In vitro fertilization (IVF) has the highest success rates of virtually any treatment for infertility. However, the process of undergoing IVF has traditionally required high doses of expensive fertility medications, frequent monitoring, and embryology laboratory fees. We are excited to offer a much more affordable option, Affordable IVF, which incorporates the embryo culture device INVOcell™. The IVF procedure is about one third the cost of conventional IVF, and the medications for this procedure are only a fraction of the cost of conventional IVF, and fewer monitoring visits are required. Therefore, the total cost of Affordable IVF is several thousand dollars less than traditional IVF.
At AIRM, we realize that infertility treatments can be physically, emotionally, and financially stressful. We developed our Affordable IVF program to minimize each of these stressors. Our goal is to give each patient the opportunity to have IVF as a treatment option to build her family.
What to Expect
Patients interested in Affordable IVF should first make an appointment to see one of our providers to discuss the pros and cons of this treatment. Just as with IVF in general, patients must first undergo evaluation of ovarian reserve, evaluation of the uterine cavity, and a semen analysis. Other tests may be indicated for specific patients. After these results are available, you will meet with your provider to discuss your medications and calendar. Most patients take both oral and injectable medications for ovarian stimulation and injectable progesterone after the egg retrieval. We tailor the medications for each individual patient. The treatment cycle generally consists of two to three monitoring visits, the egg retrieval, and the embryo transfer.
Affordable IVF Process
Similar to conventional IVF, the process involves stimulating your ovaries to produce follicles, retrieving eggs from the ovaries, injecting each egg with sperm (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection; ICSI), allowing the embryos 5 days to develop, and transferring the best embryo to your uterus. Any high-quality embryos in excess of the one (or maybe two) transferred may be frozen (cryopreserved) for future use.
The differences with Affordable IVF include a more gentle ovarian stimulation, fewer monitoring visits, and the use of INVOcell to grow the embryo(s). INVOcell is an FDA approved device in which the injected egg(s) and culture media are placed just a few minutes after the egg retrieval. The device is then placed in your vagina and acts as the embryology laboratory for the embryos grow for five days. The INVOcell is held in place with a retaining device that looks similar to a contraceptive diaphragm. After five days, the INVOcell and retaining device are removed, embryo(s) identified, and a single embryo is place into the uterine cavity. You will know if you are pregnant about two weeks after the egg retrieval.
Affordable IVF Reviews
"After 8 years of infertility, including 7 miscarriages, 2 pre-term labors, failed inseminations and multiple failed IVF--traveling all over the country to see the "best" fertility specialists, we met Dr. Long. As I type this, I hear my twin daughters playing in the background, and I have tears in my eyes."- Anonymous / RateMDs / Aug 21, 2011
"After years of seeing OB/GYN after OB/GYN and enduring surgeries and loss we finally sought the help of Dr Long and the ART Fertility Program of Alabama...Dr Long is amazing! He is such a kind and compassionate person and will do whatever it takes for success, and will sit down and discuss at length any concerns you may have. I would recommend him to anyone trying to have a baby! We wasted over 5 years with Dr's telling us there was nothing wrong and he had it figured out in the first few visits! We are now expecting our miracle baby in January thanks to Dr Long!"- Anonymous / RateMDs / Jul 19, 2011
Risks and Benefits
The risks of Affordable IVF are similar to traditional IVF, and include discomfort from procedures and injections, bleeding and infection from the oocyte retrieval, and not conceiving. Since the ovarian stimulation is more gentle, fewer eggs are developed and retrieved, and there is a lower chance for extra embryos available for cryopreservation (freezing) for later use. Despite facilitating fertilization with ICSI, not all eggs fertilize, and some patients may not have any embryos for transfer. If pregnancy is established, a miscarriage, an ectopic (outside the uterus) pregnancy, or a stillbirth may occur. Any pregnancy may result in a child with birth defects; the risk of birth defects from pregnancy arising as a result of these procedures is not known to be different from that in spontaneously occurring pregnancies.
The benefits of Affordable IVF include a much lower cost and overall fewer visits than conventional IVF. Since the ovarian stimulation is gentler, there is less risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
Success rates for Affordable IVF are comparable to conventional IVF. Your overall chance for pregnancy will be discussed with you by your healthcare provider based on your age and specific fertility problems.