Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you’re starting out on your fertility journey, looking for a second opinion, or simply have questions about fertility care, Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago is here to guide you.
To begin, give us a call at (773) 794-1818 or request a consult by submitting our online form.
Our policy does not require a referral for new patients. However, some insurance plans do. We recommend confirming with your insurance provider to make sure. If you need any assistance, please call our office at (773) 794-1818 and we will be happy to help.
The CDC defines infertility as the inability to “get pregnant after one year of trying.” However, because infertility becomes more of an issue as females get older, fertility specialists typically advise women over the age of 35 to seek help after trying to conceive without success for six months.
Aside from age, there are several other factors that can cause infertility. One of the most common causes of infertility are ovulation disorders. As such, it’s important that women who experience irregular menstruation consider scheduling an appointment with a fertility specialist.
Assisted reproductive technology (ART) refers to a range of treatments and procedures that have been designed to help patients achieve pregnancy. This includes procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), in which eggs and sperm are taken outside of the body and combined in a laboratory setting, as well as intrauterine insemination (IUI), in which sperm is placed directly inside the uterus.
ART also includes third-party reproductive techniques, such as egg donation and gestational surrogacy.
IVF is often recommended as a treatment option for a wide range of fertility issues. Some examples include: blocked fallopian tubes, severe endometriosis, advanced age, male factor infertility, ovulation disorders, and unexplained infertility. IVF is also needed when using an egg donor or surrogate.
A full cycle of IVF takes about two to three weeks to complete but can take longer depending on certain factors. First, the female patient takes several medications that trigger ovulation and egg development. Once the eggs have reached the proper maturity, they are retrieved from the ovaries and combined with sperm in a laboratory for fertilization.
If you’re having a fresh embryo transfer, the embryo will be transferred into the uterus after three to five days of development. About two weeks after the initial egg extraction, your doctor will test your blood to see if you’re pregnant.
If you’re having a frozen embryo transfer, the embryo is frozen after fertilization. Embryos can be stored frozen for an extended period of time before being thawed and transferred to your uterus.
PGD is a testing procedure in which a single cell is removed from an IVF embryo for genetic analysis before being transferred into the uterus. This procedure is typically recommended for patients who are age 38 or older, have a history of recurrent miscarriages, have a history of multiple failed IVF attempts, have a family history of inherited genetic diseases, or are carriers of chromosomal abnormalities.
There are several fertility options available for LGBTQ+ individuals and couples wanting to build their families, including donor eggs, gestational surrogates, donor sperm, IVF, and IUI.
Frozen eggs and embryos are cryopreserved through a process known as vitrification, which is an ultra-rapid freezing technique. Before being frozen, eggs and embryos are treated with a cryoprotectant, which helps to prevent ice crystals from forming. The eggs and embryos are then flash-frozen into a glass-like state that can be safely thawed out at a later time.
Because the practice of freezing eggs and embryos is a relatively new fertility procedure, there currently isn’t a lot of data to confirm how long frozen eggs and embryos can be stored. However, many experts believe that, as long as the freezing conditions remain the same, eggs and embryos can stay cryopreserved for an indefinite period of time.
Egg donors can be found by reviewing our egg donor database, which contains extensive details about each donor’s characteristics, medical history, intelligence, personality, family history, and more. All of our egg donors have been thoroughly screened for diseases, genetic conditions, and psychological attributes – all you have to focus on is choosing the donor that is the ideal match for you and your family-building goals.
In a fresh donor egg cycle, the egg donor and recipient’s cycles are coordinated. The donor is injected with fertility medications that trigger egg development and maturation. The eggs are retrieved from the donor’s ovaries and then combined with a partner’s or donor’s sperm so that fertilization can occur. Meanwhile, the recipient is given medication to prepare her uterus for embryo transfer.
In a frozen donor egg cycle, there is no need for cycle coordination. The egg donor still undergoes the processes of receiving medication and egg retrieval. Instead of combining the eggs with sperm, the eggs are cryopreserved and stored. When chosen, the frozen eggs are thawed, fertilized, and transferred into the recipient’s uterus.
To become an egg donor, you must first complete a brief pre-screen questionnaire to see if you fulfill the most basic egg donor requirements. Once you pass the initial stage, you will then fill out a full questionnaire, which will ask you detailed questions about your health and characteristics. Once you’ve completed the full questionnaire and have been accepted, we will schedule you for an appointment so that we can evaluate your general health, reproductive health, genetics, and psychological disposition. All testing is provided at no cost to you.
If you’re interested in becoming an egg donor with Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago, please fill out our pre-screen questionnaire here.
Fertility insurance coverage varies greatly depending on your insurance plan, insurance provider, and the state you live in. Some insurance plans provide full coverage, while others cover nothing. Many insurance plans cover some services but not others. Most plans, but not all, will often cover infertility evaluation and diagnostic testing services. To learn more about fertility care and insurance, we invite you to contact us directly so that we can answer your specific questions.