Fertility Network UK

Guidance 1st Cycle -ICSI

Myself and my husband have been given a date for our Information appointment where I am told we will commence treatment - I.e I will receive the drugs to suppress my cycle.

I understand the process from that point on however there is one thing that is unclear. The drugs you take to suppress your cycle are taken for up to two weeks and then you take another drug that encourages your ovaries to produce eggs. During which time you are monitored with scans and blood tests. The thing I am unclear about is the time line. Are the suppressant drugs taken for two weeks and then at the end of that period you commence the next set of drugs for up to 12 days or is this the same period ( do you take them both at the same time?) Just a little confused by this.

I know it's silly but I haven't told my job that we are having this treatment and I am trying to manage things as much as possible and so just really want to know how long the whole process takes from the first batch of drugs to the transfer. I want to take some time out post transfer and so need to try and factor this in on top of the scans and so on. I have a fairly demanding job and so it's tricky and feel that telling my boss I am trying for baby will not be received in a positive way (very career focused environment). I also am getting my head around everything and try to be realistic that this may work and it may not and so the less people I tell to begin with, the less people I have to share any potential heartache with.

Any guidance you can offer would be appreciated


9 Replies

Hi Rstar, with the long protocol (which I've done) you do the suppressant injections or down-regulation as they call it first during which time you'll have a period. Your lining is then thin ready to start stimulation injections (or stims!) if you don't bleed in the time your clinic has set you they will probably leave you on those a little longer until you have.

You then start stims separately and the clinic will give you a aimed number of days to be on them but it does depend how you are responding, your dose may have to be increased or decreased (mine was decreased as I stated mildly over stimulating) and the regular scans will determine when you are ready for your egg collection (EC) You then take one final injection (just the once, at a very specific time) to mature your eggs prior to EC.

I hope it all goes well for you, it's really personal so I can understand you not wanting to tell colleagues. A lot of my blood tests and scans were first thing in the morning so hopefully that will work for you and you wouldn't have to be leaving work, although like any appointment there can be delays 😕 They are pretty frequent at some points though, just something to bear in mind.

All the best x


I've got a little confused Rstar, there was a slight overlap with the down-regs and stims 🙈 Everyone is very different of course and it depends how your body responds but if it helps at all my first cycle started with down-reg injections on 17th Jan and my EC was on 20th February. Good luck xx


HI Rstar, first of all al d best for ur treatment...i think you dont have to tell anyone about ur treatment if u dont want...in my case neither my family members, nor frens nor relatives knw about it except me, my husband, my brother n sister-in-law...regarding the drugs ur doctor suggests u everything so u dont need to worry about time...the case differs from person to person and even time to time...in my case in the drug quantity and time differs from my first cycle to second cycle that now i m going through....upto to transfer it takes about 35-40 days...but the cases may differ...good luck.


Hi Rstar,

Ive just has ICSI so can explain

So I had the burselin injection once daily (the one that surpresses your cycle) for 17 days, its normally about 2-3 weeks and you should have your normal period within this time.

Then you will start the menopur injection (the one that helps release more eggs) aswell as still taking the burselin one (this is to make sure that your period doesn't come), which I took for 14 days (this will differ from person to person, as it will depend on how your follicles are growing). In this time I had 4 scans but it could be less or more. After this you have your trigger injection 36 hours before egg collection.

The injections for me felt just like a little pinch, but did get a bit bloated. Egg collection was fine as I had general anthestic and transfer is pain free . . good luck and don't be scared to ask questions when you go to your appointment.

good luck x


Hi rstar

Georgina has described it perfectly. We did the long protocol too but at the baseline scan (the one you have after the first 2 weeks down regulating) my lining wasn't quite thin enough so had to have another week on the buserelin before we could start on the stimming injections.

So even though I had tried to time everything into a schedule that delayed it and I was a week behind.

You'll have quite a few scans leading up to egg collection but these tend to be early morning so you might be able to go before work? I told my boss (I work from home so had to explain a few days missing) but we haven't told anyone else as we don't want to get anyone's hopes up just yet, it's hard enough to rein in my excitement / nerves / anxiety / hopes ***delete as appropriate lol!!***

Good luck for your appointment and you'll find you have more questions once you get started, the ladies on this forum are a godsend so feel free to ask whenever you need to

Holly xx

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Ladies - Thank You all so much.. I was a bit worried about posting and making sense!! So I think the plan is not to plan and just take it as it comes.... Fingers crossed and good luck to you all xxx 😘


Yes it's definitely a process that requires you to go with the flow and give yourself over to it (unfortunately!) lots of luck x

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Hi Rstar - I think the other girls have probably explained it all to you by now but I just wanted to say that, if you can, I would confide in someone at work about your treatment. You will probably have hospital appointments through the day that you will need to take time our for and it was easier knowing someone would cover for me if anyone asked any questions. Our cycle was also delayed for a couple of reasons; late period before down regging, late period before I could start stimming (frustrating as I was always a 28 day girl until we started this!), then my follicles weren't big enough so we were delayed again. Hopefully your cycle will go smoothly and all to plan but it will really help if you can trust someone in your workplace to help you get through the process. Even if it's just for some emotional support. I hope everything goes well for you and that your first cycle is also your last. Best of luck x x x


Yes I was thinking the same; I think once my information session is out of the way and I know where I am at, then I can share. At the moment I just feel like the more people I tell at the start of this journey , could mean the more people I may have to share any potential heartache with (just trying to be realistic that it can go either way). So just going to hold back for now and go with the flow.

It's also sensitive as my husband has had allot of health issues and we are seeking this treatment because he has little to no sperm upon ejeculation- not something he wants shared! Thankfully the hospital was able to retrieve good healthy sperm which we are both delighted about as wasn't sure what they would find / if anything. So now it's my turn - all my results came back fine and just tying to keep myself fit and healthy for the process. Does anyone take the provit trying to conceive vitamins? I have been , not sure if they will work but was hoping to give me a boost of everything I need.

Has to do some good surely!

I've spoken to / told very few about this and so it's really lovely to share with others who understand and have walked this path. Thank you all for your kind guidance/reassurance and words, greatly appreciated. Xx


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