It’s currently day 8 of my cycle and at 7:00am this morning I had saw my follicles for the very first time. I had a transvaginal ultrasound, which was all over in the matter of a few minutes.
There they were on the screen, looking terribly uninteresting to be honest. Just a few black holes in some grey matter.
WHAT ON EARTH ARE FOLLICLES?
Follicles are sacs filled with fluid in which an immature egg develops. These follicles are located in the ovaries. When a follicle finally reaches an ideal size, ovulation occurs, which results in the rupture of the follicle and a release of the egg from the ovary.
SO HOW MANY FOLLICLES IS IDEAL FOR IVF?
Apparently 10 is ideal however the specialist is usually aiming for anything between 8-12 follicles. If there is too many you are at risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome and your treatment will likely cease until things are deemed safe by your specialist. From what I’ve read, you can still proceed with the egg collection if you have at least 3 good ones.
DOES SIZE REALLY MATTER?
Yes it absolutely does! At time of egg collection the little guys need to be bigger than 17mm in diameter. Your oestrogen levels will also be checked (blood test) to make sure they are consistent with this picture. If they aren’t the right size, your cycle will likely be called off for the month.
HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I SAID FOLLICLES IN THIS POST SO FAR?
Eight times!!! (yep that’s quite the overkill)
Which coincidentally happens to be the number of follicles I had!
Things are currently a little rocky because my 8 follicles were a bit all over the shop in the size department. Some were 12mm and some were only 5mm (they still have a week to continue to mature).
At this stage the FSH I’m taking (Gonal-F) will be upped from 125 – 200IU in the hope that they will do some growing over the next few days.
This follicle growing business is tricky stuff. If you grow them too rapidly they won’t be good quality, you are also at risk of overstimulation. So it’s best to start the FSH dose off low and increase if necessary.
In 4 days time (Tuesday 16th) I’m heading back for a follow up scan and bloods. If they haven’t gotten big enough the cycle will be called off.
So not the greatest news today but we are hopeful that things will pick up.
I’ll be sending my follicles good vibes for now, grow little follies, grow!