When people want to undergo the fertility treatment with the highest success rate, they often choose IVF. IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is an assisted reproductive method that involves several stages of treatment to assist with many of the steps of conception.
At Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health, serving Scottsdale, AZ, and Gilbert, AZ, we discuss the IVF timeline with patients so they know what to expect during the treatment process.
The IVF treatment process typically begins a month before the actual IVF cycle starts. During the month before the IVF cycle, patients often take birth control pills. While it may seem counterintuitive to take birth control pills if you are trying to get pregnant, they actually help us better predict when your next menstrual cycle will begin. In addition, birth control medication may help your ovaries respond to stimulation medication. We will provide you with a specific birth control medication schedule that should be strictly followed.
Patients will also come in for a baseline ultrasound and blood test a few days before the menstrual cycle is expected to start.
The first day of your menstrual cycle, you should contact our practice so we can update your IVF schedule and tell you the next steps to take. We will schedule your next ultrasound and blood test, and provide you with specific instructions for the fertility medications that will be used to stimulate the ovaries.
Patients start taking medication to encourage the ovaries to produce more eggs starting around day three of the IVF cycle. Patients generally take these medication for eight to 12 days. During this phase of treatment, we will take ultrasounds and blood tests every other day to see how you are responding to medication. We may adjust your medication levels based on the results of these tests.
When the follicles are mature, we will have you administer the HCG trigger shot. Patients must administer this shot according to the timing provided by our office because the eggs will be retrieved 36 hours later.
On the egg retrieval day, patients will come to our office for the aspiration procedure. We typically use a sedative to help patients feel comfortable during this non-invasive procedure.
The eggs and sperm are combined to allow for fertilization. Over the next few days, they are monitored by technicians at our lab.
After three to five days, healthy embryos can be transferred to the uterus. Our team will select the most viable embryo or embryos, and recommend how many should be transferred.
About 10 days after the egg transfer procedure, patients can undergo a pregnancy test to see if conception has occurred. If the pregnancy test is positive, an additional test will be performed a few days later to confirm the pregnancy.
With preparation and the actual cycle, the IVF treatment process takes about two months. To find out if you’re a candidate, contact our practice online or call us at (623) 469-3992. We serve patients in Scottsdale, Gilbert, and surrounding areas.