iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2011
Tue, 01-17-2012 - 11:14am

I had 2 children naturally, and

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2008
In reply to: brittleb
Tue, 01-17-2012 - 1:02pm
My sister-in-law had a successful round of IVF after a tubal ligation reversal didn't work. Hopefully it works for you too! Hard to know where to start in explaining IVF. I find this website really useful, http://www.advancedfertility.com/ivf.htm. Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-29-2000
In reply to: brittleb
Tue, 01-17-2012 - 2:53pm
Hi Brittany,

I'll give you a brief description of a typical cycle (keep in mind that protocols vary so this is just an example). Usually you start with around three weeks of birth control pills. This really is used to put you onto a certain schedule. Then most women start injections with a drug called lupron which is used to suppress your normal hormonal function.

About 10 days into the lupron injections, you will be around your 3rd day of your period and you will go to the RE and they will start monitoring with a baseline ultrasound and blood tests. FYI, it is a trans-vaginal ultrasound, so will be done internally. If all looks good at this point, you will start the stimulation meds to encourage multiple eggs to develop. These are also injections. You will take the stim meds for between 7-14 days depending on response, which will be monitored closely by the doctor's office so that they can make adjustments to the protocol as needed. This means you will be going in for ultrasounds and blood work something like every three days, then every other day, until you get close to retrieval when you will be monitored daily. At the point that your eggs are mature, you will be given instructions to take a trigger shot of HCG. This tells the eggs to get ready for retrieval, which is precisely timed 36 hours after the trigger shot.

Usually you are sedated for the retrieval where the doctor will use an ultrasound guided needle to extract the eggs from your ovaries. The eggs will be handed off to the embryologist who will bring them together with the sperm to fertilize naturally (or to be fertilized through ICSI- where the sperm is injected into the egg - mostly used in the case of male factor issues). Retrieval day, you will start with progesterone and estrogen supplementation, which will continue through to the pregnancy test, and if positive, through around 9 weeks).

The day after retrieval, you will usually get a report on how many fertilized. The embryos will be grown in the lab for 3 or 5 days (depending on the doctor and how many embryos you have) and then usually 1 or 2 will be transferred back to you (extras may be frozen for additional attempts called frozen embryo transfers FET). Transfer is usually an easy process where a tiny tube (a catheter) will be inserted into your uterus and guided by ultrasound the embryos will be deposited into a good location to hopefully snuggle in and grow. :)

Some doctors have you do bed rest for a couple days after transfer, just to kind of take it easy and not stress your body (because you have been through a lot with the stimulation). After about 10-14 days you will do a blood pregnancy test which will test for how much HCG is in your blood (anything over 5 is considered a positive, although over 25 is preferable). If positive, the test will be repeated in two days to make sure that the number is approx double.

I know that is a lot of info. Hopefully it made sense. :) And remember this is just an example of some typical cycles because there are several different protocols. Also, your RE will likely have you do a couple tests before jumping right into IVF, just to make sure that there aren't any other issues that they need to plan around. They want to make sure you have the best chance of success when you do cycle.

If there is anything that you want more info on, let us know!! Feel free to ask any questions that you may have.

Good luck!!