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In Vitro Fertilization Program

For individuals or couples diagnosed with infertility after a thorough evaluation, our clinicians may recommend in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help them start a family. During the IVF process, eggs and sperm are combined in a laboratory setting to form embryos. An embryo is then implanted into the patient’s uterus when circumstances are optimal.

IVF stands as one of the most effective fertility treatments available, significantly enhancing the chances of pregnancy for patients. It may be advised for female infertility conditions, such as damaged fallopian tubes or severe endometriosis, or for male infertility-related issues, such as low sperm count or abnormal sperm. Additionally, IVF might be suggested in cases where the cause of infertility remains unknown.

Our IVF program operates within a state-of-the-art laboratory featuring LifeAire technology, an innovative air purification system known for its advanced filtration techniques. This system ensures optimal air quality by eliminating up to 99.99% of biological and chemical contaminants, safeguarding eggs, sperm, and embryos from harmful airborne substances. The laboratory is staffed by experienced embryologists with doctorate degrees, contributing to our high success rates in IVF.

Throughout the IVF journey, patients receive support from caring clinicians who address their questions and concerns. Recognizing the emotional weight of the process for individuals hoping to start or expand their family, our providers strive to minimize stress and foster meaningful patient-provider relationships.

Our Approach

When IVF is recommended, patients meet with a financial counselor to confirm health insurance coverage before starting treatment. (Prior authorization from health insurers is typically required.)

An IVF cycle typically aligns with the onset of the patient’s menstrual cycle, when multiple eggs are available for maturation in the ovaries. Unlike natural ovulation, where only one egg matures each month, IVF protocols involve administering medications to stimulate the maturation of multiple eggs. Patients undergo periodic evaluations by clinicians to monitor hormone levels and progress through ultrasound studies and blood tests, enabling adjustments to the treatment protocol as needed.

During the cycle, patients receive injectable hormones to promote the growth of eggs and prevent their premature release. A final hormone injection triggers egg release approximately 36 hours before a scheduled egg retrieval procedure at the hospital.

The egg retrieval procedure, performed under anesthesia, involves the clinician using ultrasound guidance to collect mature eggs from the ovaries through a thin needle inserted via the vaginal wall.

Subsequently, the retrieved eggs are fertilized in the IVF laboratory. Depending on sperm health, fertilization occurs either by surrounding each egg with a large number of sperm or by injecting individual sperm into each egg. Fertilized eggs are then incubated, and embryo development is closely monitored over the following days. Clinicians select viable embryos for transfer, either immediately or after freezing for future use, resulting in high pregnancy rates for our patients.

For patients with regular menstrual cycles, embryo transfer typically occurs three to five days post-ovulation, ensuring the uterus is receptive to implantation. Patients with irregular cycles may receive hormone therapy to prepare the uterine lining for transfer. Hormone treatment continues until a positive pregnancy test, followed by approximately six weeks of continued hormone support.

Our clinicians tailor recommendations regarding hormone levels, egg retrieval timing, and embryo selection to each patient's unique circumstances, yielding remarkable success rates at the Yale Fertility Center.

Fertility Center success rate summary:

  • Approximately 79% of new patients under age 35 achieve successful pregnancies after undergoing IVF.
  • For new patients ages 35-37, the live birth rate is approximately 67.6%.
  • For new patients ages 38-40, the live birth rate is approximately 46%.

Learn more about our success rates.