In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Treatment
There are many fertility treatment choices available to support you on the path to parenthood. While the road can feel long and rocky, science is continuously improving outcomes for patients who are unable to naturally conceive.
Many couples try less invasive methods first, such as fertility medications or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). If these are unsuccessful, then In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) may be an option. In simple terms, IVF treatment involves taking medication to produce as many eggs as possible, then the eggs are aspirated, fertilized in a lab, grown into embryos and then transferred back into the uterus in hopes of implantation.
IVF treatment may be recommended in the following cases:
- A history of endometriosis
- Advanced maternal age
- Poor or low egg quality
- A genetic disease
- Menstruation or ovulation issues
- Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
- Antibodies that attack sperm and/or eggs
- Low sperm count
- Inability for sperm to penetrate or live in cervical mucus
- Unexplained causes of infertility
- Donor eggs, donor sperm or a surrogate
- Same-sex couple or single by choice
- Fertility preservation
The IVF Treatment Process
Step 1: Ovarian Stimulation & Preparation
At this early stage, your physician will recommend an individualized protocol, which will include fertility medication to stimulate the ovaries, which causes them to develop multiple eggs for harvest. Hormones or a birth control pill to suppress the menstrual cycle may also be prescribed. If there is a history of endometriosis, additional medication may be given.
Step 2: Medication & Monitoring
Daily hormone injections are administered for approximately 10-12 days before egg retrieval. Our team will monitor hormone levels to ensure the ovaries are not overstimulated and detect when the eggs are mature. Once ready, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and/or suprefact is injected to trigger the preparation of the eggs 36 hours before retrieval.
Step 3: Egg Maturation & Retrieval
An ultrasound will be done to determine when the eggs are ready. Once ready, a local anesthetic is administered, along with sedation, and the eggs are removed from the ovaries through a hollow needle attached to an ultrasound probe. The probe is designed to help locate the follicles with eggs. There can be some discomfort from the procedure, which may be treated with pain medication afterward.
Step 4: Fertilization
Once the eggs are retrieved and a sperm sample is taken (or donor sperm if part of your treatment plan), they are united in a special IVF lab and placed in an incubator. Alternatively, the lab may use Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a process where sperm is injected directly into an egg to fertilize it.
Step 5: Embryo Development
The fertilized eggs are kept to develop and grow for an additional 2-5 days. At this stage, the embryos become “blastocysts” and are considered to be at optimal health for implantation.
Before selecting the embryos to transfer, comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS) can be done to check each embryo at the blastocyst stage. By only transferring embryos believed to have the correct number of chromosomes, the chances of becoming pregnant increases, while the risk of miscarriage decreases.
Step 6: Embryo Transfer
Progesterone is given to thicken the uterine wall in preparation for pregnancy. This increases the likelihood of an embryo attaching.
The embryo is inserted into the uterus through the vagina. Typically, 1-2 embryos are inserted into the uterus to increase the chance of pregnancy.
Step 7: Pregnancy Test
Why did we choose TRIO Fertility as our IVF partner?
- TRIO delivers knowledge, expertise and innovative approaches to fertility treatment. Their doctors and embryologists are renowned for their expertise and experience.
- TRIO brings together the largest clinical team of fertility specialists in Canada
- TRIO is quick to apply emerging clinical research findings and innovation
- TRIO has one of the most sophisticated on-site embryology labs offering unparalleled skill combined with state-of-the art technology
- TRIO works with specialized counsellors who have extensive training in fertility issues
- TRIO works with naturopaths who specialize in treating fertility issues
- TRIO has an excellent history of success in treating infertility
What are the success rates for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?
The success rates for IVF treatment largely depend on the cause of infertility, the age of the woman or egg donor, and even the fertility clinic you select. Age is a primary factor in determining the likelihood of pregnancy. For women under the age of 35, the average success rate of having a baby through IVF in Canada is 39.6% — this reduces after the age of 40. However every case is unique, and your physician will advise on ways to improve your odds conception.
Do I use my own eggs during IVF treatment?
Factors such as egg quality, genetic diseases, and the age of the woman can make using one’s own eggs difficult in some situations. Eggs harvested from an IVF donor may also be used. Your medical team will discuss every aspect with you as part of your unique fertility path and treatment plan.
How long does the IVF process take?
An average IVF cycle takes 4-6 weeks to complete from the time the fertility medications are administered until the embryo is harvested.
Is there anything I can do to increase my chance of pregnancy?
At Ontario Fertility Network, we provide support around preconception care through our associate Naturopaths from Conceive Health. Learn more about our integrative wellness, lifestyle and nutrition programs.
How many cycles of IVF can I attempt?
There is no limit to the number of IVF cycles you can try, however, the Ontario Funded Fertility Program only provides funding for 1 cycle for women under the age of 43 years old with a valid OHIP card.
How long can embryos be stored?
Once an embryo is frozen, it can be stored indefinitely. The longest amount of time an embryo has been stored is 30 years.
What happens with the embryos that aren’t used?
Unused embryos may be stored for future cycles, which can help reduce the overall cost. Embryos may also be donated to another future parent. Disposing or donation of embryos is not done without the consent of both parents.
What are the risks of IVF treatment?
There are some risks involved with IVF treatment. Our doctors and staff will discuss the risks involved with your unique condition and answer any questions you may have about this treatment.
How much does IVF cost?
The price of IVF varies by treatment protocol and the medications needed. One cycle of IVF is covered under the Funded IVF programme.
Why Choose Ontario Fertility Network?
The fertility clinic you choose can make all the difference in raising your chance of conceiving and getting you closer to achieving your dreams. At Ontario Fertility Network, we have over 40 cumulative years of IVF experience with Canada’s top fertility specialists, reproductive endocrinologists, embryologists, naturopaths, and nursing teams. Our investment in technology is unsurpassed. We care, and look forward to supporting you on your unique path.
“I am having a great experience at the Barrie Fertility Centre. All of the nurses are kind and willing to take the time to answer questions and guide you through the process. They all seem to truly care and treat you as an individual despite the numerous women they see on a daily basis.
Overall, they do an excellent job and I am very grateful to have these services offered in my own city.”
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