In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves fertilization outside the body in a laboratory environment. To date, thousands of babies have been delivered worldwide as a result of IVF treatment. Over the years, the procedures to achieve IVF pregnancy have become increasingly simpler, safer, and more successful.
To achieve a pregnancy from IVF treatment, several steps are involved:
- Stimulation of the ovary to produce several fertilizable oocytes (eggs)
- Retrieval of the oocytes from the ovary
- Fertilization of the oocytes and culture of the embryos in the IVF Laboratory
- Placement of the embryos into the uterus for implantation (embryo transfer or ET)
What Types of Infertility Might Be Helped by IVF?
- Absent fallopian tubes or tubal disease that cannot be treated successfully by surgery
- Endometriosis that has not responded to surgical or medical treatment
- A male factor contributing to infertility, in which sperm counts, motility or morphology are low but enough sperm can be produced or retrieved by surgical means to allow fertilization in the laboratory
- Unexplained infertility that has not responded to other treatments