Fertility treatments vary from practice to practice and are also customized for each individual. Your IUI/IVF protocol may be different your girlfriends and may even change from one cycle to another. Some protocols start with birth control pills, some do not. Some protocols include high levels of the hormones FSH and LH while others are low dose versions. Your RE is like a bartender, mixing a cocktail especially for you. So don’t be surprised when your friend says she didn’t take birth control for her cycle, but your RE prescribes it for you. The pills are part of your special cocktail.