What to Expect from the IVF Process
Navigating in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be a daunting task for prospective parents. That’s why Drs. Nurit Winkler and Marc Kalan want to make the IVF process as easy and understandable as possible.
The Los Angeles Reproductive Center proudly serves the greater Los Angeles, CA, area with offices located in Encino and Bakersfield, CA. Here, our team will give you a brief rundown of what you and your family can expect from the IVF process.
Before beginning the IVF process, Dr. Winkler or Dr. Kalan will assess your candidacy for IVF treatment. Several factors influence patients’ candidacy, including:
- Previous successful pregnancies
- Lifestyle habits
- Type and source of fertility issues
- Medical history
Step 1: Ovarian Stimulation
After our doctors confirm your candidacy, the next step in the IVF process is ovarian stimulation. This step is crucial to the success of your IVF cycle, which is why Drs. Winkler and Kalan will carefully consider which protocol is best for you and your family. Ovarian stimulation protocols may include:
- Long protocol using Lupron down-regulation
- Short protocol with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist
- Short protocol using Microdose Lupron Flare
- Mini and natural protocols
In most cases, patients can expect to undergo ovarian stimulation for one to two weeks before proceeding with the next step of the IVF process.
Step 2: Monitoring
Ovarian stimulation requires daily injections and medications, regardless of which protocol our doctors recommend for you. Therefore, regular visits to our Encino or Bakersfield offices are vital to track your advancement in the ovarian stimulation stage.
Drs. Winkler and Kalan will monitor your progress and make adjustments when necessary. Once it appears that your egg-containing follicles are mature, you will then take a “trigger” injection to prepare for the egg-retrieval process.
Step 3: Egg Retrieval
Egg retrieval is a simple outpatient procedure that takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Our doctors will ensure your comfort by performing the procedure while you’re under conscious sedation. Using vaginal ultrasound technology, Dr. Winkler or Dr. Kalan will insert a needle directly into the egg follicles to safely remove several eggs.
Step 4: Fertilization
After our doctors successfully retrieve some of your eggs, it’s time to inseminate them. Insemination options include:
- Traditional fertilization
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
Once your eggs have been successfully fertilized using one of the above methods, our team will carefully track the next five days of your eggs’ development. We are looking for the same embryonic milestones that one would see naturally in a woman’s fallopian tube.
Step 5: Embryo Transfer
Embryo transfer typically occurs five days after fertilization. The number of embryos that our doctors decide to transfer is influenced by several factors, including:
- Embryo quality
- Patient preference
- American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) guidelines
Using uterine catheters, our doctors and embryology team will transfer your embryos directly into your uterus. After 9 to 11 days, you can verify successful embryo implantation with a pregnancy test.
Begin the IVF Process Today
From start to finish, most patients can expect the IVF process to take between two to four weeks. Our Los Angeles Reproductive Center team recommends scheduling your initial consultation as soon as possible for optimal results.
Contact our compassionate team today by calling our Encino office at 818-946-8051 or our Bakersfield office at 661-889-5173. You can also reach us using our online form.