More About In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

By now, most in Butler, Pennsylvania and around the world have heard of in vitro fertilization (IVF)—the procedure that combines sperm and eggs in a dish to create embryos and then transfers those embryos to the uterus for implantation. But that's as far as most understand about the procedure. For couples or individuals going through infertility, learning more about this and other procedures may help take some of the stress out of choosing a procedure or treatment to help them improve their chances of conception and becoming parents. For many, the unknown can be very stressful. Learn more about the procedure and ask your doctor as many questions as you can to gain a better understanding of your condition and the options available to you.

In vitro fertilization has helped couples all over the world become pregnant. It is among the most well-known and most trusted procedures in the fertility treatment industry. Many ask about it, and many doctors trust it as one of the first courses of treatment for couples or individuals going through infertility. 

Women have the option of taking fertility drugs to stimulate egg production so that more mature eggs are available for embryo creation. Some women—at the urging of their doctor or by their own choice—decide not to take fertility medication. Some of the side effects of these medications include headaches and other symptoms. Eggs are retrieved using a fine needle by the guidance of ultrasound imaging technology. The procedure takes about 15 to 30 minutes, and women may experience minimal paint after the procedure.

The eggs are combined with the sperm along with a nutrient medium in a laboratory dish. An incubator is then used as the mixture is cultured for a couple of days. The embryo, or embryos depending on how many are transferred, are then transferred to the uterus where they may implant in the uterine lining. Some reduce the number of embryos transferred to decrease the risk of multiple births, with some choosing to transfer only one embryo. It is worth nothing that transferring fewer embryos reduces the chances of success, something that may be very concerning to couples concerned with the high price tag of the procedure.

Insurance usually does not cover the cost of the procedure, although some plans may provide some coverage if combined with certain procedures.  The overall cost of the procedure varies, but is usually in the $15,000 range for one session. The cost of future sessions may be reduced by freezing unused embryos from the first session for use in subsequent sessions.  Talk to your Butler fertility specialist about pricing before pursing the procedure further.

Learn more about in vitro fertilization in Butler, Pennsylvania.

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