Cycle Monitoring

Cycle Monitoring for Fertility

Irregular or abnormal ovulation is a common cause of infertility. Early interventions, such as cycle monitoring and/or ovulation induction, can improve the odds of pregnancy with each cycle.

Cycle monitoring involves monitoring the development of eggs through follicle measurements. This can be done for both natural cycles and for those taking fertility medication to stimulate the ovaries.

How it Works

Whether you’re doing a natural cycle monitoring or pairing it with fertility treatment, the process works relatively the same. The development of eggs, follicles and hormone levels are monitored using bloodwork and a series of transvaginal probe ultrasounds. Knowing when your body is ready to conceive is one of the best ways to increase your fertility outcomes.

The Cycle Monitoring Process

Day One of Your Menstrual Cycle

On the first full flow day of your period, you will call or email your OFN nurse (as instructed), who will then provide you with a date and time for you to come into the clinic.

First Cycle Monitoring Visit

When you come in for your first visit, we’ll take a blood sample and do a transvaginal probe ultrasound. If you are doing an IUI cycle you can take the sample cups from the exam room, and if you are taking fertility medications you will take your medications home at this time. Your fertility nurse will contact you with further instructions after each visit.

Subsequent Cycle Monitoring Visits

Your next visit will be scheduled based on your bloodwork and ultrasound results. To increase your chance of success, each visit and instruction must be followed closely.

Triggering Ovulation

When your eggs are ready to be released, we will give you a specific time to take your fertility medication, commonly known as a “trigger shot” or “trigger medication.” It may be prescribed by itself, or in conjunction with other fertility medications to prompt ovulation (releasing your eggs).

Timed Intercourse and IUI

Timed intercourse should happen twice after you take the trigger medication; approximately 12 hours after, and again 36 hours afterward.

If you are receiving IUI, your nurse will give you a time to arrive at the clinic. If a fresh sample is being used, the sample will be produced at home and brought into the clinic at your appointment time. For sperm donor cycles, the sample will be removed at the time of your arrival.

Luteal Phase Support and Pregnancy Test

You will start your prescribed luteal phase medications the day after your second day of timed intercourse or IUI. We will give you a date to return to the clinic for more blood work and you will then be informed whether or not to stop taking the luteal phase medications based on those results.

We’ll Guide You on the Right Fertility Path

At Ontario Fertility Network, we understand your desire to start a family and want to help make your dream a reality. Through a detailed medical assessment, we can create a fertility plan that is best suited for you — and guide you toward your goals.


Can I plan my visits or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) ahead of time?
Since every woman’s cycle is unique, it is not possible to predict when your visits will be required, or when timed intercourse or IUI will occur ahead of time. Through medical testing, we will determine the best timing for you.
How many visits will I need per cycle?
Typically, at least three to five visits will be required, although frequent to daily visits may be prescribed based on your unique outcomes and cycle progression.
What are the possible side effects of fertility medications?

It’s important to note that most patients do not experience any signifiant side effects. In fact, fewer than 1% of patients have to stop taking their medication because of a side effect. Some side-effects of the medications you may be prescribed include:

  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Mood changes
When should I bring in my sperm sample for IUI?
Your nurse will give you a specific time to come in after taking the trigger medication. You will bring your partner’s sample with you for IUI at this time. If we’re storing your donor sperm, it will be removed at the time of your arrival.
What times am I able to come in for IUI at an OFN clinic?

IUI procedures are completed in the morning; clinic scheduling will determine appointment availability however we always try our best to accommodate our patient’s preferred appointment time.

What should I do if I get my period before my bloodwork appointment?

Contact us on day one of your menstrual cycle (the first day of bleeding) and your nurse will send you further instructions.

How can I best prepare for each cycle monitoring visit?
Eat breakfast and drink fluids to prepare for your blood draw. Once you arrive at the building please empty your bladder in preparation for the transvaginal probe ultrasound.

You will also need to know how much medication you have left at each visit.

How many cycles will need to be monitored?

This varies for each woman, as each cycle can vary. It’s common for a woman to have a regular cycle one month, and a different experience the next. It is often necessary to monitor several cycles until conception is achieved.

What are the success rates of cycle monitoring?
The success rates of cycle monitoring depends on your physiology and any underlying causes of infertility. Other factors include whether or not medication and/or other fertility treatments are paired with the monitoring.

To get a better understanding of your chances for a successful pregnancy, your medical team will determine any causes of infertility and form a plan to optimize your chances of conceiving.

Why choose an OFN clinic for cycle monitoring?
We truly care about the success of your fertility journey and helping you start or expand your family. Whether your personal fertility plan begins with cycle monitoring, IUI treatment, or preconception care, we support you at each step.


“All of the nurses there have been wonderful. Always so positive, friendly, and willing to answer all of my questions. This isn’t an easy situation to be in, and these ladies are the bright side of this journey. Dr. Moreau has been great to deal with as well, straightforward, and to the point but in a friendly way. I really enjoy him.”
Jenn Polley