In Vitro Fertilization

Appointment New Patient Appointment or 214-645-8300

Fertility doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center specialize in the latest services and treatments available in reproductive medicine. Our team has advanced training and expertise in in vitro fertilization – including minimal stimulation IVF – to help women and couples achieve successful pregnancies.

What Is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a series of procedures that assists with the conception of a child. With IVF, eggs from a woman and sperm from her partner or a donor are combined in a lab, where fertilization takes place. IVF is the most effective type of assisted reproductive technology (ART), which includes treatments and procedures that aim to achieve pregnancy.

Specialized In Vitro Fertilization Services

Our reproductive medicine specialists are well known across the country for their expertise in advanced fertility treatments, such as minimal stimulation IVF, which few hospitals or clinics offer. Our team works closely with women and men to determine the causes of infertility and offer treatment plans to help restore fertility.

By working with a high volume of patients, we’ve built our expertise in fertility treatment. We offer the most advanced ART options to help maximize the chances of successful pregnancy, bringing hope to people who have struggled with infertility.

We are accredited by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). SART accreditation means that we meet the highest standards for quality, safety, and patient care.

Reasons to Consider In Vitro Fertilization

IVF helps a woman become pregnant. Women and couples might consider IVF for several reasons:

  • Advanced maternal age, typically older than 40, since female fertility usually declines with age
  • Endometriosis, an often painful condition that occurs when tissue that is similar to the tissue from the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus
  • Fertility preservation through egg freezing or embryo freezing (cryopreservation)
  • Genetic disorders, including those that can make getting pregnant difficult and those that cause concern about being passed on to children
  • Male factor infertility, such as decreased sperm count, blockage, or abnormal sperm, which prevents a man from starting a pregnancy
  • Ovulation disorders, including irregular or absent periods, which can be a result of hormonal imbalances, stress, ovary issues, and other conditions
  • Premature ovarian failure (early menopause), loss of ovary function before age 40
  • Tubal disease, blocked or damaged fallopian tubes caused by pelvic inflammatory disease or other illness
  • Tubal ligation, surgery to cut the fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Uterine fibroids, a common condition also called myomas or leiomyomas, are noncancerous (benign) growths in or on the uterus

Our Services For In Vitro Fertilization

Screening tests

To prepare for IVF, both partners will likely need tests that can include:

  • Infectious disease screening: Blood tests to screen for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Ovarian reserve testing: Blood tests and a pelvic ultrasound to assess ovarian function
  • Practice (mock) embryo transfer: Procedure to determine the depth of the uterine cavity and the most effective technique to place the embryos into the uterus
  • Semen analysis: Test to measure volume, sperm number, sperm movement (motility), and sperm shape (morphology)
  • Uterine cavity exam: Procedure in which the doctor views the inside of the uterus using a hysteroscope, a slender, lighted device inserted through the vagina and cervix, or sonohysterography, an ultrasound of the uterus

Conventional IVF

The IVF process includes multiple steps:

  1. Ovulation induction: Injectable hormone medications to stimulate the ovaries to produce and release multiple eggs in one cycle
  2. Egg retrieval: Procedure done under sedation to remove eggs from the ovaries, using transvaginal ultrasound to guide a needle
  3. Sperm retrieval: Procedure to obtain sperm through masturbation or extract sperm from the testicles using a needle and syringe or a surgical procedure
  4. Fertilization: Procedure to create embryos through one of two methods:
    • Standard insemination: Procedure to combine eggs and sperm in a lab and incubate them overnight
    • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): Procedure to inject a single sperm into an egg using a needle, used for sperm that cannot fertilize an egg on their own
  1. Embryo transfer: Procedure to place one or more embryos into the uterus, usually one to six days after egg retrieval, using a catheter (long, thin tube inserted into the vagina and through the cervix)

Minimal stimulation IVF

Also called mini-IVF, minimal stimulation in vitro fertilization uses lower dosages of ovarian stimulation medications, which results in a small number of high-quality eggs.

The process for mini-IVF is the same as that for conventional IVF. However, our fertility specialists typically use an oral medication, Clomid (clomiphene citrate), and low-dose injections of gonadotropins to stimulate the ovaries. In some cases, patients might need only the oral medication.

Our doctors work with each patient to decide whether mini-IVF is right for her. The benefits include:

  • Fewer injections needed
  • Lower risk of side effects such as pain from gonadotropin injections
  • Reduced risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)
  • Lower cost for treatment because fewer fertility drugs are used
  • Shorter waiting time between cycles, typically one month rather than two to three

Additional fertility services

Depending on each woman’s or couple’s health needs and goals, they might need one or more additional fertility services, such as:

Embryo freezing (cryopreservation): Freezing and storage of extra embryos created through IVF for later use

Egg donation: Procedure to obtain eggs from a female donor who undergoes ovulation induction and egg retrieval, for women who cannot use their own eggs

Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT): Testing that screens cells from embryos before they are implanted in the uterus for genetic diseases and chromosomal disorders

Sperm donation: Procedure to obtain sperm from a male donor either through masturbation or sperm retrieval, for men who cannot use their own sperm

IVF Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose UT Southwestern for my IVF journey?

Our team truly believes that one size does not fit all. We tailor out protocols for fertility treatment based on individual needs. This is always balanced by medical needs, and taking patients’ personal, ethical, and financial aspects into consideration. As a clinic accredited by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), we are dedicated to high quality care for our patients.

How is the UT Southwestern Fertility and Advanced Reproductive Medicine Clinic regulated?

Our clinic is a member in good standing with the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). We are also registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and regulated by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA).

Is my insurance accepted? Where can I get more information about financial aspects relating to my treatment?

We work with a range of insurance providers. We have a dedicated financial team that will be able to answer your specific needs. See additional information regarding fertility treatment and costs here.

After the IVF Procedure

If IVF is successful, an embryo will implant in the uterine lining within six to 10 days after egg retrieval. Women will have a blood test about two weeks after egg retrieval to detect whether they have become pregnant.

  • If pregnant, our fertility doctors refer patients to an obstetrician for prenatal care.
  • If not pregnant, patients can undergo another cycle of IVF after their next menstrual cycle. Time between IVF cycles will depend on individual circumstances.

Support Services

Mental health support

We have a health psychologist for emotional support to patients undergoing fertility treatment.

Prenatal/preconception genetics

As part of your IVF evaluation or care at UT Southwestern, you may be referred for genetic counseling.

A genetic counselor works closely with your health care team to provide education, risk assessment, testing options and test results, and support for you and your family.

Topics that may be discussed with a genetic counselor include:

  • Genetic carrier screening
  • Family history of genetic conditions
  • Parental age
  • Egg or sperm donor history
  • Recurrent pregnancy loss or infertility
  • Preimplantation genetic testing options
  • Screening and testing options after a pregnancy is achieved via IVF