Friday, March 2, 2012

It's time for IVF101! First up, terminology.

I said in a previous post that I would be answering some common questions about IVF.  First we'll start with terminology.

Intramuscular shot: A shot into a muscle, usually the butt.

Subcutaneous shot: A shot under the skin; for fertility meds, this usually means in the stomach.

hCG: human chorionic gonadotropin

Egg retrieval: A surgical procedure where the doctor uses an ultrasound guided needle to go through the wall of the uterus (going up through the vagina) to collect the follicles (eggs).
Embryo transfer: The transfer of a fertilized embryo into the uterus.

ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection): A procedure where one sperm is injected directly into the egg.

Trigger shot: An intra-muscular shot of hCG to tell my body to release the follicles (eggs) that have been growing.  Retrieval takes place 36 hours after this shot.

Stimulation drugs: Drugs that tell my body to grow follicles (eggs).  In other words, to stimulate my ovaries.

Suppression drugs: Drugs that keep my body from ovulatin and from only growing one follicle (egg).  The goal is multiple follicles; I had 22 in my last cycle.  A good goal is 10 to 15.

I'll continue to add to this list as I find more terms that need definition.

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