For many couples or individuals seeking fertility treatment, monitoring is an essential part of your care and you will soon become incredibly familiar with the process. Whether you are preparing for a timed intercourse cycle, an IUI, IVF, or other fertility treatment, you likely have heard the word monitoring come up more than a few times.
Unfortunately, the word “monitoring,” is so commonly thrown out there without really explaining what it is. Let’s take a step back now so you know what to expect when it comes to this vital part of your fertility treatment.
Monitoring refers to the appointments during your cycle that check your follicular development every 2-4 days starting on day 2, 3, or 4 of your cycle to ensure that your follicles (which house your eggs) are developing appropriately and to ensure your uterine lining is developing properly for implantation.
By monitoring the development of your follicles and uterine lining, we are able to make any necessary mid-course adjustments to your medication protocol as well as determine the optimum time to do an intrauterine insemination (IUI), egg retrieval, or embryo transfer. Additionally, monitoring your follicles during your ovarian stimulation helps us avoid any potential complications like ovarian hyperstimulation.
What to Expect at a Monitoring Appointment?
It’s a good question, so let’s get to it. During your monitoring appointments, you will have labs taken and an ultrasound performed. At each visit, your physician will look for an appropriate balance between your hormone levels and ovarian/uterine lining response.
At your first monitoring appointment, your “baseline,” your ovaries should be in a resting state in that the follicles have not yet started to mature.
Shortly after this baseline, you will begin your medications (unless you are doing a natural cycle). As the medications are introduced to your system your follicles will begin to grow and your estrogen levels should rise providing evidence that the follicles are maturing appropriately.