What Occurs in the IVF Lab?
An IVF cycle takes place over two menstrual cycles. Texas Fertility Center-San Antonio schedules IVF after a consultation with Dr. Munch or Dr. Hudson, followed by blood, semen and ultrasound testing to predict your response to fertility drugs and plan individualized IVF treatment.
IVF involves five stages
1. Ovulation induction
2. Egg retrieval
3. Fertilization & Growth
4. Embryo transfer
5. Luteal phase support
Your Texas Fertility Center-San Antonio team includes patient resource experts to support you through IVF. You will receive one-on-one assistance with financial, emotional, and practical aspects of IVF, including tutorials for self-injections.
Once the IVF cycle begins, our fertility doctors will closely follow your response to fertility medications. After suppressing your body’s natural cycle, daily injections over two weeks will stimulate the follicle growth. Next, the fertility drug Lupron is added to prevent you from ovulating prematurely, and finally, a shot of hCG will cause your body to ovulate in preparation for egg retrieval.
Expect to visit our fertility center frequently in the ovulation induction stage of IVF.
Within 36 hours of the hCG shot, an in-office procedure to retrieve matured is carefully timed and executed with your comfort in mind. Our doctors perform egg retrievals while the patient is sedated. The entire egg retrieval process takes less than two hours (10 minutes for the actual retrieval), and you can expect a rapid recovery, potentially experiencing mild discomfort and cramping.
What is ICSI? The intracytoplasmic sperm injection fertility treatment involves injecting sperm directly into the egg in the IVF lab.
Fertilization in the IVF lab involves introducing egg and sperm in a controlled lab setting. During the egg retrieval stage of IVF, one of three scenarios takes place to provide for sperm prior to fertilization.
- Your partner will provide a sperm sample, which is immediately washed and sorted to provide the best candidates for fertilization.
- If male infertility factors exist, such as a low sperm count or sperm with low motility, We will recommend intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
- Donor sperm can be utilized for single women, couples in which the male partner does not produce sperm, or couples with a history of genetic disease.
Embryo transfer and pregnancy testing
Three days after egg retrieval, you will return to the Texas Fertility Center-San Antonio clinic for the final step of IVF: embryo transfer. We will transfer the embryo(s) via a thin catheter, capturing the process on screen to verify that the embryo(s) are placed in the appropriate place in the uterus.
Our San Antonio fertility doctors perform assisted hatching in some cases in which maternal age or previous failed IVF is a factor in infertility. Most patients will schedule the embryo transfer on Day 5 to allow time for embryo selection or genetic testing.
We will design a preventive plan to nurture the growing embryo during the final stage (luteal phase), and schedule a time to take a blood pregnancy test.