For IVF/ICSI treatment to be successful the ovaries should be stimulated to produce more than a single egg. In order to achieve this goal potent drugs called gonadotropins are administered in a controlled manner. Gonadotropin treatment is self administered as most of the medications used today can be administered subcutaneously.
How is the treatment started?
An ultrasound examination is performed when the patient arrives in Istanbul. This examination should coincide with the second day of the menstruation, considering that we usually use short antagonist protocol. If you don’t have any cysts and the inner lining of the uterus is thin than treatment is initiated. You may need to undergo a blood test to check for your estrogen levels if your doctor deems this necessary.
How long does the treatment last?
This phase of the treatment usually lasts for 10-12 days. During this phase you will be asked to come for periodic ultrasound examinations. The frequency of these examinations will increase as the treatment progresses. When the eggs are deemed to be mature a final injection will be given at a specific time and the eggs will be collected after approximately 36 hours.
How much medication am I going to use?
The amount of medications used to stimulate the ovaries depends on the age of the woman and her ovarian reserve. While younger women with normal ovarian reserve use lesser amounts, older women and women with diminished ovarian reserve necessitate larger doses to stimulate the ovaries. Variation in drug dosage may be up to two-fold.
Can my treatment be cancelled?
If there is inadequate response from the ovaries (poor response) meaning that the ovaries did not produce enough eggs to be successful than the treatment may be cancelled and reinitiated with another protocol. Sometimes only one egg gains dominance and prevents other eggs from growing (asynchronous growth). This is another reason for canceling the treatment. Sometimes there will be too many eggs stimulated (hyper response) that may result in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome if the treatment is continued. There are several options that may be exercised in this instance.