What Causes of Infertility Can IVF Treat?
- Posted on: Jan 1 2013
Today in vitro fertilization (IVF) has become a well-known word, while not long ago it was considered a mystery. Unlike the simpler process of artificial insemination, in which sperm are placed in the uterus and conception proceeds somewhat normally, IVF involves the combination of eggs and sperm outside of the body in a laboratory. Once the embryo or embryos form, they are placed into the uterus.
IVF is a highly effective method of treating infertility. While it is rarely the first step in the treatment of infertility, it is reserved for cases in which other methods have failed. When artificial insemination, fertility drugs or other processes have not worked, IVF is highly recommended.
When it comes to infertility, IVF may be an option if the woman or her partner has been diagnosed with any of the following:
Failure to conceive after standard less invasive fertility therapies
- Moderate to Severe Endometriosis
- Low sperm count or problems associated with sperm motility
- Abnormal function of the sperm
- Use of testicular or epididymal sperm
- Use of donor eggs
- Use of a gestational carrier
- Poor egg quality
- Need for genetic testing of the embryos before implantation
- Problems with ovulation in patients that have failed to conceive with ovulatory medications such as: Clomiphene, letrozole or hMG
- Problems with the fallopian tubes
- Unexplained fertility problems
What to Expect from IVF at a Denver Fertility Clinic
The first step in IVF involves the injection of hormones so that the female may produce multiple eggs, instead of the usual one egg per month. The woman will then be tested with blood tests and ultrasounds to determine whether or not she is ready to remove the eggs with an egg retrieval. Just prior to the egg retrieval procedure, the woman will be given an injection or injections of medication that ripens the developing eggs and starts the maturation process of the eggs.
Timing is everything when it comes to IVF and egg retrievals. The eggs must be retrieved before they ovulate from the follicles in the ovaries. If the eggs are removed too early or too late, they will not develop normally in the petri dish during the IVF process.
During the procedure the Colorado fertility clinic doctor locates the follicles in the ovary using ultrasound and removes the eggs with a hollow needle (similar to a tiny catheter). The procedure is relatively short, lasting 10 to 20 minutes.
Once the retrieval has taken place, the eggs are put in the petri dish with the egg, or injected into the eggapproximately 4 hours after the eggs are removed using the sperm of the partner or a sperm donor.
After the couple goes home, the fertilized eggs are kept in the infertility clinic under observation to ensure optimal growth. This embryos may grow in the petri dish for up to five days until the embryo reaches a more advanced blastocyst stage.
When the embryos are ready, the couple returns so that the doctor may transfer one or more embryos into the uterus of the female partner or gestational carrier. The embryo transfer process is quick and easy.
Following the embryo transfer procedure, the woman will typically rest at the office for 15 minutes then the couple is discharged to home with limited activity for 2 weeks. Approximately two weeks following the procedure, the Denver infertility doctor will perform a pregnancy test. Success rates depend on a variety of factors, but are overall considered to be high.
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Posted in: In Vitro Fertilization