IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) is an exciting, nerve wracking, and emotional journey to be on. It’s a big game of “hurry up and wait” in the short scheme of things. It’s exciting when your cycle finally arrives and you get the green light to start medication!
When we started our first round of IVF, I was on cloud 9. You couldn’t touch my level of happiness!
It all felt surreal when the nurses then brought in the medication I would be taking and was giving me detailed instructions on how to do IVF injections. I thought to myself “Oh my god, it’s happening. This is how we’re going to get pregnant!”
I know when I started our IVF cycle, I was googling up and down how long does IVF take, IVF Process timeline, IVF Calendar, IVF medication time, How many injections for IVF treatment, etc.
More Posts You’ll Love
- 6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting IVF
- 5 Things You MUST Have for IVF Egg Retrieval
- Tips for a Successful IVF Cycle
Not Every IVF Cycle is the Same
Truth is, not everyone is on the same timeline for IVF.
There are different IVF cycles and protocols depending on why you need IVF in the first place.
Some doctors may start you on birth control (ironic as that sounds) before you are given the green light to start injections. The reason some doctors may place you on birth control is to regulate your cycle as well as to plan the IVF cycle to fit yours and their schedule.
I’ll be sharing my IVF calendar – but keep in mind that our cycle was by a clinical trial basis and may not be the same as what your doctor will place you on!
How Long Does an IVF Cycle Take
The typical IVF cycle can take about 3-6 weeks, depending on your protocol!
Every case of IVF is different as there are many factors that can come into play as to why you need IVF to begin with.
For us, we were dealing with Male Factor Infertility – so IVF with ICSI was needed. I was not placed on birth control and only had to do minimal injections to stimulate the follicles.
Some cases like PCOS or Endometriosis may need a more intensive protocol when it comes to IVF with injections like Lupron, Menopur, and so forth.
IVF Cycle from Start to Finish
March 29, 2019 – Period Arrived
Cycle day one was finally here! My nurse had instructed me to call when my cycle arrived so they can schedule me for blood work. They wanted me to come in between cycle days 2-4 to check the FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) in the blood.
April 1, 2019 – Baseline Appointment
Baseline appointment finally arrived! April 1st marked cycle day 4 for me. When I arrived at the clinic, they brought me back to an exam room where my blood was taken and I received a sonogram (“wanda” for those in the fertility community) of my uterus and ovaries. They checked my uterine lining as well as follicle count.
It was during this baseline appointment that I also received my stimulation medication and instructions on how to give the injections. If you’ve followed my Instagram or YouTube Channel, we were in a clinical trial for a new IVF drug.
Stims from April 1st – April 5th
Stimming began on April 1st (Monday) and every day until April 5th (Friday). Stimming day 5, I went back in for a checkup/ultrasound of the progress. Unfortunately, because we were in a clinical trial, I was not allowed to see the monitor for progress. I was completely in the dark for the entire process so I’m unaware of how many follicles or anything.
April 5, 2019 – Follicle Scan
Ultrasound to monitor the follicle progress.
April 7, 2019 – Follicle Scan + New Medication + Daily Visits Start
On day 7 of medication, I was given a new medication called Ganirelix. In short, this medication stops your body from naturally ovulating. I was also instructed that daily visits were now needed until we pull the trigger shot for egg retrieval. This indicated that we were close!
April 8th – Follicle Scan (More meds. More Ganirelix)
Second day of daily visits. Instructed to take more injections and another dose of Ganirelix.
April 9th – Final follicle scan. Received the Novarel Trigger Shot!
Exciting day here! I was sent home with the instructions for the trigger shot. This shot is very time sensitive as egg retrieval is scheduled about 30-36 hours after the trigger shot is given. I was instructed to take the trigger shot that evening at 9:45pm and Egg Retrieval was scheduled for Thursday, April 11, 2019.
April 11th – Egg Retrieval Day
I wrote an entire post about our egg retrieval as well as vlogged the experience! I’ll embed the vlog in this post.
I also wrote my Must Have Things for Egg Retrieval. If you’re having an Egg Retrieval surgery done, I highly recommend you check out that post!
April 16, 2019 – Fresh Embryo Transfer
Tuesday, 5 days after Egg Retrieval, we were scheduled for a fresh embryo transfer. Unfortunately, our transfer was canceled due to the embryo progress.
April 29, 2019 – Follow up with our doctor
We were told one of our embryos made it to freeze!
May 23, 2019 – Start of our Frozen Embryo Transfer
IVF is a long road but it’s worth it!
I always tell followers on my Instagram that message me asking for advice to “focus on the journey, not the destination” when it comes to fertility treatments.
There were several times during our IVF treatment I felt like a failure and that it wouldn’t work. Let me tell you first hand, things change in the blink of an eye! Have faith. You got this, mama!