IVF Cycling – FAQ’s

  1. Is it OK for me to travel while I am doing IVF?

    We do not recommend that you travel during IVF and travel continues to be restricted with a positive pregnancy test until after your ultrasound and are released to your OB . Only your doctor knows your history and IVF cycle, and how to treat you accordingly if any problems should arise. In general, distant travel is not recommended in the first and third trimester of pregnancy.

  2. I am spotting on the pill. Is this normal?

    Yes, because the birth control pill contains such a low dose of estrogen, this can cause spotting in some women. Continue to take your pill at the same time every day as directed and do not skip any pills.

  3. Why do I have to be on the birth control pill if I spent so many years unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant?

    We use the birth control pill as a way to regulate your hormones before we start you on stimulating hormones. In some protocols, birth control pill hormones help the actual IVF cycle. Lastly, we use it for cycle control to help ensure that we can start your cycle at the appropriate time.

  4. My calendar says to take the last birth control pill on a particular day, but it does not match the number of pills in the pack. Is that a mistake?

    Take a pill on the day that is listed on your calendar as the last day, then no further pills will be necessary, even if you have pills left in your pack . On the other hand, if you do not have enough pills in your pack to get to the day listed for your last pill, you will need a second pack. In that case, do not take the placebo pills (the last row of different colored pills) of your first pack, but begin taking the active pills in the next pack until the day designated on your calendar. Your calendar has been designed specifically for your personal schedule. We know you may have pills left in your pack.

  5. How do I know what medications I should order from the fertility pharmacy?

    We will have faxed your medications to the pharmacy for you. They will call you to arrange delivery. You will need to be at the delivery address to sign for the package (or arrange for someone to receive it for you). Some medications will need to be refrigerated, so be sure to remove the medications from the shipping box when received and check the packaging for instructions regarding proper storage of each medication. Also BE SURE TO DOUBLE CHECK THE CONTENTS AGAINST THE INVOICE AND THE COPY OF THE PRESCRIPTION WE HAVE GIVEN YOU to be certain you receive everything (including needles and syringes) that we ordered.

  6. My calendar says to call ART at 813-676-8844 with start of next menses. What if I get my period earlier or later than the date on the calendar?

    Your period should start a few days after taking the last birth control pill. Occasionally it will begin prior to the last pill. You are to call us (ART) with the start of your period, regardless of the date that it occurs. It is only on your calendar as a reminder for you to call.

  7. What medications can I take while I go through IVF?

    Please refer to your medication sheet that we hand out in your Injection class.

    Remember that your medication, activity and other restrictions do not go into effect until your Stimulation Day I . You may take anything you want while on Lupron. After Stimulation Day 1 , you may take any medication listed on your sheet.

  8. Should I take prenatal vitamins?

    Yes you should start taking prenatal vitamins now if you have not already done so. You may take any brand of prescriptive prenatal vitamins that you prefer. Or you may take over the counter (OTC) prenatal vitamins that either have 1mg (1000mcg) of folic acid included or a combination of an OTC prenatal vitamin and enough OTC folic acid to equal at least 1mg (1000mcg). Your pharmacist can help you select the correct amounts if you are unsure. Take prenatal vitamins everyday throughout your IVF cycle. Continue them daily if you have a positive pregnancy test or plan to continue attempting pregnancy.

  9. Do I need to speak with the ART coordinators when I am finished with my first blood work and ultrasound?

    Unless you have an urgent question, please feel free to leave after your appointment. We will call you by 3:00 pm with further instructions in regards to your medications. We can answer any other questions you have at this time.

  10. May I exercise during IVF?

    During stimulation , your ovaries will be enlarging as the follicles grow. So, to protect your ovaries, we ask that you restrict your exercise to swimming, walking on a treadmill, spinning (stationary bicycle), and using an elliptical machine as tolerated (No high impact activities) starting stimulation day 1. After your aspiration and transfer, exercise is limited to casual walking. No swimming or sitting in water to avoid exposure to bacteria and infection. These restrictions remain in effect until your pregnancy test, longer if pregnant.

  11. What exercise restrictions do I have if I am not doing an ovarian stimulation cycle?

    Patients whose ovaries will not be stimulated may continue moderate exercise prior to transfer; after transfer you may engage in non-impact exercise, but no swimming or sitting in water. These restrictions remain in effect until your pregnancy test, longer if pregnant.

  12. May I have acupuncture treatments during my IVF cycle?

    Yes, you may have acupuncture treatments during IVF, if you desire, but we ask that you refrain from taking any herbs or supplements unless recommended by your physician

  13. Why does my husband/ partner have to take antibiotics?

    If we are using a fresh specimen the day of the retrieval, antibiotics help to protect the woman from infection and reduce harmful bacteria during IVF. If we are using a frozen specimen or you are having a frozen embryo transfer, the husband / partner will not need antibiotics

  14. The pharmacist told us to take the Doxycycline with an empty stomach. Why were we told in class to take with food?

    Because we are not treating an infection, we are only trying to prevent harmful bacteria; therefore it does not need to be taken on an empty stomach. Take this medication after a full meal to prevent stomach upset.

  15. Can my husband and I continue to have intercourse during my IVF cycle?

    Yes , for patients undergoing a fresh IVF cycle, we recommend that you have intercourse or ejaculation at least onceduring stimulation. For certain, we ask the last intercourse or ejaculation be on day 8 or 9 for those patients using a fresh specimen on the day of egg retrieval, EVEN IF YOUR CYCLE GOES LONGER THAN YOUR CALENDAR. The ART Coordinator will give further instruction if there are any changes. Please, be sure to use a condom during your entire IVF cycle.

  16. What if I forget how to mix my medications or give my injections before I begin my cycle?

    Be sure to review the packet of information we provide you at your injection class. You may also go to our website: www.floridafertility.com to watch online videos on mixing medications and giving injections.

  17. Will my bottle of Lupron last me the entire cycle?

    One bottle of Lupron should last your entire cycle if you are taking =5 units twice a day. Although the label states it is a 14 day (2 week) kit, you are taking a much smaller amount of medicine than other indications for which a 2 week kit is used. You may need more medication if your cycle is delayed or if you stimulate longer than anticipated. If you are taking 10 units twice a day , you will need two kits of Lupron . Call ART if you feel you are running low so we can help you decide if you need to order more Lupron. If you are taking Lupron twice a day, though best to stay approximately 12 hours apart, a variance of up to 11 – 13 hours apart would be acceptable. In addition, Lupron may be taken at the same time as your other stimulating medications.

  18. What if I have a question for the ART coordinators and it is after 4:30p M-F or on weekends?

    We are in the office M-F 8a-4:30p. If you have a question during these hours, please leave us a message and we will return your call. If your question is urgent or emergent, call 813-676-8844 and press the #7 to page an ART Coordinator. We are on call 7a-10p. A physician is on call after hours and can be reached by calling the main office number and leaving a message with the answering service. Please remember in real emergency situations to please call 911.

  19. My Calendar says I need to schedule a Pre Op. What is that and why do I need it?

    A Pre-Operative appointment includes seeing the Doctor to listen to your heart and lungs and to sign the Egg Aspiration and / or Embryo transfer surgical consents. For those having an egg aspiration, a finger stick will be performed to check for anemia. This is necessary for anyone having a procedure at the surgery center. Husbands do not have to be present for this appointment.

  20. I am having a mucus discharge. Does this mean I am ovulating?

    No. This discharge does not mean you are ovulating. It means your estrogen is rising which typically happens before you ovulate in a non IVF cycle; but with IVF, you are taking a medication to prevent an LH surge and ovulation.

  21. Will I have my egg retrieval on the day that my calendar says?

    The day marked on your calendar for your egg retrieval is approximate. You could have your retrieval a day or two earlier or a couple days later. The exact date is determined by the size of your follicles and results of your blood test. Your egg retrieval will be scheduled 36 hours after your HCG injection.

  22. Will my doctor be the one doing my aspiration and transfer?

    We cannot guarantee that your physician will be the one doing your aspiration or transfer. We will let you know the day before your aspiration or transfer which physician will be doing your procedure.

  23. How soon after my procedures may I return to work?

    You may not work on the day of your aspiration or transfer. You may return to work the next day if you are feeling ok.

  24. When the ART Coordinators call me with my Progesterone results, can you predict whether I am pregnant or not?

    No, the progesterone values to do not indicate pregnancy. The values only indicate the level of progesterone in your body and whether we need to adjust your dose.

  25. What if I have any spotting or bleeding before my pregnancy test?

    Some women do experience spotting or bleeding before their pregnancy test. This does not mean that you are or are not pregnant. We ask that you continue to take your progesterone as directed every day. Please do not do a home pregnancy test as sometimes the results can be false. Only a blood test can accurately determine if you are pregnant.

  26. Is there any way that I can move my pregnancy test date earlier?

    We schedule your pregnancy test approximately two weeks after your aspiration so that we may more accurately interpret the results. If we schedule your test earlier, there is a chance that we could get a false negative or low positive.

  27. Who is going to call me with my pregnancy test results?

    Your office IVF coordinator will be the one that calls you with your results. Below is a list of offices and phone numbers:

    •  Tampa office —813-676-8849

    •  Brandon office—813-661-9114

    •  Swann office—813-870-3553

    •  Clearwater office —727-724-0702

    Please allow until 3:00pm to receive a phone call with your results,

  28. If I am having any problems or complications after a positive pregnancy test, who do I contact?

    Please contact your home office IVF coordinator (see numbers listed above).

  29. If I am not pregnant, how soon can I restart with IVF?

    You will have a follow up appointment with your physician to discuss your cycle which your office IVF coordinator can schedule for you. He/she will recommend timing for any future cycles. Generally, it has been recommended 1-2 menstrual cycles to give your body and emotions time to recover, but your physician will recommend what is best in your particular circumstance.