Step 1 : hormonal stimulation

There are various stimulation-programmes the doctor can prescribe. Aside from ‘IVF in natural cycle’ they always consist of three elements. Firstly a control hormone is administered beneath the skin to ensure that several eggs can mature at the same time. Secondly a control hormone is administered that counters the body’s natural reflex to initiate ovulation itself. (Otherwise the body would give this signal itself and this usually comes far too soon). Finally a subcutaneous injection is administered to initiate final egg maturation and ovulation.
An contraceptive pill will normally be prescribed in the cycle before actual stimulation.

Practical info : During hormonal stimulation you will be given an appointment every two to three days (fertility monitoring). This appointment is always in the morning. A blood test and echography are carried out. Once the results of the blood test are known, the doctor assesses the progress of the stimulation and calls you to discuss this. In this way the stimulation can be adapted individually. You are asked to give your cell-phone number and please personalise your automatic answering message, so we can reach you in case of abscense.

IVF in natural cycle: a separate type of IVF without an actual stimulation phase. Often, however, a drug to suppress ovulation is given to counter premature ovulation.

IVF with mild stimulation: the aim here is to only mature a few eggs, based on the idea that all eggs that are fertilised will also be replaced. Since this is limited by law to 1 to 2 (see there), full simulation makes no sense here.