When you start an assisted reproduction treatment, you may have many doubts about the procedure. There are many concepts that most patients are not used to and which can sometimes seem complex. It is a lot of information that, for those of you who are about to start treatment, is very important at that specific moment.
From the side effects of the stimulations, to the time you should take your treatment, to questions such as how to relieve stress during this period or what type of vitamins you can take, Eugin’s experts will guide you through the process and will always tell you the steps to follow, and you can ask them about any doubts or concerns you may have before starting or during your treatment.
Popular wisdom sometimes entrenches beliefs that are just myths without any medical basis, so it is very important that, before taking anything for granted, you confirm it with a specialist.
Aside from the possible doubts that you may have on a personal level, here are some tips, such as, for example, recommendations on assisted reproduction treatments and doing sport during stimulation, how to apply oestrogen patches or whether an ultrasound scan of the endometrium is required before an embryo transfer.
Stimulation causes side effects due to the use of hormones. Some patients do not experience any discomfort and others suffer from symptoms such as a bloating, sensitive breasts, water retention, light headaches… If this occurs, inform the medical team and they will tell you what to do.
At the beginning of a stimulation cycle you carry on doing sports withοut any problems.
After the first follicular control, we do not recommend that you continue to do intense physical activity as the ovaries are growing due to the stimulation and this increase in size can cause discomfort. For this reason it is best to temporarily reduce or stop any exercise in order to avoid discomfort or intense pain. By following this advice you will feel better because stimulation will be tiring for you. We want you to be in the best possible state both mentally and physically for your procedure and stay in the clinic.
Depending on the treatment, we will tell you how to administer the medication and if there are preferred times of day for it to be taken.
For the reception of fresh or cryopreserved oocytes, you can choose the timetable that best fits your lifestyle but you must keep to these times. The intervals between doses are 8 to 12 hours, although for oral or transdermal medication it can be slightly more flexible. This margin makes it easier for each patient to adapt to their daily rhythm.
It is important to take your medication precisely on time because we need the body to have a constant and regular dose of hormones present. Respecting these times also helps you to remember to take the medicine.
The patches have the same effect as the pills as they both contain the same dose of oestrogen.
While taking the pills orally may cause side effects for certain patients with gastric problems or other pathologies, the patches provide a slow release and transdermal diffusion of oestrogen. This is a less aggressive treatment.
According to your age and medical history, your doctor will decide which type of treatment is more appropriate.s antecedentes médicos, el médico decidirá qué tipo de tratamiento te conviene.
The patches can be applied to parts of the body where there is fat tissue: buttocks, outside of the thighs or arms, together or in different places. We recommend that you change the place each time to avoid irritation and saturation of the skin.
The patches should never be applied:
- To the breasts
- To damp or oily skin due to the prior application of creams or oils,
- To broken skin: wounds, moles,…
- To an area subject to friction from clothes: waistband or bra straps,
- In the same place as the previous patch: alternate between 2 or 3 different places.
If the patch accidently falls off, try to re-stick it on to another area or use a new patch which should be removed at the same time as the previous patch would have if it had not fallen off in order to comply with the schedule. You should always wash your hands before handling the patch.
Do not worry it is normal to take a higher dose than that recommended by the manufacturer because this medicine is usually used in hormone substitution treatment for women during menopause. In the field of assisted reproduction we use a higher dose because the requirements of a pregnancy are higher. Progesterone offers support at the beginning of a pregnancy.
The dose we prescribe is 200-800mg per day, depending on the protocol. If you lose a whole capsule, apply a new one. There are applicators available in the chemist to help you insert them. Remember to wash your hands before and after each application to avoid germs and possible vaginal infections.
For women, we recommend folic acid or vitamin B9. This helps minimise the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida in the foetus. The recommended dose is 0.4mg per day. In patients with diabetes, with a family background of spina bifida or any other specific deficiency or in any other case, we recommend 5mg per day. This vitamin is water soluble and there is no risk of an overdose as any excess is eliminated in the urine.
For men, there are also vitamin complexes available that improve the quality of the semen and which are based on L-carnitine, zinc, folic acid and vitamins C, B12, E. There is no scientific evidence that these complexes increase male fertility.
We understand that the hormone treatment may upset you emotionally and cause a certain amount of stress while you are waiting to come to the clinic for your procedure to be carried out. We recommend you maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise gently to channel your energy: yoga, walking, cycling, swimming… If you are very emotional, we advise you to consult your GP so that he/she can prescribe a non-aggressive natural treatment such as valerian or Bach flowers (active ingredient: populous tremula). There are many natural alternative treatments available that offer good results. We would like to remind you that once the procedure has been performed (transfer or insemination) not all plants and natural remedies are compatible with a pregnancy, therefore it is important to consult your doctor or chemist for advice.
There is no need to have an endometrial ultrasound if your doctor has not recommended that you do so. Most women have a totally normal endometrial development even when they have had assisted reproduction treatment.
The doctor will only recommend it if there has been an insufficient endometrial response in previous treatments, after repeated uterine surgery, pelvic radiotherapy, or when there is a history of a thin endometrium.
Some patients, through their own choice, have an ultrasound for their own assurance. If you wish to do this, we recommend having it after 12 to 14 days of oestrogen treatment.
The process involved in an assisted reproduction treatment can lead to many doubts for patients during its different phases. Our experts at Eugin resolve them for each particular case and, in addition, on our website you will find a section on frequently asked questions with some of the most commonly asked topics and recommendations for assisted reproduction treatments.
Some of these recommendations often have to do with doubts about the side effects of stimulation for insemination, or in vitro fertilisation, due to the variety of symptoms that can be experienced. In these cases, it is best to consult your medical team to determine how best to proceed.
Other common recommendations are related to the treatments themselves: the timeframes, modalities, how to apply them and dosages. Many women are also interested in knowing what kind of vitamins can be taken and even in how to handle stress better during this period.
In short, whatever your doubts, we are here to help you. Our aim is that all our patients can face their assisted reproduction treatment as well-informed as possible and with the greatest possible peace of mind.
So if you have any questions during your treatment, please do not hesitate to contact us on the patient care helpline (900 510 520) or consult your physician through your Personal Area.