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More About Stimulation Protocols...and Staying Sane

Posted Sep 25 2009 3:34pm

If you spend any time surfing the websites and bulletin boards concerning infertility, then you will certainly notice that stimulation protocols are discussed by patients all over the web. Some patients complain that their heads are spinning as some of the women posting in cyberspace seem to have physiology PhDs and know all of their estradiol levels and follicle sizes…yadda, yadda, yadda.

I think that informed patients are always the best patients but at some point I also think that you need to trust your RE to make sound decisions. There are many different approaches to IVF and IUI stimulations and one needs to remember that every patient is unique with her own particular history. Don’t be intimidated by the biology and the variety of protocols in use. If one protocol was absolutely superior to all of the others, then don’t you think that everyone would use it?

When a patient comes from another clinic to seek care here I always ask for the stimulation records as there is no better way to pick a protocol than to see how things went in the past. Otherwise, you are flying blind and there is no need not to learn from past experiences.

So ask questions, get sound advice and pick a doctor with a good reputation, a good laboratory and good communication skills. After all that, just hang in there and try not to get overwhelmed by the day to day minutiae of the cycle.

With that in mind here is today’s Question of the Day from the book that should be on your bedside table so you can stop taking Ambien…”100 Questions and Answers About Infertility.”

47. My doctor wants to use Lupron or Antagon during my IUI cycle. What are these drugs, and why do I need them? I thought they were only for IVF.

These medications can be used to prevent premature ovulation—that is, they can delay ovulation until the optimal follicle size has been reached. Premature ovulation during an IUI cycle can be dealt with by simply adjusting the timing of the IUI. These medications are primarily used in patients undergoing IVF rather than IUI. For most patients undergoing treatment with IUI, Lupron and Antagon are rarely necessary. These drugs are not routinely used unless a patient repeatedly experiences a premature LH surge during the treatment cycle. In such cases, these medications can allow for a more optimal

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