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At our reproductive endocrinology and infertility center, we offer a wide array of infertility services for couples trying to get pregnant. From simple medication to highly complex treatments such as In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), we provide the appropriate level of care to fit your needs.
After an initial evaluation, most patients don’t require IVF to have effective treatment to become pregnant. Some patients will just need medication to help them ovulate or release an egg. Others need treatment to help with male factor issues and ovulation with an intrauterine insemination is effective. Still others may need surgery to correct a uterine septum or remove a fibroid or scar tissue in the uterus.
Nationally about 3-5 % of infertility cases need IVF or higher technology care in order to become pregnant.
Infertility Services/IVF: Our Approach
The advanced reproductive services performed at UVM Medical Center include:
- Assisted Hatching (AH) - This involves making an opening in an embryo's outer shell. This opening allows the embryo to more easily "hatch" and thus implant into the woman's uterus.
- Egg Donation - As women age, the ovaries ability to produce good quality eggs begins to diminish. Using donated eggs allows these women the chance to become pregnant and carry a baby.
- Egg Vitrification – eggs can be retrieved and vitrified ( a special form of freezing) without fertilization for future use.
- Embryo Freezing (Cryopreservation) - In many IVF cases, there are more good-quality embryos available for transfer than can be safely transferred. Embryo cryopreservation allows for storage of these embryos, should the "fresh" cycle fail or as an attempt to have another child if the fresh cycle is successful. Embryo Freezing can also be used in fertility preservation.
- ICSI (IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection) - With some cases of infertility, the problem may lie in the quality or numbers of sperm (male-factor infertility). Either there are too few sperm to fertilize the eggs or there is poor sperm-egg interaction. Using ICSI, a single sperm can be injected directly into the egg.
- IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination) - One of the first lines of treatment for infertile couples. On the day a woman ovulates, the man will collect a semen sample and bring it to the lab. The specimen is "washed" and placed into the woman's uterus. IUI can also be performed with frozen samples after thawing.
- MESA (Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration) - In some cases of severe male-factor infertility, a surgeon, using a small needle, can withdraw sperm from the epididymis (a coiled structure attached to the back of the testes) IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection must be performed with sperm from MESA in order to fertilize the eggs.
- Testicular Biopsy - With some cases of severe male-factor infertility, it is not possible to retrieve sperm from the epididymis with MESA. In those cases, a surgeon can remove a small piece of the testicle and the embryologists in the IVF laboratory can extract sperm from that piece of testicle (TESE). IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection is also required with sperm from a testicular biopsy in order to fertilize the eggs.
- Therapeutic Donor Insemination (TDI) - Similar to IUI but donor sperm is used. TDI is often used for women who do not have a male partner or in the case of severe male factor infertility.
- Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients - We are very active in fertility preservation for cancer patients and other indications. We provide fertility preservation for both men and women and can freeze sperm, eggs or embryos for this purpose.
Infertility at UVM Medical Center: How We Compare
The University of Vermont Center for Reproductive Medicine is a Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) certified member program and also maintains a full Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellowship program.
We are a certified Nursing Center of Excellence in Infertility Nursing. Our ultrasound unit is credentialed by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. We pride ourselves in providing individualized, evidence-based, advanced reproductive care to women and couples, with a high degree of personal interaction, compassion, and in a cost effective manner.
Our laboratory is certified by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), and registered and fully compliant with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).