]]>In vitro fertilization]]> (IVF) is the most common type of assisted reproduction. Assisted reproduction is the use of medical treatments designed to help couples who are not able to get pregnant on their own achieve a pregnancy.

In IVF, a woman is treated with hormones to cause her eggs to mature. The eggs are then retrieved during a minimally-invasive surgical procedure (ultrasound-guided needle aspiration or ]]>laparoscopy]]> ) and combined with a man’s sperm outside of the woman’s body in a laboratory dish. There, the eggs fertilize and the resulting embryos grow in the laboratory for a few days. The embryos are then transferred into the woman’s uterus, where they may implant, resulting in a pregnancy.


Fertilization Fallopian Tubes Conception
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

IVF can be used to treat a variety of types of ]]>infertility]]> , and it can increase a couple’s chances of becoming pregnant. The success rate varies according to maternal age, fresh or frozen embryos, and using the patient’s own eggs or donor eggs. In the US, the live birth rate per IVF cycle using fresh nondonor eggs is 37% in women under age 35, 29% in women ages 35-37, 20% in women ages 38-40, and 6% to 10% in women over 40.

While it can be successful, IVF is expensive. The average total cost for IVF is approximately $12,400, but this figure will vary greatly depending on what medications are needed and how many cycles are completed. Some states have laws that require insurance companies to cover infertility services such as IVF. To find out whether your state has these laws, you can call your state’s Insurance Commissioner’s office.

]]>What are the reasons for performing IVF?]]>
]]>How is this procedure performed?]]>
]]>What questions should I ask my healthcare provider about IVF?]]>
]]>Where can I get more information about IVF?]]>