Industry-Leaders in In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is one of the most well-known assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in the world. It has helped countless aspiring parents overcome previously insurmountable fertility challenges. For many patients, it provides hope when other treatments have not been successful. TRIO is proud to be an industry leader in this area, with the largest in-house team of fertility specialists in Canada, and one of the longest-running, state-of-the-art IVF labs.
When to Consider IVF
There are many different scenarios where IVF may be recommended, including but not limited to:
- Age-related infertility, such as poor egg quality or low ovarian reserve
- A history of recurrent pregnancy loss or miscarriage
- Unsuccessful IUI Cycles
- Structural issues, such as blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
- Uterine scarring due to endometriosis
- PCOS, menstruation, or ovulation issues
- Sperm issues that affect the quality or quantity
- A history of genetic disease in one or both partners
- A previous diagnosis of unexplained infertility
- Patients using donor eggs or sperm, or a gestational carrier
- 2SLGBTQIA+ patients
- Fertility preservation
How IVF Treatment Works
Assessment and Testing
At your initial assessment, your TRIO physician will take a complete medical history for you and your partner (if applicable) and order further tests. During this early stage, they may also incorporate cycle monitoring. If you have recently had testing done at another clinic (less than six months), please bring these results to your first appointment. If you’re an eligible resident of Ontario, then your first visit and the majority of the tests will be covered by OHIP.
Follow Up and Treatment Plan
Once your tests are complete, you will have a follow-up appointment with your doctor. At this time, your doctor will recommend a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs and goals. You will also discuss any medication protocols.
Preparing For Your IVF Cycle
If you and your doctor decide to pursue in vitro fertilization (IVF), you will be sent a link to watch TRIO’s educational videos. These will help you to better understand the entire process. You and your partner (if applicable) will also meet with one of TRIO’s fertility counsellors.
Beginning Your IVF Cycle
On the first day of your menstrual bleeding (referred to as “Day 1”), you will email the clinic to tell us you are ready to begin your IVF cycle. Throughout the cycle, you will work closely with your doctor and nursing team. You will also learn how to administer your fertility medication.
Your IVF Treatment Cycle
On your first treatment day, you will start your fertility medications and take them for approximately 10-12 days. During this time, you will come to the clinic 4-6 times for blood tests and ultrasounds. Depending on clinic where you are undergoing cycle monitoring, you will receive information about the next steps either from your nurse on via an app called iMineIVF. At each monitoring appointment, you will have a blood test and an ultrasound. Your nursing team will guide you, and tell you the exact days to come in, based on when your follicles release the eggs.
On the same day as egg retrieval — before the retrieval begins — a sperm sample is required. This is provided by a male partner or pre-arranged sperm donor.
The process of retrieving your eggs takes approximately 20 minutes. You will be given a sedative and a local anesthetic. A TRIO doctor will put a speculum inside the vagina and cleanse the cervix. We use the same ultrasound technique we use during cycle monitoring to visualize the ovaries. We use a needle to collect the eggs along with the follicular fluid.
You will know exactly how many eggs have been retrieved before you leave the operating room. Once the retrieval is complete, you will be able to go home and rest for the next 24 hours. You and your medical team will discuss the options of fresh and frozen embryo transfer, and your medical team will let you know when to come back in for your embryo transfer if you are having a fresh transfer.
Once the eggs are retrieved from the ovaries, they are passed directly to the onsite embryology lab to be fertilized with the sperm sample provided. The fertilized eggs are then placed into an incubator for 5 days to grow into a mature embryo called a blastocyst. At this stage, if you have chosen a fresh transfer, the blastocyst can be transferred to the patient's uterus, or to a gestational carrier, for implantation and potential pregnancy. If there are more than one blastocysts or if you are planning to do a frozen embryo transfer they can be safely frozen in TRIO’s embryology lab for transfer at a future date that is convenient for you.
When your body and embryos are ready for implantation, it’s time for the embryo transfer. The embryo transfer takes approximately 10 minutes. We will insert a speculum, cleanse your cervix, and the embryo will be placed in the upper portion of the uterus using an embryo transfer catheter. After the procedure, you will return to the recovery room. Following the embryo transfer, you will begin progesterone support until your pregnancy test.
Pregnancy Test and Beyond
Approximately 10 to 12 days after your embryo transfer, you will return to TRIO for a beta hCG test to determine if you are pregnant. This test measures the level of hCG hormone in your blood and can detect pregnancy at a very early stage. If the test is positive, you will continue as a TRIO patient until a fetal heartbeat is detected on an ultrasound test. At this point, we will refer you back to your family physician or ob/gyn who will manage your care throughout your pregnancy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don’t get a period regularly?
How does IVF work?
What if IVF doesn’t work the first time?
What will happen to any remaining embryos?
Is there an age limit at your clinic?
How much does IVF cost?
With funded IVF, patients pay for medication and any additional lab services recommended by their doctor. If you do not qualify for funding, please visit this link to see the current cost of a fresh IVF cycle. If you have coverage with a private medical insurer, please make sure to check and see if IVF cycles and/or medication is covered under your plan.