What is Follicle Tracking?
Follicle tracking is the technique which is generally combined with ovulation induction to improve the probability of pregnancy.
Follicles are the fluid filled sacs in the ovaries that can contain eggs. Follicle tracking is an ultrasound scan that measures the size of any active follicles to predict when ovulation is likely to occur.
How can a Follicle Scan assist with fertility?
- The scan surveys the uterus, endometrium and ovaries.
- By allowing your doctor to estimate when ovulation will occur, it can improve the chance of conception naturally or with the help of fertility treatment.
- In the case of fertility treatment the scan will determine how many follicles are present and when it is best to trigger egg release.
Follicle tracking can be combined with timed sexual intercourse (TSI) techniques. This is done by monitoring the cycle to determine the best time for intercourse, and are reliant on the following:
- In the woman: the ovaries produce their own follicles and the Fallopian tubes & pelvis are normal.
- In the man: the sperm is normal.
What is involved in Follicle Tracking?
Usually we recommend one or more follicle tracking scans during any one menstrual cycle.
This involves regular scanning after day 9/10 of the menstrual cycle to monitor the growth of the follicle in the ovary (that contains an egg).
If the couple are undergoing follicle tracking with TSI then once the follicle has reached an adequate size a trigger injection is administered, and the couple is advised to have intercourse 36-42 hours later.
When is Follicle Tracking applicable?
Follicle Tracking can be beneficial for women with very irregular and unpredictable cycles. However, it is not suitable for some sub-fertility pathologies / diagnoses and this can be discussed further at your consultation.