IVF Treatment Support in Toronto & Ontario

Natural Support for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

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In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In Vitro Fertilization, commonly known as IVF, is Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) for aspiring parents who want to grow their families. The IVF process involves extracting eggs and sperm and manually combining them in a controlled environment — an IVF laboratory. The resulting embryo(s) are either implanted in the uterus (or frozen, depending on your medical team’s advice).

While IVF is commonly used in cases of infertility, it can be an effective option for those with known hereditary or genetic conditions, or patients who would like to create embryos and start their family at a later date. It is also an optimal fertility treatment if the male partner has a declining sperm count or impaired motility. Your specialist will help you determine if you are an ideal candidate for IVF treatment. If there are unexplained fertility challenges, then you may opt to try IUI treatment first and proceed to IVF if it is unsuccessful. IVF is often used as fertility treatment for the following conditions:

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If you have blocked fallopian tubes

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If you have endometriosis or scar tissue that make it difficult to conceive

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If you have PCOS and don’t ovulate regularly

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If you have low egg reserves and want to increase the chances of conception

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If you have experienced repetitive pregnancy loss

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If you are a same sex couple or single by choice

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If you are using donor eggs or sperm to conceive

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If you want to extract and preserve your eggs for later implantation

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If there is male factor infertility

Improving Your Fertility Treatment

Many struggling with infertility turn to IVF or IUI treatment — yet, only 25% will be successful the first time. At Conceive Health, we help you take the necessary steps to make your family dreams come true. IVF only puts egg and sperm together — it doesn’t affect the quality of the sperm and egg, just the quantity. If you have been trying to conceive for a while, have had a failed IVF or IUI cycle, or are planning your first IVF treatment, then preconception care is your secret weapon.

The IVF Treatment Process

The following steps outline what you can expect if you are undergoing IVF treatment.

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Step 1: Stimulate Your Ovaries

Your medical team will prescribe medication(s) to stimulate your ovaries to produce mature eggs. Typically, these are given over a span of  7-10 days. Additional hormones (ie. estrogen, birth control, DHEA) may also be required.

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Step 2: Monitor Your Response

Your medical team will monitor your progress and ensure that the ovaries are responding well to your treatment. They will gauge this through an ultrasound and blood tests.

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Step 3: Mature Your Eggs

If everything is on track, then you will receive a hormone injection two days before your eggs are due to be collected. This will trigger the eggs to mature.

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Step 4: Retrieve Your Eggs

You will undergo a simple and quick procedure under a light general anesthetic to retrieve your eggs. The doctor uses a precision ultrasound-guided technique to collect your eggs.

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Step 5: Provide the Sperm

On the same day that your eggs are retrieved, your partner will provide a fresh sperm sample. If you require a sperm donor, then this will be arranged in advance so that the semen is available.

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Step 6: Create Your Embryos

The embryologist will combine the sperm and egg in a lab designed for In Vitro Fertilization. If the process is successful, then the eggs will be fertilized and early embryo development will begin.

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Step 7: Implant Your Embryos

Three to five days after fertilization, your doctor will implant one or two embryos in your (or your surrogate’s) uterus.

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Step 8: Freeze Extra Embryos

If you have remaining embryos, they can be frozen using a process called Cryopreservation for future embryo transfers, if desired.

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Step 9: Pregnancy Test

Approximately two weeks after your embryo transfer (known as the “two-week wait”), you will have a blood test to measure your HCG levels and find out if you are pregnant. If the test is positive, your first ultrasound scan will be done two weeks later. If the test is negative, you will speak with your medical team about future options and decide whether you want to try In Vitro Fertilization again.

Preconception Care for IVF Treatment

At Conceive Health, help you take the necessary steps to make your family dreams come true. Working alongside your medical team, we ensure that the weeks or months prior to your IVF treatment count. That means correcting nutritional deficiencies, decreasing environmental load, and altering lifestyle habits to improve the health of your future baby.

Much like warming up before exercise, we know that preconception care is the most important action that you can take to improve your odds during IVF treatment. After all, the better your sperm and egg quality, the greater chance you have of getting pregnant, staying pregnant, and having a healthy pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the answers to the most commonly asked questions about In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

Is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) painful?
  • Most IVF patients report that the retrieval process is mildly uncomfortable, however, the end result far outweighs any discomfort.
Can my weight impact my IVF treatment?
  • Yes. When it comes to body fat, there’s a sweet spot for optimal fertility. However, this has less to do with the scale and more to do with your ratio of muscle to body fat. For example, women who have a BMI of 19 or under can take a longer time to conceive. Whereas, overweight women are more likely to produce immature eggs, have a poor response to medication and have fewer eggs/oocytes retrieved. Your naturopathic doctor will provide a detailed plan to improve your body composition during your preconception plan.
Do I need to change my vitamins?
  • Most likely, yes. In addition to using specific and timed acupuncture protocols, your Conceive Health naturopathic doctor will review all your current supplements and ensure that you are not taking anything that could negatively impact your IVF or IUI treatment. For example, certain herbs and supplements can interfere with hormones used for ovarian stimulation and reduce their effect. We also customize a lifestyle, diet and supplement routine to ensure that everything is in place for optimal egg and sperm quality.

Can I exercise during IVF treatment?
  • Yes — in moderation. We always recommend a preconception exercise and fitness routine leading up to IVF cycle, which will be reduced while you are in treatment. In fact, weight lifting 3 x a week for 30-40 minutes stimulates new mitochondrial growth and is great for your body and baby.
Can I drink coffee and/or wine during treatment?
  • Yes and no. Wine is a definite no as it has been shown to impair egg quality, even in moderation. With coffee, minimization and moderation is key.

Can I use cannabis during treatment?
  • The long term research is mixed, but ingesting cannabis through smoke is detrimental — it concentrates in the egg and is carcinogenic. We recommend avoiding it during your preconception plan and throughout pregnancy.

When is IVF acupuncture performed?
  • If you are not undergoing an IVF cycle yet, it’s generally once a week. If you in IVF treatment or a medicated and/or monitored cycle, then we recommend receiving treatments from your Conceive Health naturopath or acupuncturist twice per week.
How can Conceive Health support my treatment?
  • We help you prepare for IVF treatment by optimizing egg and sperm quality — before the process begins. Our integrated approach helps to support follicular growth, build endometrial lining and improve the chances of implantation. As your fertility partner, we also offer an additional check-in point so that you are supported throughout the entire process — from the first appointment, through to pregnancy and beyond.

What People Are Saying …

I highly recommend Conceive Health if you are looking for the best naturopath Dr in Toronto. Dr Jennifer Fitzgerald [and team] is very knowledgeable when it comes to fertility. She spends a lot of time with her patients coming up with the best treatment plan to help you conceive. She will even support you throughout and after your pregnancy. Fertility treatments can be very stressful but with the right support and plan [your] dreams of conceiving can come true!!!

Golnoush Abate

Patient and Proud Parent

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