What kind of drugs do I have to take and for how long?
Before patients are starting, this is one of the aspects that they are really apprehensive about. What drugs will be taken will be based on your treatment protocol that has been formulated following your consultation.
The treatment protocol is based on a list of clinical variables such as the age, the degree of the ovarian walls, body mass index, levels of FSH and your past treatment history. You might be taking maybe three or four injections during the course of the treatment. If you’re following a long protocol you may be taking down-regulation injections such as Buserelin, Suprecur, or Suprefact for nearly two weeks.
Once you’ve been confirmed to be down-regulated, or once we confirm that your ovaries have been temporarily shut down then you’ll be taken stimulation injections, which will be at least one injection or it could be two injections.
At this point, you will certainly continue with the down-regulation injections until you have been advised to stop. You will be adding maybe one or two injections on the top but the good thing is, it’s only for a short period of time (for around two weeks).
Once you are ready for the egg collection you will take a final trigger shot that matures the eggs and all the stimulation of the down-regulation injections would stop. Overall, you will be taking these injections as part of the long protocol for maybe around four weeks.
If you’re following a short protocol, then you probably would be taking injections only for a two-week period. After that, sometimes some specialists on certain patients, may use intramuscular injections to support the pregnancy. This is largely the case if patients have had multiple treatment failures and we want to give them the very best chance to conceive.
These are some of the injections that you would be taking for the duration and the majority of these injections are subcutaneous, except for a few, which might be intramuscular. If you’re concerned about these medications then there are other options that you can consider, such as a natural cycle IVF or Mild Stimulation IVF.
Natural Cycle IVF
In the natural cycle IVF, you are not taking anything any injections at all. Occasionally to salivate your cycle we may use an injection, but the whole philosophy is not to use any injections and work with the body’s physiology. You may still have to go through an egg collection procedure, but that’s a minor procedure. As far as the drugs are concerned, we are not using any injections.
Mild stimulation IVF
As part of the mild stimulation, you will be using some stimulation drugs but the drugs usually used for a shorter period of time and the dosage of the drugs are regulated. The philosophy of mild stimulation is to collect fewer eggs for a better quality. Whereas with a conventional IVF, the philosophy is an appropriate stimulation which is sorted for the patients. This is because the studies have certainly shown that nearly 10 to 15 eggs are required to give the patient a very good chance of success.
The philosophies of both of the kind of the treatments are fundamentally different and that leads to the decision as to what medications will be used and whether you will be using medications at all.
Also, it’s important to take into consideration what your beliefs are. I certainly sometimes have patients who do not want to use any objections. In that case, we will consider Natural Cycle IVF or on the other hand, we’ve gone through and conventional IVF and given large doses of the drug, have yielded one or two eggs.
Then again, we will reward to going natural cycle because the body is doing it naturally anyway. It really depends on a variety of clinical factors, and your choices and beliefs that determine what drugs you would be using as part of the treatment.