At Pacific IVF, we begin with a consultation appointment with the couple. During this two-hour appointment, we explain the IVF process, perform various tests and review the couple’s medical histories and current medical condition. Tests include pelvic exam, ultrasound exam and uterine measurement with the female partner and sperm analysis on the male partner.
Based on the results of the physical examinations and the couple's medical histories, the doctor will discuss the IVF success rates for couples in similar circumstances. Also during this consultation, we explain insurance coverage and the preauthorization process for IVF services, and payment policies for those not covered by insurance.
At the patient's next menstrual period, she is scheduled for Baseline Hormone Screening blood tests, which check FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) LH, Prolactin and Estradiol (a naturally occurring estrogen released by the ovaries).
Once we have the blood test results, a determination is made about whether the couple meets the criteria for IVF.
If the couple meets the criteria for IVF, the woman's ovaries are stimulated with medication and then monitored with frequent ultrasound and blood tests. When the eggs are at the right stage of development, they are removed vaginally via ultrasound-guided aspiration while the patient is under conscious intravenous sedation. Egg retrieval is not painful and recovery is brief.
The eggs are then fertilized with the specially-prepared male partner’s sperm. After being cultured for three to five days, the embryos (fertilized eggs) are transferred into the woman's uterus in a non-surgical procedure. About two weeks later, two lab tests are done, two to three days apart, to check for pregnancy. Pregnancy is confirmed by ultrasound three weeks after transfer.
Some office visits during this process require both the male and female partner; however, we welcome the male partner to attend all office visits. We will set up an appointment schedule, with the number and frequency of visits during the ovary-stimulation phase of the IVF cycle based on your individual needs. Although you must come in often during your IVF cycle, we try to schedule visits so disruption to work and home commitments is minimal. For neighbor island couples, we try to accommodate flight schedules and travel time.
After In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer (IVF-ET)
When pregnancy occurs following IVF, it will typically be a normal pregnancy. However, there is a very low risk of abnormal pregnancy, miscarriage or other problems. This is because the process of IVF-ET does not protect against such normal occurrences. Congenital abnormalities, genetic abnormalities, mental retardation or other birth defects, which occur in approximately 3% of spontaneously conceived pregnancies may also occur in children born following assisted reproductive techniques.
Following a successful IVF-ET, the patient works closely with her own OB-GYN to ensure a successful pregnancy and delivery of the baby.