What Is IVF? Your Complete Guide to Understanding the Process

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It’s also used by couples who have genetic conditions that run in the family such as cystic fibrosis because genetic testing can easily be done on embryos created in a lab. “By creating an embryo outside of the body, it gives us the opportunity to genetically test the embryo to ensure we are selecting the best embryo to transfer into a woman’s uterus,” says Sekhon. “This serves to maximize success rates and reduce the risk of miscarriage.

Yes, but there are a variety of factors that influence the IVF success rate, says Soto, including “the cause of infertility, age of the patient, number of embryos transferred, transfer of genetically normal versus untested embryos, and the IVF center. ” To get some insight into your personal chances of IVF success, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology offers a helpful tool.

The method is called transvaginal ultrasound aspiration, which means the eggs are lightly suctioned with a long, thin needle that goes through the vaginal wall to the ovaries. “The entire process is quite easy,” says Sekhon. “The ovaries actually sit on the other side of the vaginal wall, in the pelvis, so they are very easy to access. ” The procedure is quick, taking between 5 and 20 minutes.

Age plays a significant part in developing genetically healthy embryos—the risk of having an abnormal embryo with problematic DNA is 60% to 70% for women who are 40 years old and 85% to 90% in women 45 years and older, according to the medical journal Fertility and Sterility—which is why IVF is suggested for women in their mid to late 30s and older.

To help break it down, we asked Lucky Sekhon, M. D. , a reproductive endocrinologist, infertility specialist, and board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist in New York, and Enrique Soto, M. D. , a fertility specialist in Miami and a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to walk us through the process, costs, and risks of IVF. First things first.

Soto says prices can vary depending on whether it is a fresh embryo transfer versus a frozen transfer and if you want genetic testing, among other factors.

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