Before you started your first intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle, did you know that you'd probably wind up injecting yourself with hormones several times per day for as many as 90 days? I didn't. Possibly whilst not to discourage potential patients, reproductive endocrinologists do not get into detail relating to your medication schedule before you already are emotionally involved and committed to complete the treatment.hcg injections
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 in my own belly for many days to be able to stimulate the production of follicles in my own ovaries. Each evening, I dreaded the hour we had appointed for administering the medication, and as a result of my excessive nervousness, my sensitivity to Menopur was heightened, and I started to see a series of side effects.
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 site of injection.
Actually, I've undoubtedly that my introduction to Menopur injections was tainted to a sizable degree by my subconscious expectations that the knowledge is going to be unpleasant. Why do I believe so? Because the 2nd time I had to undergo exactly the same protocol, it felt as easy together, 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 in my own thigh and 10 days of subcutaneous injections of Menopur and Bravelle in my own belly at a dosage 3 times higher than that required for IUIs. To initiate ovulation, I also needed an intramuscular injection of hCG in my own buttock (which I had to accomplish for the IUIs as well).
But wait; that's not all. After the egg retrieval, I was surprised all over again for another long schedule, including more injectable medications. Since we were transferring a frozen embryo post preimplantation genetic screening, we had to add a supplementary month of preparation of my uterus. Through 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 in my own buttock twice per day starting 5 days ahead of the embryo transfer. Adding 4 intramuscular injections of hCG to this already staggering count, I finished up administering a total of 80 injections from the beginning of my IVF cycle to my pregnancy test. hcg injections
If you were to think that 80 injections in 9 weeks is a lot, let me disappoint you further. A couple of days before my embryo transfer, my doctor's assistant explained that in the event of pregnancy, I will need to 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 around 230 injection from the beginning of the IVF cycle to the end of my first trimester. Large number, isn't it?
The purpose I'm trying to make is that many of us first-time IVF patients have little idea as to what to anticipate as it pertains to fertility medications, and doctors probably do not advertise the entire truth ahead of the treatment whilst not to intimidate their clients-not necessarily because they want to secure their business but primarily whilst not to inflate their stress levels in what is already a tense process. Don't get me wrong, though. Sticking thick long needles in my own body 1 to 4 times per day and taking 10 different pills throughout my IVF cycle is really a minor inconvenience for the ultimate price: a risk-mitigated pregnancy followed by the birth of a healthy child.