Definition - What does IVF Protocol mean?
An IVF protocol is a treatment plan that includes the course of medications administered to a woman leading up to a cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Each woman who undergoes IVF will be prescribed a specific protocol, designed to address her particular situation and needs. An IVF protocol is designed to increase the odds of a successful pregnancy by medically controlling each phase of the process.
FertilitySmarts explains IVF Protocol
For a woman undergoing IVF, the protocol will encompass a large element of her preparation. Following evaluation and testing, a woman's medical team will select the most appropriate IVF protocol. Medical staff will provide resources and education outlining the specifics of each medication, including exact instructions for how and when it is to be taken, and over what period of time. This conversation will include specific dates, times, and schedules in order to align the IVF cycle with the woman’s body, along with information on monitoring and side effects. If instruction is needed on how to administer the medication, such as an injection, that will also be provided.
While each woman’s individual IVF protocol will be unique, the medications involved typically fall into the following categories:
- Suppression Medications: Control a woman’s hormones and coordinate her ovarian cycle with the IVF cycle.
- Stimulation Medications: Stimulate ovulation, may include medications for the development of multiple eggs.
- Maturation Medications: Hormones that cause the eggs to fully mature before egg retrieval procedure.