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General

IVF and ICSI

Normally, one egg matures each month, but when we stimulate the ovaries for IVF or ICSI, we attempt to mature multiple eggs for fertilization. In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves removing eggs from the ovaries and fertilizing them outside of the body (“in vitro”). With conventional IVF, many sperm are placed in a dish with a healthy egg, whereas with Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a single sperm is carefully injected directly into each egg.

Ovarian stimulation usually requires 10-14 days of hormonal stimulation and monitoring before the eggs are retrieved. Once the eggs are in our care, we need to consider several key steps:

  • Fertilization: Conventional IVF or ICSI? 
  • When to plan your transfer: How long should we care for your embryos before transferring or freezing them? 2-3 or 5-6 days?
  • Embryo Transfer: Fresh or frozen? If frozen, do we transfer them in the future using a controlled or natural cycle?
  • Genetic testing: Do we test your embryos before transferring them?

Based on your history, assessment, and goals, we’ll help you navigate several steps and decision points depending on your particular situation and requirements.

I’m a single parent–can this work for me?

“I was 34 when I decided to be a single mom by choice. Who knew I could create my own love of my life.” — Regina

Want to build a family on your own? Congratulations on making this choice. It may take a village to raise a child, but not to make one. We’re here to help.

Here’s what it takes:

  • A healthy egg from you or an egg donor
  • Healthy sperm from someone you know or an anonymous donor
  • A way for the sperm and egg to meet: either IUI or IVF

Whatever your needs, we can help. We’ll work with you to assess any obstacles, plan your family and secure appropriate donor sperm, eggs or gestational carriers from our network of stellar agencies.

Let’s find a plan that works for you.

Single Moms by Choice and Choice Moms are two excellent community groups that support women seeking to have a family on their own.

What causes infertility?

There are many causes of infertility. For a successful pregnancy to occur, a healthy egg needs to meet healthy sperm, fertilize, develop and find a good place to grow (a receptive uterus).
Problems at any of these steps can cause difficulties in getting pregnant.

A woman’s body might not release an egg each month due to hormone imbalances, or perhaps the man’s body isn’t producing enough motile sperm. The fallopian tubes can be blocked or non-functional, preventing the egg and sperm from meeting. Or maybe infertility is because of abnormal uterine conditions like polyps, fibroids, or infections.

Do most people do IVF? How will we know what treatment we’ll need?

Not necessarily, and at Spring, there’s no such thing as “most people”. While we work with proven protocols, everyone is an individual and each treatment plan is customized to each patient. In order to determine which treatment options are right for you, we’ll conduct a thorough review of your medical history and assessment of both partners to evaluate what’s happening. Then we’ll form a plan to move forward. To get started, book a consult.

Should we do preimplantation genetic testing with IVF?

PGT-A allows patients the highest chance of success (a live birth) with each embryo transfer. Regardless of age, a chromosomally normal embryo has about a 50% chance of live birth. This allows us greater confidence with each embryo transfer such that most patients transfer only one embryo at a time. Keep in mind that while PGT-A helps us more easily identify the healthiest embryos to transfer (resulting in a higher live birth rate per transfer), it does not increase the chances overall.

The Pros: Highest implantation and live birth rate per transfer, fewer miscarriages, and you are less likely to experience (and pay for) an unsuccessful embryo transfer.

The Cons: Higher upfront cost in order to perform the procedure on the embryos and genetic analysis on sampled cells. And although this procedure is considered safe and effective, the test is about 90% accurate: 4% of cases will result in a “False Positive” (calling a potentially normal embryo “abnormal”), about 4% in a “False Negative” (embryos are determined to be “normal” but later miscarry and are found to have an abnormal chromosome complement), and approximately 2% of the time we do not get sufficient amplification of DNA for the scientists to make a determination on your embryo.

Lastly, it’s important to understand that with PGT-A, it’s possible that you will not have any normal embryos to transfer. Although this is very disappointing to experience, it also means that you did not have to endure a transfer that resulted in a miscarriage, with the associated pain and lost time before a successful transfer.

What are my chances for success with IVF?

We take enormous pride in delivering the highest chances of successful IVF, anywhere. Your success will depend greatly on your age at the time your eggs are retrieved. Nationally, women under 35 have nearly 50% success rates, while women over 42 have a 5% chance of success with each attempt using her own eggs. As women age, the number of eggs available declines and the miscarriage risk increases due to ovarian aging, making it harder to conceive. Many women require multiple attempts with IVF. Our job is to help you achieve a live birth in as few attempts as possible. Although aging is the biggest predictor of success, this is due to the age of the eggs and not the uterus. Success rates with donor eggs are over 50% per attempt and depend on the fertility and age of the egg donor.

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