What Is Reciprocal IVF
Reciprocal IVF is a form of In Vitro Fertilization in which two women are involved in the process of creating a pregnancy
In reciprocal IVF, one partner provides the eggs retrieved during the IVF cycle (Genetic Mother), and the other carries the pregnancy (Birth Mother). The eggs are fertilized with donor sperm in the laboratory, and the resulting embryos are then transferred to the Birth Mother’s uterus of the partner who will carry the pregnancy.
Reciprocal IVF is a two-stage treatment. The first phase consists of the development and cryopreservation of embryos:
- Ovarian Stimulation
- Egg Retrieval Procedure
- Fertilization of eggs
- Culture of embryos
- Cryopreservation of embryos
- Embryo storage
The second stage consists of the Frozen Embryo Transfer cycle.
Ovarian Stimulation: There are several different forms of ovarian stimulation protocols, each with many modifications. Your treatment is always individualized to maximize the probability of a successful outcome.
The selection of an optimal protocol is based on your reproductive history and your pre-treatment evaluation. Below is an example of a Reciprocal IVF treatment protocol. Your individualized protocol may take less or more time to complete.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) or a combination of FSH/luteinizing hormone (LH) hormones will stimulate the production of multiple eggs in the ovaries. They are given once a day or once every other day subcutaneously with tiny needles for approximately ten days.
During this time, your progress is monitored by estradiol (estrogen, E2) and progesterone blood levels and ultrasound examinations.
Ovarian stimulation should result in the development of several eggs in each ovary. The ultrasound image below shows a stimulated ovary. Each of the several follicles (dark circles) contains a microscopic egg.
Egg Retrieval Procedure: The egg retrieval procedure is performed at our Center. The procedure only takes a few minutes, and we use very comfortable conscious sedation for analgesia.
Since 1985, we have done many thousands of egg retrievals and are very experienced in retrieving eggs from the ovaries.
Under ultrasound guidance, the tip of a thin needle is passed through the top of the vagina into the cul-de-sac (space behind the uterus). The ovaries are located near the bottom of the cul-de-sac, allowing the tip of the aspirating needle to enter the ovarian follicles and aspirate the follicular fluid from them. The fluid is examined under a microscope to identify the eggs.
Fertilization of Eggs: On average, twelve to sixteen eggs are aspirated during the egg retrieval procedure. The eggs are identified under the microscope and placed in petri dishes filled with culture medium. The composition of the medium resembles the fluid secreted by the Fallopian tubes. This allows the eggs and embryos (fertilized eggs) to develop in our laboratory environment at the same rate as inside the Fallopian tubes.
Most commonly, frozen semen from a sperm bank is used to fertilize the eggs. The highest quality sperm are extracted from the semen and combined with the eggs three hours after retrieval. This process of in vitro fertilization takes place over several hours during the evening after egg retrieval.
Culture of Embryos: Evidence of fertilization can be seen the next day, 16 hours after insemination. The fertilized eggs are transferred into a growth medium and continue to be cultured in our laboratory.
A normally fertilized egg (zygote) will show two pronuclei representing the genetic material from the egg and sperm.
The following day, embryos should divide into 4 cells and, the day after, into 8 cells.
This picture shows a morphologically exquisite, day three, 8-cell embryo. At this stage, human embryos are still microscopic and invisible to the naked eye.
By the fifth to seventh day after insemination, embryos should reach the blastocyst stage (80 or more cells).
This picture shows an advanced stage of blastocyst development. Notice the central fluid-filled cavity. The cells within the blastocyst have already differentiated into the inner cell mass (at seven o’clock) that will give rise to the fetus and the trophectoderm cells that will form the future placenta.
Cryopreservation of Embryos: Embryos that develop normally are cryopreserved (vitrified). Preparation for the freezing process involves removing water from within the embryos and replacing it with a cryoprotective substance to prevent ice crystal formation during vitrification and subsequent thawing. The embryos are then flash-cooled to −196 °C (−321 °F). Such rapid freezing (vitrification) prevents damaging water crystal formation.
Embryo Storage: Following the cryopreservation process, the embryos are transferred to a liquid nitrogen storage chamber in our Center. Theoretically, there is no limit on the length of storage, but conceiving past the age of 40 may result in a high-risk pregnancy.
Once the Bith Mother decides to conceive with the cryopreserved embryos, one or two embryos will be thawed and transferred into her uterus. A large majority of the embryos will survive the cryopreservation and thawing process. The implantation rate of the thawed embryos should be the same as the “fresh” embryo implantation rate.
If you are successful, your pregnancy becomes indistinguishable from conception through intercourse, and your obstetrical care should be no different than if you conceived without any treatment.
We look forward to meeting you at Bay IVF and, when your treatment is successful, celebrating your new pregnancy!
Years of Experience
Hear from Our Patients’ Journey to Parenthood at Bay IVF!
I would highly recommend Bay IVF for those wanting to build their family and needing IVF support! Dr. Polansky and the whole Bay IVF team were so supportive and welcoming while also honest and realistic. Our girl is our dream come true!Jennifer C.-F.
This clinic has been amazing to work with. All the nurses and staff made sure I was always comfortable and were there to answer questions any time I needed. We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Polansky and the team for everything they did for us.Harpreet K.
Words could never express the gratitude my husband and I will always have for Bay IVF! We did our research and decided to check out Bay IVF. We scheduled a consultation and felt an instant connection… love at first sight!Chelsea L.
Bay IVF Early Pregnancy Heartbeat
Meet Your Doctor
- Dr. Polansky received his medical diploma from Charles University in Prague, the Czech Republic, in 1978.
- After completing his OB/GYN residency at Jewish Hospital in Saint Louis, MO, he graduated from the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) fellowship at Stanford University in 1985.
- In the same year, he co-founded the Stanford IVF Clinic.
- Dr. Polansky obtained board certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1986 and became REI subspecialty board certified in 1988.
- In 1987, he left Stanford University and established Nova IVF.
- In 2011, he founded Bay IVF, where he provides advanced fertility treatments with a holistic approach, utilizing state-of-the-art techniques.
- Dr. Polansky personally performs ultrasound examinations, egg retrievals, embryo transfers, and ovarian and endometrial stimulations for his patients.
- He is deeply committed to his patients and freely shares his cell phone number, ensuring accessibility and availability 24/7.
Frank Polansky, M.D.
Dr. Polansky’s Communication With Patients
Real texts, anonymous patient names
Initial Appointment Questions
When you call to schedule your consultation, Erica will ask you a short series of questions regarding your reproductive history.
- Your name
- Your date of birth
- Your height
- Your weight
- Do you know which treatment you plan to have?
- How many times have you been pregnant?
- For each of your pregnancies, what was the conception date? (month and year)
- What was the outcome?
- Were the pregnancies with your current partner?
- If known, what is the cause of your infertility?
- What is your average cycle length? (number of days between onsets of your periods)
- Are you currently taking any medications? If yes, which ones?
- Are you allergic to any medications? If yes, which ones?
- Your partner’s name (if applicable)
- Your partner’s date of birth (if applicable)
- What is the length of your relationship with your current partner? (years and months)
- When was the last time either of you used any contraception?
- Is the male partner currently taking any medications? If yes, which ones?
- Is the male partner allergic to any medications? If yes, which ones?
- What is the total number of pregnancies the male partner has ever caused?
- Has the male partner ever caused a pregnancy without the ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) procedure?
- Has the male partner had a vasectomy or vasectomy reversal?
- If available, for each Semen Analysis, please give the date (day, month, and year), volume, concentration (sperm count), percentage of motile sperm, and percentage of morphologically normal sperm.
- Have you ever had any treatment for, or problems with, your lungs, heart, blood and blood vessels, breasts, digestive system, genito-urinary system, thyroid disease, diabetes, or neurological disorder? (female partner only)
- For each X-ray of your uterus and Fallopian tubes (hysterosalpingogram), laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, or laparotomy, please give the procedure date (day, month, and year) and the findings.
- If available, for each FSH, LH, estradiol (estrogen, E2), and AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) test you have had, please give the date of the test (day, month, and year) and the result.
- Have you done any intrauterine inseminations (IUI)? If yes, how many?
- Have you had ovarian stimulation with injectable medications?
- For each IVF treatment you have had, please provide the following information if available: Date (month and year), the dose of medications to stimulate your ovaries, your highest estrogen level, number of ovarian follicles that developed, number of eggs retrieved, whether ICSI was done, number of embryos available, number of embryos transferred, number of embryos frozen, and the treatment outcome.
- Have you ever smoked cigarettes? If yes, how many cigarettes a day during the last three months? (Please remember that you must not smoke during your treatment.)
This is Erica
Erica works at the front desk. She will be supporting you throughout your treatment journey at Bay IVF.
Patients’ Thank You Cards
Your Initial Visit at Bay IVF
Attending a new patient appointment at a fertility clinic can be stressful. Our primary objective is to ensure that your initial visit is friendly and relaxing. We encourage you to ask questions at every step of the process.
1 — When You Arrive
You will be welcomed by one of the clinic receptionists. One of our nurses will measure your height and weight and take your blood pressure
2 — Meet Your Doctor
Dr. Polansky will ask you a series of clarifying questions and then provide you with a summary of the factors contributing to your infertility
4 — Exam Room
One of the nurses will escort you to an examination room. Your examination will begin with listening to your lungs and heart
3 — Ask Your Questions
You will then have a discussion with him about the most suitable reproductive treatment(s) for you. During this time, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have
5 — Ultrasound of the Ovaries
The next step is a pelvic ultrasound to examine the uterus and ovaries. This ultrasound will help determine the number of antral follicles present within the ovaries
6 — Financial Part
Following that, you will have a discussion with one of the financial advisors regarding the financial aspects of your treatment, including potential treatment financing options
8 — Support 24/7
If you have any questions after leaving the clinic, please feel free to reach out to us via phone call, text, or email. Open and discreet communication is an integral part of the care we provide at Bay IVF
7 — What About Time?
Your entire visit is expected to last approximately one hour
Schedule Your Initial Consultation With Dr. Polansky
Online or In-Person
Call or Text Us: 650-322-0500You can also complete the form below to request your initial consultation
Still Have Questions?
We understand that this is a significant decision, and it is important to us that you feel truly comfortable