In Vitro Fertilization

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process where sperm and an egg are joined together outside of the body to create an embryo. The embryo can then be inserted into a mother's uterus.

  • Call Your Doctor

    Call your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
    • Vaginal bleeding
    • Abdominal pain or cramping
    • Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe nausea or vomiting
    • Any unusual symptoms

    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process where sperm and an egg

    are

    joined together outside of the body to create an embryo. The embryo can then be inserted into a mother's uterus.

    Fallopian Tube, Ovary, and Uterus
    Fallopian Tube, Ovary, and Uterus
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    IVF is done to help a woman become pregnant when there is difficulty becoming pregnant naturally.


    It is most often done when
    infertility
    is due to:

    • Damaged fallopian tubes
    • Ovulation disorders
    • Cervical factors
    • Male factors, such as low sperm count or poor-quality sperm

  • Possible Complications

    If you are planning to have IVF, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

    • Still not being able to become pregnant
    • Having multiple babies
    • Ectopic pregnancy
      , when the embryo develops outside the uterus
    • Anesthesia-related problems
    • Short- and long-term adverse effects from fertility drugs
    • Ovarian rupture (rare)

    Factors that may increase the risk of not conceiving and carrying to term include:

    • Women being over age 40 years
    • Drinking alcohol