IVF Trigger Shot
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a multi-step fertility treatment that stimulates ovulation so that mature eggs can be collected and fertilized, allowing viable embryos to be transferred directly to the uterus. At Los Angeles Reproductive Center, this assisted reproductive technology has helped many patients finally realize their dream of parenthood.
IVF treatment consists of many stages. Here, we provide some information about the IVF trigger shot to give our patients from Encino, CA, Bakersfield, CA, and Los Angeles, CA, a better idea of how this injection can contribute to the ultimate success of IVF treatment.
What Is a Trigger Shot?
A “trigger shot” is an injection of hormonal medication that triggers ovulation. The exact medication that is prescribed may vary, but, no matter the brand name, a trigger shot will consist of either human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) or luteinizing hormone (LH).
When Is the Trigger Shot Given?
The trigger shot is given after a woman has completed the series of fertility drugs that are prescribed for ovarian stimulation, and prior to egg retrieval. Throughout ovarian stimulation, our doctors will use ultrasound imaging to monitor follicle development. When the follicles have reached the desired stage of maturity, we will schedule the trigger shot. The egg retrieval process will then be scheduled for 36 hours after the trigger shot.
Who Administers the Trigger Shot?
The trigger shot is most often administered at home, either by the patient herself or by a partner or loved one. The trigger shot is injected either intramuscularly (into the muscle) or subcutaneously (under the skin).
Some patients are nervous about administering the trigger shot, but our doctors provide sufficient instruction so that patients feel comfortable with the process. And, in many cases, ovarian stimulation drugs are also administered by injection, so by the time the trigger shot is scheduled, injections should not be a new process.
Our doctors will inform patients precisely when they should administer the trigger shot. It is vital that patients closely follow this timeframe since egg retrieval is scheduled in accordance to the administration of the trigger shot.
What Does the Trigger Shot Do?
The trigger shot should be timed with egg quality and maturity in mind. Both of these factors play a significant role in the ultimate success (or failure) of IVF treatment.
Hormones in the trigger shot encourage eggs to enter a phase called meiosis. During this process, an egg sheds half of its chromosomes, going from 46 chromosomes to 23. Male sperm also contains 23 chromosomes, so this process prepares an egg for fertilization, during which time the 23 chromosomes in sperm combine with the 23 chromosomes in an egg. By activating this final stage of egg development, the IVF trigger shot encourages the release of mature eggs that are ready for retrieval and fertilization.
The trigger shot is just one important aspect of IVF. If you are interested in learning more about the IVF process and whether it is the right fertility treatment for you, send us a message at your earliest convenience. You can also call (818) 208-5481 to schedule an appointment with one of the fertility doctors at Los Angeles Reproductive Center.