Deciding on your dosage of FSH

The dose of GnRH analogues is the same for all women and stays the same right through the treatment, but the dose of FSH varies for each woman. Your doctor has no way of knowing exactly how you'll respond to FSH when you have your first IVF cycle, but the following criteria can guide the decision regarding the dose of FSH most likely to result in you producing about a dozen eggs:

1 The number of follicles in your ovaries before stimulation starts: A

vaginal ultrasound of the ovaries shows the number of follicles already there. If you have heaps of little follicles waiting to be stimulated your doctor very cautiously gives you a low dose of FSH, because you could be at risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (an extreme response to the drug, which I explain in Chapter 10).

i Your age: As women get older their response to FSH decreases, so if you're over 38 years of age, you may receive a higher dose of the hormone than if you're younger than 38.

1 Your response to any previous stimulation attempt(s): If you've had previous cycles, your doctor checks your previous dosage and how you responded.

i Your baseline FSH level: Your doctor may check the level of FSH present in your blood early in your menstrual cycle to help decide the FSH dose to use.

The daily FSH dose that doctors prescribe ranges from 75 international units (IU) to up to 450 IU.

The most common FSH starting dose for IVF is 150 IU per day. If this dose doesn't result in a sufficient number of eggs, your doctor increases the dose next time. Most doctors won't increase the daily dose beyond 450 IU because for the majority of women this higher dosage doesn't actually help produce any more eggs.

Most doctors err on the side of caution when working out your dose in order not to put you at risk of an over-response, which can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (I explain OHSS in Chapter 10). If your first cycle is unsuccessful and you decide to try again, your doctor adjusts the dose up or down as determined by your response, in the hope of improving the outcome of the stimulation in the next cycle.

Pregnancy Nutrition

Pregnancy Nutrition

Are You Expecting? Find Out Everything You Need to Know About Pregnancy and Nutrition Without Having to Buy a Dictionary. This book is among the first books to be written with the expertise of a medical expert and from the viewpoint of the average, everyday, ordinary,

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