Ovarian stimulation for IVF sets hopeful parents up for pregnancy success
When patients are preparing to undergo in vitro fertilization, they often have questions for our Dallas fertility doctors about ovarian stimulation for IVF.
This important step has one goal, which is to encourage a woman’s body to safely produce as many mature eggs as possible. These eggs will be retrieved and fertilized in the lab. Then, one embryo will be transferred to the uterus, where it should implant and grow into a healthy baby.
A look at ovarian stimulation for IVF
Natural ovulation is a complex process. During each menstrual cycle, several egg-containing follicles begin to develop. Each follicle has the ability to release an egg during ovulation. However, typically only one of these follicles (the dominant follicle) will release an egg during ovulation. The rest of the follicles are absorbed by the body.
With ovarian stimulation for IVF, our Dallas fertility doctors want to maximize a patient’s chance of achieving IVF success by encouraging the body to mature as many eggs as possible during a single cycle.
During ovarian stimulation, a patient will take three different medications.
- The first type of medication prevents the surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) and ovulation until the eggs mature. The medications in this class include GnRH-agonists like Lupron and GnRH-antagonists like Cetrotide.
- The second medication is an injectable follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) that stimulates the development of multiple eggs. Some examples include Gonal-F and Follistim. Patients will generally take these medications for seven to 12 days, depending on their unique needs.
- The third type of medication causes the final maturation of the eggs after multiple mature follicles have developed.
Ovarian stimulation for IVF can seem overwhelming at first because patients are self-administering their medications. However, our Dallas fertility doctors and staff are here to guide patients through the process and answer any questions.
Monitoring during ovarian stimulation for IVF
To make sure that a patient is responding well to ovarian stimulation, our Dallas fertility doctors ask that she schedule regular monitoring appointments. Every woman responds differently to medications for ovarian stimulation, so the dosage may need to be adjusted throughout the process.
Regular blood work can ensure that enough follicles are being stimulated and the patient is not at risk for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Ultrasounds can also monitor the growth and development of each follicle to determine when the time is right for egg retrieval.
Our Dallas fertility doctors are here to hold your hand throughout the process of ovarian stimulation for IVF and through every step of your fertility journey. Contact us to schedule an appointment and learn how you can build the family of your dreams.