One of the most effective infertility therapies, useful for virtually all patients, is In Vitro Fertilization with Embryo Transfer (IVF-ET, or IVF). This technique requires having the woman grow many eggs by taking injections of the ovarian stimulating hormones FSH and LH. The eggs are removed from the uterus with a small needle, fertilized with her partner’s sperm and permitted to grow. When good growth and health are noted, an single embryo (sometimes two) is put back into the uterus.
IVF is widely useful and has a spectacular pregnancy rate, above 50% per therapy cycle for women under 35. It is also very high tech, very time intensive and requires close care and monitoring for several weeks.
In 1989 Dr Howe was recruited from University of Pennsylvania to open the IVF program at Baystate Medical Center. He since has developed an affiliation with New England’s most highly regarded program, IVF-New England, with whom he has collaborated since 1997. In this affiliation, clinical monitoring is performed at RMC in East Longmeadow; the patient goes to Lexington to have her eggs harvested and to have an embryo transfer. By this affiliation patients enjoy the personal care of the small town practice at Reproductive Medicine Center of Western Massachusetts, while benefitting from the superior laboratory facilities and pregnancy rates that IVF-New England boasts.
If IVF interests you, please come for a consultation with Dr Howe. Then, we can determine the best plan of therapy and undertake your care as an IVF-New England affiliate.
As an ultrasound probe provides a visual image of the ovary and the surrounding structures, a fine needle is inserted through the upper wall of the vagina and into the ovary. Magnification of the ultrasound image allows the physician to locate the individual follicles that contain mature eggs and apply gentle suction to remove the contents of each one.