Infertility Services

Once you have been evaluated and infertility issues have been identified, it's time to decide the best course of treatment from options available at the Gundersen Fertility Center. From in vitro fertilization to use of and egg donor, and services for women and men, we offer options that will fit your situation and reproductive goals.

In Vitro Fertilization

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is often used only after other forms of fertility treatment have not resulted in pregnancy or other treatments are not an option.

Eggs collected from a woman's ovaries and sperm collected from a man are joined together in a lab to form embryos. Two, sometimes three embryos are transferred to a woman's uterus to establish a pregnancy.

Why IVF?

  • Male Infertility: While other treatments are available, none are as effective as IVF for treating moderate to severe cases of male infertility. With the relatively recent introduction of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), the use of IVF for male infertility has become as successful as when used for the treatment of female-related infertility. ICSI involves injecting a single sperm directly into each egg to achieve fertilization.
  • Tubal damage, pelvic inflammatory disease and pelvic adhesions: IVF performed in an optimum setting offers more than double the birth rate following a single month of treatment than what can be achieved within two or three years following surgery.
  • Post tubal ligation: Certain types of tubal ligation are reversible, and some are not. If too much tube has been damaged in the ligation process, the tube cannot be repaired. The woman's age, as well as how many children the couple would like to have, can also play a factor in the decision to use IVF versus having surgery.
  • Endometriosis: Endometriosis is associated with the presence of "toxins" in the pelvic secretions that surround the fallopian tubes. Regardless of whether fertility drugs are used, or whether IUI is performed, the egg or eggs will inevitably become exposed to "toxic" pelvic secretions as they enter the fallopian tube(s), leaving these options ineffective in the treatment of endometriosis-related infertility. IVF bypasses this problem.
  • Age-related infertility: Women who are unable to produce enough quality eggs should consider IVF using an egg donor where the comparable birth rate per cycle can be expected to be above 50 percent, provided the egg donor is under age 35.
  • Unexplained infertility: When there is no apparent cause for infertility and the woman is over 35 years of age and/or when the couple has failed to conceive using other types of treatment, IVF becomes the treatment of choice.
  • Immunologic infertility: Because of the cost and extensive nature of immunotherapy, and the fact that some therapies must be repeated in a short amount of time, IVF is a favored method to achieve pregnancy. The immunotherapy treatment can be given early in the IVF cycle for maximum effectiveness.
  • Recurrent failure with intrauterine insemination: IVF becomes the treatment of choice if three or more intrauterine insemination (IUI) gonadotropin-stimulated cycles (where ovulation was successfully induced and sperm counts were acceptable) do not result in pregnancy.
  • Couples in need of preimplantation genetic diagnosis: Couples that experience recurrent pregnancy loss or the inability to conceive due to a genetic abnormality may benefit from preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) during IVF. Other problems that can be addressed by PGD are hereditary diseases such as cystic fibrosis or Tay-Sachs.

Our success rates

Our state-of-the-art laboratory facilities produce pregnancy rates above the national averages compared to Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) data.

Complete SART Report

In our new, state of the art laboratory facilities, our pregnancy rates are above the national averages compared to 2013 Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) data, which is the most current data available.

A comparison of clinic success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics, treatment approaches and entrance criteria for ART may vary from clinic to clinic.
Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology

Although we want to help everyone achieve a successful pregnancy, it is also very important to us that we maximize the chance of success yet minimize the risk of a multiple gestation pregnancy.

In efforts to reduce the number of multiple gestation pregnancies resulting from IVF, the Gundersen Fertility Center has established a policy regarding the number of fresh embryos to transfer. This policy was established to comply with the Embryo Transfer Guidelines devised by The Practice Committees of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Pregnancy results from our own IVF program were taken into consideration as well.

The number of embryos selected for transfer should be based on age and prognosis. The following criteria are used to determine a favorable prognosis:

  1. First attempt IVF or previous successful IVF cycle
  2. Good ovarian reserve
  3. History of not smoking
  4. Good embryo quality on day 5 of development
  5. Excess embryos available for cryopreservation (for day 5 embryo transfer)
Prognosis Age < 35 Age 35-37 Age 38-40 Age > 40
Favorable 1 embryo 2 embryos 2 embryos 3 embryos
All other patients 2 embryos 2 embryos 3 embryos 3 embryos

Please note: These guidelines may be modified according to individual circumstances after appropriate consultation.

As a result of this policy, our program has performed many elective single embryo transfers (eSET) for patients with a favorable prognosis. In this situation, the patient may have two or more embryos available for transfer, but after consulting with our embryologist, has decided to transfer only a single embryo.

The 2013 national percentage of eSET performed is just over 22%, according to the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology. By comparison, our program is closer to 70% eSET, with an ongoing pregnancy rate of almost 75%.

Assisted Reproductive Technologies

Fertility procedures that require laboratory handling of the sperm and egg are called Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). ART can be used for treatment of:

  • Moderate to severe male infertility, including low sperm count, low sperm motility and blocked or missing male reproductive tubes
  • Fallopian tube blockage or severe damage, including tubal ligations or damage caused by pelvic infections
  • Severe pelvic scar tissue which may be caused by endometriosis or infections (including appendicitis)
  • Endometriosis, especially when other treatments have not lead to pregnancy
  • Anti-sperm antibodies
  • Unexplained infertility

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common and best known form of ART. Learn more about IVF above.

Other ART options

  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection: Injecting sperm directly into the egg.
  • Preimplantation genetic diagnosis: Testing cells from embryos of couples who have a specific genetic condition they do not want to pass on to their children.
  • Preimplantation genetic screening: For couples who need testing for genetic conditions involving whole chromosomes or large areas of a chromosome. Appropriate for couples with multiple miscarriages.
  • Egg Donation: Eggs from a donor are collected during an IVF cycle. The donor eggs are fertilized with sperm from the intended father. Resulting embryos are then transferred into the uterus of the intended mother.
  • Surgical sperm retrieval: Men who do not ejaculate sperm due to blocked or missing tubes in their reproductive system can have sperm retrieved from their reproductive tract. The retrieved sperm is cryopreserved for use in a future IVF cycle.

Donor Egg Program

Some women may experience diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) that prevents them from being able to get pregnant using their own eggs. DOR can lead to the recovery of few eggs or low quality eggs. If you experience DOR, you still have the option of achieving pregnancy using eggs provided by an egg donor.

Gundersen Fertility Center partners with these banks with continued success and very high pregnancy rates:

Our donor egg program includes:

  • Baseline ultrasound and monitoring ultrasounds
  • Baseline measuring and monitoring of estradiol levels
  • Cryopreservation of back-up semen specimen
  • Thawing and culture of eggs
  • Sperm preparation and insemination of the eggs using Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
  • Culture of embryos
  • Preparation of embryos for transfer
  • Embryo transfer with ultrasound guidance

Male Infertility

Male factor infertility is present in about 50 percent of couples seeking infertility investigation and testing. If you are trying to get pregnant and have a diagnosis that includes male factor infertility, consider scheduling a consultation with our experts to consider treatments like:

  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): A proven method that effectively overcomes barriers to achieving pregnancy for couples with low sperm count, low motility, and or low morphology.
  • Surgical Sperm Aspiration: A Gundersen urologist provides outpatient surgical sperm recovery, when it's a viable option. Sperm is collected, analyzed, frozen and stored so you only have to go through the recovery process once.
  • Vasectomy reversal service: Our urologist also offers clinic-based vasectomy reversals for men who qualify for the service. These procedures were previously only performed in an operating room. Success depends on the number of years since the vasectomy, age of the female partner and her reproductive history. A consultation is recommended to determine the best options. You can also call (608) 775-2212 for more information.
  • Cryopreservation: Available in the event pregnancy is not achieved naturally after vasectomy reversal. You may then be eligible for a discount if you elect to do IVF with ICSI using your cryopreserved specimen.

Other Services

  • Recurrent pregnancy loss is a special type of fertility problem. While a couple does not have problems conceiving, a woman has difficulties carrying the baby to the time when it can survive outside the uterus. Various blood tests and checking the uterine cavity for abnormalities will sometimes provide clues to the problem. The woman's immune system may produce antibodies against a pregnancy or higher than usual clotting factor levels that can lead to clots in the placenta. Treatments are available.
  • Endometriosis can cause significant pain and discomfort. Even when fertility is not the current issue, staff at the Gundersen Fertility Center can help with surgical and medical treatment.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a lifetime medical problem that leads to fertility issues. Because of the variable nature of PCOS, a diagnosis and treatment is often multifaceted. To address the complexity of PCOS, Gundersen has created a program for women who have been diagnosed with, or whose symptoms suggest, PCOS. Talk to you primary care provider about a referral to the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Program or call (608) 775-2306.
  • Abnormal Female Reproductive Development: Full reproductive endocrinology care is available for women with uterine abnormalities or menstrual cycle disorders.
Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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