Stages of IVF

Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) started in 1978 with the birth of Louise Brown, born as a result of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). IVF is the most common ART procedure. Other ART procedures include: Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT), and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).

Success Rates

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) require that published IVF pregnancy rates be reported as pregnancy per stimulation cycle started, live births per stimulation cycle started and live births per egg retrieval and per embryo transfer.

Fertility Institute of New Orleans
2014 Clinic Summary Report

Patient's Own Eggs (Preliminary Cumulative Outcome Per Intended Egg Retrieval)
 Age <35 35-37 38-40 41-42 >42
Number of Cycles 178 70 42 34 8
Singletons 30.3% 24.3% 14.3% 8.8% 0/8
Twins 17.4% 11.4% 2.4% 0% 0/8
Triplets or more 0% 0% 0% 0% 0/8
Live Births 47.8% 35.7% 16.7% 8.8% 0/8
 (Confidence Range) (40.4-55.1) (24.5-46.9) (5.4-27.9) (0-18.4) -
Term 61.2% 72.0% 4/7 3/3 0/0
Pre-term 28.2% 28.0% 3/7 0/3 0/0
Very Pre-term 10.6% 0% 0/7 0/3 0/0
Patient's Own Eggs (Preliminary Subsequent Outcome - Frozen Cycles)
 Age <35 35-37 38-40 41-42 >42
 Number of Thaw Procedures 76 37 22 3 5
Singletons 27.6% 24.3% 18.2% 0/3 0/5
Twins 9.2% 2.7% 0% 0/3 0/5
Triplets or more 1.3% 0% 0% 0/3 0/5
Live births 38.2% 27.0% 18.2% 0/3 0/5
(Confidence Range) (27.2-49.1) (12.7-41.3) (2.1-34.3) - -
Term 69.0% 9/10 3/4 0/0 0/0
Pre-Term 27.6% 1/10 1/4 0/0 0/0
Very Pre-Term 3.4% 0/10 0/4 0/0 0/0
Donor Eggs (All Ages)
  Fresh Donor Eggs Frozen Donor Eggs
 Number of recipient cycle starts 15 3
Singletons 2/15 1/3
Twins 3/15 0/3
Triplets or more 0/15 0/3
Live births 5/15 1/3
Confidence Range - -
Term 5/5 0/1
Pre Term 0/5 1/1
Very pre-term 0/5 0/1

*Preliminary results, some pregnancies may end in miscarriage and some multiple pregnancies will spontaneously reduce to singletons or twin before delivery.


Interior-IVFIVF was developed to treat infertility caused by blocked or damaged fallopian tubes. It is now used to treat a variety of infertility problems for suitable IVF candidates. The cost of IVF can vary dramatically, but The Fertility Institute is happy to offer patient treatment packages that can help reduce costs and stress so that more people can experience the benefits of IVF.

IVF requires the stimulation of multiple follicles followed by aspiration of the eggs. These are placed with sperm in a laboratory dish to fertilize outside the body (in vitro). The fertilized eggs form embryos which are placed into the woman's uterus, or womb several days later, where implantation and embryo development can occur just as in any other normal pregnancy.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a four-step procedure:

  1. Ovarian Stimulation and Monitoring
  2. Egg (oocyte) Retrieval
  3. Fertilization
  4. Embryo Transfer 

Step 1: Ovarian Stimulation and Monitoring

Various medications are used to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple mature follicles (controlled ovarian hyperstimulation or superovulation), rather than the single egg normally developed each month. Follicles are cysts in the ovaries in which eggs grow to maturity.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is the hormone used to stimulate the development of multiple eggs containing follicles. FSH is given by daily injection. The number of days and the dose will vary depending on follicle development. The response to FSH is monitored by ultrasound and hormone levels. When the follicles are fully developed, usually after 8 to 10 days, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is given to release the eggs and trigger the final maturation of the eggs


Ultrasound uses sound waves to make sonar pictures of the body. Through ultrasound, the number and size of follicles can be observed.

Blood Tests

The response to FSH is monitored with frequent blood tests. Developing follicles secrete increasing amounts of the hormone estradiol. Along with ultrasound, estradiol levels are used to determine the optimal timing for the administration of hCG.

Step 2: Egg Retrieval

Eggs are retrieved by ultrasound-directed vaginal aspiration of ovarian follicles performed under narcoleptic analgesia, which is a combination of pain relievers and sedation. A needle is guided into each follicle in order to aspirate its contents. The egg along with the surrounding fluid is removed from the follicle. The fluid is immediately examined under a microscope. The process is repeated until all the mature follicles have been aspirated.

Step 3: Fertilization

A semen sample is obtained from the male partner and processed in our IVF Clinic New Orleans, using laboratory techniques to obtain the strongest, most active sperm.

Prepared sperm are placed with one or more eggs in a laboratory dish for fertilization. After 3 to 5 days, if the eggs have successfully fertilized and are growing normally, they are transferred to the uterus. Not all eggs will be fertilized and not all fertilized eggs will continue to grow. In some cases, the embryos may be transferred as early as 2 days or as late as 6 days after retrieval. Some patients may choose to utilize intracytoplastic sperm injection during this step, a procedure which improves the chances of conception by placing a single sperm directly into a mature egg.

Step 4: Embryo Transfer

Embryo transfer is performed under ultrasound guidance without anesthesia. The embryos are placed in a catheter for transfer into the uterus.