Information About In Vitro Fertilization at Washington University.
The specialists at the Washington University Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Center have been helping families achieve pregnancy through in vitro fertilization (IVF) for over 25 years. In May 2005, families gathered at a reunion to celebrate their success through this program. One person present was the first baby born through the in vitro fertilization process.
IVF is an effective method for producing pregnancies. Today 1 percent to 2 percent of all births in the United States are a result of IVF.
IVF can seem overwhelming at first, but your doctor at the Center will explain the process carefully. You are encouraged to ask questions at any time. The more you know, the more relaxed and natural the process can be.
IVF is a procedure in which eggs (oocytes) are retrieved from a woman’s ovaries. The eggs are mixed with her partner’s or donor’s sperm in a test tube or culture dish. Fertilization takes place without additional procedures.
The fertilized eggs develop into embryos. The preembryos are then transferred to the woman’s uterus via a plastic tube inserted through the cervix. If all goes well, the embryo attaches into the uterus in the normal way, and pregnancy progresses naturally.
Depending on each couple’s situation, many variations can occur during this process.
Women ready for IVF are monitored frequently via ultrasound and blood hormone levels prior to the egg extraction. They are given an ovulation induction drug based on the physician’s order and seen 36 hours later for egg retrieval. The eggs are collected through the vagina with an aspiration apparatus. Women are sedated for this procedure. Ultrasound is used to visualize the ovaries.
Patients in the southwestern Missouri, have the opportunity to have their frequent monitoring visits done at Southwestern Women’s Health located in Springfield, Missouri.
Contact us at: 314-286-2400 or visit their site for more information at Southwestern Women’s Health -
In a typical year, Washington University Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Center’s IVF program performs about 355 egg retrievals. For 2011, the clinical pregnancy rate for all patients undergoing IVF using fresh embryos from non-donor eggs, including those with male factor, with or without ICSI were:
- 55 percent of couples under age 35
- 49 percent for those 35-37
- 36 percent for those 38-40
- 19 percent for those 41 and older
(A clinical pregnancy is one in which ultrasound examination has documented one or more intrauterine gestational sac(s)).
A comparison of clinic success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics and treatment approaches may vary from clinic to clinic.
Our Center is a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, SART. SART’s mission is to set and help maintain the standards for ART (assisted reproductive technology), in an effort to better serve both members and patients. SART governs its members in the areas of research, quality assurance and practice guidelines & standards, government interaction, and data collection. SART members adhere to the highest standards of care in ART.