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Understanding the steps for performing IVF
In Vitro Fertilization

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is not a complex procedure to understand. Broken down into its most basic parts, IVF has five main steps:

1) Stimulate the growth and development of multiple eggs within the ovaries
2) Remove the eggs
3) Fertilize the eggs
4) Allow the fertilized eggs to grow and develop in the laboratory
5) Place embryos into the uterus

Each of these five steps can be performed in a slightly different manner based on the preferences of the physician. At IVF1, we use an evidence based approach to determine the protocols for IVF. Below is a more detailed explanation of the IVF process.

IVF Drug treatment

Drugs to prevent Premature ovulation

  • Cetrotide and Ganirelix in IVF
    Cetrotide and Ganirelix are the primary medications that help prevent premature ovulation.

  • Lupron treatment in IVF
    An older method for preventing ovulation

  • Drugs to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs

  • Fertility Drugs for Stimulation of Egg Development
    Fertility drugs are used to stimulate the development of multiple eggs during in vitro fertilization (IVF)

  • hCG Trigger
    A final injection of hCG prepares for retrieval

  • Drugs to assist development of the uterine lining

  • Progesterone supplementation
    Progesterone is administered to help sustain the uterine lining (endometrium).

  • Egg removal, Fertilization, Growing Embryos and Placement in the uterus

  • Egg (Oocyte) Retrieval
    Removal of the eggs (oocytes) from the ovary.

  • What happens in the IVF laboratory?
    Learn about methods of fertilization, embryo culture and development.

  • Embryo transfer
    The embryos are placed into the uterus.

  • Overview of the IVF process - What can you expect?

  • IVF from start to finish
    What are the average numbers than IVF patients can expect? If you are going through an IVF cycle - read this!!!
  • What issues are important if I get pregnant from an IVF cycle? 

  • IVF birth defects
    Is IVF associated with a greater incidence of birth defects or not? If you are going through an IVF cycle - read this!!!
  • IVF Pregnancy Screening
    Many women who have IVF are older and therefore at greater risk for babies with chromosome abnormalities. These women may have screening tests for abnormalities performed. The results should be interpreted with caution, however. Read why here. If you are pregnant from an IVF cycle - read this!!!

  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about IVF

    • Is bedrest important after an IVF embryo transfer?
    No. A number of studies have looked at IVF pregnancy rates in women who were instructed to rest after an embryo transfer and compared them to pregnancy rates in women who were not instructed to rest. The conclusion of every study that has looked at this was that bedrest after embryo transfer does not improves the chances for an IVF pregnancy. 
    Articles to read about bedrest in IVF:

    Recent in-vitro fertilization (IVF) developments


    07/19/2008 PGD does not cause birth defects in children  

    07/17/2008 IVF does not cause developmental problems in babies  

    03/14/2008 New IVF sperm separation study shows promising results  

    03/08/2008 Long term freezing does not harm frozen embryos  

    02/09/2008 New IVF acupuncture study 

    11/23/2007 IVF complications explained  

    070/7/2007 IVF study: No benefit to using Embryoglue  

    03/16/2007 Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) predicts IVF success
    02/27/2007 Surgery for ovarian cysts may reduce ovarian reserve and lower success with IVF
    02/27/2007 Using egg, donation, a 67 year old woman conceived and delivered twins
    02/23/2007 A recent study failed to find a benefit for assisted hatching during IVF
    10/16/2006 Infection with HPV was associated with lower IVF pregnancy rates
    09/23/2005 Egg donors are not at increased risk for infertility themselves
    09/14/2005 Study: No difference between types of natural vaginal progesterone during IVF
    09/14/2005 IVF Children are Taller and Have Better Cholesterol Profiles than Other Children
    07/01/2005 AZH - Assisted Hatching - Does Not Help Endometriosis Patients During IVF
    05/17/2005 Stress Does Not Decrease IVF Success
    05/17/2005 Egg Donation May complicate Pregnancy
    04/08/2005 Smoking Reduces IVF pregnancy rates
    03/06/2005 IVF Success rates do not depend on bedrest
    02/23/2005 New FDA regulations will hurt egg and embryo donation
    02/21/2005 Americans Support PGD
    02/08/2005 Study: Blastocyst transfer for repeated IVF failures
    02/05/2005 Single embryo transfer in IVF may be the sane as a transfer of two embryos
    01/31/2005 Study suggests IVF babies are at higher risk for birth defects
    01/26/2005 PGD is used to prevent Rh sensitization
    01/17/2005 Sixty seven year old woman delivers twins using In vitro fertilization - IVF and egg donation
    01/08/2005 In vitro fertilization - IVF - success rates decline with age? Duhh!
    01/07/2005 ICSI does not increase miscarriage risk
    01/06/2005 Health risks of children born from in vitro fertilization (IVF)?
    01/05/2005 Bedrest after in vitro fertilization (IVF) not necessary

    Additional in-vitro fertilization (IVF) topics

    In vitro egg maturation enables egg retreval and embryo transfer without the use of fertility medications
    Endometriosis and IVF Endometriosis is associated with infertility but IVF is a good treatment to overcome it.
    Frozen Embryo Transfer
    Minimal stimulation IVF is a topic that a lot of people are talking about these days. What is it and how effective is it?
    IVF What can the average patient expect?
    IVF Implantation Failure
    Single embryo transfer in IVF
    Intracytoplasmic sperm injection - ICSI
    Preimplantation genetic diagnosis PGD
    Understanding IVF Pregnancy Rates
    Acupuncture in IVF
    IVF Connections

    Egg Donation Learn about performing in vitro fertilization using donated eggs.
    Egg Donor Application If you are interested in becoming an egg donor for one of our patients, download this application (Requires Adobe Acrobat), fill it out and mail back to the office.

    Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 December 2013 )