IVF has been used safely and effectively for more than two
decades. In a typical IVF procedure, a woman is treated with
fertility drugs to regulate her menstrual cycle and stimulate
the development of higher-quality eggs. This process helps to
ensure that a sufficient number of healthy eggs are available
for fertilization. Eggs are then "retrieved" or collected
and prepared for insemination using sperm from the male partner
or a donor. Fertilization occurs in a laboratory dish specially
prepared with a culture medium that supports and nourishes the
fertilized eggs. Within about 72 hours after fertilization,
embryos are transferred into the woman's uterus.
Since the introduction of IVF, there have been many other important
developments that have made infertility treatment even more
effective for both men and women:
In vitro fertilization with endometrial cell co-culture
is a special technique for couples with poor embryo quality
where cells from the woman's uterus are used to enhance development
of fertilized eggs. CRMI refined this procedure using the woman's
own endometrial cells rather than cells from animals.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a procedure
where a single sperm is selected and delivered directly into
a woman's egg. ICSI is an effective option for men with low
sperm count or sperm that cannot reach the egg successfully.
The CRMI Donor Egg Program is an alternative for women
who are unable to use their own eggs to get pregnant. Using
donor egg, they can have the chance to experience pregnancy
Cryopreservation is the ability to freeze and store
embryos that are not transferred right away. This process can
allow couples to achieve a pregnancy later, either after a first
birth or following medical treatments that might affect fertility
such as chemotherapy for cancer treatment.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can be used
to identify embryos that do not carry the gene for certain inherited
diseases (such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia). This
capability greatly reduces the risk that these diseases will
be passed on to children.
For male factor infertility, our comprehensive
services include microsurgical repair of obstructions and vasectomy
reversals, surgical repair of varicoceles, and epididymal and
testicular sperm retrieval for use with IVF and ICSI.