In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
There are many ways to treat infertility, but if patients don’t achieve success with first-line treatment approaches such as medicated cycles or IUI, they may consider more advanced assisted reproductive technologies (ART). The most well-known of these is in vitro fertilization (IVF).
IVF is an advanced artificial reproductive technology (ART) procedure in which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body, in a medical lab.
Yes. While pregnancy is not a promise that any program, business, or doctor can guarantee, IVF has a very high success rate and remains the most popular treatment for those who wish to become pregnant.
IUI involves sperm being injected directly into a uterus which has been “optimized” with careful timing.
IVF, on the other hand, is a multi-step treatment that involves egg stimulation, egg retrieval, sperm retrieval, the combination of the sperm and egg in a lab for creating of an embryos, often the testing of the embryos, and finally, the transfer of the highest grade embryos into a uterus.
While a successful IUI relies on several natural processes going correctly, IVF treatment is a more controlled treatment and is therefore used to address a wider spectrum of conception challenges. IVF is by far the most commonly used high-tech fertility treatment.
The process begins with an egg retrieval from a woman (either a hopeful parent or an egg donor). Then, with the goal of creating embryos, an embryologist combines the egg with sperm (from a hopeful parent or a donor) in a lab.
After closely monitoring and oftentimes testing the embryo(s), the highest grade embryo(s) are then transferred to the uterus (womb) of a woman (whether a hopeful mother or a gestational carrier) with the goal of conception.
According to the CDC “…about 4 million births per year in the U.S., meaning 1 to 2 percent of all U.S. births annually are via IVF.” With + 8 million babies born worldwide through IVF since the first successful procedure in 1978, it is the most common fertility treatment today.
It has been hypothesized that there may be a link between fertility medications and ovarian cancer. However, a number of studies have been conducted since 1992, and none of them have found an association between fertility medications and a higher risk of ovarian cancer. Research is ongoing but preliminary findings indicate no increased risk of uterine or breast cancer from IVF treatment.
At Kindbody, we understand that success metrics are unique to each patient. While IVF success rates are as high as 40-60% in the U.S., which is often higher than other fertility treatment options, your personal success depends on many individual and environmental factors. These factors may include the cause of your infertility, age, genetic testing results, and even where you’re having the procedure done.
An IVF cycle with Kindbody is $15,500, which includes ovarian stimulation monitoring, egg retrieval procedure, semen preparation, fertilization and culture of the eggs, and embryo transfer procedure.
An IVF cycle usually takes 2 – 3 months following testing and medical evaluation.
1. Ovarian Stimulation & Trigger Shot
Because a woman’s natural monthly cycle typically produces a single egg, patients usually begin an IVF cycle by receiving medication that stimulates the ovaries to increase the number of eggs that reach maturation. At this stage, regular monitoring (blood tests and ultrasound) is essential to track follicle growth and egg development.
Ovarian stimulation concludes with a hormone injection (or trigger shot) to initiate the final stage of egg maturation and prepare the eggs to release from the follicle.
2. Egg Retrieval
The next step is egg retrieval (usually ~36 hours after the trigger shot). During this 15-minute procedure, eggs are collected from the follicles. The number of eggs retrieved depends on multiple factors including the patient’s age, ovarian reserve, and response to ovarian stimulation. During egg retrieval, the patient is placed under sedation for comfort.
3. Egg Fertilization & Embryo Development
Fresh or frozen sperm can be used to fertilize (or inseminate) the eggs in the lab in one of two ways:
Conventional: Many sperm are placed in a petri dish with the egg, allowing for fertilization.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): A sperm is injected directly into each egg to fertilize it.
Beginning with fertilization, our expert embryologists at Kindbody closely monitor embryo development. For various reasons, some fertilized eggs may not develop into healthy embryos. Using advanced technologies at the Kindbody IVF laboratory, our embryologists will evaluate embryo development to select the most viable embryo(s) for transfer.
For patients who opt for genetic testing, embryos are sampled and cryopreserved at this time. Our Kindbody fertility specialists will proactively schedule either a transfer or a follow-up appointment to review next steps.
4. Embryo Transfer
After our embryologists identify the embryo(s) with the best chances for success, these are placed inside the uterus in a second procedure called an embryo transfer. This is a quick, 2-minute process during which most patients experience only minor discomfort and anesthesia is not required. Depending on the patient’s age and quality of available embryos, it is usually recommended to only transfer one embryo in order to improve the chances of a healthy singleton baby.
5. Freezing Remaining Embryos
The remaining embryos can be frozen (cryopreserved) using a flash-freezing process called vitrification. Because this critical procedure enables future opportunities for pregnancy, Kindbody offers patients innovative cryopreservation techniques to enable higher embryo survival rates.
6. Pregnancy Test And Next Steps
About two weeks after embryo transfer, patients receive a blood pregnancy test at one of our clinics. At Kindbody, we always proactively schedule a follow-up appointment to review your pregnancy test results. For patients who do not become pregnant, we will carefully review your IVF cycle with you and discuss potential changes and next steps.
Our Kindbody team works with each individual to customize care to help you achieve your family building goals. The most recent medical and technological advancements and our patients’ personal preferences, including their religious and cultural considerations, are addressed and may modify the standard IVF cycle process.
The basics of the process remain the same; however, instead of an egg being retrieved from a hopeful mother, it is retrieved from an egg donor. Once the embryo is created, it is transferred into the uterus of a gestational carrier. Kindbody is able to offers both egg donor and gestational carrier services to our patients.
At Kindbody, we place the highest priority on our IVF laboratory environment, procedures, and the cryogenic systems that store frozen eggs, embryos, sperm, and other tissue. Our rigorous operating procedures are standardized across all locations, and our comprehensive quality and safety measures include daily physical inspections, separate and redundant alarm systems, and emergency backup power sources.
Our laboratories are staffed with highly trained scientists that are all well-practiced in maintaining a safe and effective cryogenic environment. We take time to continually challenge ourselves with frequent educational opportunities and reexamine flow and process as we strive for the best practice of IVF laboratory techniques.
Yes! Kindbody is committed to remaining at the forefront of fertility innovation. We partner with major academic institutions and organizations to trial the most advanced treatment options because our patients deserve the absolute best standard of care.
- Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT)
- Top of the line egg grading
- Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
- State of the art sperm processing
- Protective, world-class cryopreservation
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