IVF: What Is IVF?

In vitro fertilization – also called IVF – is an advanced infertility treatment that fertilizes an egg outside a woman’s body in a laboratory. Couples with both female- and male-factor infertility may benefit from this assisted reproductive technology.

When is IVF Used?

Candidates for IVF include women with tubal disease, unexplained infertility, and male factor infertility, among others.

When there are instances of severe male factor infertility, meaning the partner’s ejaculate contains few or no live sperm, IUI may be set aside in favor of more advanced procedures, including IVF, ICSI, sperm aspiration, or donor sperm insemination.

IVF Steps

An IVF cycle involves ovulation induction, egg retrieval, fertilization and culture, and embryo transfer.

Ovulation induction involves taking medications to produce several eggs at once. Having more viable eggs lowers the ultimate cost of IVF by increasing the chances of an individual cycle.

Monitoring and testing are done throughout your treatment. Doctors use these measures to monitor progress and carefully watch for side effects.

Egg retrieval is done once follicles have matured. This half-hour procedure is guided by ultrasound and under anesthesia.

Fertilization and culture take place in a laboratory where highly trained specialists fertilize the retrieved eggs with sperm from a partner or donor.

Embryo transfer occurs a few days later when two or more embryos are placed in the woman’s uterus through the cervix. Ultrasound is again used, and at least two days of recovery time is required.

How Much Does IVF Cost?

For couples in the United States, the average cost of one cycle of IVF is $12,000, but it ranges from about $10,000 to $16,000.

This does not include pre-cycle costs associated with a doctor’s original infertility diagnosis after examining both partners.

Individualization is key to high success rates, so cost varies based on medication, testing, lab work, doctor’s fees, and the number of IVF cycles needed for a viable pregnancy.

Needing fewer cycles because of early success is the most effective way to control costs.

Most health insurance companies still, unfortunately, fail to cover assisted reproductive treatments, and costs may add up because the outcome can’t be guaranteed.

Is IVF For You?

Oregon Reproductive Medicine offers personalized care and treatment. You can meet with one of our physicians at a free informational seminar, where we’ll answer all your questions and discuss the promising opportunities that modern infertility treatments offer couples who are struggling to conceive.

Register for our next Free Fertility Seminar

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