Whether you've already done intrauterine insemination, are trying IVF for the first time, or have gone through one or several cycles, we're here to help. We know how emotionally, logistically, financially, and physically challenging IVF treatment is. It's our mission to ease those challenges as much as possible and to support you on your fertility journey. We'll also help you pay for treatment: You can undergo 3 IVF cycles at our partner clinics for the price of 1 cycle in the US.
IVF uses follicle-stimulating hormones, which your body produces naturally, to stimulate more eggs to grow on your ovaries during the month of the procedure. During a typical menstrual cycle, only one egg ovulates, while a number of other eggs disintegrate. The hormonal treatment tries to mature a larger number of eggs, which are retrieved at the point when they’re ready to ovulate and be fertilized. The retrieved eggs are fertilized with your partner’s or a donor’s sperm and then develop in the laboratory until they’re ready to be “transferred” to your uterus. That’s when one embryo is implanted into your uterus and ideally grows to be a healthy baby.
- Gather the results of any fertility tests and diagnoses that lead to the decision to undergo IVF
- Share them with your doctor and get to know them over video chat
- Complete any remaining diagnostic tests allowing your doctor to design your personal treatment plan
- After your first in-person appointment with your doctor, start giving yourself hormone injections that stimulate more eggs to grow and prevent any from ovulating early (your doctor will teach you how, and we'll help, too)
- During regular ultrasound appointments your doctor will make sure you’re responding well to the treatment, and your eggs are growing
- Once your eggs are close to being fully mature, you’ll administer a “trigger shot” that gets them to full maturation
- The stimulation phase usually lasts 7-11 days, and most women experience few side effects (e.g., some bloating around your ovaries)
- 36h after the “trigger shot”, your eggs will be ready to be retrieved
- You’ll be sedated for ~20min while a doctor collects your eggs
- Some women experience some soreness afterwards
- Your mature retrieved eggs are fertilized using your partner’s or a donor’s sperm
- The resulting embryo(s) develop in the lab until one is ready to be implanted in your uterus (typically for 5 days)
- As the embryos develop, an embryologist grades their speed of development, size, and morphology to determine the highest quality embryos
- At this point, embryos can be genetically tested or frozen for later use
- The number of embryos will vary depending on the quality and number of eggs and sperm and typically decreases with every step of the process (e.g., only 75% of eggs may successfully be fertilized)
- The highest quality embryo is “transferred” to your uterus
- Your doctor may prescribe you progesterone or other supplements to make your uterus more receptive to implantation
Above are typical steps for IVF – depending on your specific diagnosis and needs, you may require or choose additional treatments (e.g., genetic screening) and medications. Egg and sperm donation are anonymous and therefore particularly popular in Spain, where clinics have access to large egg and sperm banks without a waiting period. Ireland is in the process of allowing known egg or sperm donors, if you prefer to choose or bring a known donor.
Find our FAQs about IVF treatment here.
- 10-15 days after the transfer, a blood test checks your hormone levels to see if you're pregnant; ideally it's positive, and you continue to be monitored throughout a healthy pregnancy!