Before you started your first intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle, did you know that you'd probably find yourself injecting yourself with hormones many times per day for as many as 90 days? I didn't. Possibly whilst never to discourage potential patients, reproductive endocrinologists do not go into detail relating to your medication schedule before you are actually emotionally involved and committed to perform the treatment.
When I switched to injectable medication (Menopur) for my second IUI, I was quite disconcerted at thinking that I (or my partner) had to inject a heavy long needle within my belly for many days to be able to stimulate the production of follicles within my ovaries. Each evening, I dreaded the hour we'd appointed for administering the medication, and due to my excessive nervousness, my sensitivity to Menopur was heightened, and I began to have some side effects. hcg injections
In hindsight, my body's response to Menopur was probably amplified by my emotional unpreparedness for the injections and my fear that I wasn't administering them correctly inspite of the detailed instructions my doctor's office provided. The outcomes? I was severely bloated, gained weight, and felt pain and discomfort at the website of injection.
In reality, I've without doubt that my introduction to Menopur injections was tainted to a large degree by my subconscious expectations that the knowledge will soon be unpleasant. Why do I think so? Because the second time I had to undergo exactly the same protocol, it felt as easy as you, two, three. So did the next time.
My experience with IVF injectable medications was an entirely different matter. To start with, I was amazed to see the length of time the prep. phase schedule was. Whereas my IUI stimulations lasted anywhere from 10 to 16 days and involved only injections of Menopur, my IVF ovarian preparation phase lasted about 8 weeks and included 20 days of intramuscular injections of Lupron within my thigh and 10 days of subcutaneous injections of Menopur and Bravelle within my belly at a dosage 3 times more than that required for IUIs. To initiate ovulation, I also needed an intramuscular injection of hCG within my buttock (which I had to accomplish for the IUIs as well). hcg injections
But wait; that's not all. Following the egg retrieval, I was surprised yet again for another long schedule, which included more injectable medications. Since we were transferring a frozen embryo post preimplantation genetic screening, we'd to add a supplementary month of preparation of my uterus. Throughout that month, I was instructed to inject myself with estradiol valerate every three days (for a total of 10 times before my pregnancy test), then start injecting progesterone within my buttock twice per day starting 5 days before the embryo transfer. Adding 4 intramuscular injections of hCG to the already staggering count, I ended up administering a total of 80 injections from the beginning of my IVF cycle to my pregnancy test. hcg diet
If you believe that 80 injections in 9 weeks is a lot, allow me to disappoint you further. Several days before my embryo transfer, my doctor's assistant said that in the case of pregnancy, I must continue the estradiol and progesterone injections for another 9 or 10 weeks. That's equivalent to 16-17 injections each week, for a grand total of approximately 230 injection from the beginning of the IVF cycle to the finish of my first trimester. High number, isn't it?
The purpose I am trying to create is that many of us first-time IVF patients have little idea about what to expect as it pertains to fertility medications, and doctors probably do not advertise the whole truth before the treatment whilst never to intimidate their clients-not necessarily because they want to secure their business but primarily whilst never to inflate their stress levels in what's already a tense process. Don't misunderstand me, though. Sticking thick long needles within my body 1 to 4 times per day and taking 10 different pills throughout my IVF cycle is just a minor inconvenience for the greatest price: a risk-mitigated pregnancy followed closely by the birth of a healthier child.