In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Treatment
In Vitro Fertilization, or IVF, is the procedure most commonly associated with fertility treatment. While not every patient is right or ready for IVF, it has been demonstrated to be a highly effective option for many.
What is IVF Treatment?
Patients considering IVF will schedule an initial consultation with RMA. In order to better understand any barriers to achieving a successful pregnancy and delivery, we will order blood work and perform a thorough physical examination.
Do I need IVF?
Patients are often recommended for IVF based on a number of factors, including:
- Genetic disease
- Recurrent miscarriage
- Medical history
- Issues related to sperm or egg quantity or quality
- Once any issues have been identified and addressed, we will recommend an appropriate treatment plan and a cycle can be scheduled.
IVF Due Date Calendar
Determine when your due day will be after your IVF cycle. An IVF pregnancy due date is typically shorter than one that is naturally conceived. In IVF, there is no need to account for the body’s egg release and ovulation once an embryo is implanted. Calculate your IVF due date below and learn answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about IVF and embryo transfers.
The IVF Process Steps
IVF cycles are closely monitored and consist of several key steps. Learn about each of the steps in the IVF process below.
You will undergo daily injections of various ovarian stimulation medications over 8-12 days to stimulate multiple eggs in your ovaries. Once the egg(s) reach the proper size, you receive a final injection of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) or Leuprolide Acetate (Lupron) to spur the final maturation of the eggs.
Egg Retrieval Process
Thirty-six hours after the trigger injection, the eggs are removed from the ovaries. Egg retrieval is a five to ten-minute procedure performed at RMA, during which anesthesia is administered to ensure your comfort. Guided by an ultrasound probe, your doctor will direct a needle into the follicles of the ovary to retrieve your eggs.
Most women are able to return home an hour or so after the procedure. Following retrieval, you will begin injections or vaginal delivery of progesterone to prepare the uterus for implantation.
Extended Embryo Culture
Developing embryos are allowed to grow in the IVF laboratory for up to seven days until they reach the blastocyst stage of development – growing to about 200 cells. Published data supports improved implantation rates and outcomes with extended embryo culture.
If a patient opts for genetic screening, a sample of genetic material must be biopsied from the embryo for analysis. Embryo biopsy is a highly technical process and requires a skilled embryologist to perform the biopsy. Since 2010, RMA only performs blastocyst stage embryo biopsy. Published data supports that blastocyst stage biopsy (day 5) at the trophectoderm layer of the embryo is a safer method than cleavage-stage embryonic biopsy (day 3).
Preimplantation Genetic Testing
As an option for IVF patients, Pre-implantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy (PGT-A) allows a more evidence-based approach to selecting embryos to transfer during IVF. With RMA’s PGT-A platform, we can identify the healthiest embryos for transfer in advance of implantation. Embryos that are imbalanced, with too few or too many chromosomes, often result in a failed IVF cycle or miscarriage.
RMA only uses The Foundation for Embryonic Competence, a non-profit reference laboratory, for embryonic screening.
Frozen Embryo Transfer
After the embryo has grown (the blastocyst stage of development) and the woman’s uterus is ready to receive the embryo, the embryo is transferred back to the uterus to implant and hopefully become a healthy pregnancy and delivery. While the embryo waits for the uterus to be ready – and while geneticists perform genetic testing on the embryo – the embryo is frozen awaiting transfer. This is called Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET), and at RMA, is the standard of care for all IVF patients.
FET has been shown to increase implantation rates and improve obstetrical outcomes. FET is also considered a healthier implantation process in that it allows for a better connection between the placenta and the mother. In addition, frozen cycles, versus fresh transfer cycles, show higher birth weight deliveries and lower risk of prematurity. FET also allows for optimal timing and a more natural transfer experience since the embryo can be cryopreserved or “frozen” until the patient’s hormone levels return to a more natural, receptive state, usually on their next cycle.
IVF Success Rates
Each fertility clinic reports its IVF success rates to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). To learn about the success rates for the RMA clinic closest to you, please select your office from the list below.
A comparison of clinic success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics, treatment approaches, and entrance criteria for ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) may vary from clinic to clinic.
Since our success rates vary from clinic to clinic, please visit each of our clinic pages to view specific success rates for each location.