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  • in vitro fertilization
  • gestational surrogacy
  • male factor infertility

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a treatment procedure combining a woman's egg and a man's sperm outside the body, in-vitro ("in glass").

Normally, an egg and sperm are fertilized inside a woman's body. If the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the womb and continues to grow, a baby is born about 9 months later. This process is called natural or unassisted conception.

The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman's ovaries to produce several follicles

The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman's ovaries to produce several follicles

A minor surgery, called follicular aspiration, is done to remove the eggs from the woman's ovaries.

The man's sperm is placed together with the best quality eggs. The mixing of the sperm and egg is called insemination.

Eggs and sperm are then stored in an environmentally controlled chamber. The sperm most often enters (fertilizes) an egg a few hours after insemination.

If the doctor thinks the chance of fertilization is low, the sperm may be directly injected into the egg. This is called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

When the fertilized egg divides, it becomes an embryo. Laboratory staff will regularly check the embryo to make sure it is growing properly. Within about 5 days, a normal embryo has several cells that are actively dividing.

Embryos are placed into the woman's womb 3 to 5 days after egg retrieval and fertilization.

The procedure is done while the woman is awake. The doctor inserts a thin tube (catheter) containing the embryo into the woman's womb. If an embryo sticks to (implants) in the lining of the womb and grows, pregnancy results.

Indications for IVF

IVF is done to help a woman become pregnant. It is used to treat many causes of infertility, including:

  • Advanced age of the woman (advanced maternal age)
  • Damaged or blocked Fallopian tubes
  • Endometriosis
  • Male factor infertility, including decreased sperm count and blockage
  • Unexplained infertility

After Transfer

After embryo transfer, the woman may be told to rest for the remainder of the day. Most women return to normal activities the next day.

Women who undergo IVF must take daily shots or pills of the hormone progesterone for 8 to 10 weeks after the embryo transfer. Progesterone is a hormone produced naturally by the ovaries that prepares the lining of the uterus (womb) so that an embryo can attach. Progesterone also helps an implanted embryo grow and become established in the uterus. A woman may continue to take progesterone for 8 to 12 weeks after becoming pregnant. Too little progesterone during the early weeks of pregnancy may lead to miscarriage.

About 12 to 14 days after the embryo transfer, the woman will return to the clinic so that a pregnancy test can be done.

A technique called in vitro fertilization (IVF) now makes it possible to gather eggs from the mother, fertilize them with sperm from the father, and place the embryo into the uterus of a gestational surrogate also called the gestational carrier. The surrogate then carries the baby until birth

Infertility is fairly common. Some 15 percent of couples who desire a child are unable to conceive. are infertile. In a third of these couples, male infertility plays a cause.

Science meets compassion

Our Physicians

Dr. Yemi Adesanya-Famuyiwa

Medical Director

Dr. Oluyemisi (Yemi) Famuyiwa, the founder of the Montgomery Fertility Center in Rockville, Maryland. Dr. Famuyiwa is also the Associate Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at George Washington University...

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Dr. Jinping Liu,

Laboratory Director

Dr. Liu became part of the Montgomery Fertility Center team in 2015. She graced us with extensive experience in the field of assisted reproductive technology, human embryology and andrology. Dr....

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