Before you started your first intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle, did you know that you would almost certainly find yourself injecting yourself with hormones several times each day for up to 3 months? I didn't. Possibly so as not to discourage potential patients, reproductive endocrinologists do not enter detail relating to your medication schedule until you already are emotionally involved and committed to complete 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 thick long needle within my belly for several days to be able to stimulate the production of follicles within my ovaries. Each evening, I dreaded the hour we had appointed for administering the medication, and because of my excessive nervousness, my sensitivity to Menopur was heightened, and I started to experience some side effects.
In hindsight, my body's a reaction to Menopur was almost certainly 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 outcome? I was severely bloated, gained weight, and felt pain and discomfort at your website of injection.
In reality, I've without doubt that my introduction to Menopur injections was tainted to a big degree by my subconscious expectations that the experience will soon be unpleasant. Why do I think so? Because the 2nd time I'd to undergo exactly the same protocol, it felt as easy as you, two, three. So did the third time.
My experience with IVF injectable medications was a completely different matter. In the first place, I was amazed to see how long 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 two months 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 necessary for IUIs. To initiate ovulation, I also needed an intramuscular injection of hCG within my buttock (which I'd to complete for the IUIs as well). hcg injections
But wait; that's not all. Following the egg retrieval, I was surprised all over again to receive another long schedule, including more injectable medications. Since we were transferring a frozen embryo post preimplantation genetic screening, we had to add an extra month of preparation of my uterus. During 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 each day starting 5 days prior to the embryo transfer. Adding 4 intramuscular injections of hCG to this already staggering count, I wound up administering a total of 80 injections from the beginning of my IVF cycle to my pregnancy test.
If you believe that 80 injections in 9 weeks is a lot, i'd like to disappoint you further. A couple of days before my embryo transfer, my doctor's assistant said that in the case of pregnancy, I will have to continue the estradiol and progesterone injections for another 9 or 10 weeks. That's equivalent to 16-17 injections per week, for a great total of approximately 230 injection from the beginning of the IVF cycle to the finish of my first trimester. Large number, isn't it?hcg injections
The purpose I am trying to create is that most of us first-time IVF patients have little idea about what you may anticipate in regards to fertility medications, and doctors probably do not advertise the entire truth prior to the treatment so as not to intimidate their clients-not necessarily because they want to secure their business but primarily so as not to inflate their stress levels in what's already a stressful process. Don't misunderstand me, though. Sticking thick long needles within my body 1 to 4 times each 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.