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Understanding the IVF Process

Conceiving naturally is always portrayed as ideal, but if you’re struggling to get pregnant, there are solutions available. You may have already tried a number of fertility treatments, from the herbal and holistic to the medicinal. If other treatments haven’t helped you start or continue the family you’ve been waiting for, we’re happy to offer in-vitro fertilization. 

At The Fertility & Gynecology Center - Monterey Bay IVF in Monterey, California, we offer the guidance and care that you need if you’re a candidate for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) . Our warm and compassionate team is led by Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, a fertility specialist who strives to help you reach your goal of expanding your family. 

IVF is a process that requires time, patience, and plenty of self-care. The process is conducted in phases, and as with any fertility treatment, we’re committed to giving you the best possible chance of conceiving. 

The first step toward having IVF

We’re excited that you’re curious about IVF. As with any medical procedure, we need to have a consultation with you where we perform a screening to check if you’re a candidate for IVF. If you’re not, we may have other treatments for you. 

When we confirm that IVF is the best solution for you and your partner, we schedule your first treatments. 

How the IVF process works

Be prepared that the IVF process requires multiple visits to see us and carefully following our instructions. Here’s a guide to the steps for IVF.


After completing your pretreatment, which involves multiple tests, blood work, and a diet and exercise plan, we start by stimulating your ovaries. We administer medication that causes the release of multiple eggs, instead of the single egg produced during a typical ovulation cycle. We do this because we need several eggs for the best chance at a successful pregnancy.

Egg retrieval

For the egg-retrieval procedure, (also called follicular aspiration) you’re under general anesthesia. Dr. Ramirez guides a thin probe through your vaginal opening, past your uterus, and into your ovaries. From there, he gently gathers your eggs into a specially sealed, sterile chamber, where they’re stored until it’s time to fertilize them. 

Fertilization and embryo culture

This takes place outside of your body in our laboratory. Using your partner’s sperm or donor sperm, we carefully fertilize the eggs and allow them to develop in a simulated environment for up to five days. 

Embryo transfer

We select the most viable embryo for you and choose an ideal day to transfer the embryo into your uterus. Two weeks later, we give you a pregnancy test. If it’s positive, ee follow up with another test two days later. After confirming your pregnancy, we use ultrasound to monitor your growing baby for the first 8-10 weeks.

The risks of IVF

One of the most common risk factors of IVF is multiple births, which can compromise the health of each baby. IVF also raises the risk of low birth weight, and it’s possible to experience miscarriage, even with viable embryos. Lastly, a pregnancy achieved through IVF can have complications, just like any pregnancy where the baby was conceived naturally.

What we can promise is that we’ll assist you in every way that we can to make your dream of a new baby come true. Call our office today at 831-205-2593 or book an appointment online.

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