Fertility Network UK
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Reasons for short protocol?

I'm due to start injections on a short protocol any day now (next cycle due this weekend). Our problem is predominantly male factor but although I have regular cycles I apparently had polycystic appearance of my ovaries on the scan, hence the decision for short protocol.

Got the clinic letter from my last consultant appointment and it says the decision for this protocol was due to the PCO and "my morphology". Anybody know what this might refer to? I know what the word means but there was no mention of how my body shape was relevant at all so I've no idea what aspect of my morphology they mean!

Doesn't really matter and I'm not questioning the decision, just wondered if anyone else has been told this, and why my shape or size might lead to a certain treatment type?

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Hi kt_11. I feel sure that the morphology is probably referring to the shape of your husband/partner's sperm shape, which would mean having ICSI rather than straightforward IVF. I've never heard of morphology referring to the female body shape, it's a semen analysis terminology. Don't be afraid to ask. Hope all goes well with the cycle. Diane

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Hi Diane. Thanks for the reply. It definitely refers to me though in terms of why they've put me on that protocol. The sentence reads "in light of kt_11's morphology and PCO appearance..."

The word morphology does refer generally to the shape of something or someone rather than just in ivf terms but I'm struggling to see why this would be relevant 😂

We are having icsi due to low count and motility anyway. I will ask when I next speak to the clinic. Like I said, I'm not too bothered as I know the decision is mainly due to the PCO but it's just something that the consultant obviously forgot to tell me before writing it in the clinic letter and I'd like to know what he means!

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I don't know about the morphology thing in regards to you but the short protocol will be so as not to overstimulate you. Us women with pco are at higher risk of things like ohss. Good luck xx

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Yeah that's why they've gone for that. Some people have suggested it's the shape of my ovaries they're on about rather than the shape of me! Either way will double check when I go back, but the main thing is to try avoid ohss like you say. Don't fancy that much! x

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Hi, polycystic ovary morphpology (PCOM) is used to describe the appearance of your ovaries on scan. Not sure if that helps, Im sure your consultant will explain better!xx

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Yes that definitely helps thanks. I didn't know the morphology part was a specific term and it wasn't mentioned in the appointment. We only knew about the polycystic ovaries through the scans as I don't actually have PCOS. All my hormone levels were fine and I have normal regular cycles etc.

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Yes its just the description of the PCO on scan as not everyone that has PCOS necessarily has PCOM and vice versa as in your case!xx

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Hi. Maybe the shape of your ovaries?? I'm sure they will explain when you see them next. Anyhow, I hope all goes well for you and the short protocol prevents any likelihood of overstimulated. Diane

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Thanks. Yes that must be it. Didn't know there was anything different about them but will ask when I go back! Just looking forward to getting started now.

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I've got PCO too and there's a possibility of mild PCOS but they never finished testing as we have male factors too so I was told the outcome would be the same and the tests would be for the sake of it. I was also put on short protocol because of PCO and told it was to reduce risk of OHSS. Not sure why short makes any difference to that. But the way I saw it was a shorter treatment time. I've also heard lots of ladies on long protocol have side effects from the early down regging drugs which I never got on short protocol so I was quite happy to be on that. There must be some reason, but I don't know why everyone doesn't do short protocol as it seems more straightforward to me.

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