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.
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 in Vancouver BC Canada, 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 PhaseDuring the preparation phase, you take oral medications to prepare the ovaries and uterus for IVF.
Stimulation PhaseDuring the ovarian stimulation phase, you take daily injections of medications that cause multiple eggs to develop in your ovaries.
Egg Retrieval and Sperm Retrieval PhaseDuring egg retrieval phase, your eggs are removed through the vagina, and sperm is collected.
Fertilization or ICSIThe eggs are fertilized in our laboratory and prepared for fresh embryo transfer or frozen for storage.
When the egg develops to an Blastocyst/Day 5 embryo it is ready to be frozen or transferred.
Fresh or Frozen Embryo TransferThe best embryos are either transferred into your uterus or your surrogate’s uterus.
Implantation/PregnancyTwo 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.
Day of Retrieval
First Signs of Fertilization
Day after Retrieval
Blastocyst Day 5
Day of Transfer
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.