Ask the Nurse

I’ve heard of IVF, but am not really sure what it is. Can you explain it?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process first successfully used in England in 1978 to fertilize eggs in the laboratory when couples could not conceive. The process includes the following steps:

  1. Women are given hormones to induce production of mature eggs.
  2. Eggs are extracted and combined with sperm in the IVF laboratory to create multiple embryos.
  3. One or two of the best embryos are transferred to the patient’s uterus.

Initially, IVF was used to treat only infertility caused by blocked fallopian tubes. Today, IVF is an effective treatment for all causes of infertility for which simpler treatments have not succeeded or are not an option. IVF has also become much more successful. In fact, many clinics are now achieving IVF success rates of 50 percent or more for women under 35 years old.

A full spectrum of IVF laboratory procedures is performed at Cleveland Clinic to help those trying to achieve pregnancy. Cleveland Clinic now offers an opportunity to interact through Facebook with our physicians, nurses and embryologists to get the latest information about treating infertility. You can share your story and learn how those who are diagnosed with infertility handle their treatments and procedures and the challenges of trying to have a baby. Please note that this Facebook group is not intended to replace medical advice from your physician, but to offer information and support to you on your journey toward pregnancy.

Log on to and click on "Ask to Join Group."

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

August 22, 2013 at 12:01pm