We understand that it can be daunting when you’re first starting out on your fertility journey, especially when so many complicated medical terms are used.
If you’re considering the IVF process, one of the medical terms that may have caused confusion is ‘protocol,’ which is more than likely used by your fertility consultant.
Maybe they’ve mentioned short protocol, or long protocol IVF, either way, if you’re not sure what these terms mean it can be quite confusing.
In this post we cover what these terms mean, how they differ from each other, and how you can decide which would be best suited to you. So, if you are looking for some answers then continue reading this post.
What does the term IVF protocol mean?
The easiest way to come to terms with the word ‘protocol’ is to think of it as a fancy word for regime.
Protocol refers to the specific stimulation treatment plan that you will undertake as part of the IVF process.
Whether you have chosen to undertake a long or a short protocol IVF treatment, it refers to your personal schedule for how your treatment will be carried out, when procedures will be undertaken, and which drugs will be administered.
What is the difference between long and short protocol IVF?
The long protocol IVF refers to the standard IVF process. This usually involves procedures such as hormone injections that will start at around day 21 of your menstrual cycle, blood tests, and ultrasound scans alongside the egg retrieval and fertilisation.
Beginning early in your menstrual cycle, short protocol IVF on the other hand, starts with low daily doses of hormone injections. The aim of these injections is to completely shut down your ovarian hormones. This protocol is used in several different situations, such as when a woman has not produced the desired amount of eggs under the long protocol.
As the name suggests, short protocol IVF is a quicker process and is sometimes used when a woman has not produced that many eggs under the long protocol process.
In both variants of the IVF process, you will be carefully monitored to ensure that the treatment is going to plan and is on schedule. It is essential to confirm that your follicles are at the right size and stage of development for aspiration.
What determines which IVF protocol I am treated with?
The decision on which route you will take with the IVF procedure will ultimately lie with your fertility expert. Therefore, it is incredibly important that your fertility expert has all the information needed to weigh up both options.
At Reproductive Health Group, our experts would certainly take your thoughts and concerns into consideration when deciding which protocol would be best for you. So, if you have any questions, concerns, or doubts during the initial stages it is worth mentioning them. This will allow us to resolve any potential issues and provide extensive support.
Factors such as age, the primary cause of the infertility, and how your body has previously responded to fertility treatments would also be considered when deciding whether short or long protocol IVF would be best for you.
So, there you have it, a significant part of the IVF process broken down and explained. If you do have any further questions, please feel free to contact us and book a consultation with one of our fertility experts.