In this article I will list down some treatment protocols that a woman has to follow while seeking treatment for infertility. The objective behind this article is let all such women (mostly PCOS patients) know where they are currently and what they should do next in their treatment chart. So here we go:
First and foremost you will have to do some blood work by day three of your periods. The test will be to check for the following (atleast): FSH, LH, TSH, prolactin, glucose challenge test, post prandial test etc. So if you have started your treatment with your doctor and you are still unsuccessful, ask for the above tests as they usually tell you what your real fertility problem is. After the day three blood work, you will be required to undergo few scans of your reproduction organs.
These are done to check whether your ovulation process is normal or not. The scans are collectively known as follicular study. Scans might also show your doc whether your uterus is free from any fibroids, polyps etc. If you have them then your doc will try to remove them using further specific treatment.
During these scans you can also see your ovulation, if it is normal, then the protocol requires testing your partner’s sperms. Assuming that the sperm count and strength is perfectly alright for conception, it is time to test your fallopian tubes.
This test is a little painful one and is also known as HSG or dye test. The test will let you know whether there is any block in your tubes or not. If a block is found, congratulations it means you atleast know, what’s wrong with you.
On the other hand during your scans it is found that you are not ovulating, the protocol requires you to start ovulation inducting medicines such as clomid. You can be on clomid for six months or so.
If you ovulate using clomid and are still unsuccessful you take the HSG tube test route. If you do not ovulate using clomid or similar type of pills, you will need to take injections (eg HMG) with or without a HSG test. HSG is very important because many a times a blocked tube is enough to avoid conception. More over HSG cleans your tubes and generally conception rates are high during the next two months for a woman. Injections increases the chances of multiple pregnancies (though not always).
A HCG injection may also be given for correctly timing your ovulation. After a few more months on injection you have the choice to undergo AI or IUI. Few more unsuccessful cycles of injections and IUI or sometimes clomid and IUI can take you to the final option of IVF.
Few important points – take regular 1-2 months break from treatment, regularly exercise (reduce your tummy fat), follow proper diet, check for vaginal infection (another cause) and always remember just because you reached the IVF stage doesn’t mean you can’t try and get successful with IUI or clomid again. Anything is possible anytime, so just have faith in your body.