IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) in Colorado & South Dakota
When would you choose IVF treatment?
IVF, which is also known as In Vitro Fertilization, is a treatment provided at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center for couples in Colorado, South Dakota and surrounding areas that have been trying to conceive a child for over a year but have been unsuccessful. These couples, or individuals, may include an individual who has one of the following conditions:
- Unexplained Infertility
- Uterine Fibroids
- Ovulation Problems
- Fallopian Tube Damage/Blockage
- Low Sperm Count
- Previous Tubal Ligation
Before IVF treatment is utilized to help with conception, couples have often attempted other therapies to assist with fertility such as intrauterine insemination or fertility drugs (to increase the production of eggs).
If you are interested in learning more about IVF, call today to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Englewood CO or Rapid City SD.
5 Stages of the In Vitro Fertilization Process in Colorado & South Dakota
Stage 1: Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (the process in which the ovaries are stimulated to make multiple oocytes)
During a normal menstrual cycle, while a group of oocytes (eggs) begins development only one progresses to maturity. In an effort to increase the chances for a pregnancy with IVF, it is necessary to stimulate multiple oocytes to develop. This increases the number of oocytes available for fertilization and transfer. IVF is performed in our Colorado location.
Stage 2: Egg aspiration (oocyte retrieval)
Despite the continuous growth of the follicle for more than 10 days, the egg does not complete the final maturation until a specific signal is given. This signal is given by the release of LH from the pituitary gland in the natural cycle. This release is blocked with the use of GnRH agonist or antagonist. During the IVF process, once it is determined the eggs are mature (by ultrasound assessment of the follicles and measurement of estradiol), this signal is given by the injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
Stage 3: Insemination (fertilization)
It is necessary for the male partner to abstain from ejaculation for two to three days prior to producing a semen specimen used for the IVF procedure, but a longer period of abstinence is NOT advisable. The staff will try to remind the male partner to ejaculate the day before or the day of the hCG injection.
Stage 4: Embryo development and transfer
When an egg is fertilized, it can be identified by the presence of a male and female nucleus inside the egg. These nuclei contain the genetic material from the sperm and the egg. This developmental stage only lasts for a few hours before the egg continues on to prepare for cell division and development of an embryo.
Stage 5: Implantation and embryo support
In the natural process of fertilization, the lining of the uterus is made ready for implantation by a small cyst on the ovary called the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum actually arises from the ruptured follicle. The hormone progesterone is produced by the corpus luteum and helps to keep the lining of the uterus prepared for implantation of the embryo(s).
Frequently Asked IVF Questions
How do you prepare for In Vitro Fertilization?
At the beginning of the IVF process, a couple will meet with an infertility specialist or reproductive endocrinologist and participate in a full screening. During this testing, a complete medical history will be taken, and numerous tests will be completed to detect any potential reproductive problems or transmittable diseases. Further tests may be recommended to provide the best possible outcome. To identify any possible blockages or irregularities in both the ovaries or fallopian tubes, a sonohysterogram or hysterosalpingogram may be performed. Semen analysis may also be undertaken to gauge sperm count and health.
What can I expect during the IVF process?
IVF is a multi-step treatment. The treatment can start with medication to quiet down the ovaries or estrogen patches. After the ovaries are noted to be quiet as determined by an ultrasound and an estrogen blood test (this is considered “the Baseline visit”), patients can start fertility medications. The fertility medications are most commonly given in the form of injections. While taking the fertility medications for about 10- 14 days, you will come to the office for multiple visits to check the number and size of the eggs growing in your ovaries.
When the eggs are ready, the IVF retrieval procedure will occur. For the egg retrieval, you are sedated with intravenous medication. We then insert a hollow needle into the ovaries, after you are completely sedated with anesthesia. The needle is guided by transvaginal ultrasound. Once the needle is properly positioned it suctions out the eggs, which are growing in the fluid-filled sacs we have measured by ultrasound. The fluid removed at the egg retrieval procedure is immediately examined under a microscope, by the IVF Lab, to ensure the presence of viable eggs.
After the retrieval process your abdomen may feel tender, and you may have some light spotting. You should rest and take it easy the rest of the day.
Next, your eggs are joined with sperm from your partner or a donor in our IVF lab. If the eggs are fertilized, they are allowed to divide for five to six days. Most patients at this point elect to do Pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) of the embryos to check for chromosomal abnormalities. You can also screen for genetic diseases that run in your family or yourself. The tested embryos are frozen then put back in the uterus at a later date after being thawed. However, if you do not want to do PGT testing a patient may elect to do a fresh transfer. For those that get a “fresh” transfer, i.e. the embryos are not tested or frozen, a transfer catheter is loaded with an embryo and the embryo is placed in the uterus on Day 5 or 6, on the same cycle as the retrieval. Abdominal ultrasound is used to guide the catheter through the cervical opening and up the middle of the uterus. When the catheter tip is in the ideal spot the embryo is gently placed in the uterus.
Roughly 9-11 days after your embryo transfer, a blood pregnancy test is performed. If the embryo has successfully implanted in the uterus, the chg. hormone will be detected.
How long does In Vitro Fertilization take?
The time required for each IVF process is not the same for every couple, and is dependent on the number of tests needed, the specific medication treatment plan, and if donor sperm or eggs are used. However, one cycle of IVF from initial consultation to embryo transfer could be completed in as little as six weeks, but usually takes between 10-14 weeks.
What are the success rates of IVF?
Success rates with IVF vary depending on a number of factors. At our office women under 35 doing IVF with PGT testing will have about a 75% chance of pregnancy after one egg retrieval. Certainly some women have higher or lower success based on their particular circumstances.
What medications are taken during IVF treatment?
Some patients take birth control before other medications are given to regulate their menstrual cycle. Next, a combination of gonadotropins and follicle-stimulating drugs are administered in the weeks leading up to egg retrieval. This is followed by an injection of HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, shortly before the eggs are harvested. At the beginning of pregnancy estrogen and progesterone are typically taken. Any other medications that will aid in the success of the IVF treatment may be recommended as well.
What are the risks associated with In Vitro Fertilization?
In vitro fertilization is a medical procedure, and there are risks as with any procedure:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Decreased urinary frequency
- Shortness of breath
- Severe stomach pain and bloating
- Ten-pound weight gain within 3-5 days
These are other specific IVF risks:
- Egg retrieval involves risks of bleeding, infection, and damage to the bowel or bladder.
- The chances of multiples pregnancy (twins or more) is substantially increased with IVF. Multiples pregnancy involves increased risks on its own.
- There is a 2-5% risk of ectopic pregnancy with IVF. Ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus and is not viable.
Are there any side effects to In Vitro Fertilization?
Because several medications are taken during the IVF process there can be varying side effects from patient to patient. Most commonly, there may be abdominal pain, weight gain, bloating, and breast tenderness. Hormone injection side effects may include nausea, hot flashes, bruising, and swollen and painful ovaries. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome is a potentially serious condition with high doses of hormone medications and could increase the risk of miscarriage.
Additional Procedures Utilized in Conjunction with In Vitro Fertilization
- Embryo Cryopreservation
- Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
- Assisted Hatching (AH)
- Preimplantation Genetic Testing
- Donor Egg (Donor Oocyte)
- Egg Freezing
Guarantee your IVF Outcome
Ensure the outcome of your IVF procedures; if live birth is not achieved after 3 cycles or attempts, you receive your money back. IVF insurance also includes coverage for pre-screening costs, consultations, medications, professional counseling and therapy, and even travel expenses (if traveling over 250 miles). IVF cycles can be fresh or frozen. Get your quote in as little as 2 minutes by clicking here.
Rocky Mountain Fertility offers IVF service that patients in Colorado trust. Dr. Smith has received the Patient’s Choice Award for six straight years as an accomplished fertility doctor in Denver, Colorado.
Rocky Mountain Fertility Center proudly provides Castle Rock, Parker and Denver Colorado, as well as in Rapid City, South Dakota with IVF services. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call (303) 999-3877 or fill out a Contact Form here.