How to Prepare for an IVF Cycle By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on July 29, 2018

A female patient talking to a doctorIn vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a fertility treatment that assists in the majority of the stages of conception. However, before patients undergo IVF, we want to make sure that they are ready for treatment.

At Houston Fertility Center, Dr. Sonja Kristiansen and our team help patients prepare for IVF. Here, you can learn how to prepare for an IVF cycle. Read on to learn more, and then contact our Houston, TX practice to schedule an appointment with us.

Fertility Testing

There are a number of fertility test that are done in preparation for IVF. Most of these tests are performed on the female partner; typically, the male partner only needs to undergo a semen analysis.

  • Day three blood test, which measures follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol levels.
  • Day 21 blood test, which measures progesterone levels
  • Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)
  • Vaginal ultrasound
  • Mock transfer
  • Semen analysis

Depending on the results of your fertility tests, we may recommend an alternative treatment or technique.

Adopting a Healthier Lifestyle

Any time a woman is trying to get pregnant, she should adopt a healthier lifestyle. This includes:

  • Taking a pre-natal vitamin daily
  • Quitting smoking and drinking
  • Consuming a diet rich in leafy greens and other vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fat
  • Limiting refined carbs and sugary foods
  • Drinking more water
  • Adopting a light to moderate exercise routine
  • Reducing stress
  • Getting regular, complete sleep

Birth Control

While it seems counterintuitive, we will start you on birth control pills the month prior to IVF. This allow us to control your cycle, so we have a better idea of when your next cycle will start.

On the first day of your period of the cycle before you begin IVF, we will have you call our office. We will then provide you with the date to start taking your birth control pills and the date to stop taking your birth control pills.

It is important to take your birth control pill around the same time each day. We recommend setting a daily alarm to remind you to take your pill.

IVF Education

A week or two prior to your IVF cycle, we will have you come into our office for an IVF education course. At this time, we will go over what you can expect and what you will need to do during each phase of IVF.

We will also show you how to use your fertility medications, including how to administer the correct dose of medication and how to inject the medications.

Because IVF success relies in part on the cooperation and discipline of the patient, IVF education is an important component of treatment.

Baseline Ultrasound

Around the time that you will start your period, which will be day one of your IVF cycle, we will perform a baseline ultrasound. This may be performed right before you start or within the first couple of days of your period.

This vaginal ultrasound allows us to measure antral follicle count (the future egg supply), look for cysts, and check the uterine lining before ovulation stimulation begins.

To learn more about how to prepare for IVF, contact Houston Fertility Center.

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Dr. Sonja Kristiansen

Houston Fertility Center

Dr. Sonja Kristiansen is the founder and Medical Director of Houston Fertility Center. She is a board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist Infertility (REI) specialist who is proud to help hopeful parents fulfill their dreams of having children. Our center is affiliated with the:

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine
  • Texas Medical Association

We provide convenient care for patients from greater Houston and visitors from out of town. For more information about our services, contact our office online or call (713) 225-5375 today.

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