What is a follicular study?
A follicular study is a series of ultrasound vaginal scans done to track the growth of follicles in a woman’s ovaries. It is also known as a follicular scan or follicular monitoring.
What is a follicle?
A follicle is a small sac of fluid in the ovaries that contains a developing egg.
How many follicles mature each month?
During each monthly menstrual cycle several follicles, each of which contains an egg, begin the process of maturing. However, usually only one of these follicles reaches maturity, and is then selected to grow to a stage where it is ready to release the egg. This usually happens around 14 days into the monthly menstrual cycle.
What is the appropriate size of follicle to get pregnant?
For a pregnancy to occur you will need follicles that are 18-25 mm in diameter and a endometrial lining that is more than 7mm thick.
How is a follicular study done?
The most accurate way to perform a follicular study is through a transvaginal ultrasound.
Bladder has to be emptied before the ultrasound scan as a full bladder can interfere with the results
You will have to lie on your back with your legs raised and bent. The doctor will insert a probe into the vagina, using a lubricant.
The ultrasound will pick up images of the ovaries and follicles.
The ultrasound does not hurt but there maybe mild discomfort.
Why do we need follicular monitoring?
Follicular scans are done to
study the growth of the follicles
observe the changes in the uterine lining ( endometrium )
determine the ovulation period so that intercourse/IUI/IVF procedure can be timed accordingly
To understand whether the dosage of any fertility drugs given is appropriate or needs to be changed
When does a follicular scan has to be done?
The scans will start from day 8 of your cycle and will continue till ovulation. In all, about 3-4 scans may be required. After each scan , the date of the next scan will be informed by your doctor.
Each ultrasound takes 5-10 minutes and report is given at the same time.