Timing is Everything
IVF Process Calendar
The IVF treatment process can be complex and daunting as a patient. It is important that you be as much informed as possible throughout the entire process.
The IVF process has many elements:
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1. Consultation and Testing
After an in-depth consult with our doctor, you will have decided on what plan will suit you best. Before patients undergo IVF, several tests must be performed. Blood tests will be performed on the male and female patient to check for any diseases or abnormalities, along with blood type. The doctor will set up an appointment for you to come in and have your blood drawn.
When ever your IVF cycle is initiated, your clinic will order a number of pre-treatment tests. Some tests can be mandated by law, while testing required by your clinician is customized to you. These tests often include a baseline ultrasound, bloodwork, and a semen analysis for the male partner to assess your fertility challenges and possibilities. However, other tests may also be required.
2. Ovarian stimulation
Ovarian stimulation is a critical part of egg production. By using fertility medications, women can prepare for egg retrieval and increase their chances of a successful pregnancy. Oral and injectable fertility medications are often recommended in addition to hormones for optimal results. This may be conducted with a transvaginal ultrasound to determine when the eggs have matured.
3. Egg retrieval
During the egg retrieval process, patients will receive general anesthesia to sleep during the procedure. Next, the eggs are then retrieved by placing a needle through the vaginal wall and into the ovary––and suctioned from the growing follicles and collected into test tubes. Finally, the test tubes are passed to the waiting embryologist. Here's what the egg retrieval calendar might look like:
Once the eggs are in the laboratory, they will be visualized under a microscope and prepared for fertilization with either fresh or frozen sperm. A process called ICSI or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is then performed to inject one healthy sperm into each of the viable eggs.
5. Embryo freezing and genetic testing
Just the next morning, the embryologist will be able to determine how many healthy embryos have formed. The embryos will typically spend 5-7 days in the laboratory before they are ready to be frozen, or transferred back to the uterus. Frozen embryos tend to have better success rates. Most patients will choose to test embryos for genetic or chromosome abnormalities prior to embryo transfer through preimplantation genetic screening or preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
6. Embryo transfer
Preparing for your embryo transfer is one of the most important processes in your IVF journey. Every patient may receive a custom personalized IVF embryo transfer calendar.
On the day of embryo transfer, the embryos will be graded based on their cell growth and development. This grading system, along with the patient’s age, will help the physician and patient to decide on the appropriate number of embryos to transfer.
An embryo transfer procedure feels similar to a pap smear and is performed while the patient is awake. To start, the cervix is visualized and cleaned. Then, a very thin catheter (tube) loaded with the embryo(s) is placed gently through the cervix and into the uterine cavity. The embryo(s) are placed near the top of the uterus using ultrasound guidance.
7. Pregnancy test (two weeks after the embryo transfer)
Approximately ten days after the transfer, a blood pregnancy test (hCG level) is performed to determine if the patient is pregnant or not.
Schedule An Appointment
No two people are the same, and no two infertility cases are alike. Your fertility status is personal and unique to you. Schedule your initial assessment with one of our fertility specialists.