IVF, In-Vitro Fertilization – Houston Fertility Institute

What is IVF?

In-vitro fertilization (IVF), one of the best-known treatments for infertility, is a process involving four main steps: ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, fertilization and cell division, and embryo transfer.

Although it was originally designed for treatment of women with tubal disease, IVF helps couples, including ones who have not experienced success with other infertility treatments, overcome various types of infertility. IVF is also an option for same-sex couples wanting to build a family, as well as for single women who choose to have a baby without a partner.

The in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure at Houston Fertility Institute involves hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries to mature eggs, which are then retrieved through aspiration. Fertilization of the eggs takes place in our IVF laboratory in Houston. The resulting embryos are nourished in an incubator and, at a predetermined stage of development, transferred into the uterus to continue normal fetal growth.

IVF is often a highly effective solution for both female and male factor infertility, as well as for LGBT family building. For exceptional in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment, you can trust the doctors and staff ofHouston Fertility Institute, who maintain exceptionally highsuccess ratesthrough a combination of advanced knowledge and state-of-the-art treatments.

IVF candidates may include those who have:

A typical IVF cycle at Houston Fertility Institute involves four main stages, which a physician will explain in detail to you.In general, the IVF process involves ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, fertilization and cell division, and embryo transfer. Learn more about each step below:

Ovarian stimulation for IVF, also referred to as controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, is designed to stimulate the maturation of ovarian follicles, which contain an egg that they release during ovulation. Ovarian stimulation involves the use of fertility medications that promote the simultaneous maturation of multiple follicles. During the ovarian stimulation stage, the womans progress is monitored with hormone testing and ultrasound.

Before the eggs can be retrieved from their follicles, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a fertility medication that acts to stimulate ovulation, must be administered. This is also referred to as a trigger shot. Approximately 36 hours after the trigger shot, the eggs can be harvested using an ultrasound-guided aspiration technique. Some patients ask if egg retrieval for IVF is painful. The procedure is performed under anesthesia, so there is no discomfort. You may experience mild cramping afterward, so a prescription for pain medication can be provided.

The eggs are then fertilized by sperm, taken from either the male partner or a donor, that has been analyzed and specially prepared. With couples who are undergoing IVF at least partly because ofmale factor infertility, the chances of fertilization may be increased by usingintracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), during which an individual sperm is injected into each individual egg.

The fertilized eggs are called embryos. Starting as a single cell, the embryo undergoes rapid cell division. By the fifth day, the embryo has approximately 100 cells. Fifth-day embryos are known as blastocysts. Preimplantation genetic screening / diagnosis (PGS / PGD) may be performed on one or two cells taken from the embryos for couples who carry a genetic disorder. This test allows for the transfer of only those embryos which are the healthiest.

You and your physician can decide what transfer option for you will yield the best success rate according to your personalized plan. Typically, we do either a blastocyst transfer or a frozen transfer a few weeks later. The procedure would be very similar. During transfer, the embryos are passed through a slim catheter into the uterus.

If you have questions about in-vitro fertilization (IVF),contact Houston Fertility Institute. You may also wish to visit ourIVF FAQs page.

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IVF, In-Vitro Fertilization - Houston Fertility Institute

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