In vitro fertilization (IVF) has been used successfully since 1978. In the last 50 years, more than 5 million babies have been born as a result of IVF. Today, around 350,000 IVF babies are born annually.
Dr. Edward Ramirez, who leads our team at The Fertility & Gynecology Center - Monterey Bay IVF is a specialist in IVF. He, along with our entire staff, works hard to stay abreast of the most recent information and research in the field of fertility. He studied with one of the original pioneers of IVF.
When you come to our facility, you benefit from the wealth of experience and knowledge our staff possesses.
What is IVF?
IVF is a complex form of assisted reproduction. When you have IVF, we fertilize eggs with sperm outside your body. Later, we implant the fertilized egg into your uterus. We can freeze the resulting embryos until a later date.
We can also perform IVF if you can’t produce your own eggs or your partner can’t produce sperm. We can use donor eggs or sperm or even donor embryos.
In vitro fertilization begins with mature eggs. The female patient takes fertility medication to encourage multiple eggs to be released. Dr. Ramirez determines when the eggs are mature using an ultrasound. Then he performs a laparoscopic procedure to remove them.
Once we have the eggs, the male patient or donor provides sperm. We can also use sperm from a sperm bank. We inject the sperm into the eggs in a laboratory setting. If fertilization is successful, we either freeze your resulting embryos or transplant them into the uterus.
When is IVF a good option?
IVF is often a fertility treatment of last resort, after other options have been exhausted. About 5% of couples choose IVF. Some of the fertility or reproductive issues that lead couples to consider IVF include:
- Being older, which leads to reduced fertility
- Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes
- Abnormalities in sperm count or shape
- Ovarian disorders or failure
- Issues with cervical mucus
- Unexplained infertility
Considerations before undertaking IVF
Choosing IVF is a big decision, and there are many factors you should consider. For example, you need to consider what to do with any unused embryos.
Many couples find the process stressful for various reasons. You should also discuss the risks of IVF and the possibility of implantation failure, nonviable embryos, or miscarriage.
Although IVF is often successful, there’s always the chance it will fail. And you may learn about the process and decide it’s not something you want to undertake. All couples should consider the pertinent issues before deciding on IVF therapy.
Dr. Ramirez and the rest of our staff at The Fertility & Gynecology Center - Monterey Bay IVF are experienced in guiding couples through the decision-making process. We’re happy to answer your questions and help you understand the treatments involved and what you should expect.
Contact us to schedule your appointment today at our Monterey, California, center. We also offer Skype consultations.