IVF Fertility Treatment

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is a way to treat infertility via assisted reproductive technology (ART). The process has been utilised since 1978, helping couples experiencing issues with fertility to conceive.

Used in conjunction with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), eggs are fertilised outside of the body over several weeks. Medical complications with this procedure are rare, and in Australia, Medicare may cover some of the associated costs, making IVF a feasible option for many people.

Dr Joseph Sgroi offers IVF to his patients to help ensure a safe start to the pregnancy journey. Read on to learn more about the process to help decide if it may be suitable for your situation.

When should you see a fertility specialist?

What is IVF treatment?

The IVF process involves the fertilisation of an egg with sperm, performed in an incubator. The highest quality embryo from this process is then placed back into the uterus to increase the chances of pregnancy.

When to do IVF treatment

The decision to undergo IVF should occur after specific steps are taken to avoid it. These include ovulation induction or IUI (intrauterine insemination), two treatments that may be a suitable solution depending on your fertility issue.

A fertility specialist like Dr Joseph will review previous investigations, organise tests and ask questions to outline a management plan suited to the patient’s condition before recommending IVF. Roughly 80-90% of women under the age of 35 conceive within one year of trying; for those over 35, this time frame is six months, at which point you should contact Dr Joseph if you are yet to conceive.

Infertility can also be due to:

  • A low sperm count in the male
  • Irregular or absent menstrual cycles
  • Painful periods
  • A history of endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Previous miscarriages
  • Previous chemotherapy or cancer treatment

An IVF clinic can diagnose infertility via blood tests, biopsies, ovarian reserve testing, imaging studies, laparoscopic evaluation and hysterosalpingography viewing.

What is the difference between IVF and ICSI treatment

Both IVF and ICSI are forms of assisted reproductive treatment (ART) used to fertilise eggs outside of the body. The primary differences between the two are:

  • IVF is used for female or unexplained infertility
  • ICSI is used for male infertility

ICSI may be recommended when there is no male cause of infertility, but this will not affect the chance of having a baby. The steps involved in IVF and ICSI treatment are similar; however, during the embryo development stage, sperm from the male is added to the eggs in IVF; with ICSI, a single sperm is injected via a microscopic needle into each egg.

How does IVF treatment work

Before treatment, Dr Joseph will arrange any necessary investigations to best optimise your fertility. This may include:

For females:

  • Hormonal Tests
  • Checking ovulation
  • Blood tests before pregnancy
  • Pelvic Ultrasound +/- Tubal Patency Testing
  • Antimullerian Hormone Assay
  • Chromosomal Testing and Genetic Screening (if required)
  • Diagnostic Laparoscopy or Hysteroscopy (if required)

For males:

  • Hormonal Tets
  • Semen Analysis
  • Chromosomal Testing and Genetic Screening (if required)

The steps involved in IVF and ICSI treatment are as follows:

  1. The woman’s ovaries are stimulated via injectable fertility drugs
  2. The eggs are retrieved when mature; the woman is under a light anaesthetic during this
  3. The sperm is added to the eggs for fertilisation and then kept for 2 to 5 days in the clinic to allow the embryos to develop
  4. If the embryos develop, one or two will be placed in the woman’s uterus (or frozen for a later embryo transfer procedure)
  5. Two weeks after the embryo transfer, a blood test will be run to see if pregnancy has occurred

If the test is negative and a decision is made to attempt the process again, frozen embryos can be utilised, avoiding the need to stimulate the ovaries a second time.

Potential risks & side effects of IVF treatment

When managed by an experienced expert like Dr Joseph, IVF and ICSI are safe procedures that rarely experience complications. However, all medical procedures risk certain health effects that you must consider before undergoing treatment.

For IVF and ICSI, the rare but possible risks include:

  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome)
  • Birth of twins or triplets
  • Premature labour/low birth weight
  • Increased risk of congenital disabilities
  • Caesarean delivery

It is also important to consider that IVF and ICSI are demanding physical and emotional treatments. Therefore, counselling services are available, and you will receive full support from Dr Joseph and his team to ensure the experience is as positive as possible.

Learn more about IVF treatment in Melbourne

If you are considering IVF or ICSI treatment or have any questions about the procedures, contact Dr Joseph Sgroi. As a well-known obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr Joseph can assist in all aspects of infertility and IVF treatment.

The first step down the path of IVF treatment is to arrange an appointment with Dr Joseph by calling (03) 9416 1586. Dr Joseph and his team will determine the right path forward for you, supporting you every step of the way.

Frequently asked questions

What is the cost of IVF treatment?

Every fertility journey is different, and as a result, the associated costs are structured around your needs. They can vary according to the different treatment levels required, so we will discuss fees with you after Dr Joseph has formed a treatment plan.

Do fertility hormones create an increased risk of cancer?

Women who have never conceived have an increased risk of ovarian cancer compared to the general population. Many of these women have used fertility medications, so a link between ovarian cancer and fertility medication has been hypothesised. However, no studies are yet to find an association between fertility medications and an increased risk of ovarian, uterine or breast cancer. The National Institutes of Health suggest that some components of the childbearing process may protect directly against ovarian cancer.

What happens if a woman’s eggs are not producing a pregnancy?

A donor egg can be utilised in cases where the woman's own eggs are not resulting in pregnancy. This process has helped thousands of women to fall pregnant. In many cases, the uterus is healthy and capable of supporting a pregnancy, in which case an egg donation with IVF can see a high rate of success.

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We‘re here to help. To find out more, contact our friendly staff.

If you would like to book a consultation, please call on (03) 9416 1586, or click below to contact us.

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