What is IVF?
In-vitro-Fertilization (IVF) is a common infertility treatment. During the procedure, a fertility doctor takes the eggs from the ovaries using a small needle and fertilizes them with sperm in a specialized lab. After fertilization happens, the eggs develop into embryos. Three to five days later, the specialist re-implants the embryos back into the uterus.
Watch this video to learn what happens at every step of the IVF treatment cycle. By looking inside one of the most advanced, state-of-the-art IVF laboratories, learn how a fertility clinic within the ARC network, RMA of New York, performs IVF and other advanced reproductive technologies (ART) using the highest standards of medical excellence.
You can also develop a better understanding of common laboratory techniques used during an IVF cycle:
- Egg Retrieval: A minor surgical procedure in which a doctor obtains eggs from the follicles of the ovaries.
- Donor Insemination: A gynecologist places sperm directly inside the vagina at the cervix or inside the uterus (called Intrauterine Insemination or IUI). Donor insemination was previously called Artificial Insemination.
- Embryo Development: When the sperm successfully fertilizes the egg, an embryo forms and begins to grow. When the embryo is 2 to 3 days old it at the ‘cleavage stage’; at 5 to 6 days old, it is called a ‘blastocyst’.
- Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): A single sperm is injected into an egg to trigger fertilization. This is done with special equipment in the embryology laboratory.
- Assisted Hatching: A laser or chemical solution is used on the embryo to increase the chances it will implant in the lining of the uterus (endometrium).
- Embryo Transfer: Fertilized eggs (embryos) are placed back into the woman’s uterus or fallopian tube through the cervix.
- Embryo Cryopreservation: An embryo is frozen at very cold temperatures. The preserved embryos can be used for future use.