Ovarian stimulation is an important component of a successful IVF cycle. Women with normal ovarian function usually produce one egg per month. To increase the number of mature eggs available for fertilization, the ovaries are stimulated with carefully regulated hormone doses, administered by injection. During this phase of treatment, you receive injections of hormones that stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple, viable eggs.
This IVF phase usually lasts from 10 to 12 days and involves multiple steps. Your Clinician will determine which protocol is best for you and detailed information will be reviewed with you. We recommend you to take these drugs by our experienced nursing staff. Clinicians will monitor your progress closely using blood tests and ultrasound, ensuring that you are responding as needed to the injections and also adjust the medication dosages depending on your body’s response. Typically, you will need to be seen approximately three to four times during the course of this stimulation to track progress.
Once the follicles mature to 18—20 mm in diameter, we will instruct you to administer a final injection(TRIGGER) that prepares your ovaries to release the eggs. Approximately 35 - 36 hours after the TRIGGER injection,we will schedule egg retrieval before you ovulate.
Potential Complications during Ovarian Stimulation
There are some possible side effects with injectable medications, but most are mild like skin irritation, tenderness, bruising or swelling at the site of the injection. Rarely, possible complication during the stimulation process is called ovarian hyperstimulation (OHSS). Ovarian hyperstimulation is a condition that develops when the ovaries become very enlarged and tender due to the stimulation medications used.
Ovarian hyperstimulation can lead to development of pelvic pain and the accumulation of pelvic fluid, which sometimes requires bed rest or hospitalization.
A cycle may be cancelled if the ovaries are not responding optimally.
It is a Day care procedure where the eggs are collected from your ovaries. An anaesthetist will get you ready for a general anaesthesia. You’ll be asleep and the procedure takes about 20-30 minutes. Transvaginal ultrasound aspiration is the usual retrieval method. An ultrasound probe is inserted into your vagina to identify follicles. Then a thin needle is inserted into an ultrasound guide to go through the vagina and into the follicles to retrieve the eggs.The eggs are removed from the follicles through a needle connected to a suction device and handed over to embryologist.
Your Clinician should have a fair idea from your ultrasounds how many eggs there are before retrieval. The average number of eggs collected is 8-12. Mature eggs are placed in a nutritive liquid (culture medium) and incubated. Eggs that appear healthy and mature will be mixed with sperm to attempt to create embryos. However, not all eggs may be successfully fertilized. Recovery takes about 60 minutes and you’ll be able to walk out on your own. It’s a good idea to have a support person with you.