If your doctor things that the Long Protocol is the best option for you, you will begin your ‘down regulation’ in stage 2. The doctor will prescribe medication that will suppress your ovaries, preventing your pituitary gland from activating ovulation. Instead, the doctor and the meds will externally stimulate your ovaries.
You’ll inject or sniff your GnRH meds (via sniffer spray) for between one and four weeks, which will prevent your ovaries from developing eggs. This is what is meant by ‘down regulation.’ Remember, your timings might vary slightly, as everyone has individual needs. GnRH meds are associated with a number of side effects that are similar to those of menopause, including hot flushes, mood swings, headache, and night sweats.
Following your down regulation, a blood test will check to ensure that your oestradiol levels are sufficiently low. You will also undergo additional blood tests and scans to ensure that your ovaries have down regulated, and that your uterine thickness is approximately 3mm. Once this has been confirmed, you can begin your treatment!
If your doctor has put you on the Short Protocol, you will not need to undergo the down regulation process. Instead, you’ll have a scan on the 3rd day of your period. If everything looks appropriate, the clinic will begin your stimulation.