FOLLICULAR STUDY

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

WHAT IS A FOLLICULAR STUDY?

A follicular study is done to track the growth of follicles in a woman’s ovaries. It is also known as a follicular scan or follicular monitoring. Follicular monitoring or follicular study is a vital component of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) assessment and timing. It basically employs a simple technique for assessing ovarian follicles at regular intervals and documenting the pathway to ovulation.

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This involves a series of scans to ascertain when the mature egg will be released and the uterine walls will thicken.

Follicular monitoring is essential for natural cycles and IUI/IVF procedures.

HOW IS A FOLLICULAR STUDY DONE?

The most accurate way to perform a follicular study is through a transvaginal ultrasound. A follicular study examines the ovarian follicles and takes pictures of the internal organs which are further analyzed. The scans are done by inserting a small plastic probe into the vagina.

The doctor will be able to tell the approximate time when the egg will be released, and thus a couple can plan an intercourse at that time to maximize the chances of conception. The tissues containing eggs and the thickness of the endometrial lining are studied to determine the period that the patient is likely to ovulate.



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IS THE FOLLICULAR STUDY SCAN PAINFUL?

The ultrasound does not hurt but it may feel uncomfortable to have the probe inside you.


WHO SHOULD GET A FOLLICULAR STUDY DONE?

Though any woman trying to get pregnant can get a follicle scan done, it is more largely recommended as a first line of treatment for couples who have not been able to conceive even after having unprotected intercourse for than one year. Age of the woman may also play a significant role as good eggs cease in women who are in their late 30s or in 40s. The pregnancy rates can decline sharply after a woman crosses the age of 35.

Furthermore, follicular monitoring may also be beneficial for women who :

  • Do not know when they ovulate

  • If a woman is not sure if she is ovulating at all; if she does not feel any symptoms such as a little bit of pain or aching near the ovaries during ovulation

  • If a woman is on drugs that are used to induce ovulation




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