In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

IVF is a fertility treatment that involves using medication to stimulate egg production and a process where eggs are removed from a patient's ovaries and then fertilized by sperm in a laboratory.


The fertilized egg—called an embryo — is grown in the lab for several days (usually 2-5), then placed into a uterus or frozen. When embryos are placed into the uterus, they will hopefully implant in the uterine lining and continue to develop so a successful pregnancy will ensue.  IVF results for Olive Fertility Centre are consistently above posted national averages in all age categories. Your estimated chance of success with IVF will be individualized by your Olive physician at your consultation.  View the Olive Fertility Centre IVF results here.

When to Consider IVF

IVF might be an option for you if you have any of the following situations:


  • Blocked or nonfunctional fallopian tubes
  • Advanced reproductive age
  • Decreased ovarian reserve
  • Genetic testing of embryos is indicated (PGT)
  • Your partner has a very low sperm count
  • More conservative treatments have failed

What to Expect During IVF

At Olive Fertility Centre, you will have a knowledgeable and experienced team of fertility experts with you every step of the way to help you achieve your pregnancy.


The duration of your treatment, from when you start preparation until you learn you are pregnant, is 6-8 weeks.


A typical IVF cycle is divided into three parts: preparation, stimulation, and retrieval and transfer. These parts are broken into 7 steps or phases.

The 7 Steps of IVF

Priming Phase

During the preparation phase, you take oral medications to prepare the ovaries and uterus for IVF.


Stimulation Phase

During the ovarian stimulation phase, you take daily injections of medications that cause multiple eggs to develop in your ovaries.

Egg Retrieval and Sperm Retrieval Phase

During egg retrieval phase, your eggs are removed through the vagina, and sperm is collected.

Fertilization or ICSI

The eggs are fertilized in our laboratory and prepared for fresh embryo transfer or frozen for storage.

Blastocyst/Day 5

When the egg develops to a Blastocyst or Day 5 embryo it is ready to be frozen or transferred.

Transfer / Pregnancy

Fresh or Frozen Embryo Transfer

The best embryos are either transferred into your uterus or your surrogate’s uterus.



Two weeks after the embryo transfer, you will learn if you are pregnant.Once your pregnancy has been confirmed, we monitor the pregnancy with blood tests for your beta HCG levels. We then perform an ultrasound to be sure the pregnancy is in the correct location in the uterus and is developing normally.

Shared IVF

If you are a gay couple, you may want to each have biological offspring.


Once you have chosen an egg donor, you can elect to have half the eggs fertilized with one partner’s sperm and the other half of the eggs fertilized by the other partner. The fertilized eggs would then be grown into embryos in the lab. An embryo created from each of the partner’s sperm can then be transferred into the uterus of a gestational carrier.

How to get Started

After discussing IVF with your Olive physician, you call the clinic to request an IVF orientation. During the orientation, you will learn all about IVF, how to take the medications, and the steps you must take to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does IVF cost in BC?

The cost of IVF will vary by patient based on the treatment protocol recommended to maximize the chance of success.  A single round of IVF, which includes orientation, egg retrieval, blastocyst culture, fresh embryo transfer and medication costs approximately $12,000 - $15,000. The Olive team may also recommend innovative enhancements such as PGT-A and ERA to help improve success, with additional costs. 

While it’s difficult to estimate the cost of fertility treatments without an assessment and treatment plan developed specifically for you, you can get a sense of expected costs on our Pricing page.

How long does an IVF cycle take?

There are five stages to the IVF process: ovarian suppression, ovarian stimulation, triggering the egg maturation, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer. On average, an IVF cycle will takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks from the first physician consultation to the embryo transfer. 

Is IVF painful?

Most patients who undergo IVF treatment do not report it to be painful.  Some patients experience some discomfort during different stages of the treatment such as ovarian stimulation or egg retrieval, but not a significant amount of pain. Taking medications such as self-injections may cause discomfort for some.

Are there side effects associated with IVF treatment or medications?

There are some side effects that some patients may exerpience during different steps of the IVF process.  As the ovaries become enlarged during stimulation, patients my feel some discomfort in the pelvic region, as well as bloating and cramping.  Less commonly, patients experience mood changes, nausea and headaches.


There are usually mild side effects with fertility medications, but are all considered generally safe.

Will going through IVF use up more of my eggs faster than I would otherwise?

No - proceeding with an IVF cycle, or multiple cycles, will not deplete your egg reservoir faster.  IVF medications help to mature more eggs than a non-medicated cycle, but these same number of eggs would have been lost in an unmedicated cycle – it is just that during an unmedicated cycle only one egg, on average, matures.  

Inclusion of all gender and sexually diverse people is an important value of Olive Fertility Centre. We are continuously striving to create an environment of compassionate belonging where all of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community are supported, valued and respected.

Olive Fertility Centre resides on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Tsleil-waututh Nations (Vancouver and Surrey clinics), of the Lekwungen people (Victoria clinic), of the syilx/Okanagan people (Kelowna clinic) and of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation (Blossom Fertility clinic in Prince George).

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