Infertility Treatment Overview
Cardone Reproductive Medicine and Infertility (CRMI) offers the range of fertility treatments, from beginning options to the most advanced solutions. The following descriptions are a brief overview of each.
The female partner takes either oral or injectable medication to stimulate ovulation and either has sexual intercourse with her partner or an intrauterine insemination, which are both timed to coincide with ovulation.
Prepared sperm from either the male partner or a donor is inserted into the female’s uterine cavity through the cervix via a catheter. An IUI is performed in conjunction with ovulation induction.
Through tubal ligation reversal surgery, also called tubal reanastomosis, Dr. Cardone can repair previous surgeries where the fallopian tubes were tied to prevent future pregnancies. For the right candidate, it can be a cost-effective alternative to in vitro fertilization.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most commonly utilized assisted reproductive technology (ART), having been introduced in 1978 in England with the birth of Louise Brown. ART refers to infertility treatments requiring the handling of egg and sperm, also collectively known as gametes, outside the body and in the laboratory. Other ART's include ICSI, assisted hatching, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, gamete cryopreservation, egg donation and surrogacy.
IVF is a four-stage procedure where ovaries are stimulated with hormonal medications, eggs are retrieved via a minor surgical procedure; eggs and sperms are combined in a petri dish in the laboratory and left to fertilize; and the resulting embryos are transferred to the uterus. IVF was initially developed to resolve problems with damaged or absent fallopian tubes, but now can be used successfully for most infertility conditions.
Any excess embryos from the IVF cycles can be frozen, which is also
known as embryo cryopreservation. The embryos can be stored in the IVF
laboratory until the individual or couple undergoes another IVF cycle
or decides to stop their family building and embark on another course.
A frozen embryo cycle is cost-effective because it precludes the
need for a woman to take additional hormonal medications to stimulate
the ovaries. Though some frozen embryos do not survive thawing, success
rates for frozen embryo cycles are comparable to the fresh variety.
The embryologist injects a single sperm directly into the cytoplasm (cell substance between the cell membrane and nucleus) of an egg to fertilize it. ICSI is particularly effective when sperm cannot penetrate an egg because of low numbers or abnormal movement. It also is used when there has been unexplained non-fertilization in previous IVF cycles.
This procedure “thins” the outer coating or zona of the embryo immediately prior to transfer to the uterus. This thinning helps the embryo “hatch” once it is implanted in the uterus and is beneficial to women 37 years of age and older who have thicker zonas.
PGD is a breakthrough technology that allows the genetic examination of embryos before implantation and has been especially significant in analyzing embryos for serious inheritable diseases and the prevention of recurrent miscarriage from balanced translocations.
Egg donation is the use of an egg (oocyte) from a third party who donates her biologic material to prospective parents when either the intended mother cannot have a baby with her own eggs or the intended parents are gay male(s). The egg donor experiences the first part of the IVF process by taking hormonal medications and undergoing an egg retrieval.
Most egg donors are anonymous and are found through egg donor agencies. Sisters, cousins and friends also sometimes volunteer to become egg donors.
Patients who are candidates for egg donation include women with genetic conditions they may pass to their offspring and those who have experienced premature ovarian failure or who otherwise have been unsuccessful with their own eggs in previous IVF cycles.
A surrogate or gestational carrier is a woman who carries the baby for intended parents. The gestational surrogate has no genetic ties to the child. Often gestational surrogacy is used in conjunction with egg donation.