IVF treatments are called “cycles,” and a cycle takes from 2 – 4 weeks. At the end of each cycle, eggs are collected in an outpatient surgical procedure. Sperm is also collected, and the eggs are fertilized in the lab. If semen analysis is abnormal, then Intro-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is used, injecting a single, healthy sperm into each egg to increase the chances of successful fertilization
The fertilized eggs are nurtured in the lab for 3 – 5 days, and then implanted into the uterus. They may also be frozen at this point for use in a future IVF cycle.
Genetic testing is also possible at this stage, and helps us to identify the very best embryos for transfer. Genetic testing also helps identify any genetic or chromosomal defects prior to implantation. This reduces the chance of miscarriage and increases success rates for live births.