Common Questions with IVF

What are the most common questions patients have about IVF? Fresh vs. frozen embryo transfer? Day 3 vs. Day 5 transfer? One or two embryos? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Dr. Desireé McCarthy-Keith, a Board Certified reproductive endocrinologist with SGF Atlanta, formerly Georgia Reproductive Specialists, and a Clinical Professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Morehouse School of Medicine.

Hit the Highlights
  • In a typical cycle, what is the process of IVF?
  • It used to be that embryos were usually transferred on Day 3 of growth, but now most transfers take place on Day 5. Why has there been this shift?
  • In nature, at what stage of development does the embryo usually reach the uterus? Which better mimics what would occur in natural conception: Day 3 transfer or Day 5 transfer?
  • One of the concerns is that the medium we use for growing embryos is not as good as the environment for the embryo inside the woman, thus the desire to limit the time the embryo is growing in it. What do we know about the how the in vitro medium compares to nature?
  • Does Day 3 transfer or Day 5 transfer result in high live birth rates?
  • Are Day 6 transfers being used? Are they preferable?
  • What makes a good embryo? How do embryologists and reproductive endocrinologists know which is the best embryo to transfer?
  • Is there research to support the use of video monitoring of the embryo growth?
  • How are embryos graded? What is the difference between grade A, B, or C embryo?
  • There has been some fascinating research in the last several years on the benefits of frozen embryo transfer over fresh IVF transfers. What are the benefits of using one over the other?
  • Is it possible to avoid any medications when doing a frozen embryo transfer? What is a natural cycle IVF or frozen embryo transfer?
  • The importance of the window of implantation?
  • How has the role of genetic testing influenced which day we transfer on?
  • How long should you wait after an egg retrieval cycle to do a frozen embryo transfer cycle? How much time should you take off to let your body return to normal?
  • When are Day 3 transfers utilized now?
  • Has there been much long-term research on the health of children conceived from either Day 3 or Day 5 transfers?
  • Has there been much long-term research on the health of children conceived from either fresh of frozen IVF cycles?
  • What is the importance of air quality in the embryology lab?
  • What is the danger to embryos for being frozen? What percentage of embryos do not survive the thaw?

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Image credit: Ariel Dovas

Show originally aired in 2016.