Hormone Stimulation, Injections & Ultrasound
Each fertility care program plan is planned for each individual. Generally medication is taken to ‘turn down’ the ovaries. After some days, daily FSH injections start to stimulate the ovary to grow extra follicles. Blood tests are done during this period to check progress. Eggs grow and mature inside these follicles. Normally after 6-8 days a blood test and/or ultrasound is done to monitor progress to determine when egg collection can happen.
Eggs are retrieved using an ultrasound-guided procedure that requires a light general anaesthetic. The stay in the day surgery will be about 4 hours.
The ‘strongest’ sperm are specially prepared or ‘washed’ and added to eggs several hours after retrieval. Around 70% of eggs will be expected to fertilise, but only some go on to form good quality embryos. In some cases, especially in cases of male infertility or unexplained infertility, the sperm is put directly into the egg (ICSI).
Embryos are transferred to the uterus 2 to 6 days after collection. Suitable embryos not transferred may be frozen for a future treatment cycle if you wish.
Final Phase Support
Following the transfer, implantation of the embryo is supported by a course of daily progesterone. Even though you have really completed the stages of your fertility cycle the two week period until the pregnancy test can be stressful, simply because of the wait and uncertainty. “Hating the waiting” is a phrase often used during this time. Your fertility care staff, including a counsellor, are available during this time should you need help.
A pregnancy test is arranged approximately 15 days after egg collection or ovulation. The results indicate whether or not an embryo has implanted in the womb.