Your IVF Journey: Beginning to End
By Amy Murphy
After you register to become a new patient you will receive an appointment for an initial consultation with one of our Consultants. Due to COVID 19, these are carried out over phone call or Zoom. If you have had any previous investigations please email them to us in advance of your consult.
At this consultation you and your doctor will take a note of your medical, fertility and obstetric history if applicable. Your doctor will recommend various investigations based on your history. This may include an SIS (check of the uterus, ovaries and tubes), a semen analysis (checks the number of sperm, how they are moving and if they look normal), various bloods tests and immunology or genetic testing.
A nurse will contact you a few days after your consultation by email to summarise the doctor's requests, advise you regarding booking appointments and give you general helpful information/services ahead of your treatment.
Once these tests are completed you will have another zoom consultation with your doctor to discuss results and recommend a treatment plan tailored to you. Again, a Nurse will contact you within a few days of this consultation by phone to explain and plan your treatment.
For the majority of cycles you be asked to call on day 1 of your period and will have a scan on day 2 or 3. All scans are done transvaginally.
At this scan:
- We will assess your lining
- The antral follicles on your ovaries will be counted
- We may take hormone bloods
- We will take screening for HIV/Hepatitis for you and your partner (if applicable)
- You will receive a schedule of your stimulation medications
- You will receive an injection demonstration
The aim of the stimulation medication is to recruit and grow follicles on your ovaries (follicles are sacs filled with fluid in which an egg develops).
You will have 3/4 monitoring scans to measure the lining of your womb and count and measure the follicles on your ovaries. Scans are carried out in the morning time and take 30 minutes.
The numbers of follicles recruited is dependent on your AMH, age and medical/surgical history.
The stimulation phase usually lasts 12-14 days before an egg collection takes place.
An egg collection is a transvaginal procedure where a needle is passed through the vaginal wall and into the ovary. The fluid in the follicle is drained and given to the lab to be checked for the presence of an egg.
An egg collection takes place in the morning time and is carried out under sedation (not a general anaesthetic) and morphine is given for pain.
While you are having an egg collection your partner will do a semen sample (if applicable).
Your recovery after egg collection will take about 2 hours.
You will need someone to drive you home after egg collection. We recommend the day of the egg collection and day after egg collection off work.
You will know the total number of eggs collected before you leave the clinic.
The eggs and sperm will be left to fertilise overnight.
After egg collection you may experience mild cramping and slight bleeding. A hot water bottle and Paracetamol is recommended for relief.
The following day the embryologist will let you know how many of the eggs fertilised.
You will get a call on day 4 post egg collection to advise you how many embryos are developing (day of egg collection is day 0, the following day is day 1).
5-6 days after your egg collection you will have an embryo transfer. An embryo transfer is when the embryo that has developed is put back into the lining of your womb. This is just like a smear test and you don’t need to take time off work afterwards. Transfers usually take place in the afternoon and you will require a full bladder.
Your pregnancy blood test will happen 12-14 days after your embryo transfer.
If you are successful, congratulations! You will have an OB scan carried out when you are 7 weeks pregnant.
If, unfortunately you do not have a positive blood test, a return consult with your doctor will be arranged and next steps discussed. We also provide counselling services that we would encourage every patient to avail of.
Remember we are here every step of the way. We have a 24 hour emergency line so our nurses are always on hand if you have any concerns.