Understanding the IVF process and how it can make parenthood a reality
Couples and individuals exploring fertility treatment often consider IVF. Joshua J. Berger MD, PhD at our Manhattan Beach fertility clinic wants to offer information to help you make informed treatment decisions. He can provide details about the IVF steps so that you can better understand the IVF process.
Explaining the first IVF steps
Using a proven technique like IVF can help you achieve your dreams of parenthood. This is true whether you’re trying to conceive right now or want to freeze your eggs for future family building.
To help you decide if in vitro fertilization is right for you, Dr. Berger explains the different steps.
Ovarian stimulation. Women usually produce a single egg during a monthly cycle. To increase the chances of pregnancy with IVF, patients take ovarian stimulation medication to induce follicle development. We will monitor follicle and egg development using blood tests and ultrasound. At the right time, Dr. Berger will order an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This shot triggers the final stages of ovulation. The hCG injection is usually given about 36 hours before egg retrieval.
Egg retrieval. At our Manhattan Beach fertility clinic, Dr. Berger performs an outpatient procedure to retrieve the eggs. This part of the IVF process involves placing a small needle through the vaginal wall using ultrasound guidance. Most of our patients undergo the procedure in our office under local anesthesia.
Fertilization. During the egg collection procedure, our skilled technicians place the follicular fluid containing the eggs in a “baby incubator” with a powerful dissecting microscope. The eggs remain in this carefully controlled system for four to six hours. The embryologist then adds the specially processed sperm to facilitate the fertilization process. After 16 to 20 hours, the eggs are examined and checked for the first signs of fertilization.
Reviewing the final stages of the IVF process
The fertilized eggs develop into embryos in the IVF lab. After this occurs, the next exciting IVF steps can begin.
Embryo transfer. Dr. Berger transfers one of the resulting embryos into the patient’s uterus. He begins by placing a catheter into the uterus through the cervix and releases the embryo into the uterus. Patients should restrict their physical activities for the first 24 to 72 hours.
Luteal phase monitoring and support. During the luteal phase, we conduct monitoring of blood levels of progesterone, estradiol and BhCG (pregnancy tests). With a positive pregnancy test, we continue to perform blood tests and the first pregnancy ultrasound to detect the baby’s heartbeat.
At Innovative Fertility Center, family building is our goal. Our Manhattan Beach fertility clinic combines clinical expertise with top-notch care to deliver successful outcomes for our patients. Contact our office to learn more about the IVF process or to schedule an appointment.