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What Are My Pre-Treatment Steps of IVF?

 What Are My Pre-Treatment Steps of IVF?

Before you undergo a major procedure such as in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, you’ll want to do a few key things to prepare. Going through IVF is an expensive, time-intensive process, so you want to be as healthy and well-prepared as possible.

In-vitro fertilization is rarely a first step on the fertility journey. In fact, many couples have already been through other types of fertility testing and, possibly, some procedures. Dr. Edward J. Ramirez of The Fertility & Gynecology Center - Monterey Bay IVF explains more about steps you should take before IVF treatment.

When IVF is our first step

Sometimes, we’ll know from the beginning that your process to parenthood will begin with IVF. Some situations that can make this the case include:

If we know from the start that IVF will be the best option for you, we can skip a lot of other tests and unnecessary procedures.

What you should do first

When you’re starting IVF, you may wonder what we’ll be doing first. The cycle before you start IVF, you may be given either a prescription of birth control pills or a series of shots to shut down your hormones.

This is done to essentially give you a “fresh start.” By allowing your hormones to rest for a cycle, we can prevent problems such as ovarian cysts or continued growth of endometriosis.

You may also be asked to use an ovulation predictor kit or to take your basal body temperature every morning before you get out of bed. This can help us determine when you usually ovulate during your cycles.

You may have other procedures first

Sometimes, before you can even start IVF, we need to do a procedure. We may do an exploratory laparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Ramirez is specially trained in how to perform this and other procedures you might need. In most cases, they’re performed on an outpatient basis.

He may remove pelvic adhesions, fibroids, ovarian cysts, or other issues with your reproductive organs to make sure your uterus is as healthy and ready for your baby as possible.

Starting IVF

The first day of your next period, you officially begin your next cycle. On the second day of your cycle, we’ll often want to do blood tests and a transvaginal ultrasound. The blood work is to ensure that your estrogen (or estradiol) levels are still low. The ultrasound is to check for any ovarian cysts that may be developing.

If both look good, everything’s a go for this cycle. 

Of course, during this entire time, you should also be taking extra steps to ensure your health, including following a healthy diet, continuing to get gentle exercise, minimizing stress, and taking a prenatal vitamin.

Deciding to get IVF is a big deal. Ask all the questions you have; we’re happy to answer them. Contact Dr. Edward J. Ramirez at his Monterey, California, office or request an appointment online.

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