What is a Follicular Study?A follicular study is a transvaginal ultrasound scan in which the doctor observes the follicle growth to identify the ovulation window.
How is a Follicular Study Performed?
A follicular study procedure is done by a medical expert. Your gynecologist monitors the growth and development of follicles via a transvaginal scan.
An ultrasound device uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the ovaries and follicles. The images are now visible on the monitor screen.
During the procedure, you must lie on your back on a table. The gynecologist inserts a small probe into your vagina.
The probe is cleaned after every usage, and gel is applied to ease the process.
When does a Follicular Scan have to be done?
Generally, a follicular study is performed on the ninth or tenth day of your menstrual cycle.
The scan is repeated on a regular basis until ovulation occurs. The number of scans may vary from person to person.
It depends on a person’s menstrual cycle length and the growth of the follicle.
To increase the chances of conception, a person must complete the follicular study at the right time.
Duration of a Follicle Scan?
The duration of follicular study scan takes around 10 – 15 minutes and the report is delivered instantly.
The patient can perform their regular activities right after the procedure.
What is the Size of the Follicle to Get Pregnant?
The follicle size plays a vital role in terms of pregnancy. The ideal size of the follicle to get pregnant is 18-24 mm in diameter.
The follicle ruptures at this point and releases the egg for fertilization.
The gynecologist advises the patient to perform intercourse during this time.
It is the best time to improve the chances of conception if the patient is taking fertility treatment.
Why is Follicular Monitoring Necessary?
Follicular monitoring is essential to track the growth and development of the follicle.
It identifies the ideal time to have intercourse. Follicular monitoring is required, when a patient is
- Having irregular menstrual cycle and unsure of the ovulation date
- Trying to conceive but unable to do so for atleast a year
- Undergoing fertility treatments
- 35 years old and has been unable to conceive for at least 6 months.
- Going through PCOS
Preparation for a Follicular StudyBefore a follicular study, the patient must first discuss their medications and allergic conditions with their healthcare provider. It is advisable to wear light and comfortable garments, as the patient is instructed to take off the clothes from the waist.
Benefits of a Follicular Study
- Improve the chances of conception: The healthcare provider monitors the follicle growth and development in order to predict the right time to improve the chances of conception.
- Identify reproductive health issues: The follicular study identifies reproductive health issues such as fibroids, ovarian cysts, etc.
- Fertility Treatments: A follicular study detects the follicle rupture time. Thus it helps in the egg retrieval process during advanced fertility treatments such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- Detect ovulation window: A follicular study helps determine the ovulation window for women experiencing irregular menstrual cycles and trying to get pregnant with PCOS as they are unsure of it.
What are the Side Effects of a Follicular Ultrasound Scan?
Normally, the follicular ultrasound scan procedure does not have any side effects and is safe and painless.
Some women might feel slight discomfort or spotting after the transvaginal follicular study procedure.
Interpretation of Follicular Study Results:
The patient receives the follicular study report right after the procedure.
The gynecologist interprets the result and informs the patient about the right time to perform intercourse. But what does the follicular study report signify?
The follicular study report consists of the patient’s date and days of the follicular cycle. Generally, the first cycle begins on the 9th or 10th day of the menstrual cycle.
According to the growth and development of the follicle, the number of scans is taken.
During each and every cycle, the endometrium thickness is noted. The endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus where the embryo gets implanted, and its thickness plays a vital role in a smooth pregnancy.
Each ovary contains multiple small follicles, and the follicle size is measured during every cycle, and a single follicle becomes dominant and releases the egg.
The gynecologist calculates the follicle size and rupture time in the report.
Follicular Study vs. Ovulation Prediction Kits:
The ovulation window is also predicted using the follicular study and the Ovulation Prediction Kit (OPKs). But they differ from one another.
The Ovulation Prediction Kit is generally a urine test that depends on the luteinizing hormone (LH). It signals the ovary to release the egg. The test displays a darker or double line according to the patient’s brand.
The ovulation begins in the next 12 – 36 hours. However, this test doesn’t give information about the size and number of follicles present in the ovary.
With the help of a follicular study, the patient can determine the ovulation window, monitor follicle growth, and learn more about a detailed view of the follicles, their size, and number.