IVF patients usually come to our Virginia fertility clinic fairly frequently during the drug stimulation phase of the cycle for monitoring. This monitoring includes brief visits (15-20 minutes) for 7-10 days for hormone blood level measurements and transvaginal ultrasounds. Our fertility clinics in Charlottesville and Lynchburg, VA makes the transit for testing easy especially compared to fertility clinics in the Washington, DC or Richmond areas. If you live in the Roanoke region, we will coordinate local monitoring to reduce the number of visits to Charlottesville.
These ultrasound and blood tests during IVF allow our doctors to monitor follicle development (egg maturity) providing necessary information for medication(s) dosage adjustment. These visits help prevent potential side effects from ovarian stimulation and determine when the eggs are ready to be retrieved to fertilize them in the lab.
In the past, one or more embryos were transferred “fresh” to the uterus after the stimulation and fertilization. Over the last 5 years, research has shown that the majority of patients undergoing IVF will have a higher success rate if all the embryos are cryopreserved in a “freeze all” approach. Research has shown that the high levels of hormones resulting from stimulation alter the receptivity of the uterine endometrium lowering the chances that an embryo will implant and grow when transferred fresh. If the embryo(s) are cryopreserved and then transferred 6-8 weeks later when the uterus is no longer affected by the stimulation, pregnancy rates are as much as 10% higher. It appears that the higher responding patients have the most to gain from this “freeze all” approach. Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy (PGT-A) has also become common place for our patients 35 and older and over half choose to test the embryos to see if they are chromosomally normal before transferring one to the uterus. This lowers miscarriage rate and improves live birth rates per transfer.
Categories of infertility that can be helped by IVF treatment
- Fallopian tube dysfunction
- Ovulation dysfunction when medications to cause ovulation have been unsuccessful
- Endometriosis, when medical treatment has been unsuccessful or stage 3 or 4 is encountered
- Male factors such as a persistent low sperm count, motility, and/or morphology or cases where sperm must be obtained surgically
- Diminished ovarian reserve, in which the supply of eggs in the ovary is limited
- Unexplained infertility
- Some genetic diseases
We know that you probably have more questions about the process of IVF or about our Charlottesville, VA IVF program. Please feel free to contact our office.