Your ART treatment at UZBrussel CRG in practice

Treatment tips

ART treatment is individual
Make sure you can be reached
Avoid hMG or REC-FSH injection mistakes
Good hygiene is important and pleasant for everyone
Punctuality is crucial for ART treatments
Many eggs don't mean many embryos
Give yourself time to recover from an unsuccessful IVF attempt

ART treatment is individual     

Everyone is different. To maximise your chances of pregnancy and minimise any inconveniences, your ART treatment is specifically tailored to you/your individual needs.
  • First of all there is the possibility of ART treatment within your natural cycle, including timed intercourse and artificial insemination as options. These treatments are less drastic than IVF or IVF|ICSI and are always considered if they offer a big chance of success in your situation.
  • But within an IVF|ICSI treatment there are also several options for ovarian stimulation and suppression of the natural cycle. See ovarian stimulation (stimulation phase).
Generally speaking, ART offers plenty of leeway for adjustment. Don't be discouraged. For instance, ovarian stimulation may not be successful the first time round. Often an adjustment in the stimulation is enough for success the next time.

Make sure you can be reached      

"Well, actually you should have known this yesterday already."
At certain stages of your ART treatment, the DM - the team that monitors your medical treatment - will call you to give you information and instructions. You have to understand it is crucial we are able to contact you at the right time.

Avoid hMG or REC-FSH injection mistakes     

The success of your IVF treatment depends on how well you follow all the instructions. For example, make sure the hormone injections are correctly administered during ovarian stimulation, be they administered by yourself, your partner or someone else.
  • In the case of Menopur (hMG) which comes in the form of a powder that needs to be dissolved in a solvent, the powder and solvent are packed in separate ampoules in the same box. Make sure you never inject the solvent without first dissolving the powder. If you are asked to inject two ampoules of hMG, this means two ampoules of powder dissolved in one ampoule of solvent. As long as you don't need more than four ampoules of powder, one ampoule of solvent will be sufficient. From five ampoules of powder, it is best to use two ampoules of solvent.
  • For Gonal-F or Puregon (rec-FSH) there is no such problem: both products are already dissolved and come with dosage pens. However, be sure you take the correct dose.
In short, always pay attention for any injection. Even doctors and nurses make mistakes.

Good hygiene is important and pleasant for everyone      

During ART you will be in physical contact with the person treating you on numerous occasions.
  • In particular during the consultations for a physical or gynaecological examination, for an ultrasound or for insemination good hygiene is pleasant. A shower or wash before a consultation, and clean feet make it more pleasant for everyone around.
  • When producing a sperm sample, good hygiene is even an absolute precondition for a usable sample. Therefore always wash your hands and genitals before with water and soap.

Punctuality is crucial in ART treatments      

A lot of people come to the CRG for treatment. Helping everyone efficiently and properly requires the necessary organisation.
  • Please respect all the appointments you made with your counsellor or the DM. It is pleasant for everyone around if there are no delays or changes in the planning.
    In case of artificial insemination with your own sperm, a man will be given an appointment one and a half to two hours before your partner. We need this time to prepare your sperm. Punctuality is therefore also in the interest of your own treatment.
  • For IVF|ICSI we also expect you to come to the appointment on time. This applies to egg retrieval in particular. We need to make sure we stay ahead of the ovulation.
    And by being on time you also make sure any other procedures scheduled for that day are not delayed.
  • It is also important to cancel your appointment on time if you can't make it or want to postpone the treatment:
    • in the case of IVF|ICSI we like to know as soon as possible - if possible weeks in advance - if you decided not to start (yet);
    • in case of artificial insemination we expect your possible cancellation at the latest one day in advance;
    • and certainly if it concerns insemination with donor sperm.
      Because the lab starts thawing the samples very early in the morning already. And at that time we cannot be reached by telephone. To avoid valuable donor seed from being thawed unnecessarily and irrevocably lost, the day before the insemination really is the last day to cancel if necessary.

    Many eggs don't mean many embryos        

    A multitude of eggs following egg retrieval is great news of course. But this is not a guarantee for an abundance of embryos. Sometimes a total of 15 or 20 eggs will only produce a couple, or even no, embryos.
    In other words, don't 'count your chickens before they hatch' as this may lead to disappointment.
    On the other hand, don't be too disheartened by a poor result. No embryos this time round and ten the next time is also possible.

    Give yourself time to recover from an unsuccessful attempt        

    If your treatment was not successful this time, we advise you to not start a new treatment immediately. You need time to recover mentally and physically.
    It is important:
    • to give your ovaries time to settle down again,
    • to avoid the stress and discomfort for a while, and
    • to come to terms with the disappointment following an unsuccessful treatment.
    Generally speaking, you will have a maximum of four ART cycles in a year.
    And a new cycle can only be started when your gynaecologist gives his/her consent.