Once you have made the decision to go through an IVF pregnancy cycle to pursue your dream of having a baby it is time to face the sometimes daunting task of getting through it. Many couples have heard of IVF treatment but have no idea what it entails.
The first step in any IVF cycle is to start taking birth control. This will stop your body from ovulating on its own schedule.
Once you have been on birth control for around two weeks you will go to your clinic and have an ultrasound to check and see if your ovaries are suppressed. This is called a suppression check and is meant to make sure you have not ovulated on your own.
If your suppression check shows no activity you will be instructed to take you first med.
Your first med in your IVF cycle will further inhibit you ovaries and ensure that you will not ovulate unexpectedly before you begin to stimulate your ovaries. This will be a one shot dose.
About six days after you have taken the inhibitor you will stop taking your birth control pill. Expect your period to arrive in about 1-2 days.
Three days after you have taken the last birth control pill you will begin taking the ovulation stimulating hormone drugs for the IVF procedure.
These are designed to stimulate an overproduction of eggs. The dose will be dependent on your egg reserve.
Five days into this daily medication you will start having vaginal ultrasounds. At these ultrasound appointments your doctor will be checking for the number of follicles that have stimulated and how large they are growing. You will also have a blood test of your estrodial levels.
You will have this ultra sound and blood test 3-5 times over the next week until your eggs are ready to be harvested. During this time you will also be placed on a daily ovulation inhibitor drug to slow the growth of any eggs that are appearing to grow faster than the others.
During an IVF cycle the hope is that all the eggs come to maturity at the same time and medication is used to ensure that this happens.
In an IVF cycle once your eggs are of appropriate size to harvest, 17-20mm, you will take a shot of HcG to help your eggs release 36 hours later.
At that time you will be put under anesthesia and your eggs will be removed form your ovaries using a needle inserted through your vagina.
You will then be instructed to take daily progesterone. 3-5 days after egg retrieval the fertilized eggs, which are now either embryos, or blastocytes will be implanted in your uterus using a long catheter inserted through your cervix.
14 days from the time of egg retrieval you may have a blood test for pregnancy and your IVF procedure is complete.