IVF and the Lupron Protocol
People often feel alone when it comes to fertility struggles, but many people deal with infertility issues. Many of these people turn out to be ideal candidates for in vitro fertilization, or IVF. IVF assists throughout each stage of conception to bypass the most common causes of infertility.
There are several protocols that may be followed to regulate ovulation in preparation of IVF treatment. At Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health, serving Scottsdale, AZ, Gilbert, AZ, and surrounding areas, we commonly follow the IVF Lupron protocol. Here, we explain more about the use of Lupron, and how it gets patients ready for IVF treatment.
What Is Lupron?
Lupron is an injectable fertility medication that is often prescribed as part of the Down Regulation protocol that leads up to IVF treatment. Lupron is categorized as a GnRH agonist. GnRH agonists basically halt the normal hormone process and stop the regular production of eggs.
Lupron and the IVF Timeline
Lupron is routinely used prior to IVF treatment to prevent premature ovulation, so that fertility doctors can regulate the production and release of mature eggs, and control the IVF treatment timeline.
In most cases, our Scottsdale patients start Lupron about a week before the ovarian stimulation phase of IVF treatment. Many patients are also prescribed birth control leading up to ovarian stimulation. Birth control helps regulate the menstrual cycle, reduces the risk of ovarian cysts, and assists in preventing premature ovulation. If patients are prescribed birth control they generally start Lupron injections a few days before stopping the use of birth control pills.
Once patients start Lupron injections (which are administered once daily), they continue to administer shots throughout ovarian stimulation. However, once ovarian stimulation begins, the Lupron dose is often lowered. Patients generally stop using Lupron 36 hours before egg retrieval, or immediately prior to receiving the hCG trigger shot, which induces the final maturity of eggs.
How Long Will I Be On Lupron?
The amount of time that a patient is on Lupron may vary slightly based on specific hormonal needs. However, most IVF patients can expect to administer Lupron injections for a period of two weeks.
Lupron Side Effects
Lupron, along with the fertility medications that are prescribed for ovarian stimulation, may cause side effects. Most side effects are minor and are easily manageable. Patients commonly experience symptoms at the injection site, which could include redness, burning, a slight stinging or burning sensation, or general pain. In addition to injection site irritation, patients may experience one of more of these side effects:
- Hot flashes
- Increased sweating or night sweats
- Upset stomach (including nausea or diarrhea)
- Breast swelling or tenderness
Many women find that the side effects experienced while on Lupron, and during ovarian stimulation, are very similar to those they encounter during their normal menstrual cycle.
Get In Touch
If you have been struggling to conceive, IVF may be the ideal fertility treatment. To learn more about the IVF process, and how Lupron may play a role, send us a message online, or call (623) 469-3992 to schedule a consultation with the fertility specialists at Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health.