IVF monitoring visits are a critical component of fertility treatment success
In each IVF cycle, an egg develops inside a structure called a follicle. This is a sac we can see on ultrasound. Once the ovarian hyperstimulation process begins, we perform ultrasound examinations starting after 3 days. We then repeat the IVF monitoring visits every other day. We eventually move to daily visits so that we can make medication adjustments. Along with the ultrasound measurements, we draw blood at each visit. Our team looks at the levels of estrogen and progesterone to make further adjustments.
When the follicle sizes and hormone levels indicate that the eggs are mature, we give an injection of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). This causes the eggs to release so that we can retrieve them. hCG is similar to the hormone LH, which triggers ovulation in a natural cycle. It is important to give the hCG at the proper time. Careful monitoring is therefore critical to the success of the IVF cycle. Doctors should never replace it with pre-determined protocols.