When you seek treatment at Wilcox Fertility, we strive to make your care as unique and individual as you are. We also want you to fully understand each option you have available. Below, we discuss in vitro fertilization.
Every month, when a woman’s body releases an egg, it is known as ovulation. When she ovulates, an egg is released from her ovary and waits to be fertilized for a span of 12 to 24 hours. When a woman is about to undergo an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle, Dr. Wilcox wants to make every effort to increase the chances of success. This is why during the IVF stimulation period, it’s necessary that more than one egg is produced as to increase your chances of success.
In order for this to happen, fertility medications are prescribed, and a specific IVF protocol is designed with each couple’s health history and family building goals in mind. This is to stimulate the ovaries so that there is an increase in the amount of eggs produced, thus ideally more embryos created. After several appointments to monitor the size of the follicles via ultrasound growing on each ovary (follicles are where eggs are contained), the eggs are then retrieved through a very thin needle under light sedation. They are then mixed with the partner’s (or a donor’s) sperm. The eggs are then fertilized in the IVF laboratory and the fertilized eggs become embryo(s).
Embryos are placed in chambers within our state-of-the-art incubators which are controlled and monitored 24 hours a day. They will remain there until day 5. At this time, the embryos will be assessed and those that have reached the blastocyst stage can be biopsied for genetic testing. Once the biopsy is complete, the embryos are then vitrified (cryopreserved) for future cycles. Only euploid, or normal embryos are then selected for transfer to the uterus.
Overview of the IVF Process:
- Dr. Wilcox will prescribe the protocol/treatment he believes will provide you the highest chance of success and your clinical team will be your day-to-day guide to walk with you during treatment will explain the protocol he or she is recommending.
- You will meet with your nurse who will provide you with an overall schedule for your IVF cycle.
- Medications will be ordered (we recommend you call your insurance company to review what is covered, what is out of pocket and if you require any preauthorization).
- We will teach you how to self-administer your medications.
- You will have baseline blood work and ultrasound on your instructed start date.
- Your nurse will confirm when you are ready to begin your injectable medications. She will advise you to call her on the first day of your period.
- The hormone stimulation process typically takes approximately 8 to 14 days.
- You will visit us at the clinic every few days for monitoring blood tests and trans-vaginal ultrasounds to assess follicle growth.
- Once Dr. Wilcox is confident the follicles have reached a mature state, you will be instructed to take your “trigger shot”, which is also referred to as an hCG.
- Your medical team will advise you of your admission time which is typically 24 or so hours after your trigger shot.
- You will begin progesterone supplementation (through progesterone in oil shots or suppositories) the day after retrieval.
- If you are having preimplantation genetic testing and/or screening (PGD/S), the embryos will be biopsied and cryopreserved until results are obtained.
- An embryo(s) will be transferred back into the uterus in a future cycle in the hopes that it will implant into the uterine lining.
- Following the embryo transfer, and depending on what protocol is prescribed, you will continue hormone supplementation until pregnancy test.
For more information on the numerous fertility treatments and family building options offered at Wilcox Fertility, please continue to review other areas of our site or to inquire about financial information, please don’t hesitate to contact us via our online form or call us at 626.657.9327.