Finding out exactly what happens in an IVF cycle

At most clinics, the nurses make sure that you know what to do throughout the course of your IVF cycle. So, before you start your cycle, you have a scheduled appointment with a nurse to find out what to expect and what you need to do at each step. This meeting is likely to cover:

1 The drugs used to stimulate egg production — and when and how you take them i The potential side effects of these drugs i How your response to the drugs is monitored 1 Why these drugs sometimes don't work so well i What happens on the day of egg retrieval i When and how the sperm are collected

1 What happens in the lab

1 When you can expect to find out about the number of embryos you have i What happens on the day the embryos are transferred i What happens to any embryos that are frozen i When to come back for a pregnancy test i What happens after the pregnancy test

At the end of the meeting you receive this information in writing, so that you can refer back to the notes as and when you need to.

The nurse's job is to make sure that you have all the information you need before you start treatment. Sometimes, a nurse may be so keen to tell you everything at your first meeting that she forgets to ask what you want to know. The first appointment with the nurse is your best chance to get her full attention, so make sure you explain what's important to you so she understands your needs. Write down any questions you have before your appointment and ask the nurse to explain anything you don't understand.

Make a note of the name and contact details of the nurse you see for your initial appointment so that you can get in touch with her again directly when you need to.

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