If you’ve chosen to go ahead with the IVF process, you may have heard various terms referring to the procedure which have left you confused.
With an issue this sensitive, however, you want to be as well informed as possible and understand all the medical jargon floating around.
The terms short protocol IVF and long protocol IVF are common phrases used by IVF doctor, which can cause confusion when it comes to this fertility treatment.
If you have found yourself questioning what these terms mean and how to know which one is right for you, read on for a helpful guide.
What does the term IVF protocol mean?
The best place to start when coming to understand these terms, is with the protocol itself.
An IVF protocol simply refers to the stimulation regimes you undertake in preparation for your IVF treatment.
Think of it as a treatment plan. Your IVF protocol, whether that be long or short, is your personal schedule for how your treatment will be carried out, which drugs will be administered to you, in what dose and when procedures will be performed.
What is the difference between long and short protocol IVF?
The long protocol IVF simply refers to the standard IVF procedure.
This route typically involves procedures such as hormone injections, which start at around day 21 of your menstrual cycle, blood tests, and ultrasound scans, alongside the egg retrieval and fertilisation.
The short protocol IVF begins much earlier in your cycle and starts with lower daily doses of the hormone injections, which work to completely shut down your ovarian function.
This is a much quicker process and is sometimes used when a woman has not produced that many eggs under the long protocol process.
What determines which IVF protocol I am treated with?
Your fertility expert will ultimately make the decision as to which IVF protocol is most suited to you.
They will take several things into consideration, including your age, as the short protocol can be suited to older women, due to the fact fertility is known to decrease with age. This, in turn makes the process much more time sensitive.
They will also consider your cause of infertility and your response to previous treatments, as if multiple treatments have proven unsuccessful for you, you may be better suited to the short protocol.
Hopefully this post has given you some further insight into the sometimes-confusing medical jargon you can face during your fertility journey.
If you have any burning questions, it’s always best to consult your fertility expert, as they can give you information tailored to your situation.
– This post was produced in partnership with the Reproductive Health Group