Frequently Asked Questions

What is involved with basic fertility testing?

Basic fertility testing usually consists of evaluating those factors that could be preventing you from conceiving – a problem with the eggs, problem with the sperm, and/or a problem with the fallopian tubes (which can prevent the egg and sperm from meeting).  The tests include a  “baseline” exam which is an ultrasound of the ovaries and some blood tests, a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) dye test of the uterus and fallopian tubes,  and a semen analysis.

What do typical treatments cost?

We offer a variety of treatment options. The costs depend on how involved the treatments are – i.e how many visits required, and how much medication needed. Please contact our financial counselors for more detailed information. financialcounselor@portlandivf.net

Do you do artificial insemination?

Our center performs about 1,200 of these procedures (called intrauterine inseminations or IUIs) a year. We perform IUIs for couples as well as for women who hope to conceive with donor sperm. The success rates for IUI are related to a woman’s age.

I'm interested in having a semen analysis. How many days should I abstain prior to the test?

For a semen analysis, we recommend abstaining no more than 5 days.

Do you work with lesbian and gay couples? What about single men and women? 

We have a great number of lesbian couples who work with us doing a variety of fertility treatments from testing to inseminations (IUI)  to IVF. We also work with many male couples in their pursuit to start or expand their family. Single men and women also utilize our services to start or grow their families. We are supportive of all kinds of families and enjoy working with all of our patients.

I'm interested in having my tubes untied. Please advise.

For women who would like to conceive after having a tubal ligation, there are 2 options: tubal reversal surgery or in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Tubal reversal surgery is usually performed as an open (laparotomy) surgical procedure that takes about 4 hours and usually requires an overnight stay in the hospital. This surgery costs are about $10,000 and is not often covered by insurance.

We are doing less and less of these major surgeries, however, because the success rates with IVF are becoming so high. IVF is comparable in costs and is much less invasive with a much faster recovery and lower risks. The risk of an ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy) is usually lower with IVF than with tubal reversal. Also, it is not always possible to restore the anatomy of the tubes to normal with surgery and IVF is still needed. Finally, even if the surgery works to restore the fallopian tubes, some women still end up needing IVF after trying to conceive on their own because the impact of their age on their chances of successfully conceiving a pregnancy.  

What are my options for reversing my vasectomy?

For men who have had a vasectomy, there are two treatment options: surgery or in vitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).  The vasectomy reversal surgery is done by a urologist. Some studies show that this operation might return the sperm to normal, but there can be problems which lead couples to need fertility treatments. The alternative that many men choose is to do a needle aspiration in order to get sperm and then fertilize their partner's eggs with the small amount of sperm obtained. This is accomplished with in vitro fertilization (IVF) with ICSI. This process would be performed at our fertility center.

How many embryos do you typically transfer?

For IVF cycles, we follow ASRM guidelines regarding blastocyst transfer. We most often transfer (2) Day-5 embryos, however this decision is influenced by the patient’s age and quality of the embryos. We feel it is important to individualize the care to each patient to maximize success and minimize the risk of multiple pregnancies. For donor egg cycles, we usually would transfer 2 embryos as well.  We have enjoyed much success with our egg donation program. As you can see on www.sart.com, our live birth rates have averaged about 75% per embryo transfer.

Do you do intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)?

With IVF, there are 2 methods by which we fertilize the eggs. These two methods are conventional insemination (when the embryologists place hundreds of thousands of sperm about one egg and let the sperm work on their own) and ICSI (when the embryologist places a single sperm inside one egg). We perform intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) when indicated or when we believe it will give us the best fertilization rate for IVF. Testing of the sperm prior to starting an IVF cycle helps determine whether we should do ICSI or conventional insemination for IVF. Additionally, the cause of infertility or the need for genetic testing on embryos helps determine if ICSI should be performed.  Our goal is get the best chance of pregnancy by not jeopardizing fertilization.

My husband and I can't have children but we are interested in using my husband's sperm and my cousin’s eggs and have her carry the baby. Can we work with you?

This is defined as “traditional” surrogacy. This practice is against the law in many states and goes against the policy of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. For these reasons and the legal complexities involved, we do not assist in traditional surrogacy at Oregon Reproductive Medicine.

My doctor said I can't carry a baby to term but I want to have a child. What are my options?

We have helped many women who are unable to carry a pregnancy for various reasons, by doing cycles of in vitro fertilization (with your eggs) and transferring the embryo into a gestational carrier (the woman who would carry the pregnancy for you.  One of the important steps is to test your ovaries to make sure that they are still functioning well. If things look okay, we would synchronize your “cycle” with the GC’s uterus, stimulate your ovaries to grow multiple “follicles” or eggs and collect them at the right time with an egg aspiration procedure performed under anesthesia.

I've had a partial hysterectomy but I want a baby. Help!

Assuming the “partial” hysterectomy was the removal of your uterus and not your ovaries, you can still conceive a pregnancy through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and use of a gestational carrier to carry the pregnancy for you. One of the most important factors affecting your chance of success is your age. We would perform tests (blood work looking at hormone levels and ultrasound examination of your ovaries) to help determine what your chances of pregnancy might be.