IVF is a time intensive endeavor which requires multiple trips to the doctor’s office plus an oocyte retrieval procedure and the embryo transfer. All told, most IVF cycles require between 6 and 10 visits over a 2-4 week period.
Once a couple has gone through an initial consultation and the necessary evaluations, an IVF plan is formulated and treatment begins.
The following is an example of an average stimulation schedule:
1. Day 21 of the menstrual cycle (or after 2 weeks of birth control pills)
-Clinic visit for trans-vaginal ultrasound and initiation of GnRH agonist (usually luprolide acetate)
2. Day 3 of the next menstrual cycle
-Clinic visit for trans-vaginal ultrasound, blood work for estrogen level and initiation of gonadotropin medications (these may include menopure, follistim, gonal f, bravelle, and others)
3. Day 7 of the menstrual cycle
-Clinic visit for trans-vaginal ultrasound, blood work for estrogen level and potential adjustment of medication dose
4. Day 9 of the menstrual cycle
- Clinic visit for trans-vaginal ultrasound, blood work for estrogen level and potential adjustment of medication dose
5. Day 11 of the menstrual cycle
- Clinic visit for trans-vaginal ultrasound, blood work for estrogen level and potential adjustment of medication dose and possible instructions for HCG “trigger” shot.
6. Day 14 of menstrual cycle
- Laboratory visit for oocyte retrieval
7. Day 19 of menstrual cycle
- Laboratory visit for embryo transfer
8. Day 28 of menstrual visit
- Clinic visit for pregnancy test
Depending on one’s individual diagnosis and treatment plan, there can be significant variation from this schedule.
At the Center for fertility and Gynecology in Tarzana, California (Los Angeles County) we understand that our patients have busy schedules. Because we custom tailor our treatment plans specifically for each individual, we can easily accommodate scheduling requests. In addition, we offer both morning and afternoon appointments, we see patients on weekends and we do not “batch” IVF cycles. While these steps might mean a little more time in the office for our staff, the benefit of excellent pregnancy rates and happy relaxed patients is definitely worth it!