So, What Are The Steps of IVF? | IVF Ohio


When you think of common infertility treatments, in vitro fertilization (IVF) may seem like the only option to build your family. IVF Michigan & Ohio Fertlity Centers offer numerous different infertility treatments including intrauterine insemination (IUI), egg freezing, and in vitro fertilization (IVF), and much more. 

We have nine convenient locations throughout Michigan and Ohio. We have two excellent physicians to best serve you at our Sylvania Location! 

Dr. F. Nicholas Shamma is a founding member of IVF Michigan & Ohio Fertility Center, founder of Gift of Life Surrogacy Agency, and one of the leading reproductive endocrinologists and infertility specialists in Michigan and Ohio. Dr. F. Nicholas Shamma is American Board Certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He has performed over 8,000 IVF cases and has helped several thousand couples achieve their dreams of parenthood. Dr. F. Nicholas Shamma is a very caring and expert physician that understands not only the medical but also the emotional toll of infertility on his patients. He offers them personalized care and compassion. This explains his success rates (one of the highest in the USA) in IVF, and also explains why he performs more IVF cases than any other specialist in the state of Michigan.

Dr. Hanh Cottrell is a physician specializing in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Hanh Cottrell is American Board Certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Dr. Hanh Cottrell has numerous published research studies within the reproductive field. Her professional interests include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), ovarian and sperm quality and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Dr. Hanh Cottrell believes in providing personalized sound compassionate fertility care to couples and individuals. 

Fun fact: Dr. Cottrell is a Toledo Native! 

Our physicians complete more IVF cycles per year than any other specialists in the state and have helped thousands of couples realize their dreams of parenthood. Every couple is assessed and a treatment plan is designed specifically for them. 

When should you see a fertility specialist? 

Many women who are struggling with infertility are curious about their treatment options, specifically the difference between IVF and IUI, and which is right for them.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) are the two most commonly used fertility treatment methods. Many patients come to IVF Michigan Fertility Center wondering what the pros and cons are for each method and which fertility treatment is best for them.

The experienced fertility doctors at IVF Michigan & Ohio Fertility have found that while IUI has some financial and medical benefits, IVF is the more successful treatment out of the two.

.So, what are the steps of IVF? 

Steps of IVF-ICSI (duration 21-25 days)

Ovarian Stimulation (7 to 10 days):
On day 2 or 3 of the menstrual cycle, medication is prescribed to stimulate the growth of multiple follicles in the ovaries. During this time, follicular growth is monitored through ultrasound as they develop into eggs, and hormone levels are tracked through blood tests. Medication protocols are changed as needed. 36 hours before the scheduled egg retrieval, a trigger shot(s) is given to induce maturation of the eggs within a scheduled timeframe.

Egg Retrieval (OPU):
Eggs are retrieved using a thin ultrasound-guided needle during a short procedure under sedation. The number of eggs retrieved depends on the body’s response to the medication.

Sperm Collection and ICSI:
On the day of egg retrieval, a semen sample is taken to fertilize the retrieved eggs. To increase chances of fertilization, a single sperm is injected into each egg using a micropipette in a method called ICSI.

Genetic Testing (optional):
If Pre-Implantation Genetic Testing (PGT) or Pre-Implantation Genetic Testing Diagnosis (PGT-M) will be completed to help prevent passing on a hereditary disease, 3 to 5 days after the egg retrieval, a biopsy is taken of each embryo. The embryos will then be transferred to the uterus during a future cycle.

Embryo Transfer:
Embryo transfer is a minor procedure that does not require sedation. Following the procedure, hormone levels are tracked through blood test to confirm pregnancy. Any embryos that are not transferred may be frozen and used in a future cycle.

*The above dates are an approximation of an average cycle.

So how does that differ from IUI?

IUI is a type of artificial insemination where sperm is inserted directly into a woman’s uterus for the purpose of fertilizing the egg.  This procedure is done one to two times following a woman’s ovulation cycle. IUI leaves higher concentrations of good sperm close to where the egg is waiting, so the odds are increased that the egg and sperm will find one another.

While many couples are intrigued by IUI because it is less expensive and less invasive, it also has a remarkably decreased rate of success compared to IVF, especially in women with advanced age. Therefore, it’s important to know the type of procedure that works best for each cause of infertility.

IUI is commonly used when fertility issues are related to unexplained infertility, mild endometriosis, low sperm count, ejaculation issues, decreased sperm mobility, or using donor sperm. IVF is recommended for women with most causes of infertility, including age (over the age of 35), low egg supply, very low sperm count, very low sperm motility, tubal issues, and fertility disorders like endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

For patients younger than 38 years old with no previous fertility treatment, the suggested route is to proceed with two to three cycles of artificial insemination, followed by IVF. For some patients, starting with IVF would be a better option.

Patients 38 or older may benefit from proceeding with IVF sooner because of the very low success rate of IUI and reduced supply of eggs.  In some cases, delaying IVF would result in a higher total cost because of the need to repeat the procedure multiple times to get the expected results.

Mention this blog and receive a free consultation with Dr. Shamma or Dr. Cottrell



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