For individuals and couples whose infertility persists despite conventional first-line treatments, in vitro fertilization (IVF) offers a logical next step.
With pregnancy rates up to five times that of intrauterine insemination, IVF is the most effective fertility treatment available today. It is the most common form of fertility treatment and is particularly helpful for women of advanced age, women with damaged fallopian tubes, male factor infertility, and more.
OUR IVF SUCCESS
At Boston IVF, we specialize in in vitro fertilization and have built a reputation as a respected source for this advanced reproductive technology. We offer a variety of modifications to the standard IVF process to help patients with specific disorders.
With 75,000+ babies born since 1986, our fertility center and IVF experts offer the experience, technologies, guidance, and support to help you achieve an IVF pregnancy in the shortest time possible.
Our ability to treat both routine and complicated cases is a testament to the 100+ Boston IVF fertility doctors, nurses, scientists, PhDs, embryologists, and lab technicians who together provide you with valuable insight, unique perspectives, and world-class care that maximizes your success.
IVF: THE BASICS
- during IVF, eggs are collected from a woman's ovaries in an outpatient surgical procedure and fertilized by sperm in our lab
- if the male partner has an abnormal semen analysis, then fertilization is achieved by injecting a single sperm into each egg in a process called Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
- individual treatments are called IVF cycles, and one cycle takes about 2-4 weeks, culminating in multiple eggs being retrieved from a woman's ovaries and fertilized with sperm
- the fertilized eggs, now called embryos, are then implanted into the woman's uterus three to five days after fertilization - or may be frozen for use in a subsequent cycle
- prior to implantation, embryos can also be tested for their genetic competence through PGS (preimplantation genetic screening) and a single normal embryo can be implanted with a high probability of success (while minimizing the chance of multiples)
- your fertility doctor at Boston IVF will work with you to determine an individualized and appropriate pathway to help you achieve your goals in creating or growing your family
Our experts often recommend PGS and PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) testing during IVF to select the very the best embryos for transfer or to check for genetic conditions that you or your partner could pass to your children.
With the help of PGS, we can identify the cause of recurrent pregnancy losses or unsuccessful fertility cycles, select the very the best embryos prior to implantation, and increase your IVF success rate.
Available to patients at our Portland, ME center only, minimal stimulation IVF (Mini IVF) offers a similar approach to standard in vitro fertilization, but with the goal of retrieving a smaller number of high-quality eggs, rather than a higher quantity of eggs. This offers women and couples the benefits of:
- less time commitment
- lower cost
- fewer fertility medications
Unlike standard IVF, Mini IVF uses weaker medications or lower doses of fertility drugs to stimulate the ovaries. This translates to fewer eggs collected at egg retrieval time. Whereas traditional IVF often yields a chance to freeze embryos that are not transferred in a given cycle, it's much less often that Mini IVF produces a surplus of embryos.
If you're curious about whether Mini IVF is right for you, we invite you to discuss your options with your doctor or connect with Rhonda via email or at 888-300-2483.
IVF provides many people with the opportunity to attempt pregnancy in the face of one or more factors that may otherwise decrease their chances.
Below you will find the most common reasons for individuals or couples to consider IVF treatment.
reasons to choose ivf
- women or couples who have been unsuccessful with simpler treatments like IUI
- women with age-related infertility
- women with low ovarian reserve
- women with recurrent miscarriage
- women or men who carry or have a family history of genetic defects
- women with blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
- women who are unable to ovulate
- women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- women with endometriosis
- men with poor sperm quality or quantity
- couples with unexplained infertility
- LGBT individuals and couples
have a question?
Our goal is to provide information and advice that will help you to make informed and confident decisions. We are just a phone call or email away if you need answers!
At Boston IVF, the in vitro fertilization process is characterized by a variety of different stages.
Your initial consultation, the very first step in the IVF process, is an opportunity for your Boston IVF clinical team to learn more about your medical history and begin to design a customized IVF treatment plan that addresses your goals and maximizes your success. Once a comprehensive work-up of your Day 3 hormone levels and other preliminary tests have been completed, your care team will prepare you to begin your IVF cycle.
Normally, a woman produces one egg per month in her menstruation cycle. Fertility medications signal the ovaries to boost egg production and produce several eggs. This process of stimulation may continue for seven to ten days, during which time your care team at Boston IVF will monitor your fertility treatment progress with ultrasounds to examine the ovaries and with blood work to monitor hormone levels.
Once the egg-containing follicles have reached a healthy size, an injection of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is used to allow final maturation of the eggs and to spur ovulation.
Thirty-six hours after the hCG injection, the eggs are ready to be removed from the woman's ovaries. To collect mature eggs from the woman's body, a Boston IVF physician performs a minor outpatient surgery called a vaginal ultrasound egg retrieval. The surgery is a short thirty-minute procedure performed in-clinic. A light anesthesia is administered to ensure comfort. Most women are able to return home an hour or so after the procedure.
On the same day, your partner will provide a fresh semen sample to our lab. If you have obtained frozen donor sperm, we will ensure this sample has been tested prior to your retrieval. Following egg retrieval, you will begin progesterone to prepare the uterus for implantation of the embryo. Implantation will occur five to six days later.
Our embryologists combine the eggs with sperm for fertilization. Fertilized eggs, now called embryos, are transferred to our incubators to develop further. The sperm fertilizes an egg a few hours after insemination. If your embryologist thinks the chance of fertilization is low, the sperm may be directly injected into the egg. This process is called Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).
Our team of embryologists will regularly monitor your embryos to make sure they're growing properly. Within about five days, a normal embryo develops into many cells that are actively dividing. At this point, individuals or couples with a risk of passing on a genetic disorder to their child or women with a history of failed IVF or miscarriage may consider and participate in genetic testing (PGS or PDG).
Our embryologists then assess embryo quality and decide which embryos are healthiest. Genetic testing of embryos (PGS – Preimplantation Genetic Screening) affords embryologists another layer of information about the embryos for the selection process. To ensure your best chance at a successful, healthy pregnancy, the highest quality embryo is selected.
To those who fit the criteria for treatment, we recommend elective single embryo transfer (eSET), which is the process of transferring one single healthy embryo, rather than a few. This is our first choice in selected couples because we know that transferring multiple embryos is associated with multiple pregnancies, and the greatest chance for a healthy pregnancy comes from a single-child pregnancy.
Three to five days after egg retrieval and fertilization, embryos are transferred into the woman's uterus. This procedure occurs in-clinic using a catheter inserted through the cervix. Most women are able to resume regular activities the next day. If an embryo sticks to the uterine lining and grows, pregnancy results. Any unused embryos may be frozen to allow the option of future implantation.
To help thicken the uterine lining in order to make it easier for the embryo to implant, you will continue progesterone therapy for two weeks after embryo transfer. A blood test for pregnancy is performed several days after the embryo transfer. If pregnancy is confirmed, you will continue progesterone for another three to four weeks, until your placenta begins to produce enough progesterone to support the pregnancy on its own. If a pregnancy cannot be confirmed, you may decide with your doctor to begin another cycle of IVF.