At ZFC we pride ourselves on making sure our patients know what to expect every step of the way. All treatments are specifically tailored to each individual’s specific needs.
A traditional IVF cycle commences with the stimulation of the ovaries accomplished by using injectable fertility medications. To monitor the cycle’s progress after starting fertility medications, patients will come on-site at ZFC for blood tests and ultrasounds. This allows us to track follicular development, hormone response to the fertility medication and lets us know when it is time for egg retrieval.
When follicles reach the optimum size, a single subcutaneous injection of a trigger medication is administered, which causes the final maturation of the egg within the follicles. Thirty-six hours later, the egg retrieval is performed in our specially equipped operating room.
The typical procedure lasts 20-30 minutes whereby anesthesia is administered intravenously to ensure a state of sleep and pain-free procedure. During the retrieval, a very thin needle passes through the sidewall of the vagina into one ovary and then the next. Using ultrasound guidance the needle punctures each follicle individually to remove the egg bearing follicular fluid. This process continues until all follicles are emptied.
Once the procedure is complete, the eggs are placed in special culture media and then combined with the sperm for fertilization. Based on treatment choice, the resulting embryos are cultured to the desired stage for either implantation or genetic testing.
The embryo transfer, which takes approximately 30 minutes, is scheduled after the body has recovered from the stimulation and the effects of the elevated levels of estrogen. No anesthesia is required for this procedure. During the transfer, and again by abdominal ultrasound guidance, a special catheter containing embryos is guided through the cervix into the uterine cavity for optimal placement. This procedure takes approximately 30 minutes.
Ten days post embryo transfer the first pregnancy blood test will be performed.
Although the age of the egg is the most important factor in the success of IVF, there are many lifestyle changes that an individual can make to more than double chances of success.
Body Mass Index
At both extremes, very thin and obese, there can be disruption of the normal process of regular, consistent ovulation and anovulation can often result. In the United States, the percent of the population that is overweight (BMI > 25) or obese (BMI > 30) has increased dramatically over the last 20 years. For men, 59% are overweight, while 20% of the total population is obese. Fewer women are overweight (51%) but more are obese (25%). Reducing BMI to below 25 can significantly improve overall health and wellness as well as fertility.
In preparing to have a baby, a healthy diet is one of the simplest lifestyle changes that will have the greatest impact on success. We recommend that all patients preparing for and going through any treatment at ZFC adjust diet in the following ways:
|Eat organic produce and meats to keep the body clean of toxins.|
|Eliminate dairy and gluten to decrease inflammation and improve the chances of success.|
|Maintain a diet comprised of 30% protein, which can be in the form of nuts, meat, fish and legumes.|
Smokers have an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and pulmonary disease. Female smokers also experience risks related to menstrual and reproductive function, such as:
|Primary and secondary infertility|
At Zouves Fertility Center we believe in the mind/body connection and the beneficial effects of aligning the two for optimal fertility results.
Reproductive organs are highly susceptible to free radicals and oxidative damage. Implementing key supplements can help increase the chances of conception and reverse some environmental damage:
To make sure the staff at ZFC comprehensively understands patients’ history, all medical records will be collected. Dr. Zouves will review them in advance of the consultation to maximize appointment time.
Form to request the transfer of medical records to Zouves Fertility Center (PDF).
While the single most important predictor of success when using assisted reproduction is the age of the egg provider, Zouves Fertility Center treats each case individually based on the personal needs and desires of each patient.
The standard definition of infertility is 12 months of unprotected intercourse without pregnancy. This, however, is extremely subjective and ultimately depends on many factors.
Under the age of 35, it is generally recommended to seek the help of a primary physician or gynecologist after 12 months of unprotected intercourse without pregnancy.
Additionally, we recommend early evaluation of IVF as the best option of treatment if any of the below factors apply:
|Egg provider is 35+ years of age|
|Known factors like damaged tubes, low sperm parameters, endometriosis or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)|
|Known single gene genetic factors within the family like cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs or thalassemia|
|More than 3 failed ovulation inductions with clomiphene citrate/injectable medications with IUI|
|Recurrent pregnancy loss after correction of immunological factors|
|Genetic problems such as translocation causing recurrent pregnancy loss|
Estimated IVF Timetable:
Any member of the clinical team will provide greater detail upon request.