In vitro fertilization was introduced in the United States in 1981. Since then it has been responsible for the births of thousands of healthy babies. In vitro fertilization (IVF) occurs when eggs and sperm are combined in a laboratory setting. The embryos then form and are placed in the uterus. IVF is never the first treatment introduced due to its complexity and expense. It is estimated that 5% of couples utilize in vitro fertilization.
In vitro fertilization can treat a variety of infertility issues including:
- Low sperm count
- Ovulation problems
- Uterus and fallopian tube issues
- Antibodies that kill sperm
- Unexplained fertility issues
IVF is used after other treatment methods such as fertility medications, artificial insemination and surgery have proved unsuccessful. It is critical to talk extensively with your doctor when considering in vitro fertilization.
What to Expect from IVF
The first step in the IVF process includes the injection of hormones to produce multiple eggs every month rather than a single egg. After that, a test will be performed to determine egg retrieval capacity.
The timing is very important when utilizing in vitro fertilization because the eggs will not develop properly if they are removed too late or too soon. Infertility doctors in Colorado commonly perform simple tests to determine whether the eggs are ready to be retrieved or not.
During the procedure the woman can choose whether they would like to be fully or partially sedated. During the procedure, the fertility doctor takes out the eggs with a needle. The entire procedure can last anywhere from 30-60 minutes. After the eggs are removed they are mixed with the male’s sperm in a lab.
After the procedure is done it may take up to five days until the embryos reach the right stage. Once the embryos are ready, the woman returns to the facility to have the embryo(s) inserted into the uterus. Most fertility doctors in Colorado recommend having 3-4 embryos inserted to increase the odds of pregnancy.
After the embryos have been inserted, the patient is instructed to stay in bed for 4-6 hours before being released from the facility. A pregnancy test will be performed in approximately two weeks.
What are the Success Rates of In Vitro Fertilization?
Success rates vary due to the multiple factors surrounding infertility. A 2009 report published by the Center for Disease Control showed approximately 30% of women became pregnant when they used one or more IVF treatments. Overall, increased rates of success are possible with in vitro fertilization.
Rocky Mountain Fertility Center is a premier South Dakota and Colorado IVF center offering comprehensive reproductive diagnostic and treatments for infertility. Dr. Deborah Smith has over 20 years experience as an Award Winning, Board Certified Denver fertility doctor. For first rate treatment at a premier fertility clinic, call (303) 999-3877 today!