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What Does Ovarian Stimulation Do in IVF?
If you’re getting ready for an IVF cycle, you may wonder what’s actually going on in your body as a result of taking your fertility drugs. These drugs help stimulate ovulation induction, the process by which the ovaries produce multiple eggs.
Once your menstrual cycle starts, you’ll be given either oral stimulation drugs like Clomid or injectable gonadotropins like Follistim or Gonal-F. These are used in some of the most common IVF protocols. Both of these types of drugs cause egg follicles to develop and mature as ovulation time nears. Unlike a natural, un-medicated menstrual cycle, your body will be primed to produce multiple egg follicles as a result of the fertility drugs.
While you’re taking these fertility drugs, your fertility doctor will monitor you closely through blood tests and ultrasounds. This helps them determine exactly when, and how many, eggs will mature.
When that time comes, you will be given an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is known as the “trigger shot,” to jumpstart ovulation.
Ovulation stimulation is important with IVF because multiple eggs are produced, which greatly improves the chances of conception. If several eggs are retrieved and fertilized, there is a chance you will have embryos to freeze for future Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) cycles, without having to go through the stimulation and retrieval process again.
For more information on IVF or FET, check out these forums on FertileThoughts.com:
Did you know that Frozen Embryo Transfers could yield higher success rates than same-cycle IVF transfers? Take a look as Jeffrey Russell, M.D. at Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine discusses how frozen embryo transfer could increase IVF success rates:
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