Ovarian stimulation with fertility medications can help women become pregnant
When a woman is having an IVF, or in vitro fertilization, cycle with our Tennessee fertility specialists, she undergoes ovarian stimulation with fertility medications. These medications cause numerous eggs to mature.
When enough eggs mature, the doctor retrieves them during a simple procedure. He or she then sends the eggs to the lab where an embryologist fertilizes them with sperm from the woman’s partner or chosen donor. For many women, this process leads to the fulfillment of their dream of motherhood.
What to expect during the suppression check appointment
Before beginning fertility medications, the patient comes to our clinic for a suppression check, or baseline, appointment. Women taking birth control pills have this appointment after completing their pills and having a period. Women not taking birth control pills typically come in for this appointment at the start of their period.
During this visit, the patient undergoes various tests. She also talks with members of our team to ensure she is ready to begin ovarian stimulation.
Physical exam and medical history. A nurse practitioner will start the process by reviewing the patient’s medical history and performing a physical exam.
Fertility testing. We will draw the patient’s blood to assess her levels of reproductive hormones. We’ll also use an ultrasound to measure the woman’s uterine lining and examine her ovaries.
Trial embryo transfer. A trial embryo transfer helps the doctor determine the best route to the uterus and where to position the embryo. This procedure requires the woman to rest on her back with her feet in stirrups. The doctor then passes a catheter through the cervix and into the uterus.
Meet with a nurse. The patient will meet with a nurse who reviews the ovarian stimulation plan. She will also receive a written plan detailing her medications, dosing and timing. The patient then begins the fertility medications soon after this appointment with our Tennessee fertility specialists.
What happens during ovarian stimulation
This process begins with the patient taking follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) medications for 10-13 days. These fertility medications stimulate ovarian follicle growth and egg maturation. During this time, the patient regularly comes to our clinic for monitoring. Monitoring includes a vaginal ultrasound to determine the number and size of the follicles. The patient will also have bloodwork to assess her hormone levels.
At a certain point, the doctor will instruct the patient to begin taking Lupron or Ganirelix to prevent ovulation before the egg retrieval procedure.
When the ovarian follicles are at least 16-18 mm in diameter, the patient takes an hCG injection that causes the final maturation of the eggs. The doctor then performs the egg retrieval procedure 35-36 hours later.
Our Tennessee fertility specialists are here for patients every step of the way. Contact us for more information about our fertility services.