In vitro fertilization (IVF) allows an infertile couple a chance to have a child of their own through normal pregnancy and childbirth. The process mimics natural reproduction by combining eggs from the woman with sperm cells from the man in a laboratory setting to create embryos.
The egg retrieval process begins with the female taking injections for about 10 to 14 days to help her produce many eggs. The eggs are then removed via ultrasound-guided needle aspiration while the patient is under anesthesia. The harvested eggs are then combined with sperm in the clinic laboratory.
Fertilized eggs that reach the embryo stage are frozen and subsequently transferred, usually one at a time, into the uterus to establish a pregnancy. After a successful pregnancy occurs, spare embryos can be kept frozen for another attempt at pregnancy in the future.
In vitro fertilization may not be appropriate for some patients based on age, health history, weight and other variables. That’s why we carefully evaluate every patient prior to starting IVF. The evaluation will include a history, bloodwork to determine your egg supply and a uterine assessment. Based on these results, we can decide if IVF is the right option for you.
Success with IVF depends largely on the ability to produce genetically normal embryos. Failure of an IVF cycle is most often the result of an embryo with an abnormal number of chromosomes (aneuploidy). Down syndrome is a common example of aneuploidy. The risk of aneuploidy increases with age.
We recommend all couples consider screening prior to their IVF cycle to determine their risk of having a child affected by one of these diseases. It also helps us determine if specialized genetic screening of the embryos may decrease this risk.
You may have more questions about IVF, and we are happy to help. Call our office at 601-984-5330 or use the link below.
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