Natural Cycle IVF Medications
If you are supposed to be doing NATURAL Cycle IVF, why is it that one day a whole box of medications (including a SHOT) show up on your front door step??? When planning to do NC IVF, part of the beauty is that there are no medications to deal with – so what’s the deal?
During Natural Cycle IVF, we do not use medications to stimulate your ovaries to create multiple eggs. We simply follow your natural cycle and the single follicle that is growing (on rare occasions we get 2, but that's Mother Nature’s decision!) When that follicle is appropriate in size and the estrogen levels are appropriate, we have you use the first medication that came in your box, the HCG trigger shot. The trigger is to help provide for the final maturation of the egg, start the production of progesterone, and help get the egg ready to leave the follicle it’s been hanging around in. Because of the timing of NC IVF egg retrievals, we are VERY SPECIFIC about the timing of the injection. Egg collections are performed in the mornings, so the trigger will happen later in the evening, or even in the wee hours of the morning. Most of the time it will be between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., depending on the schedule.
Keflex (cephalexin) is an antibiotic that you take about an hour before we do the actual egg collection in the office, to help avoid the chance of infection. If you have an allergy to penicillin, don't worry, we will give you something safe in your IV!
You will use the other stuff in the box after the egg collection. These medications are geared toward getting the uterine lining ready for the embryo transfer 3 to 5 days later, with the exception of doxycycline, another antibiotic that you will start with dinner the night of the egg retrieval. Don't worry, it’s only 5 doses total!
Estrace (estradiol) and progesterone vaginal suppositories (Prometrium) help build and support the uterine lining. Estradiol will be taken orally once each day, beginning the day of the egg collection, and the vaginal suppositories will be used twice a day, also to begin on the day of egg collection.
So, these are the medications we use during NC IVF and why we use them. When you break them down one by one, it’s really not as bad as it may have seemed. I think the key to getting through any type of treatment cycle is to have an idea of what’s going to happen in the future, but always try to focus on your next step. Trying to wrap your head around the entire process can make it bigger and more stressful than it should be.
As always, if you have questions, please let us know. The only bad questions are ones that don't get asked!