In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a fertility treatment for women and couples diagnosed with infertility. Fertility treatment is generally recommended for women under the age of 35 who have been trying to get pregnant for one year or more, and for women 35 and older who have been trying to get pregnant for six months or more. Medical history may indicate that a woman undergo IVF sooner than these guidelines and of course a couple's chance to conceive is equally dependent on the male's reproductive health as well.
With IVF, a woman uses fertility drugs to stimulate her ovaries and produce multiple eggs. The eggs are retrieved and fertilized in the lab either by being placed together with sperm or by a process called ICSI, in which one sperm is injected directly into the egg. The embryos grow in the lab for a number of days and then one or more are placed back in woman’s uterus to hopefully implant and develop into a healthy pregnancy.
IVF treatment is performed by a fertility doctor or reproductive endocrinologist. Fertility tests, or a fertility workup, along with a complete medical history of the couple and semen analysis for the male partner will help determine if the woman or couple is a good candidate for IVF.
IVF has been performed in the U.S. for more than 30 years, and in 2011 there were 163,038 IVF cycles performed resulting in 61,610 babies born, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. IVF cycles per year has doubled in the past decade and more than 1% of babies born today are the result of IVF.
IVF is expensive, but there are ways to manage the costs. IVFAdvantage allows you to undergo up to four cycles for one low price. Call 855-996-SAVE (7283) to speak to one of our Patient Care Advocates who can schedule an appointment with a fertility doctor in our network and bring the savings to you.