Ready to move forward? Ovarian stimulation is the first step in the egg freezing process
The goal of egg freezing is to harvest as many mature eggs as possible, because later IVF success rates depend upon the number of the mature eggs and healthy embryos available for transfer. For this reason, ovarian stimulation is an important part of the egg freezing process.
A woman undergoing egg freezing for fertility preservation takes injectable fertility drugs, or gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulation hormone. This accomplishes 2 goals.
- To enhance the growth and development of her ovarian follicles in order to encourage them to produce as many healthy eggs as possible.
- To control the timing of ovulation so the eggs can be surgically retrieved before ovulation.
The treatment regimen for ovarian stimulation may vary based upon whether you have previously taken gonadotropins
If you have taken gonadotropins before, Dr Joel Batzofin will consider your treatment history to determine your treatment regime for ovarian stimulation.
In contrast, if you are receiving gonadotropins for the first time, Dr Batzofin will determine your dosage and medication by examining your medical history and blood FSH and E2 concentrations.
The first step is taking oral birth control pills and daily Lupron injections
You will begin your fertility treatment by taking oral birth control pills for 6-30 days. Then, you will start daily self-injections of Lupron to prevent ovulation. Both the birth control pills and Lupron are administered together for an additional 4-6 days. After that, you will stop taking the birth control pills, while continuing with daily Lupron injections.
Your plasma E2 concentration determines whether you are ready to begin ovarian stimulation
Menstruation will usually occur 6-10 days after you stop taking the birth control pills. At that point, Dr Batzofin will schedule a blood draw to assess your plasma E2 concentration.
- If your E2 level is less than 60pg per ml, you are ready to begin ovarian stimulation.
- If your E2 level is greater than 60pg per ml, Lupron therapy will be continued for a few more days. Dr Batzofin will then reassess your E2 level.
- If your E2 level continues to be greater than 60pg per ml, you may need a pelvic ultrasound to look for an ovarian cyst, which may need to be aspirated.
When your E2 level is just right, Dr Batzofin will begin the process of ovarian stimulation.
When you are ready to begin ovarian stimulation, you will continue your Lupron injections at a reduced daily dosage, or you will stop Lupron and switch to a low dose GnRH antagonist, such as Antagon or Cetrotide.
Then, you will start a regimen of gonadotropin therapy. Some of these medications include Gonal F, Follistim, Bravelle, Repronex and Menopur. Dr Batzofin may make dosage adjustments during the course of the treatment, based upon your response to medication.
A week after beginning gonadotropin therapy, you will start coming in for ultrasounds and plasma estradiol evaluations to monitor your ovarian response. These assessments help Dr Batzofin determine when to give you an injection of hCG to trigger the maturation of your eggs and the production of progesterone.
Approximately 34-36 hours after receiving an hCG injection, we will schedule you for egg retrieval, the next step of the egg freezing process.
If you have more questions about ovarian stimulation for egg freezing, please attend an egg freezing seminar or contact us for a consultation.
Have more questions about Egg Freezing? Join us for an Egg freezing Seminar or Contact us today for a consultation.