Answer from: Raúl Olivares, MD
The number of scans depends a lot on the protocol that is used for you. It is not the same if we stimulate the patients with a long protocol where you’ll need scans even before starting the stimulation than if you were going ahead with a traditional one with antagonists where most of the time, you will just need a couple of scans. Since this is the protocol that we usually work with, in our case, I would say, in 90% of the cases, patients need just a couple of the scans.
The first one is done between day 8-10 of the cycle, and then the patients may need a second scan a couple of days later, but then you can just work out when the egg collection should take place, that’s it. In cases where the ovaries do not respond as expected, of course, we need to do more scans because the idea is that it does not matter how long it takes to reach the moment where ovulation should be triggered, but you must reach that point, so patients need 5-6 scans until they have a right number of follicles in a right size, that’s no problem.
Answer from: Santiago Eduardo Novoa, MD
During the cycle the patient should have a certain number of check ups. Those checks include principally internal scans:we are gonna check how the eggs are developing inside the ovaries. Sometimes some hormone tests are done at the same time just to check the same: how the ovaries and the eggs are working. It all depends how the cycle is going on. In general 3 to 4 of those check ups are needed before the time of egg retrieval arrives.
Answer from: Harry Karpouzis, MD, MRCOG, DIUE
During IVF, during ovarian stimulation actually, which is the first phase of IVF you may need up to 3-4 scans, sometimes even 5 ultrasounds. This always depends on the unit. We prefer to scan quite often and combine the ultrasounds with blood tests so that we can adjust the dosage and make sure that nothing is missed.
The ultrasounds depend on the protocol that is chosen, on average 3 or 4 ultrasounds may be needed during the stimulation but in a short protocol, for example, which is the protocol that we mostly use in cases that are not specified then an ultrasound on day 1 or day 2 of the cycle is needed than a second ultrasound after 5 or 4 or 6 days depending on what exactly is the medical case, and then it may be needed to do 1 or 2 more ultrasounds before the trigger injection. After the trigger injection, we do the egg collection, which is also done with ultrasound guidance and then 3 or 5 days later, the embryo transfer happens, which again is done with ultrasound guidance.
Answer from: Matthew Prior, PhD, MBBS
I think as a minimum it’s going to be three. So one before you start the medication, one during stimulation and then one before egg collection – that’s probably a minimum. You can maybe get away with just doing two if the patients live a long way from their clinic but really you want to do at least three scans. Then you may want to add additional scans in because what it’s about is, we have a set kind of recipe that you might be on your medication for 10 days but actually women don’t respond like like a textbook, it varies and so sometimes you might do a scan a bit sooner and go watch actually it looks like the follicles are ready. At this point we should do the egg collection a day or two earlier than planned. Likewise other times it looks like I just need to give it a bit longer to allow some of the follicles to catch up so, let’s go on for a few more days longer. So occasionally there can be extra scans in there and that’s normally just to try and optimize things for the patients to give them the best chance of it working.
How many visits and scans do we need to have during the IVF cycle, and why?
Ultrasound scans do play an important role in IVF treatment. It is crucial for the entire process to be timed correctly to achieve the best possible outcome. So what’s the timing of ultrasound scans during IVF treatment? How many ultrasounds do you get during IVF?