Follicular Study or Monitoring is an essential part of IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatment. The process involves regular monitoring and assessing of the ovarian follicles and in turn documenting the path to ovulation.
- Recruitment- From the previous menstrual cycle, dominant follicles of 2-5 mm size are selected for the next cycle. This process is called recruitment. Usually 3-11 follicles may be recruited but the number decreases with age.
- Follicular Selection- from the recruited follicles, certain growing follicles of size 5-10mm are selected. This happens during Day 1-5 of the menstrual cycle. The remaining follicles regress or become atretic
- Dominance- One of the follicle of size more than 10 mm becomes dominant and takes control. This happens during Day 5-7 of the menstrual cycle. It attains a size of 17-27mm just prior to ovulation.
- On nearing ovulation rapid follicle growth takes place. The follicle protrudes from the ovarian cortex and explodes to release the egg along with some antral fluid.
Transvaginal ultrasounds are mandatory to monitor follicle growth. This is done from Day 3 of the menstrual cycle. Documentation of ovulation is also an important step. Consult your fertility specialist for further details regarding this procedure.