Understanding the IVF Procedure
At the Fertility Center of San Antonio, we believe in educating our patients so they can make informed decisions regarding in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. By understanding what to expect during an IVF procedure at our San Antonio, TX, clinic, you can feel more confident and comfortable about your care. To explore the details of an IVF procedure in greater depth, contact our office and schedule a personal consultation.
Primary Phases of In Vitro Fertilization
IVF is an infertility treatment that involves several steps. At the most basic level, IVF treatment consists of three separate phases: pre-treatment, treatment, and post-treatment.
During pre-treatment, we will perform a fertility evaluation and advise you on how to best prepare for IVF treatment. To help maximize your chances of a successful pregnancy, you should be in good overall health. Additionally, patients should maintain a healthy diet, avoid tobacco and alcohol use, and take vitamin supplements for essential nutrients. If you are unable to produce healthy eggs, we will secure donor eggs during this time.
Once these requirements are satisfied, patients will begin the treatment phase of IVF. IVF treatment consists of four primary steps:
- Ovulation induction: To begin treatment, women are first given fertility medications to stimulate the simultaneous development of multiple ovarian follicles, which contain the eggs that are released during ovulation.
- Egg retrieval: During this step, eggs are harvested from the patient or donor. The use of an ultrasound-guided needle enables our doctors to precisely extract healthy eggs. Next, the eggs and sperm (provided by a partner or donor) are prepared and cleansed to remove impurities.
- Fertilization: Once the sperm and eggs are prepared, they are combined in a petri dish with a special medium. For best results, the ratio is typically around 75,000 sperm to every one egg. This process typically lasts for two to six days. During this step, one or more eggs will ideally fertilize.
- Embryo transfer: Fertilized eggs are then transferred to the uterus of the patient or surrogate, either during the cleavage or blastocyst stage. While the embryo transfer procedure typically takes less than 20 minutes, we recommend that patients rest for a period of time before leaving our office.
Two weeks after undergoing IVF treatment, you will return to our fertility clinic to undergo a pregnancy test. If treatment was successful, you will be advised to maintain regular appointments and exams with your primary care physician or obstetrician. If treatment was unsuccessful, you can undergo additional IVF sessions, either with embryos that were previously frozen, eggs that were previously frozen, or newly harvested eggs.
Learn More about IVF Treatment
When you undergo IVF treatment at the Fertility Center of San Antonio, you will receive state-of-the-art care in a supportive environment. We understand that fertility treatment is a delicate issue, which is why we treat each of our patients like family. If you would like to learn more about what to expect during an IVF procedure, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced fertility doctors.