After acceptance into the IVF program

Use the time of waiting for your IVF cycle to become as healthy as you can be. Being mentally and physically ready for a possible pregnancy will give you a better chance for a good outcome.

  • To prevent certain birth defects, all people trying to get pregnant should take the B vitamin folic acid daily. The normal dose is 0.4 mg. This is often the dose in multi-vitamin tablets. 
  • Both partners should stop:
    • Drinking large amounts of alcohol
    • Using recreational and nonprescription drugs
    • Smoking
      • Smoking lowers the number of eggs you will make. It cuts your chance of success in half. 
  • Work toward your ideal body weight. 

 Subcutaneous (SQ) and intramuscular (IM) shots are needed daily. They should be done in the late afternoon or evening during the cycle. Staff will teach you, your partner, and others who want to learn at the start of a cycle. 

People who do not have a person who can help with shots, may want to find a local health care place that can give the shots late in the day 7 days a week. People have used local doctor offices, walk-in clinics, emergency rooms, and visiting nurses. This is not the best plan though. It might be hard to arrange it at the same time each day.

Many aspects of care can be done close to your home. The IVF team will work with you to coordinate local care when possible. 

In most cases people are asked to at least start an IVF cycle in Iowa City, Quad Cities, or West Des Moines. This is the point when:

  • Cycle medicines are started
  • Medication teaching is done
  • A vaginal ultrasound is done
  • The partner does sperm testing if needed

Allow 2 to 3 hours to learn about the medicines.

Blood tests may be done at the below UI Health Care labs:

  • North Dodge
  • Main hospital
  • Iowa River Landing in Coralville
  • West Des Moines IVF clinic

You will need to talk with the IVF Clinic often during cycle stimulation. You will need an answering machine or cell phone with voice mail. The care team recommends setting up your MyChart account for communication as well. 

Last reviewed: 
November 2021

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