In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a fertility treatment that involves retrieving eggs and sperm, fertilizing them in a laboratory to create embryos, then placing a healthy embryo into the uterus to achieve pregnancy. IVF is a highly effective treatment for a variety of both female and male causes of infertility and may be used in conjunction with embryo genetic testing (known as Preimplantation Genetic Testing, or PGT) in order to identify the healthiest embryo for transfer.
IVF is performed by reproductive medicine physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of female and male factor infertility issues. The procedure was originally developed in the 1970s as a fertility treatment for women with blocked or damaged fallopian tubes. IVF was used for the first time in 1978 to help a couple in the United Kingdom to conceive. Their daughter, Louise Brown, was born a healthy baby who was later able to conceive without fertility treatment.
Since Louise’s birth in 1978, over ten million babies have been born through IVF treatment. Throughout this time, reproductive technology has advanced markedly to improve success rates and the overall patient experience.
The IVF Process, Step-by-Step
Prior to beginning fertility treatment, you will meet with your physician to discuss your medical history and family-building goals, as well as complete a diagnostic workup in order to develop an individualized treatment plan. This often includes blood work and a transvaginal ultrasound to determine your ovarian reserve (the quantity and quality of eggs in the ovaries), and gauge how your body will respond to fertility medications. If there is a male partner, he may undergo a semen analysis.
During an IVF cycle, female patients will take hormonal injections in order to stimulate the ovaries into producing more eggs than usual. During this stage, our physicians perform frequent monitoring (blood work and transvaginal ultrasounds) to see how the patient’s ovaries are responding to the medication and check if any dosage adjustments are needed.
If there is a male partner, he will provide a semen sample on the morning of the egg retrieval. If frozen sperm will be used, either from a partner or sperm donor, the sperm will be thawed and prepared for use in fertilization.
While the patient is lightly sedated, the physician performs the egg retrieval procedure. Using an ultrasound for guidance, the eggs are aspirated (extracted) from the ovaries. As a minimally invasive procedure, egg retrieval takes only about 15 minutes to complete and is performed at our Mount Kisco location. Most patients are able to resume normal physical activities within a day or so.
Inside the IVF laboratory, an embryologist using a high-powered microscope will fertilize the retrieved eggs using the provided sperm by placing the two together in a petri dish.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
In some cases, an additional step called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is needed to assist in fertilization. During ICSI, the embryologist injects a single healthy sperm into each egg cell using a very fine needle in order to initiate fertilization. This technique may be used when sperm quantity or quality is an issue, or if there are other known issues with fertilization.
Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT)
Commonly, Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) may be performed after fertilization in order to test the embryos for genetic abnormalities. During PGT, a very small sample is taken from the embryo and genetically analyzed or sequenced in order to help identify the healthiest embryo for transfer.
Once healthy, mature embryos have been created, the healthiest embryo is selected to be placed into the uterus. Using an ultrasound to guide a small catheter through the patient’s cervix, the fertility physician places the embryo into the uterus so that implantation in the uterine wall can occur. The procedure is typically painless but can cause mild cramping.
If there are additional viable embryos that are not used during transfer, they can be frozen for later use. After a week or so, the patient will undergo a pregnancy test to confirm pregnancy.
“Optimal care of the infertile couple involves compassion, science, and data-driven decisions.”
Choosing RMA of New York at CareMount for In Vitro Fertilization
Since 2001, RMA of New York has successfully facilitated the births of thousands of healthy babies for patients across the New York metro area and beyond. By combining RMA of New York’s world-renowned expertise in reproductive care with CareMount’s long-standing commitment to delivering local exceptional care, we’re able to offer that same personalized, state-of-the-art fertility care right in your Hudson Valley neighborhood. We provide the expertise, technology, research, resources, and compassion needed to help ensure your future family is in the best of hands. No matter the path needed to complete your family-building goals, you can count on our team to be in your corner every step of the way.
To learn more about IVF with RMA of New York at CareMount, please:
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