Once you get your period, give your clinic a call. They will ask you to come in to the clinic two days later for some blood tests and your ‘day 3 test’, or baseline scan.
The baseline scan is a transvaginal ultrasound scan that examines your ovaries and will give your doctor a better idea about the quality and quantity of your eggs.
You may also have a scan called a Hysterosalpingogram that will assess your fallopian tubes for blockages, view the uterine cavity to check for polyps, fibroids and scar tissue.
During this procedure, a specialist doctor slowly injects a liquid dye into the uterus via the cervix, which shows any blockages up on x-ray fluoroscopy.
The test can also help to diagnose PCOS and assess any other risks.
Once you’ve had all the initial tests, and the decision is made that IVF is the right choice for you, you will have a discussion with your consultant, and be given your treatment plan, or IVF Protocol as we call it.
There are a number of different Protocols but the two most common are ‘Long Protocol’ and ‘Short Protocol’. Your consultant will advise which is the best one for you to take. Every plan is different, yours will be based on your age, medical history, cause of infertility and if relevant, your reaction to previous fertility treatment and IVF cycles.
Your consultant will also advise you on the fertility drugs that you will be taking. This can be quite overwhelming at first but your consultant will take you through it all and decide on which will suit you best.
It’s a great idea to keep a diary planner and write down exactly what to take and when to take it. Especially the hCG Trigger (we’ll get to this later!).
An IVF cycle can be quite overwhelming, so we always recommend talking to a fertility counsellor. Most clinics have an in-house counsellor who can help you make informed choices, and help you consider what your treatment options may involve, including the emotional and financial stresses of those choices.