Every type of IVF protocol has its process and is best for different types of patients whether it is a traditional or an alternative protocol.
Traditional IVF Protocols
Adversary protocol or short protocol: This is the most widely used IVF protocol. It includes not many injections and is effective for most of the patients.
Before starting an IVF cycle, they might ask you to use birth control pills.
You will be advised to undergo follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) injections for 10 days. Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) antagonist will be added to prevent premature ovulation starting around the 5th day.
Lupron Down Regulation or Long Lupron Protocol
This is generally used in younger patients or in patients who have poor embryos from other protocols.
Like as in the traditional protocol, here too you might be asked to use birth control pills before you start your IVF circle.
Your doctor will administer an injectable medication called Lupron by 3rd week.
Lupron momentarily stops the pituitary gland in the brain from secreting FSH and LH when given before as part of the ‘long protocol’. This enables the FSH and LH from the injectables to regulate your cycle and obviate premature ovulation of the follicles.
The Flare Protocol or Microdose Lupron CO-Flare Protocol
If you have had a poor reaction to other protocols or are of advanced maternal age, your fertility doctor might suggest a lower dose of Lupron that vitalizes, rather than concealing the body’s natural production of FSH.
You are advised to take the microdose of Lupron during the stimulation period up until the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) trigger injection.
This protocol often results in boosting up of the ovaries and an increased number of oocytes retrieved.
Alternative IVF protocols
Estrogen Priming Protocol
By synchronizing more follicles for recruitment and retrieval this protocol will amplify ovarian response in women who have been diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR)
Your fertility doctor may suggest you take an estrogen patch in combination with the Antagonist/Short protocol and also likely a few days of GnRH antagonist that is even before the cycle start.
Mini-IVF or Micro-IVF Protocol
As a substitute to traditional treatment, some programs believe that nominal stimulation may provide benefits.
Your fertility doctor may recommend fertility pills, or minimal dosage medications so that they can retrieve more than 1 egg at a time.
But the disadvantage is that it produces very few chromosomally normal eggs, and it takes more egg retrievals to attain pregnancy.
Finally, the best protocol for any patient ought to be neither maximal nor minimal but instead optimal and based on the patient’s age, basal follicle count, family-building goals, and medical history.