In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Chicago – Laurence A. Jacobs, M.D.

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DR. LAURENCE JACOBS: IVF is In Vitro Fertilization.
It is done for the more severe forms of infertility, dealing with severe forms of male factor,
which means low sperm counts, low motility, poor sperm function. It means dealing with
women that are older or have poor egg quality, whether it’s due to age or polycystic ovarian
disease, and it’s for couples that have tubal disease, or other pelvic disorders, endometriosis,
things of that nature. In some cases, it’s very useful for couples that have failed other
treatments, whether they have failed surgery, they have failed inseminations, or IUIs, and
in some cases for idiopathic or unexplained infertility, where we may not know why they’re
not getting pregnant. We simply try to optimize their chances by doing IVF.
The process involves really, several steps. Where there’s the evaluation, by checking
the male and the female for underlying problems to determine who needs to do IVF and why.
We do a battery of endocrine tests. We check the uterus for anatomical problems. So, that’s
the evaluation portion of it. Then there’s a preparation phase where we are putting women
on birth control pills to turn off their ovaries and get their ovaries ready for IVF. The nurses
meet with them for about an hour to teach them about their drugs, their protocols. They
sign consents, and questions are answered. The doctor has already done an IVF consultation
explaining all the steps with the patient. Ultimately, the IVF cycle itself, that’s the
labor intensive part because we spend two weeks with fertility drugs stimulating the
ovaries, doing an retrieval to remove the eggs, fertilizing them in the laboratory,
watching the growth and development around the eggs to pick out the best embryos, and
ultimately the embryo transfer allows us to put a limited number of embryos directly where
we want them to be in an idealized uterine lining. That’s what the process of IVF is
all about. The success rates with IVF are very clearly
related to the woman’s age more than anything else because that dictates the health of the
embryos, and then of course there’s male factor issues, genetic issues. For example a woman
who’s between 40 and 34 years of age has a 50 to 70 percent success rate. A woman who
is in her late to mid forties, 42, 43, 44, may have less than a five percent chance of
success, things that we have no control over. So, age is very critical of the determining
factor for IVF. The results are life changing, because I’ve
had the beauty of having been in this field for over 30 years, and I’ve seen the improvements
that have taken place over many decades, and we are able to help the majority of our couples,
and that is truly life changing. Becoming a parent is life changing, and so many of
these couples who have been struggling for years to be able to hold a baby, and to know
what they’ve gone through to get to this point is amazing.


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