Many patients get confused by all the medicines and
injections which are used in an IVF cycle, and this is partly because doctors
themselves are very confused.
You need to step back and look at the big picture to make sense
of the technical minutiae.
All we're trying do when we super-ovulate you is to help
you to grow lots of mature eggs. We want you a synchronous cohort of follicles,
all of which are roughly the same size.
In order to do this, we have to give you hormonesto stimulate your ovaries, which normally
produce only one mature follicle ( which contains only one mature egg) every
month. These could be by bumping up the level of your own endogenous hormones, by
using Letrozole, which increases the FSH produced by your pituitary.
We can also give you hormones in the form of injections.
These are the gonadotropin hormones - FSH and LH. These could be urinary
gonadotropins, or pure recombinant FSH.
We adjust the dose, to get you to grow lots of follicles,
and when the follicles are mature, we then trigger ovulation using HCG , so
that we can then retrieve your eggs and send them to the embryologist in the
IVF lab, where he can fertilise them.
Which particular protocol we use depends on various
factors, including your age, your previous ovarian response, and how many
follicles we want you to grow.
Along with the gonadotropins, we also use GnRH agonists or
antagonists, to make sure your follicles do not rupture on their own !
You can learn more about IVF treatment by downloading the IVF comic book free at