilizationThe process of in vitro fertilization – how is IVF done?Basic screening tests are performed on both partners at all IVF clinicsIn general, some testing of “ovarian reserve” should be done on the female prior to starting the injections.
We use day 3 FSH and AMH blood testing as well as antral follicle counts for this purpose.
These tests help predict how well the ovaries will respond to the drugs (making sufficient follicles and eggs).
The number of follicles that develop when we stimulate the woman correlates with the number of eggs we get at the egg pickup (aspiration or retrieval) procedure.
The number of eggs retrieved correlates with IVF success rates
Consents are signed by all parties
The woman is stimulated with injected medications to develop multiple follicles in the ovaries. Each follicle contains a microscopic egg. These injections continue to stimulate follicle and egg growth and development for about 8 – 10 days.
Details about ovarian stimulation protocols for in-vitro fertilization
Details about the subcutaneous injectable medications
Sample in vitro fertilization calendar of a “typical” cycle that shows the days medications are given, office visits, etc.
Blood and ultrasound testing is done every 1-3 days to monitor the development of the follicles (egg-containing structures) in the ovaries.
We need to get a minimum number of 3 follicles to develop to maturity in order to be able to proceed with the egg retrieval. About 90-95% of women under 40 with a normal FSH and normal antral follicle counts will develop at least this minimum number of follicles.