What is IVF?

IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is the process of fertilizing eggs with sperm outside of the body, allowing them to grow and divide for several days in a laboratory, and then either transferring the fertilized egg (now a blastocyst) into the uterus or freezing for a future transfer.


Considered the most advanced and commonly performed assisted reproductive technology (ART), IVF is recommended by doctors at Generation Fertility when simpler treatment options such as timed intercourse or intrauterine insemination (IUI) have not been successful or are not an option. 

When Should I be Considering IVF?

Though we recommend going through an IVF consultation with a specialist to confirm the best possible treatment plan for you, here are some factors when assessing IVF treatment options: 


  • You’re <35 and have been trying to become pregnant unsuccessfully for 1 year
  • You’re >35 and have been trying to become pregnant unsuccessfully for 6 months 
  • You’re part of a same-sex couple
  • You’ve undergone fertility preservation (either freezing eggs or embryos) and would like to use them
  • There is a sperm issue or poor semen quality 
  • Known fallopian tube damage/obstruction
  • You have ovulation issues
  • You’ve been diagnosed with unexplained infertility

Why Choose IVF at Generation Fertility?

Generation Fertility is proud to be one of Canada’s leading experts in IVF treatment, with some of the most successful rates of pregnancy. With a state-of-the-art laboratory, our deeply experienced IVF specialists are dedicated to making your personalized IVF journey as easy, and as positive as possible.


We understand that pursuing an IVF consultation and treatments can be overwhelming at times, but our team of caring IVF specialists and staff will be alongside you every step of the journey.  

How Does IVF Treatment Work?

The duration of IVF treatment, from when you start preparation until you learn you’re pregnant, takes about 6-8 weeks. A typical IVF cycle consists of preparation, ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer.

Preliminary Stages of IVF


Once you have completed your assessments and your results have been reviewed, your fertility doctor may recommend you proceed with IVF treatment. To help understand the process, here are some steps you may need to do to prepare for IVF: 

  • A discussion with your physician to formulate your IVF treatment plan.
  • A meeting with your nurse to review all the information for each treatment stage. You’ll also receive your treatment calendar and medications and learn how to use them.
  • If a male partner is present, he may consult the urologist to assess whether epididymal sperm aspiration or testicular sperm extraction is required. 
  • Genetic testing, requiring a simple blood sample, may also be required
  • To support your emotional well-being, we encourage meeting with a therapist or counsellor.
  • For some situations, such as where a known sperm or egg donor or gestational carrier (surrogate) is involved, counselling may be required. 

1st Stage:
Ovarian Suppression


Ovarian suppression is accomplished by taking an oral contraceptive and/or a medication that restricts the pituitary gland function.  This suppresses ovarian hormones and prevents ovulation, which helps your eggs to mature at a more even rate during your IVF cycle.  This step is not required by all patients, and your fertility doctor will determine if it’s needed as part of your treatment plan. 


2nd Stage:
Ovarian Stimulation (superovulation) and Monitoring

This stage is also sometimes called Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation (COH). During a typical monthly menstrual cycle, one or the other ovary usually produces and releases a single, mature egg.  During an IVF cycle, medication is taken to stimulate the development of several ovarian follicles so we can retrieve an increased number of mature eggs.  This helps increase the chance of viable embryos.  


You will be monitored throughout your IVF cycle through bloodwork and transvaginal ultrasounds to evaluate follicular growth and determine the optimal time for mature egg retrieval.  For some patients, a trigger shot is administered 24-36 hours before retrieval to help with egg maturation.


3rd Stage:

Egg Retrieval (also referred to as Ovum Pick Up – OPU)


Eggs, otherwise known as ‘oocytes’, are retrieved transvaginally under ultrasound guidance. You are given a local anesthetic and a sedative through an i.v. (intravenous) infusion. Your IVF specialist will insert a needle, attached to the ultrasound probe, to retrieve mature oocytes. They are then given to the embryologist who will confirm how many eggs were retrieved. 


4th Stage:

In Vitro Fertilization


After retrieval, the eggs will be combined with the sperm in the laboratory to allow for fertilization. There are two types of IVF: 

  • Traditional IVF – this technique consists of putting the harvested eggs in the presence of sperm to stimulate natural fertilization, all in a controlled environment.
  • IVF with ICSI – an IVF technique in which the individual sperm are meticulously selected by the embryologist and inserted with a very fine needle directly into each retrieved egg. This is done under a microscope by one of our embryologists.

5th Stage:

Embryo Maturation


Fertilized eggs are monitored carefully in the laboratory.  Your medical team will advise whether a fresh transfer is recommended or if it would be advantageous to freeze all embryos to transfer in subsequent menstrual cycles.  If genetic testing is desired, the samples are sent away to test and all embryos are frozen while awaiting the results.


6th Stage:

Embryo Transfer


This stage involves transferring an embryo back inside your uterus.  Your uterine lining and hormone levels will be monitored starting at the beginning of your cycle to determine the optimal day for transfer. We use an abdominal ultrasound probe to perform the procedure and requires a full bladder for better visualization.

What's Next?


Finally, the most exciting stage of IVF: waiting for a positive pregnancy test. We will perform a blood test 12 days after your transfer to detect whether the pregnancy hormone, hCG, is present. We will call you the same day with the bloodwork results.

Frequently Asked Questions

IVF costs in Ontario can vary as treatment protocols vary based on each patient’s situation, but typically one round of IVF treatment costs approximately $11,000, which includes medication. Our team may also recommend innovative services such as PGT-A and ERA to help improve success, with additional costs. 

While it’s difficult to estimate the cost of fertility treatments upfront without a treatment plan developed specifically for your needs, visit our Expected Pricing page to learn more about the costs associated with IVF treatment.

For Ontario residents, the government currently offers coverage for a single In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) cycle per patient, per lifetime. Coverage does not include the cost of medication. Generation Fertility has been officially approved by the Ontario Ministry of Health to provide these government-funded fertility treatments.

Due to constraints on the government-funded program, there is typically an IVF waitlist in Ontario in order to receive treatment. If you're able to cover the costs through other means, it may drastically reduce the time it takes for you to begin treatment. We encourage you to speak to our team to learn more about the government-funded fertility treatment wait times and ways to access treatment more quickly through alternate payment options.

To view a full list of government-funded treatments, please visit the Ontario Government website.

The IVF process takes place in several stages (ovarian suppression, ovarian stimulation, triggering the egg maturation, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer). An average IVF cycle takes about 6 to 8 weeks from the first physician consultation to the embryo transfer. 

Most patients who undergo IVF treatment don’t consider it to be painful. It’s not unusual to experience some discomfort during different stages of the treatment such as ovarian stimulation or egg retrieval, but not a significant amount of pain. Taking medications such as self-injections may cause discomfort for some.

Some patients may experience some side effects during different stages of the process. As the ovaries are stimulated, they become enlarged and patients may experience some pelvic discomfort and abdominal bloating or cramping. Other more uncommon side effects may include mood changes, headaches or nausea. 


Fertility medications are generally safe, and patients usually experience mild side effects. 

Undergoing IVF treatment will not deplete your egg reservoir faster.  IVF medications help to mature more eggs than a non-medicated cycle, but these same number of eggs would have been lost in an unmedicated cycle – it is just that only one egg, on average, matures.  

Generation Fertility Clinic Success Stories

As a leading fertility and IVF clinic in the Greater Toronto Area, we’ve helped many families achieve their dreams of parenthood.


R.K.'s Story

I had consultation with the fertility specialist, he saw my reports and said you will walk out of this building one day PREGNANT! Here I am today with a beautiful smart baby girl, her name is Aliyah. So grateful for him and the clinic and staff.
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J.D.'s Story

Magical doesn’t even begin to describe what it’s like to be carry this miracle baby. Today is world IVF day and if anything deserves a shout out it’s the process of IVF and my fabulous team of helpers at @generationfertilityclinic . 43 years ago the ever IVF baby was conceived and here I am today forever thankful.
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L.W.’s Story

For some, making a baby is quick and easy and fun! For others it involves cycle monitoring, daily self-injections and the dreaded two week wait. Some people decide to get pregnant and conceive within a few months of trying. Others have to go through painful procedures and terrible heart aches for years; working towards something they can only hope will one day happen for them.
See more

Accompanying Procedures to IVF

ICSI is performed in when there are not enough spermatozoa, or the sperm present are not mobile enough to penetrate the egg.  The embryologist can select the strongest sperm from a sample to inject into each of the eggs using a glass needle with a microscopic diameter tip. This process does not damage the egg.

This procedure is performed in case of obstruction of the vas deferens. Most often, this involves collecting spermatozoa which are then analyzed in one of our sperm analysis testing centres. Only the healthiest of them are used for IVF with micro-injection.

This treatment is only performed during in vitro fertilization (IVF) with ICSI. This procedure, performed under local anesthesia, involves taking sperm directly from the testicles using a very fine needle. This technique is used when there is a complete absence of spermatozoa in the ejaculate or epididymis, but the testes continue to produce spermatozoa.

Ready to Book an Appointment?

We look forward to helping you on your path to parenthood. Schedule a consultation at either our Vaughan or Newmarket fertility clinic both in close proximity to Toronto.

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    Inclusion of all gender and sexually diverse people is an important value of Generation Fertility. We are continuously striving to create an environment of compassionate belonging where all of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community are supported, valued and respected.

    Generation Fertility, Vaughan and Newmarket is situated in the Territory and Treaty 13 lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the traditional territories of the Wendat, Haudeno-saunee and the Anishinaabe peoples, and treaty land of the Williams Treaties First Nations and other Indigenous people.


    Generation Fertility, Waterloo is located on the traditional territory of the Attiwonderonk (Neutral), Haudenosaunee, Anishinabewaki, and Mississauga peoples. We honour their stewardship of this land since time immemorial.

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