In vitro fertilization (IVF)
When simpler conception methods have been a challenge, IVF can significantly improve your chances of getting pregnant. Our highly experienced team is here to support you through a variety of techniques ranging from standard IVF to ICSI to mini IVF.
What is IVF?
IVF is a laboratory procedure where mature eggs are extracted from a patient’s ovaries and are fertilized with sperm. IVF is different from an IUI procedure, where insemination occurs in the uterus.
Your physician will determine whether IVF is appropriate for you. IVF may be recommended to you if you have blocked or non-functional fallopian tubes, are older in age, have decreased ovarian reserve, or have had unsuccessful attempts with other fertility treatments.
How IVF works
Ovarian & uterine preparation
You’ll receive medication to suppress the production of eggs and to decrease your estrogen levels before being given medication to stimulate your ovaries and increase the production of eggs. Ovarian suppression followed by ovarian stimulation will help create multiple eggs per cycle, increasing your chances of a successful IVF.
Preparing & retrieving the eggs
A pregnancy hormone is injected into the ovaries to prepare the eggs for maturation and ovulation. Afterwards, the eggs are carefully retrieved with the help of ultrasound imaging.
To produce an embryo, the eggs are introduced to the sperm for fertilization. The embryos are then ready to be transferred into your uterus or frozen to be used at a later time.
An embryo is selected and implanted into the womb about 5 days after the egg retrieval.
Two weeks after the implantation, we’ll test to determine if the IVF procedure was successful. Once your pregnancy is confirmed, we’ll closely monitor your situation to ensure your embryo is developing normally and implanted in the correct location.
ICSI & sperm retrieval techniques
Your doctor may recommend IVF techniques such as ICSI, PESA, and TESA to overcome male fertility challenges and improve your chances of IVF success.
Procedures that may accompany IVF:
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
This procedure is recommended when the sperm isn’t able to penetrate the egg during the egg fertilization stage. The embryologist will inject a single sperm into a mature egg using surgical techniques to encourage the formation of the embryo.
Percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA)
If your partner cannot provide sperm naturally, we can perform a procedure while your partner is under local anesthesia to collect the sperm from the epididymis using a needle.
Testicular sperm aspiration (TESA)
This is a sperm retrieval technique that can be used if other techniques have failed. The sperm can be collected from a small sample from the testicle, but this method doesn’t allow for retrieving enough sperm to freeze and store for later use. Once obtained, the sperm must be used for ICSI.
What is mini IVF?
Mini IVF, also called minimal ovarian stimulation (MOS) and modified minimal stimulation (MMOS), is similar to IVF, but with gentler ovarian stimulation, compared to the conventional approach. It might be recommended to you if your ovarian reserve is diminished, if you’re looking to avoid some of the side effects of fertility drugs, or if you’re looking for a closer to “natural” IVF approach.
How is mini IVF different from IVF?
Mini IVF involves less medication and fewer injections. It tends to allow for the retrieval of fewer but higher-quality eggs.
In terms of process, fewer fertility drugs are involved before the collection of eggs, but the steps that follow remain the same. It can however require some patience and multiple cycles.