sperm injected into egg as seen through a microscope

In-Vitro Fertilization

IVF Success Rates

Learn more about our success rates.

The Basics of IVF

For some couples, initial treatments with ovulation induction and/or intrauterine insemination procedures are not successful. In these cases, in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, may be the best option. IVF is a multistep process.

The first step involves administration of injectable medications to stimulate a woman’s ovaries to make multiple eggs. The eggs are then removed during a short procedure, referred to as an oocyte retrieval. An oocyte retrieval is a brief, ultrasound guided, needle procedure performed under anesthesia.

After the eggs are retrieved, they are combined with sperm to create a fertilized embryo. An embryo transfer is then performed to place the embryo into the woman’s uterus.  Sometimes the embryo is placed back a few days after the egg retrieval and other times, the embryo is frozen and transferred at a later date. Prior to transferring the embryo into the uterus, some couples elect to test the genetics of the embryo. For other couples, the testing may be necessary. Learn more about genetic testing.

Oocyte Retrieval Procedure

An oocyte retrieval is a short procedure that is performed to remove eggs, which are also known as oocytes, from a woman’s ovaries. The procedure is done with the use of anesthesia so that the woman is comfortable throughout the entire process. The eggs are removed through the vagina with the help of a trans-vaginal ultrasound.

The procedure itself is short (approximately 30 minutes) and performed by one of the doctors at Damien Fertility Partners.  Women are advised to rest on the day of the oocyte retrieval. Working or driving is not allowed on the day of this procedure.

Embryo Transfer Procedure

Embryos can be transferred to a woman’s uterus during either a “fresh” or a “frozen” IVF cycle.

A “fresh” embryo transfer occurs during the week after the oocyte retrieval procedure.

Embryos from an IVF cycle can be frozen for use at a later date. In order to perform a “frozen” embryo transfer, a woman takes a series of medications to prepare the uterus for a pregnancy to implant. Once the uterus is ready, the frozen embryo is thawed and transferred into the awaiting uterus.

The actual embryo transfer procedure is similar in both types of transfers. A transfer is performed in the office. Anesthesia is not required. A small catheter is used to guide the embryo through the woman’s cervix and into the uterus. Patients can resume normal activity that same day.