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Understanding In-Vitro Fertilization

Last updated 6 years ago

Studies show that approximately 1 in every 8 couples will struggle from infertility. If you and your partner are struggling to start a family of your own, then it may be time to consider your infertility treatment options. One option is In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

What is In-Vitro Fertilization?

In-Vitro Fertilization refers to a process of manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish for fertilization. Once the IVF treatment has been deemed successful, it is placed within the woman’s uterus.

Treatment Steps

In-Vitro Fertilization treatment includes five basic steps to achieve proper implantation, including:

  • Monitoring and Stimulation of Egg Development:
    Also known as ovulation induction, this process uses fertility medications to control egg ripening and increase the chances of producing an overabundance of eggs. The progress is typically monitored using urine samples, blood tests, and ultrasound technology.

  • Egg Collection:
    The eggs are retrieved through an outpatient surgical procedure under mild anesthesia that uses ultrasound imaging technology to navigate through the pelvic cavity and into the ovaries. Using follicular aspiration, a fertility doctor will remove the eggs from the ovaries using a holly needle.

  • Sperm Collection:
    The intended father or donor sperm is usually obtained via ejaculation and prepared for fertilization.

  • Insemination:
    The sperm and eggs are placed within laboratory incubators to enable the fertilization process. Individuals with suspected low fertilization rates may benefit from intracytoplasmic sperm injections in which the sperm is injected directly into the egg. Once the eggs have become fertilized, they are considered to be embryos.

  • Embryo Transfer:
    The embryos are transferred into the uterus 1-6 days following the egg retrieval using a speculum and ultrasound-guided catheter.

The best way to determine if In-Vitro Fertilization is right for you is to contact your fertility doctor for an initial consultation. At the Fertility Centers of Illinois, we have been helping couples achieve pregnancy since 1976. For a listing of services or to set up a consultation with one of our specialists, contact us online or give us a call at (224) 521-0527.


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