In vitro fertilization was introduced in the United States in 1981 and has resulted in more than 7 million healthy babies since then. When other infertility treatments have been unsuccessful, you may achieve your longed-for pregnancy through in vitro fertilization. Dr. Mark Jutras has been working with in vitro fertilization since the very beginning and now offers this procedure to his patients at Advanced Reproductive Concepts in Charlotte, North Carolina. Call or book online to arrange a consultation.
During in vitro fertilization, Dr. Jutras removes mature eggs from a woman’s ovaries then fertilizes them under carefully monitored conditions in a laboratory. The resulting fertilized eggs develop into embryos, one of which he implants in the woman’s uterus three to five days later.
There are several variations on this basic technique. Dr. Jutras uses intracytoplasmic sperm injection if there are issues with semen quality or quantity. This procedure involves injecting a single healthy sperm directly into a mature egg.
With most in vitro fertilizations, Dr. Jutras uses the couple’s own eggs and sperm, although in some cases, the couple may need an egg or sperm donor. If your uterus doesn’t function properly or if you face health risks from pregnancy, you may choose a gestational carrier — that’s a surrogate who carries your embryo to term in her uterus.
If your infertility hasn’t responded to conventional surgical or medical therapies, then in vitro fertilization may be for you. Dr. Jutras recommends IVF when the causes of infertility or previous pregnancy losses remain unexplained. It is also effective in cases where male infertility, resulting from a low sperm count or reduced sperm movement, has been identified as the primary cause. IVF is also an option after male or female sterilization surgery.
In vitro fertilization is the therapy of choice for those who need to use donor eggs or a gestational host. Women who’ve previously banked or frozen their eggs and now want to become pregnant also use in vitro fertilization.
The woman takes fertility drugs to ripen more than one egg. Dr. Jutras retrieves these eggs from her ovaries — under sedation — and places them into a culture in the laboratory. At the optimal time, he introduces a collected sperm sample to the egg for fertilization to occur. The embryo begins to grow, carefully monitored by the lab staff.
Three to five days later, Dr. Jutras transfers the developing embryo to the woman’s uterus. This process doesn't require sedation. The woman takes additional hormones to support her new pregnancy. Blood tests confirm the embryo has been successfully implanted and that the pregnancy is proceeding normally.
Before Dr. Jutras transfers the embryo to the uterus he performs an embryo biopsy, taking a tiny cell sample to test for abnormalities. As part of the embryo biopsy, he uses a preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) test to check the number of chromosomes and a preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) test to screen for genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis or sickle cell.