Many couples facing infertility achieve their dream of having a healthy baby using in vitro fertilization. Matthew Macer, MD, at Macer Fertility Center is a recognized expert in infertility and in vitro fertilization. Serving the greater Los Angeles area, including Manhattan Beach and Long Beach, Dr. Macer combines his extensive experience and compassionate care to support couples throughout their emotional journey to parenthood. To learn if you’re a good candidate for in vitro fertilization, call the office in Beverly Hills/West LA, Rolling Hills Estates, or Pasadena, California, or schedule an appointment online.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one type of assisted reproductive technology. To perform IVF, Dr. Macer stimulates the ovaries with hormones identical to the ones made in the brain. This allows him to obtain many eggs, as opposed to a single egg that is normally grown with each menstrual cycle. Once mature, he removes the eggs and fertilizes them with sperm in his state of the art embryology lab, creating embryos. The entire process usually takes about 10-12 days.
Once ready to conceive, the embryos are then placed into the woman’s uterus or kept frozen and preserved for future IVF procedures.
Dr. Macer uses IVF to treat infertility caused by numerous conditions, including:
When sperm problems factor into a couple’s infertility, Dr. Macer may recommend IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). During ICSI, sperm are examined, the healthiest ones separated, and then a single sperm is injected directly into the egg.
In vitro fertilization follows four steps:
You’ll receive injections of two medications: one to stimulate egg maturation inside the ovaries and the second to prevent ovulation. You’ll take the medications for about 8-10 days. During that time, Dr. Macer regularly monitors your ovaries using ultrasound and blood tests so he can determine when the eggs are mature and ready to be fertilized.
When your eggs are mature, they’re retrieved using a minimally invasive procedure. Dr. Macer uses ultrasound to guide a needle through the vaginal wall and into the ovary, then gently withdraws the mature eggs. The procedure is under conscious sedation and you can go home within an hour of the retrieval.
Whether you’re using your partner’s sperm or donated sperm, it’s collected while your eggs are retrieved. The eggs and sperm are placed together in a small dish to allow fertilization to occur naturally, or ICSI is performed. The day after, Dr. Macer checks the eggs to confirm they were fertilized.
For patients desiring to get pregnant immediately, Dr. Macer performs what is called a “Fresh” transfer. About five days after fertilization, he uses a long, thin tube to transfer the best quality embryo(s) into the uterus. The transfer is quick, as the tube is simply inserted through your cervix and the embryo(s) is precisely placed in your uterus. If you have extra embryos that aren’t placed in your uterus, they can be frozen and saved. Around 11 days after the embryo transfer, you’ll be tested to see if you’re pregnant.
Current evidence suggests that for some patients, there is a higher pregnancy rate when transferring “frozen” embryos. Instead of immediately transferring embryos, they are frozen and transferred at a later time. Not only does this allow the uterine environment to recover from the stimulation, but it also allows the lab to perform genetic testing on the embryos, if desired. The embryos can be frozen for at least 20 years without a decline in their potential to result in a live birth.
If you’d like to consider IVF, call Macer Fertility Center or schedule a consultation online.