Short Protocol: This is my first time... - Fertility Network UK

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Short Protocol


This is my first time posting, I've seen how wonderfully supportive all you amazing ladies are. I think I'm looking for some reassurance.

We've been TTC for over 2 years and were refferred for NHS funded ICSI due to my husband's very low sperm count and low motility. We had our first consultant appointment at our chosen clinic yesterday, our consultants first instinct was to do long protocol but changed her mind and said that she actually thought I'd be better off doing short protocol due to my phobia of needles and medical procedures. I also suffer with IBS that's mostly triggered by stress and causes a lot of anxiety day to day but makes anything medical especially difficult. I feel like I've failed already and I'm affecting our chances of success.

Has anyone had better success with short protocol?

Wishing everyone lots of luck on their journeys. X

19 Replies

Hi Rainbow, sorry to hear you are not feeling so positive after the first meeting. It’s in the doctors best interest to prescribe whatever they feel is going to be best for you so I would try and not worry too much about a short protocol. I believe my clinic is using the long protocol less and less these days. Im no expert and I might be remembering wrong but I think that unless you have really irregular periods then the short protocol should be ok. It also means that you are going to have less time to wait, less drugs to be impacted by and hopefully a smoother time to egg collection.

You haven’t failed anything and it’s really Important to remember this is almost like a lottery - women are not to blame (nor the men!) and we just have to be kind to ourselves.

Could you see yesterday as a step in the right direction and something to be excited about as means you are started on your journey now?

I would also say the needles are mostly pretty tiny and not as bad as I thought they would be.

I hope you can feel a bit more positive over the weekend. You have got this :)


P.s I had the short protocol and it produced a good number of mature eggs etc so it definitely can work! I’m still waiting on a BFP but don’t believe the short protocol is the issue.

Thank you, that's really helped. They were all really supportive at the clinic but I couldn't help feeling like the long protocol was better because that's what was advised first until they realised how bad my phobia was. I've spent a big chunk of today doing a lot of research and it looks to be more of a clinic preference than a results thing which has made me feel much better. I'm struggling to feel excited with how scared I am of the process right now. I think the short protocol will definitely be better for me to deal with.

I hope you get your BFP soon. X


Hi Hun, I had the short protocol on my first IVF cycle and this resulted in the birth of my son. I am pretty sure my clinic preferred the short protocol for the majority of it's patients & they had pretty decent success rates. Wishing you all the best. ❤️xx

rainbow_123 in reply to Hidden

Congratulations on your little boy. Thank you x

Hi Rainbow, welcome to this lovely community 😘

I had short protocol and the injections phase went really quickly! Obviously it's not without its stress as with learning anything new but with we are all here for you 😊 Just go with it and you will be fine. It wasn't as bad as I expected in all honesty.

I had ICSI too and it was a success!Just recently got my first BFP 😁 It's all going to be worth it for you xxx

That's great news. Congratulations on your BFP. X

Thank you 😊 Xx

Hi lovely. I was on short protocol about a year ago when I first started, and I didn't even know I was on short protocol (because nobody explained the differences or reasons!) until recently when posting about it on here and people telling me it was short as there was no down-regging! It is now on my list of questions to ask my clinic next time I see a doctor - why am I on short protocol? Not complaining about it (I got pregnant, but had a MMC), just wanting to know why.

rainbow_123 in reply to ttcemmie

After lots of research it looks to be more of a clinic preference than anything. It didn't look like studies show any significant difference between the two protocols. This will be our first round so it's all new information and a bit overwhelming. I can't fault the clinic, they seemed to give us as much info as they could. The consultant said not to worry but I couldn't help but do so when she changed her mind about the best protocol for us. I hope you get some answers next time you speak to your doctor. X

Hi, I done short protocol, due to low AMH (39 Yrs old) and it worked first time for me, currently 35 weeks pregnant. You will be absolutely fine with the needles, you become this super woman through treatment and you'll honestly take it all in your stride. Good luck xx

rainbow_123 in reply to KayCan

Congratulations. Thank you. X

The whole process is really stressful. I think it is a case of trial and error, there is no one best way because everyone responds differently. My first round was a complete disaster, I was on the long protocol and my response was really low and I didn’t have any embryos to transfer even though they planned on a day 3 transfer. My next round, they changed my medication and put me on short protocol and my response was in normal range, ended up with two good quality embryos (blastocysts). Unfortunately our fresh transfer did not result in pregnancy. I am currently on medication to prepare for FET next month.

Different clinics seem to have preferred approaches but I think it is a case of them getting to know how your body responds and finding the best approach for you. The short protocol was physically much easier, it all happened really quickly and I felt fine. I felt horrendous throughout the long protocol because of the down regulation drugs 🤢. Good luck with everything.

Hi I had simular issuies we went through nhs funding which the cycle was unsuccessful. Now we are looking in going abroad . Has your partner's count increased ?

Hi, sorry to hear your cycle was unsucessful.

Unfortunately no change despite the number of supplements he now takes as recommended. We've just done or first cycle and it's been anything but plain sailing. Had egg collection on Thursday but it was touch and go as to whether or not it would go ahead. We now have to do freeze all because of the risk of OHSS so really hoping something makes it to freeze.

Good luck for your next cycle.

Thank you . Are you doing your ivf here in the UK? Which clinic if you don't mind me asking thank you

Yes, this is our one NHS funded cycle. We're using Care. It took us a while to decide which clinic to choose. It's the closest one to us but we decided to go there because the people were all so lovely when we visited. Being such a nervous person with a bad phobia they made me feel really comfortable which was what I needed. They've been great throughout, I responded to the stims more than they thought I would and ended up feeling quite unwell. It's been a tough week.

All the best for the future . Keep me updated . Thank you

Hi Rainbow,

Congrats on starting your journey!

Don’t worry about the long/short protocol part, you definitely haven’t failed anything! I’ve done both and short is much nicer 😊 They normally say long gets more eggs but short gets better quality eggs. I got the same number from both 🤷🏼‍♀️😂 mine were better quality from short though so hopefully will be the same for you. Good luck xxx

rainbow_123 in reply to KiboXX

Thank you.

I dread to think how I'd have been on long protocol. It's definitely been tough. Ended up quite poorly. Got 21 eggs so I think it's safe to say my body got a bit carried away. Keeping everything crossed that something makes it to freeze. X

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