IVF Cycling FAQ

Below are questions that our patients commonly ask about IVF, while they are in the IVF process.

Other IVF Topics Include:

Intro to IVF

IVF Cycling FAQs

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

We are in the office M-F 8am-4:30pm. 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 7am-10pm. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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