IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) has become the gold standard
of fertility treatment options. It provides the highest live birth rate, the
lowest risk of pregnancy related complications and provides for the most useful
information to guide future treatment efforts. More recently studies have even
shown that most couples save money by moving to IVF treatment instead of the old
standard of Ovulation Induction/Intra Uterine Insemination (OI/IUI). IVF
involves stimulating the ovaries to produce multiple eggs; removing those eggs
and combining them with carefully selected sperm and observing the fertilized
embryos until they are ready at the stage when they are ready to implant. At
that point they can either be frozen for later use or transferred back into a
woman’s uterus to become a healthy pregnancy.
At Conceptions, planning your cycle is critical step. We
order only those tests that are necessary to individualize your IVF treatment
plan. Once your testing is complete, you will meet with your doctor to discuss
your options and explain our recommendations. You will also have many
opportunities for additional discussion as your treatment plan moves forward.
A typical Conceptions IVF cycle is a five phase
Frozen Embryo Transfer
During this phase of your treatment, you will be placed on
a specific combination of medications that your team has created based upon your
pre-cycle testing and your history. This protocol will be explained to you in as
much detail as you prefer. You will be monitored by both ultrasound and blood
tests to optimize your ovarian response. This phase of your treatment can take
several weeks but you will be seen frequently throughout this time period. All
labs and office visits are included in your package plan.
When the follicles have matured, you will be scheduled with one of our
physicians to have your egg retrieval. Under anesthesia, a thin needle is used
with ultrasound guidance pass through the vaginal wall and into your ovaries.
Each follicle is drained in order to recover as many mature eggs as you
produced. Under the guidance of vaginal ultrasound, a physician will extract the
mature eggs. Our anesthesiologists make sure that you are comfortable throughout
the procedure which typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Once you are awake
and fully recovered, you will be able to go home after you have been told how
many eggs we retrieved.
After your eggs have been
collected, our experienced team can go to work. After the eggs are collected,
they are given several hours to complete their maturation process. During this
time, our team will focus on preparing the sperm. Later that day, one sperm will
be carefully selected for each mature egg that you’ve produced. The sperm will
then be carefully injected. Within 24 hours you will be notified of how many
eggs successfully fertilized. Fertilization means the sperm DNA and the egg DNA
have combined and started to activate. For the next five to six days, your
embryos will be nurtured to insure that as many as possible with grow and
develop to the blastocyst stage.
Your embryos that grow to the
blastocyst stage have demonstrated that they have the minimal characteristics
necessary to potentially implant. In order to more carefully select only the
embryos that are likely to become a healthy child, we may recommend Complete
Chromosomal Screening (CCS). This screening is done for each embryo that makes
it to the blastocyst stage. Our embryologist will remove a few cells from what
will become the placenta for embryo testing.
Our embryo screening platform is superior to other embryo
screening platforms. We use a SNP microarray technique that evaluates 300,000
sites of the genetic code. It compares the results with parental samples (the
people that produced the sperm and eggs) and integrates the information with
known data from the Human Genome Project.
This unique process allows for a percent confidence—a measure of
precision—across all 24 chromosomes that is typically in the 96-99.9% range.
When an abnormal embryo is identified, this test tells whether that error
came from the egg, the sperm or both which can be helpful in creating future
Each embryo that has been biopsied will then be frozen
using an ultra rapid process called vitrification.
In 2011, a landmark paper reviewed 11 studies and
demonstrated that pregnancies are healthier after a frozen transfer (using
modern freezing techniques like vitrification) than after a fresh transfer.
Specifically, this plan has demonstrated to have less pre-delivery bleeding
during pregnancy, a lower risk of preterm birth, decreased risk for small for
gestational age baby/low birth weight and a lower infant mortality. It is
believed that by splitting the egg retrieval from the embryo transfer, your
uterus is a better environment for implantation; creating a healthy placenta to
nourish your pregnancy. Your FET is included in the Colorado Conceptions IVF.
Each genetically normal (euploid) embryo that we identify has an average live
birth rate of 70%.
The Colorado Conceptions IVF Program virtually eliminates miscarriage, abnormal
amniocentesis during pregnancy and afflicted birth or identifies the genetic
reason that your cycle failed. Our testing method includes diagnosis of all of
the most common chromosomal disorders (including aneuploidy, autosomal
recessive, autosomal dominant and translocations.