Pre-treatment Preparation

After the decision is made to proceed with IVF, you will meet with a Registered Nurse and will receive a medication log and a calendar outlining the treatment. In many cases, oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) will be prescribed in the cycle, prior to active treatment. The purpose of the OCP is to reduce the chance that an ovarian cyst will be present at the time when we plan to start treatment and to allow flexibility in the timing of the cycle (the number of days on OCP can be varied).


While you are on the OCP, you will have a Transvaginal ultrasound to assess whether there are any cysts present in the ovaries. In one commonly used protocol, you will begin a medication called Lupron (a GnRH agonist) while you are still taking the OCP. Your individual protocol may vary, and you may be prescribed a medicine other than Lupron (such as a GnRH antagonist called Ganirelix or Cetrotide) to prevent premature release of the eggs.
Uterine screening. If you have not had an evaluation of your uterus within the last year, your MD may recommend a screening test as a hysteroscopy or a saline infusion sonography to be done while you are taking the OCP. You will be given more information about any procedure that will be recommended.

Backup semen sample. In some cases a semen sample is obtained, frozen, and stored as a “back-up” specimen available on the day of egg retrieval. Please inform your MD or RN if you anticipate any difficulty in collecting a sample on the day of the retrieval so that you can arrange to have a back-sample frozen ahead of time.

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