In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): FSA Eligibility
Expenses for a donor that is not a covered spouse or dependent are not eligible.
What is in vitro fertilization (IVF)?
For some couples, the process of becoming pregnant is as simple as a matter of where and when, but for others who experience fertility issues or carry genes that could put the child at risk for a disease or disorder, there are a multitude of treatments and therapies that can be used to improve their chances of having a child. There are a multitude of physiological reasons for infertility issues that must be addressed with a doctor to allow a couple to become pregnant, but in many cases, the only option for some couples is to consider in vitro fertilization (IVF) (Mayo Clinic).
IVF is among the most effective types of assisted reproductive technology that can be done using the couple's own eggs and sperm, as well as eggs, sperm and embryos from anonymous donors. In some cases, a gestational carrier, or a woman who has a pre-formed embryo implanted into her uterus, may be necessary to bring the child to term safely. IVF is recommended to women over 40 years of age who wish to become pregnant, but it is most often used as a necessity to overcome issues including:
- Fallopian tube blockage
- IVF for fertility preservation
- Genetic disorders
- Ovulation disorders
- Premature ovarian failure
- Tubal sterilization or removal
- Impaired sperm production/function
- Uterine fibroids
How is in vitro fertilization (IVF) performed?
IVF involves a series of steps before a fertilized egg can be implanted in the mother or gestational carrier's uterus, including ovulation induction, sperm/egg retrieval, fertilization and the final transfer of the embryo. This may involve several medications to induce ovulation, as well as diagnostic tests like vaginal ultrasound and blood tests. When these preliminary steps are completed and the requisite material has been collected, egg implantation is done 2 to 6 days after the eggs have been collected.
The process of implantation is usually painless, but some patients may be given a mild sedative. The physician will then insert a long, thin, flexible tube through the vagina containing one or more embryos suspended in a small amount of fluid. This is then delivered through the tube into the uterus, and if all goes well, the embryo should implant itself in the side of the uterus in 6-10 days. This process will be closely monitored in the weeks to follow by the patient's doctor to ensure that the pregnancy will progress in a healthful manner (WebMD).