The IVF Cycle: What to Expect

Getting pregnant can be fun and exciting, but for some women, it can be incredibly difficult. In vitro fertilization can increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy and help you overcome many common fertility issues.  

At University Reproductive Associates, with offices in Hasbrouck Heights, Wayne, and Hoboken, New Jersey, our fertility experts offer IVF as a path forward for single women or couples who are trying to become pregnant.

IVF basics

During in vitro fertilization (IVF), your eggs are retrieved from your ovaries and fertilized with sperm outside of the body before being implanted into your uterus or the uterus of a surrogate. We’ll stimulate your ovaries with injectable medication, and once your eggs mature and can be retrieved, we’ll extract them via aspiration. 

We’ll put the eggs in a glass dish  (“in vitro” means “in glass” in Latin) and either add sperm to the dish to cause insemination or inject each egg with sperm directly using a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, (ICSI). Once healthy embryos form, we can transfer them into your uterus and hope for successful implantation.   

Reasons to choose IVF

If your fallopian tubes are blocked, IVF may be the only way to help you get pregnant. IVF can also be helpful if you’ve experienced instances of blighted ovum (when the egg and sperm meet, but then the embryo stops developing and resorbs into the body).

IVF success rates are higher than rates of most other fertility treatments. It also allows for genetic testing of the embryos and observation of their development before transferring them to the uterus.  

What to expect from the IVF cycle

We always start the IVF procedure by performing blood work for both partners to make sure there is no genetic incompatibility. You and your partner, if you have one, will watch an IVF video to learn more about the process and have the opportunity to ask questions. 

Then we’ll perform a hysteroscopy or hydrosonogram (water ultrasound) to confirm your uterus is properly formed and capable of sustaining life. We’ll also do a mock embryo transfer to mimic the actual transfer we’ll perform later if all goes well.  

You’ll take a class to learn how to administer your stimulation medication. The stimulation injections can be done by yourself or given to you by your partner for 7–14 days. We’ll see you periodically to track the progress of your follicles. 

We’ll administer a final injection of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) to trigger the final maturation of the eggs and perform the aspiration 34 hours later, followed by same-day insemination in our embryology lab. The following day, we’ll know how many eggs were properly fertilized and can start tracking embryo development. 

If you want preimplantation genetic testing, we’ll inspect the embryos between five and seven days after fertilization and get the results before the transfer. If you aren’t doing testing, we’ll perform a  transfer on day five. Two weeks later, we can start pregnancy testing.

To learn more about the IVF process and determine if it’s right for you, talk to the specialists at University Reproductive Associates. If you’ve had trouble conceiving, you can schedule a consultation by calling 201-288-6330 for an appointment at the location closest to you or visit the contact page for more options. 

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