In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
A Personalized Boutique Approach to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
In vitro fertilization, commonly known as IVF, is a service offered for couples who have trouble conceiving naturally. It’s just one of the treatment options available at Dr. Melnick’s fertility clinic. IVF is a process where the sperm and egg are combined together in the laboratory to give couples the optimal chance of conceiving a baby.
Dr. Melnick has been performing IVF procedures since its earliest days, when he opened the first private outpatient IVF facility in New York City in 1983. He is also the author of the Pregnancy Prescription, a popular guide for couples who are having difficulty conceiving. With over 40 years of experience, he has helped approximately 12,000 patients realize their dreams and create families.
Dr. Melnick understands that IVF can be overwhelming to patients. He believes in making a personal connection with his patients. Dr. M, as he is called, takes the time to meet with patients, explain the procedure and answer all their questions to help put their minds at ease. He is personally involved in the care of all patients and performs their procedures personally whenever possible, making his practice quite different from that of the high volume fertility “factories”.
Dr. Melnick aims to make IVF as affordable and as stress-free as possible, using unique protocols that require less medication, fewer visits for blood tests and fewer injections; and he accepts most major forms of insurance to help with payment.
Who is a Candidate for IVF?
Dr. Melnick evaluates each patient on an individual basis to determine their ideal method of ovarian stimulation. He does not believe in a “one size fits all” approach to infertility.
There are several reasons why a couple might opt to try in vitro fertilization. The major reasons include:
- Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes
- Inadequate sperm count or quality in the partner
- Unexplained infertility
- Advanced maternal age
In general, IVF tends to be more successful in women under the age of 34, since the quality of eggs in younger women is typically better. Though it is possible for older women to do IVF, if age is the only factor that affects fertility, IVF may not work. For those women rendered infertile by advanced maternal age, there are other treatment options available to them to achieve pregnancy such as the use of Donor Eggs or the Ovarian Rejuvenation procedure, a newly developed technique that uses a woman’s own white blood cells and platelets to improve egg quality even possibly grow new eggs.
Dr. Melnick’s In Vitro Fertilization Process
Dr. Melnick uses an approach to IVF that differs from most IVF clinics. His unique IVF protocol requires much less medication, testing, and injections than is required when the standard medication protocol employed by most IVF clinics, is used to stimulate egg production in a standard IVF cycle. This greatly reduces costs and stress levels for patients requiring IVF to become pregnant. This is of major significance because of the high levels of stress involved in the IVF process, as well as its high cost.
The Stimulation of Multiple Eggs
The initial part of the IVF process is the stimulation of multiple eggs using injectable fertility drugs. Dr. Melnick offers a unique approach to egg stimulation for women who he judges to be good candidates for it. In his experience, most women will usually produce a similar number of eggs whether their ovaries are stimulated with the standard medication protocol or by Dr. Melnick’s protocol. Dr. Melnick, always sensitive to his patients’ needs, tries to reduce the economic and emotional pressures by making IVF as cost efficient and stress-free as humanly possible.
Differences in Ovarian Stimulation Protocols
Dr. Melnick’s stimulation protocol is a modification of the original IVF stimulation protocol that produced the world’s first “test tube baby”. It is quite different from the standard protocols used today.
|Standard IVF Protocol||Dr. Melnick’s IVF Protocol|
|Cost of Medications||$4,000-$5,000||$1,500|
|Number of Office Visits (Blood Tests and Sonograms)||8-10||2|
|Number of Injections||15||5|
The Egg Retrieval
The egg retrieval typically occurs during day 11 - 14 of the process. The timing of the egg retrieval is very important because the patient’s eggs must be mature, without being immature (under ripe) or post mature (over ripe).This painless procedure only takes about 20 minutes and is usually done under intravenous anesthesia by a board-certified anesthesiologist. Patients must not eat or drink anything 6 hours prior to the procedure. Egg retrieval is performed using a transvaginal ultrasound probe that has a “needle-guide” attached to it. This makes the procedure very safe and fast.
Following the procedure, the patient will need some time to recover, and it is best that she is escorted home. Women are usually discharged from the surgical suite an hour after the egg retrieval has been completed. Like any minimally invasive procedure, there is a very small risk of bleeding and infection. Some cramping, vaginal staining and dizziness can be expected, though these side effects are typically short-lived. Patients may use an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol for discomfort.
Following the procedure, the patient’s partner will provide his semen for the fertilization of the eggs that have been retrieved.
After 24 hours the couple is notified of the number of eggs that have been fertilized successfully.
The Embryo Transfer
The embryo transfer is a procedure performed in the operating room that does not typically require anesthesia that will occur a few days later. During this process, Dr. Melnick uses a fine catheter to deposit the embryos in the uterine cavity while a transabdominal ultrasound confirms proper placement. If there are additional embryos, they may be frozen for future transfer.
Genetic testing of embryos can be provided if requested, but Dr. Melnick typically does not recommend it for many patients. Even in cases where the genetic testing indicates that an embryo is genetically healthy, only 70% of “genetically perfect” embryos result in pregnancies. Genetic testing of embryos is also costly, adding an average of $3,000-5,000 to the overall cost of IVF.
What to Expect After an IVF Cycle
It is important to note that it takes most women 3-4 tries before getting pregnant with IVF. Less than 35% of women under the age of 35 years who start an IVF cycle will get pregnant on their first try. Unfortunately, pregnancies become rarer with increasing maternal age.
IVF is a very complex process. There are several reasons why IVF might not work, including factors that are outside of the patient and doctor’s control. Dr. Melnick will always work directly with patients throughout the IVF process, and will always review all realistic options, providing honest feedback on the viability of each option.
See our FAQ page for more information.
In Vitro Fertilization in New York City
Dr. Melnick has helped patients with infertility issues for over 40 years, and is the founder of the first private IVF facility in New York City. His unique protocols help make IVF a more affordable option for many patients who may have otherwise been unable to afford the cost of treatment. If you are interested in IVF and would like a consultation, please call our office at (212) 369-8700 or use our appointment request form.