In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is one of the most important developments ever in advanced reproductive technology. The first successful IVF (or “test-tube”) baby was born over 35 years ago, and thousands of successful births have resulted from this treatment since. IVF offers hope to many infertile couples who would not otherwise be able to have children.

In Vitro fertilization – IVF

In Vitro fertilization (IVF)- is a treatment whereby a patients egg or eggs are removed from their body through their vagina and fertilized in the lab and the resultant embryo is then placed back into the uterine cavity.

Reproductive Fertility Center’s IVF program was founded in 1983, as one of the first in the nation. At that time Reproductive Fertility Center was operating under the original, prestigious name of Fertility clinic. The program started by offering a simple In Vitro Fertilization procedure for patients with absent or severely damaged fallopian tubes. Since that time, we have expanded the program to deal with a broad range of fertility issues, including male infertility factors, unexplained infertility, congenital abnormalities (such as absence of fallopian tubes or ovaries), egg donation, and surrogate pregnancies, among others.

We have also been at the cutting edge of new reproductive technology, such as Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) and the freezing of fertilized oocytes.

Indications for IVF:

There’re a variety of indications for IVF. Among these are:

  • Male Factor Infertility
  • Age-Related Infertility
  • Absent or Damaged Fallopian Tubes
  • Endometriosis
  • Unexplained Infertility
  • Recurrent Intrauterine Insemination Failure
  • Tubal and Pelvic Adhesions
  • Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) also used for gender selection

Do’s and Don’ts for an IVF cycle.

IVF For Women:

  • Avoid drugs, alcohol and smoking for three months before treatment and during the IVF cycle.
  • Have no more than two caffeinated beverages a day.
  • Avoid dietary changes of weight fluctuation during the IVF cycle.
  • Avoid hot tubs and saunas for the duration of ivf procedure.
  • Abstain from having intercourse 3 to 4 days before the egg retrieval, and after the embryo transfer before the pregnancy test.

IVF For Men:

  • Sperm quality can be affected by fever. Men who have had a fever 1-2 months before the IVF procedure should inform their doctor.
  • Avoid hot tubs and saunas.
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting underwear.
  • Avoid drugs, alcohol and smoking for three months before treatment and during the IVF cycle.
  • Avoid excessive exercise.
  • Abstain from intercourse at least three but no more than 7 days prior to semen collection.


IVF procedure consists of the following steps:

  1. Ovarian Stimulation – Using fertility drugs, the ovaries are stimulated to produce several high quality eggs for retrieval. Multiple eggs increase the potential for producing multiple embryos, which adds to the likelihood of successful conception. During the 7-14 day stimulation period, ultrasound examinations and laboratory tests are performed to follow the development of the follicles.
  2. Egg Retrieval – When the follicles are ready for egg retrieval, the procedure is done in our surgical suite. A needle is inserted into the ovaries using ultrasound guidance to locate each follicle. Fluid from the follicles is drawn into a test tube to retrieve the eggs. The patient is given pain medication and the procedure lasts about 15 minutes. Patients are generally able to go home within a couple of hours of egg retrieval.
  3. Sperm Collection – The male partner typically collects a semen sample at our surgical suite. This is usually done while egg retrieval is being performed. The semen is examined in our laboratory and the best quality sperm is selected. Men who feel that they may have difficulty producing a semen sample due to stress or other factors on the day of egg retrieval can have their sperm collected ahead of time and cryopreserved for use in this situation.
  4. Embryo Culture – The best quality sperm are added to the eggs after egg retrieval to achieve fertilization. In cases where a low number or low quality of sperm is collected, or where no eggs are fertilized using conventional IVF procedures, doctors may choose to use Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), a process where a single sperm is injected directly into the egg to achieve fertilization. Eggs are examined the next day for evidence of fertilization.
  5. Embryo Transfer – One to five days after fertilization in an IVF process, the doctor will transfer the embryos into the uterus by passing a thin embryo-transfer catheter through the cervix. This procedure is similar to a pap smear and is generally quick and painless. Multiple embryos are transferred to increase the probability of success. Embryos that are not transferred at this time can be cryopreserved and stored in liquid nitrogen and used in later IVF cycles, if necessary. A blood pregnancy test is scheduled approximately two weeks after the embryo transfer. An ultrasound is done approximately two weeks after a positive pregnancy test.

All stages of this treatment take place in our facility. You will see the same familiar faces throughout the entire in vitro fertilization IVF cycle. For more information about this procedure, or to set up an appointment with our fertility doctors, please contact us at (310) 278-7590