• Megan Zaragoza

There are many things to think about when starting an IVF cycle. For example, how long will I do injections for? What do I need to do to mentally prepare? What will my treatment plan look like? As a clinical coordinator, I am here to help answer these questions and give you a brief breakdown of what you can expect when setting up a cycle.

The first step of the process is to set up an initial consultation. Once you’ve made an appointment, we will reach out and ask for any previous medical records to better understand your history and fertility journey so far.

Following are the types of records we typically ask for: previous fertility treatments, annual gynecological exams and recent blood work. Dr. Lane will review these records prior to your consultation.

Next is your consultation appointment. We do these appointments via video conferencing (Zoom) and in person. At your appointment, Dr. Lane will review your medical records with you, and get an idea of your family plan and cycle availability.

If you are in the office, we will complete a transvaginal ultrasound to give you the best recommendation for your fertility treatment. The ultrasound will let us know what your antral follicular count is and if you have any fibroids or polyps present in your uterus that we should address prior to starting your cycle.

Dr. Lane will then suggest some pre-treatments that may benefit your fertility and ways to get your body prepared for pregnancy. Some examples of pre-treatments include completing any missing or outdated bloodwork for you and/or your partner, such as infectious-disease testing, AMH/FSH/TSH levels, and hemoglobin A1C, and completing a financial consultation.

After we get an idea of your timeline and your pre-treatments are complete, we will create a calendar for you with dates to start injections. You will have a follow-up appointment with a cycle consultation to create this calendar.

During the appointment, you will learn how to do the injections and be able to practice it hands on. We will also go over calendar dates to confirm everything aligns with your schedule. Your calendar may include a period of time that you are on birth control pills depending on your baseline ultrasound.

For a typical IVF cycle, you can expect to take about two injections daily for 10-14 days. These injections are given with the purpose of having as many follicles as possible respond and grow, allowing us to retrieve more than your typical one mature egg per cycle. After this, you will take one trigger shot that will release the eggs from the wall of the follicle allowing Dr. Lane to retrieve them within 35 hours. You can also expect about four to five ultrasound visits during the time you start injections.

Lastly, depending on your treatment plan, you can go into a fresh transfer or freeze your eggs or embryos for a later date.

Having a fresh transfer would mean your spouse would visit our clinic on the day of your egg retrieval to produce semen, which allows the embryologist to make embryos on the day of your retrieval. The embryologist will then “culture out” the embryos in an incubator for five days and on the fifth day you will come in and do a fresh transfer. Any embryos that we do not transfer will be frozen or discarded depending on your preference.

A frozen cycle would usually mean that you decided to do a biopsy on your embryos. This means that on day five or six, after culturing out your embryos in the incubator, we can send off a few cells from each embryo to the lab for genetic testing. This process usually takes about two weeks and the lab will send results based on your choosing of gender, parental source of the abnormal embryos and much more. We will start the transfer cycle with you after we know what embryos are normal.

If you have any further questions about what an IVF cycle looks like, or would like to schedule a consultation appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us at 415-893-0391 or email us at

We look forward to helping you grow your family and giving you the most enjoyable fertility experience possible!

--Megan Zaragoza, Clinical Coordinator

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  • Vivian DeLima

By Vivian DeLima

Donor Coordinator

When we think of egg donation, we often think of a young, fertile woman donating her eggs to another woman who is struggling with infertility. Using an egg donor isn’t just an excellent option for women who are experiencing the challenges of infertility. It is also a great way for same-sex male couples to grow their families!

In the past, same-sex male couples only had adoption available as a way to have children. Although adoption is still a common choice when a gay couple is starting their family, using an egg donor gives them the opportunity to have genetic ties with their children. With the help of a gestational carrier, same-sex male couples can use donor eggs along with their own sperm to have a child that is genetically related to themselves.

Often, gay couples use the same egg donor, but use the sperm from one father for one child and the sperm of the other father for a second child. This allows each father to have a genetic relation to some of the children, while still allowing all of the children to be genetically related to each other. It is also an option, of course, for one of the fathers to be the only sperm provider.

So now you may be asking yourself, “How do we find the perfect egg donor?” The process for same-sex male couples to choose an egg donor, is the same for women and heterosexual couples.

No matter what, it is important for the couple to choose important characteristics they are looking for in a donor, their overall budget for the entire process, and selecting which type of donation option is best for them. All of this information is explained in our previous blog post about how to choose the best egg donor for your family.

In the world of fertility, it can seem so difficult to find an agency and clinic that truly has your best interest at heart and who will fight for what you want every step of the way, especially when you’re having to work with multiple agencies at once!

At Fertility Lane, we strive to make every experience and journey a happy one. With our in-house egg bank and donor agency, we now have the ability of providing our same-sex male couples with a high-quality donor, as well as providing care to themselves and their gestational surrogate throughout the entire process.

We are excited to serve the LGBTQ+ community in this way. Helping all types of families achieve their dream of having children is the main goal at Fertility Lane, and we hope to be able to connect with even more same-sex male couples through our new egg donation program.

For more information on becoming a parent using an egg donor, please feel free to email me, Vivian DeLima, at

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  • Dr. Danielle Lane

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

For one in eight (or 7.4 million!) women of reproductive age, fertility challenges are a reality. Despite this staggering number, there are still many who don’t know where or how to begin their journey to parenthood. In this post, we will explore some of the basics of beginning your fertility journey! The good news is that many, many families are successful with fertility treatment, but it is important to consider that the journey may look different than what you expected when you began.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has provided guidelines to help assist women in determining when to move forward with looking into fertility care. Women should consider seeking fertility care after one year of trying to conceive when under the age of 35, and after six months of trying to conceive if between the ages of 35-39. It is considered reasonable for women over 40 to have their fertility evaluated before starting to try to conceive. While you may choose to try on your own at first, it is useful to understand where your body sits in its reproductive function. These guidelines, however, do not preclude you from being evaluated earlier if you have concerns about your own fertility. For example, what if you aren’t having a spontaneous period? What if you are single, but wanting to have a child? In cases such as these, waiting doesn’t make sense and you should be evaluated as soon as you are ready to start your family.

So, where do you start your journey through fertility treatment? It is a myth that patients have to wait for a referral to be evaluated for their fertility challenges, but starting with your OB/GYN is not necessarily a bad thing. Many OB/GYNs are very skilled at ordering the lab tests that will be a part of your initial work up. However, your OB/GYN is not a fertility specialist, so they may or may not be equipped to provide information about the results. Referrals are often dependent on the type of insurance you have. If you have a PPO, you likely don’t need a referral and if you have an HMO, the reality is that you likely don’t have coverage for fertility services. That last point is worth vetting with your insurance company, because if you do have coverage, it is important to follow the steps that allow you to access your care. So in short, most patients are able to self refer to a fertility specialist because their insurance either allows it, or doesn’t cover the service anyway. The biggest risk to your fertility as a woman is time. So self-advocating for what you need is important!

Once you have found a provider to work with you, you should expect to undergo some basic tests to determine if there are concerns with you or your partner. Regardless of your family structure, both partners are often involved in your family plan and both partners should be evaluated. For women, this typically involves a medical history and blood work to determine your ovarian reserve (AMH, FSH, Estradiol), a transvaginal ultrasound to evaluate your ovaries (antral follicle count), and uterus (rule out fibroids, and other anatomic anomalies), possibly a fallopian tube evaluation depending on how you wish to conceive. For men, typically the workup involves a medical history and a semen analysis. As mentioned above, most physicians are capable of ordering this, but please ensure that your results are reviewed by someone who understands fertility and can put them in the context of your desire to get pregnant.

After your evaluation is complete, you should expect to receive a treatment plan. As mentioned above, this treatment plan should come from a fertility specialist that is well-versed in administering the proper fertility medication for your case and trained to conduct the monitoring necessary for a successful cycle. Once there is a treatment plan in place, it is often found that patients have not anticipated the cost of care that is not covered by insurance. While this can be a shock, there are programs that exist to decrease the cost of medications and defray the cost of services.

Most fertility clinics should be able to direct you to these programs. For example, we work with programs such as Compassionate Care and United Medical Credit. We also work with patients to find the lowest pharmacy for cash pay medications that might include using services such as GoodRx. If you are finding the cost of fertility unexpected, don’t give up without considering some of these resources. They can often be the difference between undergoing treatment or not.

A few examples of what initial treatments can be are things as simple as taking some oral medications to assist with ovulation and using an ultrasound or some ovulation predictor kits to assist in determining your body’s response, which may be all you need. Sometimes, diet and exercise recommendations can suffice. For male factor problems, maybe an intrauterine insemination will solve the problem. It is important to note, however, that there are times when these are not sufficient and treatment with advanced reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization or embryo biopsy, are appropriate to begin with. Remember each person's journey is different because each of our bodies is different.

Finally, what if the initial treatment that you have planned doesn’t work? This is not uncommon. Many times patients and providers select the least aggressive form of treatment first. So don’t get dismayed. Come back and regroup to determine the next best step. This should occur every few months. It is important for both your time and resources to not spend too much time on solutions that are not going to be successful. ove on to those that will! Finally, remember that there are so many ways to approach family building and that looks different for everyone.

Questions or comments? Tell us what you would like to hear more about in our weekly blog by sending us a note here.

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