Fertility Network UK
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Long or Short Protocol IVF

Hi there, can anyone tell me their experience with long and short protocol IVF. I am currently starting my IVF with short protocol for the reason that I had over responded to clomid and according to my consultant Short protocal is better for me, however I have read some different views which made me bit confuse whether this is the right protocol for me. I will be thansful if you share your opinions and experience about it.

3 Replies

I'm guessing it's very individual, in terms of how you respond to the different protocols. I did 2 long protocol cycles last yr, and got pregnant with the first cycle (but then miscarried). But my third cycle was a short (antagonist) protocol, and this went much better than the first 2 cycles, with nearly twice as many eggs harvested, and 7 blastocysts (as compared to a total of 2 blastos from the previous 2 cycles). I then had to have the 7 blastos frozen, because they discovered a polyp that needed removing, but I am now 13 weeks pregnant after having FET in March. So my own experience has been that the short protocol is better (at least, for me). I am 39 and have endometriosis, so I suspect that I needed the short protocol (including higher doses of FSH and less deregulating time) to stimulate my ovaries into action. Good luck with whatever protocol you go ahead with.


Hi Noper, thank you for your reply. I am really happy to hear that short protocol worked for you and hopefully very soon you will enjoy motherhood. I am 24 years old and I had done clomid on 25mg with which I end up with almost 10 eggs on each ovary so I am really stress about how I will response to the IVF drugs, although my consultant prescribed me the lowest dose possible for IVF. I was just interested in which protocol they can have better controls on my response to the drugs,, otherwise I may end up with OHSS.


Hi Babylonia. There are a few ways of performing an IVF cycle. The most popular one is the “long protocol”. This is usually started on day 1 or day 21 of your cycle, when you start taking the down regulation drug. Blood hormones are usually checked 10-14 days after the start of treatment to see whether you are ready for the stimulating drugs.

The second way is through a “short protocol”. There is no down regulation and starts at the beginning of your period on day 1. The FSH, LH, oestradiol and prolactin levels are checked at the beginning, to see if OK to start the stimulating drugs. A careful eye is kept on you that you don’t produce too many follicles, and a low dose of a down regulating drug may be introduced if necessary. Obviously, if the FSH was raised, then you are less likely to stimulate well and the cycle most probably would be abandoned that time round.

The “microdose” flare approach involves using lower doses of the GnRH-agonist Lupron or similar, beginning at the start of the treatment cycle rather than a more standard dose started two weeks before IVF treatment. The microdose flare is usually chosen when other stimulation protocols have lead to poor results.

You will need to discuss all options further with your clinic/consultant to see which method will suit you, with your best interests at heart. Hope this helps.



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