Please contact us at: 732-758-6511

In Vitro Fertilization


The following information is a brief overview of the IVF procedure and was designed to provide a basic understanding of IVF and help answer questions that may arise during treatment. We encourage your questions always as you make your decision to proceed with treatment.

During your next visit we can discuss any concerns you might have. All couples who wish to be considered for IVF must have an initial consult with our physician. Your prior clinical history will be reviewed to determine whether IVF is a suitable option. It is important that your medical records be made available at the time of this consultation.

An Overview of the IVF Procedure




IVF Steps

  1. Pretreatment
  2. Suppression
  3. Prevention of Ovulation
  4. Stimulation
  5. Retrieval
  6. Transfer
  7. Support of Pregnancy

The IVF cycle is started with a pretreatment phase of oral contraceptives (birth control pills).  The pills are used for approximately 3 – 7 weeks.  The birth control pills will suppress your reproductive hormones and are started during your menses.

IVF Cycles are typically performed with either GnRH antagonists (Lupron) or antagonists (Cetrotide/Ganirelix).  The hormones function to prevent ovulation of eggs into the pelvis so that egg retrieval will be successful.  If Lupron is used, it is started during the birth control pill phase of your cycle.  If an antagonist is used, it will start later on during the stimulation phase of the cycle.

The next step is a daily injection of fertility drugs know as gonadotropins (Follistim, Gonal-f, Bravell, Menopur).  These medicines will stimulate the ovaries to produce several mature eggs instead of the one egg your body would naturally produce in your menstrual cycle.

During the stimulation phase of your cycle, we will carefully monitor the response of the ovaries to these medicines by serial ultrasounds where we will measure the size and number of follicles.  Additionally, serial blood tests are performed to monitor the blood estrogen response to the medicines.

By interpreting the results of the ultrasounds and blood tests, our physicians are able to determine which day is best to perform the egg recovery.

The oocyte retrieval is performed with IV sedation using ultrasound guided aspiration. This procedure uses an ultrasound probe inserted into the vagina and a needle is guided through the vaginal wall into the ovary. Using the needle, the ova are aspirated from the ovary using a suction device. The follicular fluid is removed and an embryologist examines the fluid to locate and grade the maturity of the ovum.



The ova are transferred to a culture dish containing IVF culture medium and placed in an incubator. The incubator is set at specific conditions that mimic the natural environment of the female body.





A fresh sperm sample is obtained and processed to obtain the most healthy and motile sperm. The sperm are then added to the culture dish containing the ovum to allow for fertilization. In cases of severe male factor, an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can be performed to directly inject a single sperm into the egg to achieve fertilization.





Men who have sperm surgically removed or who have difficulty collecting a sample can opt to freeze sperm. After the sperm and eggs are combined they are placed into the incubator overnight and checked in the morning to see if they have fertilized.


Fertilized oocytes, called zygotes are evaluated during the incubation period of development before being transferred back to the woman for implantation




DAY 1 DAY 3 – 8 DAY 5

On the day of the embryo transfer the number and quality of embryos is reviewed with you by your physician. You will receive a photograph of the embryos chosen for transfer. You will be able to watch the embryos being loaded into a fine plastic catheter which is then immediately inserted through the cervix and the embryos are placed within the uterus. Implantation occurs about day 6 or 7 of the embryo’s development.

A blood pregnancy test is performed fourteen days following the oocyte collection to determine if pregnancy has occurred. If the test is negative Dr. Damien and Dr. Hartog will call you with the results and recommend when to return to the office for a follow up consult. If the test is positive a second test is done to confirm that the level is rising appropriately. It should double every other day.

If both blood test results are good, an ultrasound is scheduled for approximately 6 weeks gestation.

REMEMBER – You are two weeks pregnant at the time of your transfer, so your 1st ultrasound is approximately four weeks from your transfer. At this ultrasound a fetal heartbeat should be detected. If not, you will be asked to return for a second ultrasound a few days later.

If all is well, CONGRATULATIONS and we hope you will send us a birth announcement!!


Damien Fertility Partners
655 Shrewsbury Avenue
Shrewsbury, NJ 07702
Phone: 732-758-6511
Fax: 732-758-1048


Damien Fertility Partners
60 Park Place, Suite 210
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: 973-732-2909
Fax: 732-758-1048

Jersey City

Damien Fertility Partners
138 River Drive South
Jersey City, NJ 07310
Phone: 201-377-0500
Fax: 732-758-1048