What to expect of your IVF ultrasound
Are you getting ready for your first IVF ultrasound where your IVF clinic is going to check your egg count? Are you wondering what to expect?
This stage of your IVF treatment comes after you’ve started ovarian stimulation drugs.
You’ve already picked your IVF clinic, preparations have begun and the wheel has been set into motion.
Depending on your treatment protocol, you’ve been administering anywhere from one to four shots every day for about a week to 10 days. (You’re professional at self-injections by now).
Soon, you’ll be going in for your first IVF ultrasound to check your ovaries and get an egg count.
Monitoring your cycle is very important. This is how your doctor will decide how to adjust your stimulation medications and determine how your eggs are developing and maturing.
Here are my 3 fertility tips for your first IVF ultrasound…
#1 The most important thing they’re looking for is egg growth
During your ultrasound, your doctors are going to be looking at how many follicles you have and their size.
It’s important not to mistake the amount of follicles for the amount of eggs you have. The follicles are what hold eggs inside – but not all follicles will have eggs. This is something we can’t know for sure until egg retrieval day.
The purpose of this ultrasound is to monitor the size and growth of the follicles. Are the follicles growing or measuring close together? Are there 10 or more in each ovary and are they growing evenly and at a good size?
Make sure you’re involved and informed. What to ask the doctor: how many follicles do I have? How big are they?
#2 More than one ultrasound is needed
What I often hear from patients is that they think they only need one ultrasound to determine all of this information.
This is not the case and your ovaries will need to be monitored several times. Typically, you may need to go back every 2 days (at some point maybe even every day).
This is so doctors can see how the follicles are growing and know when retrieval should be.
#3 Common question: How much longer?
The most common question of all is: How much longer?
How much longer do I need to wait before I can move onto the next stage and have eggs retrieved?
The answer will vary from individual to individual as it all depends on growth. This can be influenced by age or fertility condition. Some women will have follicles that develop faster than others.
Before this stage is over, your follicles will need to be at least 16mm. Some clinics want them a little bit larger (around 18-20mm). It’s likely that some will be larger and some smaller.
The main goal with your first ultrasound is to check that you have the same number of follicles in each ovary and that are growing equally. They also need to be good sizes. Any follow ups from there will be to monitor progression and development.
My advice to you is to try and remain patient and positive during this time – give your body the time it needs to do the things it needs to do to give you your baby.
And, if you do need more support, why don’t you check out my unique IVF program for IVF moms-to-be.
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