The process of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) can seem daunting. To help simplify the process, here is a general breakdown of the steps involved.

The First Step

  • Schedule a confidential, one-on-one meeting with an SCRC reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist (REI), along with your patient care coordinator.
  • Discuss your IVF goals and establish a personalized treatment plan.
  • Your REI may order testing to get a full assessment of your fertility health. All preliminary testing can be done in your home country.
  • You may or may not need to visit the clinic after this point, depending on your treatment plan.
  • You will be assigned a patient care coordinator (PCC), who will manage your case and guide you throughout the process, ensuring a smooth and seamless experience.
  • A deposit will be required prior to beginning your treatment.

The Donor & Surrogate Selection

  • Your PCC will assist you in your search for an egg donor and/or surrogate.
  • SCRC offers an exclusive in-house egg donor agency, Bright Expectations to help simplify your donor search.
  • By working with Bright Expectations, we can expedite your donor cycle, and ensure you are receiving priority in moving forward. We also offer concierge services to assist in selecting your surrogate.

The Stimulation Cycle & Embryo Creation

  • The oocyte or egg retrieval stimulation process is the same whether using a donor or your own eggs.
  • The stimulation cycle takes 10 to 12 days.
  • To keep costs down, we can start a stimulation cycle in your home country, and you may travel to the U.S. on day six of your cycle.
  • Frozen semen can be shipped to the U.S. via a certified process, along with a blood sample for testing.
  • For more information on the egg retrieval process, click here.

Embryo Creation

  • Embryo creation takes 5 to 6 days in our specialized IVF laboratory.
  • The next steps in the process can be broken down by each day following the procedure.

Day 1
On average, 70 to 80 percent of the eggs should be fertilized after being injected with sperm. Your embryologist will evaluate the eggs for signs of embryo growth. Your doctor will provide you with an update on the number of eggs fertilized.

Day 2
The embryos will continue to develop in the incubator.

Day 3
By now, an ideal embryo will comprise about eight cells each. Your doctor will contact you with an update after grading each embryo on the following scale:

      • Good – the eight-cell embryos are symmetrical and growing at a proper rate.
      • Fair – the embryos only comprise five or six cells, or are slightly irregular in shape.
      • Poor –the embryos are structurally uneven or are not growing as expected.

Day 4
The embryos will continue to develop in the incubator.

Day 5
By this point, the embryos should have developed to comprise 100 cells (referred to now as blastocysts), which are again graded on growth rate and symmetry. On this day, the embryos can be frozen for future use. If genetic testing is to occur, this is the first day a biopsy on the embryo can be taken. Alternatively, embryos can be frozen for a subsequent embryo transfer if they are the appropriate quality. Your physician will contact you again with an updated embryo report after performing this assessment.

Day 6-7
The embryos are again assessed to determine if they have continued to grow to the point of being ready for biopsy or freezing. As part of this process, a small sample of three to four placental cells from each embryo are evaluated at the genetics lab for structural balance. Your physician will call you with an update after performing this testing.

At this point, balanced genetically normal embryos can be implanted back into your or your gestational carrier’s uterus through an embryo transfer procedure. Your physician will guide you through the next steps to coordinate the procedure.

The Embryo Transfer
Once you have embryos ready for transfer, your physician will schedule a date to perform the procedure. Leading up to the transfer, the patient who will be implanted with the embryo may have to come in for appointments to confirm the uterus is prepared for transfer.

On the day of transfer, under ultrasound guidance with 3-D/4-D real-time technology (the most precise way to transfer embryos), the embryos are injected into the uterus via a thin, flexible plastic tube, which is gently passed through the opening in the cervix leading to the interior of the uterus. You literally get to watch the embryo transfer into your uterus as it happens! Many of our patients who use gestational carriers prefer to be present for the transfer, however it is not required. In about 10 days following the transfer, a blood test for pregnancy is performed to determine whether the transfer resulted in a pregnancy.