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In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

When it comes to fertility treatments, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the gold standard. With IVF, your doctor implants a fertilized embryo that was created outside your body directly into your uterus.

Whether you’ve tried other treatments without success or are starting with IVF, this method may give you your best chance of achieving pregnancy.

IVF at the Fertility & Reproductive Medicine Center: Why Choose Us?

We’re dedicated to helping you achieve your goals for creating a family. When you come to us for your IVF treatment, you can expect:

  • Personalized treatment plan: There is no one-size-fits-all approach to fertility treatment. Our doctors work hard to tailor your care and treatment plan based on your medical history, age, past fertility treatments and goals. Our telemedicine program makes it easier for patients outside the St. Louis region to set up remote monitoring during an IVF cycle to reduce the number of times they have to travel to our clinic. Learn more about our telemedicine for fertility treatment, available in select areas.
  • Decades of experience: We’ve been successfully treating patients with IVF since 1985. The first baby in Missouri conceived through IVF was born to parents who were treated at our clinic.
  • Advanced technologies: Creating, developing and freezing embryos all happen in a laboratory. Our newly rebuilt lab houses the latest technology to ensure the best outcomes for our patients.
  • Honest and ethical standards of treatment: We want all our patients to be successful, but we will never push you to try treatments or repeated cycles that you are not comfortable with. As a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), we meticulously adhere to its guidelines to provide the safest treatment and best results for our patients.
  • Single-embryo transfers: Historically, IVF has involved the transfer of multiple embryos to achieve the best success rates. This practice often resulted in high-risk multiple pregnancies. Better technology and techniques have enabled us to achieve excellent success rates with single-embryo transfers. The technology for cryopreserving embryos has also improved greatly, meaning that your chance of success with a subsequent frozen embryo transfer is equally good.
  • High success rates: Our patients consistently achieve pregnancy at rates that are higher than the national average. For example, for women age 37 and younger, 55 percent of IVF cycles in 2015 resulted in live births (versus 38 percent for the national average).

About the IVF Process

IVF is a multi-step process that involves injectable fertility medications and frequent visits to our office throughout the cycle to closely monitor your progress. These steps include:

  1. Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation: Our specialists can prescribe injectable medications called gonadotropins to stimulate the ovaries to produce and mature multiple eggs at the same time.
  2. Egg retrieval: When ultrasound monitoring reveals several dominant follicles (sacs in the ovaries that contain eggs), you will come into our clinic for your egg retrieval. You will be under sedation, and the doctor will extract the eggs from your ovaries using a thin needle guided by a vaginal ultrasound.
  3. Fertilization: We mix the eggs with your partner’s (or a donor’s) sperm in a laboratory to allow fertilization to take place.
  4. Embryo transfer: We usually allow three to five days for the embryos to mature before we transfer them to your uterus. We perform the embryo transfer by inserting a thin catheter into the vagina, through the cervix and into the uterus. We will discuss how many embryos you would like to transfer.
  5. Pregnancy test: About two weeks after your embryo transfer, we will test your blood for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). The presence of this hormone in the blood indicates pregnancy.

Sometimes, an IVF cycle produces more embryos than you want to transfer. In that case, we will freeze the remaining embryos for later use.

Contact Us

To make an appointment with a Washington University fertility and reproductive medicine specialist at the Women and Infants Center, call 855.925.0631.