Ovulation, Induction, Follow-up
The patient contacts the unit on the first day of her menstrual period. At that time, detailed instructions regarding the beginning of the therapeutic regimen are given.
The goal of medical treatment in an IVF cycle is to stimulate the ovaries in order to produce multiple follicles compared to the normal ovulation cycle, in which one egg usually matures per month. By producing multiple follicles we can chose the best quality embryos that will be transferred in the uterus thus increasing significantly the success rate (the number of embryos transferred depends on age, national legislation and the couple’s consent). Surplus embryos produced can be frozen and used in a next cycle.
Several stimulation protocols exist and we make sure that each patient receives the appropriate protocol, in order to maximize success rates and avoid ovarian hyperstimulation.
Progress of ovulation induction is monitored with transvaginal ultrasounds and hormonal tests over several days. After confirmation of number and size of the growing follicles, we estimate the optimal timing for oocyte retrieval in order to produce the best quality eggs and avoid medical complications.
When follicles reach the appropriate size (usually greater than 18mm), a human chorionic gonadotropin injection (b-hCG) is given to the patient, so that final oocyte maturity can be reached.