Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Before initiating an ART cycle, all patients are counseled individually by the physician and taught medication handling by the IVF nurse. During an ART cycle patients are treated with injectible medications (gonadotropins) to stimulate ovarian follicle growth. Patients are monitored with ultrasound and serum estrogen levels (estradiol). Once the follicles (egg sacs) are mature (based on ultrasound and estrogen parameters), hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is administered for final oocyte (egg) maturation and the eggs are subsequently retrieved under sedation and ultrasound guidance 34-36 hours after the injection. Retrieved oocytes are then fertilized with sperm in the laboratory by the embryologist. Three to five days later, cleaving (dividing) embryos are transferred into the uterine cavity in a non-surgical ultrasound guided embryo transfer (ET) procedure and a pregnancy test is performed two weeks after the embryo transfer.