George M Grunert MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist, HFS IVF Program Director

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

IVF is the most successful procedure to achieve a pregnancy. IVF is indicated in couples with infertility due to tubal disease or surgery, endometriosis, male factor, recurrent pregnancy loss, and infertility of unknown cause.

First, fertility medication is given to induce the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. Eggs are retrieved under intravenous sedation and ultrasound guidance. The eggs are fertilized in the IVF laboratory to produce embryos. Embryos grow for 5-6 days until they reach the blastocyst stage. At that point each embryo is tested for chromosome number and cryopreserved for later transfer (see the sections on PGS and PGD).

Once we know which embryos are normal, the uterus is prepared for transfer by giving estradiol and progesterone to stimulate growth of the endometrium (uterine lining). Embryo transfer is done by passing a small catheter through the cervix and into the uterus under ultrasound guidance. A small droplet of fluid containing the embryo is carefully placed in the uterus.

In the past, the most serious complication of IVF has been multiple pregnancy. Multiple pregnancies, even twins,have a significant risk to the mother and her babies. Elective single embryo transfer (eSET) of a good quality, normal embryo following PGS gives a greater than a 60% chance of pregnancy, a 10% chance of miscarriage, and less than a 1% chance of twins. Transfer of more than one normal embryo does not increase the chance of pregnancy but substantially raises the likelihood of a multiple pregnancy and complications.

If you think you are a candidate for and would like more information on IVF, please contact us or make an appointment for a consultation.

Houston Fertility Specialists Southwest Women’s Health Alliance