What are the Stages of Infertility Treatment?
- Suppression of Hormones
- Ovulation induction (stimulation of ovulation)
- Egg collection
- Insemination of eggs
- Embryo Transfer
- Pregnancy test
Suppression of Hormones
We use Lucrin vials and/or oral contraceptives for this purpose. We will explain the protocol to you. The following is an overview of the drugs used and their side effects.
Stimulation of Ovaries
Recruitment and development of ovaries is stimulated by Gonal-f, Pergonal, Metrodin, Puregon, Merional, Fostimon and Menogon used either by themselves or in combination of two or more. Normally these drugs are used for a period f 8-15 days. When the largest follicle attains 15mm, then close observation is required to prevent premature ovulation. This will be explained when you begin treatment.
Mainly there are 4 types of ovulation induction
- GnRH agonist protocols: These drugs are used to suppress ovaries. They normally first stimulate ovaries, because they make the pituitary gland secrete more FSH hormones which stimulate the ovaries. After 5-7 days of injection of these drugs, they desensitize the pituitary glands. Therefore they prevent the secretion of final maturation hormone, LH and prevent spontaneous ovulation.
- Long Protocol: GnRH agonist drugs are used a week before the menstruation starts. This is called the mid-luteal phase of the cycle. After 7-10 days of drugs usage, the ovaries are generally suppressed and may respond to the gonadotropins more evenly.
- Short Protocol: GnRH agonists starts after the menstruation bleeding, usually on day 2 or 3 and with the gonadotropines.
- Antagonist Protocol: These drugs act immediately and their effect usually last about a day. Therefore they can be used in replace of agonist drugs and for shorter time of injections. Their main purpose is like agonists to stop ovulation before the egg collection.
Drugs used during treatment:
Lucrin: This is administered subcutaneously. Unless told otherwise, a daily dose is usually 0.05-0,10 cc. We recommend that you take your drugs at the same time in the evening at around 6-7pm.
The initial dose is taken on different days depending on the type of protocol used:
Long protocol: Begins on the 20th day of your period. The last dose will be the day before that Pregnyl or Ovitrelle is used.
Short protocol: Starts on the first day of menstruation, and stimulation drugs are initiated on the second or third day of menstruation. Lucrin will be used until the day of Pregnyl or Ovitrelle..
Injections are done with insulin syringes. The needle is finer and it is easier to measure out 0.5 cc’s.
Lucrin flakon: This is administered subcutaneously and the daily dose is 0.05-01,0 cc.
Cetrotide ampule: This is administered subcutaneously and also suppress hormone production but using a different mechanism.
Orgalutron / Cetrotide syringe: This is administered subcutaneously and has the same mechanism of action.
Pergonal, Menogon amp. (hMG): Doses depend on the patient’s age and prior treatments. We recommend that you take the drugs at the same time every day at around 6pm. The actual drug is in powder form and is diluted with fluid from separate ampulles. 1-2 ampules of fluid is sufficient to dilute 6 ampulles of powder. The drug is administered subcutaneously.
Puregon and Gonal-f (rec FSH): Administered subcutaneously. Used to stimulate ovaries. This drug is obtained through genetic recombination and contains pure FSH.
The syringes are single use and must be disposed of after use.
Pregnyl, Ovitrelle (hCG) amp: This is the last drug in the induction protocol. The drug is administered subcutaneously when the follicles which contain the eggs reach a certain size. Egg collection is performed 34-40 hours after injection.
This procedure is done 34-40 hours after hCG is administered. For example if hCG is injected on Monday night at 24:00, the egg collection procedure will start at approximately 10 am on Wednesday. Since we use general anesthesia during egg collection, we ask that you come to the clinic after a 6 hour fast. The procedure lasts 5-30 minutes. The procedure causes very little discomfort to the patient because we use general anesthesia or local anesthesia in conjuction with sedation. This procedure involves using a needle attached to a vaginal probe which pushes through the vaginal wall to reach the follicles and aspirate their fluid. We ask the husband to collect sperm at this time. This procedure is simple and carries very little risk of complication, but in the event that there is a complication such as heavy bleeding, surgery may be required. Normally the patient can go home a few hours after the procedure.
You should come to the clinic one hour before the scheduled procedure.
- Because general anesthetic will be used, you should come to the clinic after a minimum four hour fast.
- You and your husband should come together.
- A two day period of sexual abstinence is preferred, but not necessary.
- If you experience pain after the procedure, you can use Parol tablet (paracetamol) up to 4-6 times a day.
- Please inform the staff if semen collection will be difficult in a hospital setting before the day of egg collection.
Eggs are inseminated with the partner’s sperm. Fertilization is verified two days after insemination. Please do not try to get information before the second day. For example if egg collection was done on Wednesday, the embryos will be examined on Friday and the embryo transfer day will be decided upon. The transfer procedure is painless and does not require anesthetic or sedation. Normally it takes about 10 minutes. Depending on the number of embryos and their quality, the day of transfer may vary from the 2nd day to the 5th day. Patients usually rest for about 20 minutes after the procedure. Sexual intercourse is not allowed for two days after the procedure. The patient can resume her normal daily activities a day after the procedure.
You will be asked to use certain drugs on the day of Embryo Transfer until the pregnancy test. The drugs prescribed will vary according to the patients’ needs. You will use one or more of Progesterone in oil ampule, Pregnyl ampule veya Progestan tablet, Duphaston tablet, and Proluton-depot ampule. If the pregnancy test is positive, you will continue using the drugs until the 8-10th week of pregnancy. If the pregnancy test is negative, you will be asked to discontinue the drugs.
Pregnancy Test and Ultrasonography
A pregnancy blood test will be done 12-14 days after egg collection. If the test is positive, the pregnancy must be confirmed by ultrasound 10-15 days after the pregnancy test. Using the egg collection day as reference, 28-30 days afterwards, doctor’s can see the baby’s heart beat in ultrasound scan.