What is in vitro fertilization?
When parents-to-be think about fertility treatment, in vitro fertilization – also referred to as IVF – often comes to mind. The Lexington Fertility Center team, headed by Lexington IVF specialist George Veloudis DO, specializes in providing this advanced reproductive technology to patients.
In vitro fertilization, step by step
It is important to understand the steps of in vitro fertilization. We take the time to make sure every patient is fully informed about this process before committing to treatment. Our Lexington IVF specialist explains each of the phases of in vitro fertilization to patients prior to the start of treatment during one-on-one consultations.
Step one is ovarian stimulation. It involves taking injectable fertility medications called gonadotropins. The Lexington Fertility Center team will monitor a patient with blood tests and ultrasounds every few days during this stage.
Step two is egg retrieval. Once Dr. Veloudis determines the patient’s eggs are mature, the patient will receive medication to prepare the eggs for retrieval. About 36 hours later, the patient will come to the office for outpatient egg retrieval. Dr. Veloudis will use a thin needle to retrieve the mature eggs. The patient will be comfortably sedated during this short procedure and should arrange for a ride home.
Step three is fertilization. After egg retrieval, the patient’s eggs will be fertilized with the sperm of her partner or a donor. This occurs either by placing the sperm and eggs in a petri dish, or by using intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, to inject the sperm directly into each egg. ICSI is used if severe male infertility is present. After the egg is fertilized it’s considered an embryo, and it will start to grow and divide.
Step four is embryo transfer. About five days after egg retrieval, once the embryos have reached the blastocyst stage, the embryos are transferred to the patient’s uterus or frozen for a subsequent cycle. Dr. Veloudis will then monitor the patient for signs of pregnancy.
In vitro fertilization and genetic testing
Before starting the in vitro fertilization process at The Lexington Fertility Center, our Lexington IVF specialist recommends genetic testing to rule out any inheritable genetic conditions. We also perform preimplantation genetic screening, or PGS, to screen embryos for chromosomal abnormalities and select the best embryos for transfer.
Contact us to schedule a consultation and learn how you can achieve a healthy pregnancy.