In vitro fertilization started out with the birth of baby Louise Brown in England which was followed a few years later by the first IVF birth in USA in 1983 in Norfolk, Virginia. Since that time, various refinements have occurred in the stimulation of the ovaries using controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and GnRH agonists as well as in the laboratory with better handling of the gametes and enhancement to encourage fertilization and cryopreservation.
The process involves the use of Lupron daily injections seven days after ovulation followed by the start of injections with Pergonal, Metrodin, or Fertinex, Follistim, Gonal-F from the third day of the period. Frequent ultrasounds and blood estradiol assays are performed for control. At a designated time, HCG injection is administered and 34 hours later egg retrieval is performed at our office at IVF Columbia. Following egg retrieval fertilization is allowed to occur in the laboratory and two to three days later replacement of the embryo (embryo transfer) takes place at IVF Columbia. Following the transfer, progesterone injections are given on a daily basis until a pregnancy test is performed two weeks after the procedure. The oocyte retrieval is performed with the use of a mild sedative in the awake state. The majority of women do not feel pain or have any recollection of it afterwards. The embryo transfer process is identical to that of intrauterine insemination and equally painless.