In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the process of uniting the egg and the sperm in the laboratory and then transferring selected embryos into the uterus. A typical IVF cycle includes the following steps:
- Ovulation induction - the mother receives hormone injections prescribed by her physician that stimulate her ovaries to produce mature eggs
- Egg retrieval - a procedure where the mature eggs are removed
- Fertilization and embryo culture - retrieved eggs are placed in an incubator and fertilized with sperm; preimplantation genetic diagnosis and screening are available to identify which embryos are free of abnormalities and more likely to achieve the goal of a healthy pregnancy
- Embryo transfer - Embryo(s) may be transferred after egg retrieval. Embryo(s) are transferred into the uterus using a catheter inserted through the cervix.
Single Embryo Transfer
Physicians on the medical staff are committed to offering single embryo transfer, giving infertile couples the opportunity of becoming pregnant without risking the significant consequences of twin and triplet pregnancies commonly associated with assisted reproductive technologies. The ARTS Program gives patients the option of limiting twin pregnancies, without necessarily compromising their chance of becoming pregnant, through single embryo transfer. While many infertility programs transfer two or more later-stage embryos, ARTS offers couples the option of transferring a single blastocyst to the woman's uterus and freezing extra embryos for transfer in future cycles.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
In cases of male factor infertility, ICSI can be used. In this procedure, an embryologist injects a single sperm directly into a mature egg to achieve fertilization. Embryos are then transferred to the uterus. When sperm cannot be obtained by ejaculation from the male partner (e.g., due to spinal cord injury or a break or obstruction in the vas deferens), sperm can be harvested directly from the testicle or epididymis. These sperm can then be used for ICSI.