The Sher Institute was started by Dr. Geoffrey Sher. He has been one of the leaders in research in the area of infertility for several years. They have several clinics located around the country and Dr. Sher himself has a clinic in Las Vegas where he takes on the most difficult cases of infertility and has found success for them. I encourage you to check out the website at www.haveababy.com .
I thought I would let you know how SIRM does their IVF cycles in one post and then fill you in on my specifics in future posts. SIRM does what they call "batch cycles." When you start your period, they put you on active birth control pills and then when it is time for the cycle to start they take everyone off on the same day so they have the same cycle start dates. If they did not do it this way, then the office would be working non-stop because obviously everyone has different cycle dates. This makes it much easier for the office staff and for scheduling purposes. Each person gets a calendar that has daily instructions for what medications are to be taken, how much, and at what time of day. Each person has their own individual calendar based on their needs, so they always tell people not to compare.
So the medicines, which are different for everyone, usually consist of a steroid-which they say prepares your body to not reject the embryo when they place it back in. You also start an injection that is a suppression medicine-which shuts your body down so that it follows the instruction of the medicines and not what it wants to do. You also begin a prenatal vitamin at this time. These 3 medicines begin about a week and a 1/2 before any other medicines. This is so your body is used to them and shut down when the "big" medicines begin. You also begin these medicines while also on the birth control pills (BCP). They take you off of BCP and then have you do a blood draw to check your estrogen levels. As long as they are low enough, you can start the "big" medicines. If your levels are high, then it might mean that you have a cyst in your ovary and that needs to be taken care of before moving on. So after that has been done, you begin your follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This is the medicine that makes your ovaries produce many eggs. After 4 days of these, you add a second medicine called a Luetenizing Hormone (LH). This makes the eggs mature as they grow.
After a week of being on these medicines, you go in for more bloodwork and an ultrasound to check the growth of the follicles. Based on those results, you may need to take medicine for a couple of more days and then come back to be checked again. This is when everyone kind of deviates from each other, although we are all technically in the same place in our cycles. Some people take a little longer to get mature eggs than others. This is also when the office staff often times will have to work everyday of the week for 2 weeks--eggs won't last over a weekend, so they have to be there when they are ready:)
I will continue with Egg Retrieval and Embryo Transfer in the next post--it's a lot more to type out than I thought!