Introducing the Common Stimulation Protocols

Not all women follow the same ovarian stimulation protocol: Your protocol depends on your age, your IVF doctor's preference and the clinic's routine.

Figure 6-1 shows a sample protocol demonstrating what drugs to take and when. IVF nurses and doctors use the term cycle day (cd for short) to tell you when to take the various drugs. The first day of your period is the first day of the cycle, cycle day 1 or cd 1, the second day is cd 2 and so on. The drugs in ovarian stimulation protocols start on different cycle days; your nurse gives you all the instructions you need to complete your protocol.

Figure 6-1:

A sample protocol: The long protocol.

GnRH agonist

Egg collection

Embryo transfer hCG

Progesterone cd 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 — 30

In this section I describe the more common stimulation protocols and what they involve.

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