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Creating Life in a Lab: A Guide to IVF with Anova Fertility

Beautifi IVF Financing Canada - Anova Fertility

Are you among the ever-growing number of professionals postponing the journey of parenthood until later in life and thinking about the possibility of IVF? If so, you’re definitely not alone. Today’s fast-paced world, with its myriad of personal and professional growth opportunities, has led many of us to delay starting a family. The good news is that science is keeping pace with this societal shift, offering innovative solutions to help turn your dreams of parenthood into reality!

More than ever, people prioritize education, careers, and personal development before starting their families. This trend reflects significant socio-economic advancements, including rising levels of education, gender equality in the workforce, and improved access to contraception. However, it also presents unique challenges when the time comes to start a family.

Table of Contents

What is Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)?

IVF and Fertility: Expert Insights from Dr. Majorie Dixon

IVF From Start To Finish: How Does Life Begin in a Lab?

The Milestones of Embryo Development

Choosing the Right Embryo for IVF

Embryo Development Milestones and the Path to Conception

The IVF Stages

How Much Does IVF Cost in Canada?

How Can Beautifi Help?

IVF and Fertility Treatments with Anova Fertility the Journey to Healthier Hair

What is Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)?

Since the birth of the world’s first IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) baby in 1978, Assisted Reproductive Technology has made incredible strides, revolutionizing how we approach fertility and family planning. These scientific breakthroughs have brought hope and possibilities to those facing health challenges, those who choose to plan ahead, or those who simply decide to start a family later in life.

Whether you’re just beginning to consider your options or already exploring the possibilities, the world of ART offers an array of convenient and affordable solutions to help you navigate your unique reproductive journey. So, get ready to dive into this fascinating world of creating life in a lab step by step.

IVF and Fertility: Expert Insights from Dr. Majorie Dixon

In our exploration of embryo creation, we’ve had the privilege of receiving valuable insights from one of the leading lights in the field: Dr. Marjorie Dixon

Dr. Dixon is an esteemed medical professional specializing in Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility and a pioneer in the field as the Founder, CEO, and Medical Director of Anova Fertility & Reproductive Health. Dr. Dixon has brought her expertise and personal perspective to the discussion, helping us get a real handle on embryo creation and the importance of choosing a fertility clinic with a good laboratory.

IVF From Start To Finish: How Does Life Begin in a Lab?

The journey of creating life is a beautiful and complex dance, and thanks to modern science, we’ve found ways to give nature a helping hand. One of the most successful methods we have today is in vitro fertilization (IVF). You’ve probably heard about it, but do you know what really happens during this process? Let’s break it down.

Think of IVF as a matchmaker party for sperm and eggs. But instead of happening inside the body, this party takes place in a lab. The main guest of honor? A zygote – that very first spark of life. It sounds simple enough, but there’s so much more to this story.

The Milestones of Embryo Development

Day 0 – The Starting Gate

At the beginning of the IVF process, egg cells are carefully gathered from the ovaries in the clinic. On that very same day, these eggs meet sperm cells for the first time — and that’s when our race to create an embryo begins!

Day 1 – The First Hurdle

The next day, the embryologist looks at the eggs under a microscope. They’re checking to see if any of the eggs are fertilized. Most times, about 70-80% of the eggs will be successfully fertilized. But this can vary depending on things like the quality of the sperm and eggs or the method of fertilization. Only the eggs that have crossed this hurdle continue on their journey.

Day 3 – The Growth Spurt

On this day, the embryos get their first close-up. A healthy embryo should have at least eight cells by day 3. However, no matter the number of cells present on day 3, all fertilized embryos will be allowed to continue developing until Days 5-7. Some embryos might be late bloomers and catch up later!

Day 4 – A Little Boost 

Day 4 is when some embryos might get extra help. This is called assisted hatching, but it’s only done if requested or clinically recommended. Otherwise, the embryos are left undisturbed to continue development. 

Days 5, 6, and 7 – The Final Stretch

We’ve reached the final stages! By Day 5, the embryo has grown into what’s called a blastocyst. This is when the cells start to take on different roles and destinies. 

Some of these cells will form the trophectoderm, which takes on the crucial role of developing into nutrient-rich tissues, such as the placenta. The placenta serves as the lifeline for the fetus during pregnancy, providing oxygen and nutrients while removing waste.

Meanwhile, the inner cell mass embarks on its own extraordinary journey, growing and differentiating to form the fetus – the future baby. Both these components play vital roles in pregnancy, and hence, their development, expansion, and overall size are meticulously evaluated.

Choosing the Right Embryo for IVF

At the day 5-7 stage, the aim is to identify and select the embryo or embryos that have the highest likelihood of leading to a successful transfer and pregnancy. This selection process involves several techniques to assess the health and viability of the embryos.

The chosen embryos will have demonstrated the right characteristics and potential for growth. This meticulous process helps increase the chances of a successful pregnancy, bringing us one step closer to the miracle of life.

Some examples of how the embryos are selected:

  • The Gardner scale – The Gardner scale is like a report card for embryos in IVF, helping choose the best ones for pregnancy. It looks at how developed the embryos are and rates their quality from A to C.
  • Preimplantation genetic testing – This is where embryos are checked for genetic abnormalities. It helps select healthy embryos for implantation.
  • Artificial Intelligence – AI uses time-lapse photos and videos of embryo development to help monitor and analyze their growth, improving embryo selection.

Embryo Development Milestones and the Path to Conception

There are many milestones throughout an embryo’s development journey. Some oocytes will not mature enough for initial fertilization. After joining with sperm, roughly 70-80% of embryos will achieve sufficient fertilization levels. From those embryos, only approximately 30-50% will grow to become a blastocyst.

These ranges can vary depending on age, health, diagnosis, and other factors contributing to infertility. While these numbers can sound disheartening at first glance, it is important to remember that at the end of the process, even just one viable embryo can offer an excellent chance of conception!

The IVF Stages

So, what happens if the embryo is selected and achieves sufficient fertilization levels after joining with sperm? The next steps typically involve embryo transfer and, if successful, pregnancy monitoring. You may be wondering, “what are the 5 stages of IVF?”, we have outlined them below for you:

  1. Embryo Transfer: The selected embryo is carefully placed into the woman’s uterus. The timing of the transfer depends on various factors, including the woman’s menstrual cycle and the embryo’s developmental stage.
  2. Luteal Phase Support: Hormonal medications such as progesterone are often prescribed to support the early stages of pregnancy. These medications help create a favorable environment for embryo implantation and early development.
  3. Waiting Period: After the embryo transfer, there is a waiting period of about 10-14 days, during which a woman may undergo a blood test to check for the presence of pregnancy hormones. This test, known as a beta-hCG test, confirms whether the embryo has been successfully implanted.
  4. Pregnancy Confirmation: If the beta-hCG test results are positive, it indicates a successful pregnancy. Ultrasound scans and additional blood tests may be scheduled to monitor the pregnancy’s progress.
  5. Continued Monitoring: If the pregnancy is confirmed, the woman will continue receiving medical care and monitoring throughout the first trimester to ensure the embryo’s healthy development and address potential complications.

How Much Does IVF Cost in Canada?

In Canada, the cost of in vitro fertilization (IVF) can vary significantly depending on several factors. On average, a single IVF cycle can range from $10,000 to $15,000, but this price can increase if additional procedures or medications are needed.

It’s important to note that provincial healthcare plans do not always cover IVF treatments, and the availability of funding or insurance coverage varies from province to province. However, there are options available. Beautifi provides financing solutions for elective medical procedures in Canada, such as IVF.

How Can Beautifi Help?

Navigating the world of fertility treatments can feel overwhelming, but Beautifi is here to streamline the process for you. Beautifi understands that the financial aspect can be a significant hurdle on your fertility journey.

With Beautifi’s flexible financing plans, you can find a solution that aligns with your unique needs and budget. Whether you’re in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, or Vancouver, Beautifi is dedicated to providing accessible financing for fertility procedures. This way, you can concentrate on what matters most: your journey toward parenthood. Beautifi guides you every step of the way, making the process less stressful and more focused on your future.

IVF and Fertility Treatments with Anova Fertility

In addition to Dr. Majorie Dixon, Anova is home to a remarkable team of fertility experts who are leaders in the field and dedicated pioneers in reproductive medicine. What sets Anova apart is their unwavering commitment to offering personalized care, ensuring that every patient receives a treatment plan tailored to their unique needs and circumstances.

At Anova, transparency is a priority, and they make sure you’re informed every step of the way. Their cutting-edge facility and collaborative approach make them the go-to option for those seeking fertility treatments. At Anova Fertility Clinic, you’re not just another patient but a valued partner on your journey to parenthood. Choosing Anova means you’re embarking on a path guided by compassion, expertise, and unyielding support in pursuing your dream of building a family.

If you’re interested in learning more about your fertility, you can connect with Anova Fertility here. Thank you to Dr. Marjorie Dixon for providing an extremely detailed overview of embryogenesis to make this article possible!


Wu, Y. G., Lazzaroni-Tealdi, E., Wang, Q., Zhang, L., Barad, D. H., Kushnir, V. A., Darmon, S. K., Albertini, D. F., & Gleicher, N. (2016). Different effectiveness of closed embryo culture system with time-lapse imaging (EmbryoScopeTM) in comparison to standard manual embryology in good and poor prognosis patients: a prospectively randomized pilot study. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology14(1).