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Understanding IVF: Is It Right for Your Fertility Journey


Posted August 16, 2023 in In Vitro Fertilization

4 minute read

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Deciding to have a baby is exciting, but if conception is proving difficult, things can quickly become frustrating. When faced with infertility or difficulty conceiving, many people turn to fertility treatments. 

Pregnant woman holds ultrasound image

The most common form of ART (assisted reproductive technologies) is In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Although widely known, IVF is only one of a variety of treatments, and you may wonder if it’s the right step for you and your family. 

Below, we will discuss what goes into IVF and how to decide if it’s the right choice for you. 

What Is IVF?

IVF helps with enhancing fertilization, embryo development, and implantation so that you can get pregnant. It’s a more complex process than insemination (IUI) but IVF increases your chances of pregnancy significantly compared to other treatments. While IVF is effective, success is not 100% guaranteed so some people may need more than one round of IVF to get pregnant. 

Additionally, IVF is more than just implantation of a fertilized embryo. There are multiple steps before, during, and after the implantation to aid a viable pregnancy. 

What Is the IVF Process?

After your doctor has determined that IVF is the best option, the process is as follows: 

  • You will take fertility medications for 10 to 12 days to help your ovaries produce mature eggs ready for fertilization. Your hormone levels will be monitored as well. 
  • Once your ovaries provides enough mature eggs, you will undergo an egg retrieval, which is a minor ultrasound-guided procedure done with IV anesthesia.

  • Once the eggs are retrieved, sperm will be placed inside the eggs in the lab. The sperm cells can come from your partner or a sperm donor. Once the eggs and sperm cells are combined, fertilization happens. 

  • About five to seven days after the egg retrieval, the embryos will be sampled so that genetic testing can be performed on the embryos.
  • Once the results of the genetic testing is known, you will take medication to prepare your uterus to receive the embryo (embryo transfer). Once the embryo successfully attaches to the lining of your uterus and continues to grow you are pregnant.
  • You will need to take oral medications and daily progesterone injections for the first 10 to 12 days after embryo transfer to help promote embryo survival. 

Who Qualifies for IVF?

Some general guidelines for those who may benefit from IVF include: 

  • Those who have had no success with other fertility treatments like IUI
  • Those with low ovarian function, few remaining eggs, or blocked fallopian tubes
  • Couples with male infertility (low or absent sperm counts)
  • Those who wish to freeze eggs or postpone fertility to a later date
  • Same-sex male couples
  • Those couples at risk for having a baby with a genetic disorder

Of course, everyone is different. These are just some examples of those who might benefit from IVF. It’s important to discuss fertility challenges with your doctor beforehand. 

Additionally, undergoing IVF can be an emotionally challenging experience, especially for the person who will be carrying the embryo. Some couples can experience anxiety and depression during the process as the pressure of the treatment succeeding can be intense. Our experienced team at Inovi Fertility & Genetics Institute is here to guide you throughout the process and provide reassurance, support and care. 

How to Know if IVF Is Right for You

IVF can be a great option and has helped many couples conceive healthy babies. Your fertility specialist can help you determine your eligibility for IVF or if other treatments are more fitting. 

If you are just beginning your IVF journey, consulting with your fertility specialist can get you started on your fertility first steps

Do You Want to Learn More About Your IVF Options in Houston, TX?

Dr. Stephan Krotz is an internationally recognized fertility researcher and physician and is the founder of Inovi Fertility and Genetics Institute in the heart of Houston, Texas

If you are considering IVF or other fertility options or want to get started with a fertility evaluation, give us a call at (713) 401-9000 to schedule a consultation.