In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

IVF Overview Video

In Vitro Fertilization is a process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the woman's body. IVF has become a leading treatment for infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed.  Since IVF was developed in 1978, the process has led to thousands of healthy births from couples previously considered infertile. Long-range studies indicate there is no increased risk for birth defects or other abnormalities in children born from the procedure. HRC Fertility Pasadena's IVF success rates exceed the national averages and are listed on the SART website.

ivf lab

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is useful when the sperm either cannot reach the egg on its own or cannot penetrate the egg once it does reach the egg. IVF consists of five basic steps:

  • Ovarian Follicle Development

    The patient takes medication, which induces several follicles (egg producing cysts on the ovaries) to develop. The physician determines the appropriate timing for the hCG injection to trigger the final stages of egg maturation and to release the egg from the wall of the follicle into the follicular fluid.

  • Ocyte Retrieval

    In our office, under anesthesia, eggs are collected using a transvaginal ultrasound-guided oocyte aspiration technique.

  • In Vitro Fertilization

    With precise timing, the embryologist combines the sperm with the egg. In some cases the sperm needs to be directly injected into the egg to achieve fertilization. This process is called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The morning after the egg retrieval, the embryologist checks for fertilization. The embryo is then matured for three to five days in the laboratory, then transferred to the uterus.

  • Uterine Embryo Transfer

    Performed at our office, the embryos are transferred into the uterus using an embryo catheter with ultrasound guidance.

  • Luteal Phase Monitoring and Support

    Involves the monitoring of blood levels for pregnancy. Pregnancy can be detected about two weeks after embryo transfer. When there is a positive pregnancy test, close monitoring of the early pregnancy is highly advisable. An ultrasound two weeks after a positive pregnancy test will detect the fetal heart beat and determine the fetal number.

For more information on the IVF program at HRC Pasadena, please contact us via our online form or call us at (877) 577-5070.