In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a method of assisted reproduction in which a man’s sperm and a woman’s eggs are combined outside of the body in a laboratory dish. IVF has been refined and improved since the birth of the first IVF baby over 40 years ago. IVF is a proven and effective treatment for many of Dr. Seth Levrant’s patients.
Partners in Reproductive Health’s Tinley Park location has the only IVF lab in Chicago’s Southwest suburbs and is the closest Chicago IVF lab to Northwest Indiana. We have state-of-the-art equipment and experienced embryology staff to provide the best possible pregnancies.
In Vitro Fertilization includes several steps that are explained in detail in our IVF consent form. Below is an outline of the various steps involved:
- Ovarian stimulation: Each patient is provided an individualized IVF treatment plan. During the typical menstrual cycle a single egg will develop and grow in an ovarian follicle before it is released and picked up by the fallopian tube. With IVF, the women takes medications to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs. When the eggs are ready, a trigger injection is given to stimulate the final maturation process. This is followed by the egg retrieval, which is precisely timed for when the eggs are ready and before they are released from the ovary.
- Egg (oocyte) Retrievals are done in our Tinley Park office using IV conscious sedation administered by the nurse anesthetists of Lake Anesthesia. Dr. Seth Levrant will gently remove the eggs that have developed in response to the ovarian stimulation.
- Fertilization: Once the eggs are retrieved they are carefully inspected by our embryologist and then combined with the healthiest sperm.
- Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is when the embryologist injects or places a single sperm into the egg. This is most often done when the sperm quality is poor.
- Blastocyst culture & Embryo transfers: After an egg fertilizes it has to grow and divide. Our embryologist monitors the growth of the embryos in the IVF laboratory before selecting the healthiest embryo for embryo transfer. This is most often done after 5 days in the IVF lab or the Blastocyst stage of development. Embryo transfers are done in the Tinley Park office and do not require anesthesia.
- Assisted Hatching: Using a laser the embryologist makes a small opening in the zona pellucida, a thin layer surrounding the embryo. The goal is to assist the embryo in hatching from the zona pellucida and then implanting into the women’s uterine lining.
- Pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT): Genetic screening can be done to select embryos that are free of chromosomal abnormalities and specific genetic disorders that can interfere with embryo implantation, result in pregnancy loss, or in the birth of a child with physical or developmental problems. Dr. Seth Levrant may recommend genetic testing if your medical history or age indicates that your embryos could be affected by a genetic disease.
- Cryopreservation (freezing) of embryos: Embryo freezing is done using the highly effective vitrification technique.
- Cryopreservation (freezing) of oocytes (eggs): Egg freezing is done using the highly effective vitrification technique. Egg freezing is most often done for fertility preservation.
- Cryopreservation of sperm: Sperm freezing is most often recommended when the male partner has poor sperm quality or has experienced difficulty with the sperm collection process.
- Donor egg program: We work with donor egg agencies and egg banks to provide a selection of donor eggs for our patients.