In Vitro Fertilization Overview

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In vitro fertilization is a treatment option for women diagnosed with infertility, whether due to blocked or damaged Fallopian tubes, endometriosis, immunological infertility, cervical factor infertility or an unexplained cause. It is also an option for couples with mild to moderate male factor infertility. In vitro fertilization involves mixing egg cells with sperm cells in vitro—that is, in a laboratory rather than in the body. Once fertilization occurs, the embryos are transferred into the mother's uterus, creating a pregnancy that will be carried to term and delivered normally.

Services at the Center for Infertility and Reproductive Services

The Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) is one of the premier infertility programs in the country. For women considering in vitro fertilization, the Center offers access to the broad medical expertise of our clinicians, who are all Harvard Medical School faculty. We offer the latest advances in infertility treatment and services, while providing comprehensive care to meet all of a patient's needs related to infertility and reproductive medicine.

The Center offers all available (approved in the U.S.) procedures and services. In addition to in vitro fertilization, our services include:

  • Micromanipulation technologies than can assist the fertilization process in the lab
  • Embryo freezing and cryo embryo transfer cycles (CET) to preserve eggs for future use, which is an option for some women prior to pelvic radiation or oophorectomy for cancer
  • Surgical sperm extraction if needed to retrieve sufficient sperm
  • Donor oocytes, including either designated or anonymous egg donation
  • Gestational carriers, which are an alternative for women who have undergone hysterectomy for cancer but who still have functional ovaries; standard in vitro fertilization treatment is performed, then the eggs are transferred to a gestational carrier's uterus

BWH has one of the largest university hospital-based infertility centers in the US, with more Boston-based fertility experts in Top Docs (Castle Connolly Medical LTD., 2009) than any other program. These strengths bring a comprehensive array of expert resources to bear on each couple's fertility issues so that our specialists do everything possible, including in vitro fertilization, to help women achieve a successful pregnancy.

Learn more about in vitro fertilization and other infertility treatments at BWH.

BWH: world leaders in women's health care

BWH has been consistently recognized as a top hospital on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll and ranked highly in the specialty area of obstetrics and gynecology. For over 180 years, we have provided women with innovative health care, advancing medical technology and gynecological surgery procedures, including state-of-the-art robotic surgery such as robotic myomectomy, to address gynecologic issues.

Learn more about In Vitro Fertilization at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Learn more about Brigham and Women's Hospital

For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

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