Getting Ready for Your IVF procedure:
- Bring your records to your first new patient appointment and complete a medical history form
- Meet with your infertility specialist and your future fertility team for an initial consultation
- Complete hormone testing and imaging of your uterus, tubes and ovaries with a transvaginal ultrasound and hysterosalpingogram (HSG)
- Have a semen analysis completed for the male partner
- Choose a sperm donor, egg donor, or gestational carrier if applicable, and meet with a reproductive psychologist for counseling to discuss third-party reproduction
- Perform genetic testing, such as carrier screening, for common genetic conditions or testing for your specific situation if you or your partner are at risk for or affected by a genetic condition, and meet with a genetic counselor if indicated
- Perform screening blood tests for infectious disease
- Meet with your physician to discuss and further review your individual IVF plan
- Meet with our financial counselor to review options for covering IVF cost and IVF treatment
Your IVF Evaluation
Prior to beginning ART, established and new patients will be evaluated to maximize your chances for a healthy pregnancy. Being in the best health possible is important to achieving successful results and having a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI). We make certain to test for chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma, and develop a comprehensive plan to control these conditions prior to conception.
Carrying extra weight can be an added stress on the IVF process and increase your chances of miscarriage and preterm birth. At Inovi Fertility & Genetics Institute, our counselors offer options to help you manage your weight and determine your BMI prior to the procedure so that you are in the best shape possible prior to taking that step.
General- Your blood type will be determined and you will receive screening for various conditions and immunities (Varicella, Rubella, CMV) that could affect your pregnancy and IVF procedure. Genetic tests including carrier screening may be done or requested depending on your family and medical history.
Ovarian Reserve Testing- These tests measure women’s egg quantity, quality and ability to reproduce.
Other Tests Included in Ovarian Reserve-
- Measurement of FSH, LH and Estradiol levels
- Antral Follicle Count (AFC) – pelvic ultrasound done early in the cycle to count the eggs available (follicles) for IVF treatment
- Anti-Mullerian Hormone Test (AMH)
These tests are usually performed during a woman’s menstrual cycle on certain specific days.
This will be performed to determine sperm quality and may be repeated throughout the process to provide best information for IVF success.
Your uterine function and anatomy is important to your pregnancy. We will evaluate your uterus prior to IVF with a hysterosalpingogram, a saline infusion sonohysterography (ultrasound) or hysteroscopy to check for abnormalities that can affect your IVF success rates. The hysterosalpingogram can also test for tubal causes of infertility such as hydrosalpinges (dilated fallopian tubes) which can decrease your IVF success rates with by 50%, and the hydrosalpinges can be removed by laparoscopy before the embryo transfer.
What is the IVF Process?
Prior to beginning your IVF cycle, you will be prescribed oral contraceptive pills or estrace (estrogen) for 2-3 weeks prior to starting your stimulation. Once your cycle starts, your fertility doctor will prescribe you gonadotropins (injectable fertility drugs) to be taken daily such as Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and an antagonist (Ganirelix) or Micro-Dose Lupron to prevent early ovulation.
These hormones stimulate your body’s ability to produce multiple eggs and provide you with the best chance for ideal pregnancy conditions. During this time, your doctor measures your hormone levels and performs multiple transvaginal ultrasounds so both you and your partner can see and follow the progress of your egg development.
Once your eggs have matured, as determined by the ultrasound findings and hormone levels, they will be removed in our office through a process called an Oocyte or Egg Retrieval. Your doctor performs the procedure with ultrasound-guided equipment in the comfort of our clinic.
What Happens After IVF Retrieval?
After the egg retrieval, your eggs are combined with the sperm and fertilized in the lab, most often through ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection).
After a woman’s eggs are fertilized they develop in the laboratory for 5-6 days (blastocyst stage) under the care of an embryologist and are typically transferred back to your uterus in another cycle. This method is called “Freeze-all” and allows for the best pregnancy rates with IVF treatment since your estrogen and progesterone hormone levels will have returned to normal levels following the egg retrieval. Your uterus will then be prepared for the the embryo transfer. The embryos are transferred through your cervix into your uterus (embryo transfer) with a thin catheter, you will be given fertility hormones for 6-7 weeks to support and nurture your new pregnancy. Transvaginal ultrasounds will also be performed to confirm the progress of your new pregnancy, provide date of expected delivery and ensure your baby has a healthy development.