In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

The first IVF cycle in the United States was completed in 1980. Since then, it has grown to become one of the most common infertility treatments.

IVF is an assisted reproductive procedure that involves retrieving a woman’s egg (an oocyte) and manually combining it with their partner or donor’s sperm in a laboratory. It is a minimally invasive procedure performed in an outpatient setting.

Dr. Friberg started the first IVF program in the Midwest in 1982. Prior to that, IVF programs existed at the Jones Institute in Virginia and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Dr. Friberg now has over 40 years of IVF experience and invented many new IVF techniques. He will take the time to thoroughly discuss all aspects of the procedure and any risks that may apply to you prior to scheduling your surgery.

How IVF Works

Dr. Friberg will begin by developing a treatment plan that is specific to your body, your cycle and your needs. Based on that, he will tailor the selection and dosage of your medication.

No two patients are alike! Dr. Friberg will walk you step by step through the treatment plan that he has developed specifically for your case. Here are the basic stages of IVF treatment:


Ovarian Stimulation
Over the course of 7-14 days, injections of medication will be used to stimulate your ovaries into producing multiple eggs. These eggs are housed inside fluid-filled sacs, commonly referred to as “follicles.” During this stimulation course, you will have multiple appointments to monitor the growth of your follicles. These follicles are later retrieved and combined in our embryology lab with sperm to create an embryo.


Ovarian response is measured by checking hormones in your bloodstream and by performing an ultrasound during monitoring appointments. The ultrasound is necessary to give us the most accurate measurement of your uterine lining and the size/growth of your follicles. When your eggs have reached an optimal maturity level, an injection will be used to trigger ovulation and prepare your body for egg retrieval which will occur within 36 hours of this injection.


Egg Retrieval
Just before expected release of the eggs, you will meet us at our surgery center site. Skilled anesthesiologists will then put you under intravenous sedation to ensure the egg retrieval is pain-free. The follicles are then aspirated via needle with the guidance of ultrasound. The follicles that were successfully retrieved will then be handed off to the talented Dr. Abeer, our embryologist, who will introduce sperm to the embryos for fertilization.


Preparing for Fertilization
When you wake up from IV sedation, your embryologist will be hard at work in the laboratory. During this time, both the eggs and sperm samples will be prepared for fertilization. Dr. Friberg will discuss with you which method is right for your cycle.


Embryo Development and Transfer
Within 18-20 hours after your procedure, Dr. Abeer will check if fertilization has occurred. Once fertilized, she then cultures the embryos for several days. On day 3, you will receive a developmental assessment of the cultures. To be more selective with embryos, we try to culture to day 5 before we do a transfer.

Certain circumstances such as age, number of embryos and quality of embryos determines if a day-3, a day-5 fresh, or even a frozen embryo transfer is best for your cycle.

Additional IVF Options

Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Our embryologist selects a single sperm to be directly injected into the egg for fertilization. The majority of physicians elect to use ICSI to ensure sperm delivery into the oocyte (egg). However, ICSI is not a guarantee that fertilization will occur. Some factors that may make you a candidate for ICSI include the following:

  • sperm samples that have low motility and/or poor morphology
  • sperm that must be extracted via testicular biopsy
  • low sperm count
  • sperm antibodies

Assisted Hatching

Some embryos may be stuck inside their zona (a membrane that encases the new embryo), which prevents hatching and implantation into the uterine lining. Assisted hatching is a simple micro-manipulation procedure performed by an embryologist that helps encourage the embryo to come out of the zona.