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In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Treatments in Tennessee
IVF is the most successful assisted fertility treatment available today. Whether you’re struggling to conceive or require a third party, IVF helps make dreams of parenthood an achievable reality.
Why IVF is Used
There are lots of reasons why patients seek in vitro fertilization or IVF treatments. Whether it’s a health condition that prevents you from getting pregnant (such as a sperm allergy or PCOS) or are a same-sex couple seeking a donor, IVF offers a solution to those who otherwise would not be able to conceive on their own.
The Benefits of IVF
In addition to increasing their chances of pregnancy, there are several other advantages and reasons why patients decide to undergo IVF treatments:
What is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?
Translated from Latin to mean fertilization in glass, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) where an egg is fertilized outside of the uterus. ARTs include any treatment where eggs, sperm or embryos are handled outside of the body. Once fertilized, the embryo can then be cryopreserved or frozen for future use, donated to another woman or implanted into the uterus in hopes of attaching itself to the lining of the uterus and ultimately becoming a baby.
How Does IVF Work?
Compared to other fertility treatments, IVF takes a little longer, several months on average to complete one IVF cycle. However, IVF treatments can be repeated multiple times depending on your condition. Here’s a step-by-step overview of the IVF process.
To begin the IVF process, the doctor will prescribe fertility medications for a few months. This will stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple mature eggs that can then be retrieved and cryopreserved for future use or donated to a family in need.
Retrieve Mature Eggs
This minor surgical procedure uses an ultrasonic probe to guide a thin needle through the wall of the vagina into the ovary to collect mature eggs. The eggs are then identified under a microscope, washed and placed in a culture dish with nutrient fluids. This procedure may last 15 to 30 minutes and can be done on an outpatient basis under sedation.
Collect and Prepare Semen Samples
This is usually done on the day of the egg retrieval. Sperm can either be obtained from a male partner or sperm donor. The sperm is then “washed,” which separates the actual sperm from the fluids. This increases the number of mobile sperm and improves the likelihood of fertilization.
Sperm can also be collected before the egg retrieval and cryopreserved until it’s time. In some male factor infertility cases, a testicular biopsy can also be performed as a method to extract sperm for IVF.
Fertilize and Develop the Embryo(s)
There are two ways to go about fertilization in vitro: the traditional method and the ICSI method. In traditional IVF, the sperm and egg are placed on the petri dish together and fertilize on their own. With ICSI, or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, the doctor can fertilize an egg with a single sperm via a thin glass needle.
12 to 16 hours after, the samples are examined to confirm that fertilization has taken place. They are then cultured for three to five days in the lab to ensure they’re healthy before being transferred to the uterus or cryopreserved.
Transfer One or Multiple Embryos
Transferring the embryo(s) is the final and most important step in the IVF process. This procedure mimics that of a routine pap smear and has little pain or discomfort. For best results, the use of ultrasound technology is used to guide the catheter.
While some fertility clinics transfer multiple embryos, which can result in multiple pregnancies and births, the Tennessee Fertility Institute follows the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) guidelines and typically transfers one to two embryos at a time.
Await the Results of a Blood Test
You or the patient will typically get blood drawn for a pregnancy test nine to 11 days after the transfer. If embryo implantation has occurred, the hCG hormone will be detected in the bloodstream and the woman will be considered pregnant!
Freeze the Remaining Embryos
During the IVF process, more embryos can develop than are used or transferred. In this case, there is the option to freeze any excess good-quality embryos for future IVF attempts. Embryos can be frozen at the pronuclear stage (one cell), or at any stage after that up to and including the blastocyst stage (five to seven days after fertilization).
Vitrification is the newest technology in cryopreservation. This ultra-rapid freezing technique minimizes any ice crystal formation and potential damage to frozen embryo(s).
Finance Your Fertility Journey with Bundl
Alleviate the financial stress associated with fertility treatments with a customized package from Bundl. You don’t pay until you have a baby.