IVF Questions and Answers

Important answers from our experts to your IVF questions:

My partner and I have been trying for a year. When is the right time to come in to meet with a fertility specialist?

As soon as possible! If you are under 35 years old and have been trying to conceive for 1 year, now is the right time to make an appointment. If you are over 35 years old, you should seek care from a fertility expert after 6 months of unsuccessful trying.

If you have medical conditions, including fibroids, PCOS or irregular periods, endometriosis, or painful periods, you shouldn’t wait long at all to be evaluated, as any of these conditions could be underlying issues affecting your fertility.

What is the first appointment like at a fertility specialist’s office? What can I expect to learn? 

During a first appointment at South Jersey Fertility Center, we gather all the necessary medical history and other information to help us tailor any fertility testing that you may need.  In general, we will discuss performing a pelvic ultrasound at a particular day of your menstrual cycle, bloodwork, an x-ray test we perform in the office to evaluate the Fallopian tubes, and information regarding performing a semen analysis.

Typically, the fertility testing is completed over one menstrual cycle, and then we sit down again to review all the results of the testing and come up with a plan specific to you to help optimize your success.

I hear a lot about IVF. Is IVF the only successful fertility treatment option? 

IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is not the only fertility treatment option for most people. However, if both Fallopian tubes are blocked, or the sperm count is very low, it is the only option.

Most people are successful with less time-consuming treatment. However, if patients are not successful with other treatment options, then often IVF offers the best chance of conceiving in the shortest amount of time.

What are the steps involved in IVF? 

IVF is an involved process, through which we place either a fresh or frozen embryo into the uterus, in order to bypass reproductive issues that either potential parent may be experiencing. The process can sound overwhelming, but our team is here to guide patients through every step of the way.

The first part of the process includes an average of 10 days of using injectable medication to help as many egg-containing follicles grow together as possible. Over these 10 days, we see you for a quick ultrasound and bloodwork for an average of 4-5 visits.

Once the majority of follicles have reached a size that we would hope to obtain a mature egg, we time a specific final injection 36 hours before the egg retrieval.

The egg retrieval is a procedure done through the vagina in our IVF suite under IV sedation. While you are asleep, we use a special need to aspirate all the fluid in the follicles and give the fluid to our embryologists. They look at the fluid under the microscope and find the eggs.

We then combine the sperm and the egg to allow for fertilization and over the following 5 days, watch the embryos grow.

5 days after the egg retrieval, we transfer the best quality embryo to the uterus, and/or freeze the embryos for later use.

The embryo transfer is a very simple procedure, for which you are awake, and we use a speculum to see your cervix, an abdominal ultrasound to see the uterus, and a tiny catheter is used through the cervix to place the embryo in the best place for implantation to occur.

IVF also gives us the option to perform genetic screening on embryos, and allows us to further select the best embryo that would result in a healthy pregnancy. If we transfer a chromosomally normal embryo in the uterus, you have an approximately 80% chance of success.

Is IVF covered by my insurance? Do you have pricing options for couples without coverage?

This may vary based on where you live, and who your insurance provider is. For example, IVF is covered by the majority of insurance policies in New Jersey, thanks to a state mandate.  Sometimes, insurance companies may require you undergo other treatment options first, before they would allow you to access the IVF benefit.

If your insurance does not cover IVF, our team works with special companies that offer different financing options for our patients.

Lauren WeissmannAuthor: Lauren Weissmann, MD, MSCE, a senior physician with South Jersey Fertility.

Interested in fertility services? A reproductive endocrinologist trained in supporting couples with infertility can help you to explore your options. Our fertility partners are here to help you through each step!

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