Don't Let Infertility Hold You Back
IVF Los Angeles - In Vitro Fertilization
The IVF program at the Center for Fertility and Gynecology (CFG) is second to none in the greater Los Angeles area. Our many years of experience along with talented staff members and a state-of-the-art laboratory combine to provide exceptional pregnancy success rates and consistently high patient satisfaction.
The Center performs all aspects of IVF including intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), assisted hatching, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), oocyte (egg) freezing, oocyte (egg) donation and gestational surrogacy. In addition, some unique treatment modalities including: ZIFT, GIFT and others are also offered at CFG.
IVF is probably the most well known of the "Assisted Reproductive Technologies." Originally popularized as "test tube baby," IVF has helped couples overcome infertility for more than two decades. IVF, which was initially developed to treat tubal factor infertility, has evolved to become the treatment of choice for many other causes of infertility including: unexplained infertility, male factor infertility, immunologic problems and others.
The IVF process is composed of four steps:
- Step # 1: Over a 2 week period, fertility medication stimulates the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. During this time, serial ultrasounds and blood work are employed to monitor the growth of the eggs. This step is referred to as ovarian stimulation or "superovulation".
- Step # 2: When the eggs are appropriately mature based on ultrasounds and blood work, the final signal is given with an injection of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin ( HCG) known as the "trigger shot".
- Step # 3: 36 hours after the trigger shot, the eggs are retrieved by an ultrasound-guided-needle aspiration. This procedure is usually performed under anesthesia. At the same time, a sperm specimen from the partner/donor is obtained and prepared. Washed sperm is then injected into the eggs (ICSI), or placed in a dish with the eggs to allow fertilization. After 18 hours, the eggs are checked under a microscope for evidence of fertilization (the pronucleus of egg and sperm). The eggs are now embryos. The embryos are then incubated for further development into multi-cell embryos.
- Step # 4: One to five days later, the embryos are transferred into the fallopian tubes (in the case of a ZIFT) or the uterine cavity via a catheter inserted through the cervix. The number of embryos transferred varies based on patient age, quality of embryos and patient desire. If additional embryos remain, they can be frozen and stored for future use.
Intracystoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, known as ICSI, is a relatively new technique where a specially designed glass needle (micropipette) is used to inject a single sperm into a single egg. Originally, ICSI was used in cases of severe male factor infertility, where fertilization could not occur on its own. Over the past few years, however, its indication has expanded to include cases where there are a limited number of eggs, a history of failed fertilization and following sperm or oocyte cryopereservation. At CFG, our embryologists are experts in the micromanipulation required to successfully perform ICSI. This is evident in our outstanding fertilization rates. Below is a microphotographic (magnified 300X) depiction of the ICSI procedure.
ICSI is one of many tools your reproductive endocrinologist can utilize to help you become pregnant. Like any procedure however, the indications need to be considered and risks/ benefits weighed. At CFG we are confident in the safety and utility of this procedure, but we also believe that it should only be used in appropriate circumstances rather than the convenience of the laboratory or doctors. Please speak with your doctor to see if ICSI is indicated for you.
For more information, please contact us at any time.
TOP: A human oocyte (egg), held in place by a microstabilizer (to the left), is approached by the micropipette (glass needle).
MIDDLE: The micropipette has entered the oocyte and is injecting the spermatozoon.
BOTTOM: The micropipette is removed with the spermatozoon left in place (arrow points to the spermatozoon). (300X magnification)
Assisted hatching involves creating a small "window" in the wall surrounding the embryo. This process allows the embryo to "hatch" or "exit" the Zona Pellucida and implant in the uterine lining. The gap in the wall can be made using either chemical (acid), mechanical or laser methods.
At our program we use all of the above methods. Candidates for assisted hatching include women 36 years of age or older and women of all ages undergoing frozen embryo transfer.
IVF Treatment Costs
At the Center for Fertility and Gynecology our aim is to provide innovative and progressive fertility treatments at reasonable prices. As part of this mission, we have implemented new pricing for in vitro fertilization making the most advanced treatments more affordable than ever. These prices have been extended until June 30th, 2014.