In vitro fertilization (IVF) first made the headlines back in 1978, when the world’s first “test-tube baby,” Louise Joy Brown, was born. Now in her 40s, Louise celebrates the miracle of her birth and also the miracle of the millions of other babies who would never have been born if not for IVF and other assisted reproductive technologies (ART).
Caring and compassionate OB/GYNs and fertility experts Dr. Sharon Moayeri and Dr. Nidhee Sachdev of OC Fertility, in Newport Beach, Southern California, want you to experience the joy of parenthood. They partnered with the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM), to form a state-of-the-art IVF facility, CCRM Orange County.
The OC Fertility/CCRM partnership gives them access to more than 20 other physicians who specialize in fertility, as well as embryologists, research scientists, and support staff. If you’ve had difficulties starting or completing your family, IVF may be your solution. Here’s what happens when you get IVF.
You undergo a series of tests
If you’re a candidate for IVF, we need to be sure that your ovaries produce eggs and that you don’t have any other reproductive or genetic issues that would prevent you from carrying your baby to term. If you have a male partner, we’ll also examine him for general health, genetic health, and sperm quality. Tests for the female include:
- Physical exam
- Infectious disease screening
- Ovarian reserve testing
- Hormone evaluation
- Uterine evaluation
- Genetic testing, if necessary or requested
When you have a female or trans partner who doesn’t produce sperm, they wouldn’t need to be evaluated unless you opt for reciprocal IVF. In reciprocal IVF, one person’s ovaries produce the eggs that are fertilized by donor sperm, and the other person carries the embryo in their uterus.
You produce multiple eggs at once
Normally, your ovaries ripen just one egg per menstrual cycle. To increase your chance of producing a healthy embryo, however, you must stimulate your ovaries to produce many more eggs per cycle.
Don’t worry; ripening multiple eggs at once doesn’t affect your ability to produce more eggs later. The extra eggs that are released for IVF would normally just be resorbed by your body.
To stimulate your ovaries, our doctors give you fertility medications, such as clomiphene citrate. You must take the medication for about 7-10 days to stimulate egg production.
We monitor your egg production for about 10-14 days, until your eggs are ready for retrieval. At that point, our doctors administer an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin to ripen the eggs.
We retrieve your eggs
When it’s time to retrieve your eggs, our expert anesthesiologist administers general anesthesia to you at our state-of-the-art IVF facility, CCRM Orange County so that you won’t feel a thing. Be sure to arrange ahead of time for somebody to drive you home after your procedure.
We use ultrasound to visualize your ovaries and eggs as we gently remove the follicular fluid, filled with ripe eggs, from your ovaries. We then send the eggs next door to our embryology lab.
If your partner produces sperm, we collect a sample from them at this time, too. You could also opt for previously frozen sperm, either from your partner or a donor.
We fertilize your eggs with sperm
Once we’ve identified and separated out healthy eggs and placed them in a petri dish, we then introduce the sperm. One day later, we check back to see if the sperm have fertilized any of your eggs.
At this point, we can test the embryos for genetic abnormalities, if you wish. We then select an appropriate number of embryos for transfer. You can choose to freeze additional embryos for future use.
We place your embryos in your uterus
The embryo or embryos that we’ve selected for implantation must first reach the blastocyst stage, which takes about six days. At our IVF facility, your doctor then transfers the embryo or embryos to your uterine lining, using ultrasound guidance for greatest precision.
You can choose to transfer fresh embryos or freeze them and use them during another menstrual cycle. During your initial consultation with Dr. Moayeri or Dr. Sachdev, you discuss all options that are available to each stage of IVF, so that we know how you prefer to proceed.
To find out if you’re a candidate for IVF, call us at 949-706-2229 to schedule a consultation or book an appointment on our website today.