Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Freakout: IVF Meds

I’m calling this post a “Friday Freakout” as a tribute to the fact that my greatest psychological challenge is anxiety. It rots my gut on a regular basis.

So guess what? We’re there. Where? IVF number 2. I started my morning injections of Lupron on Thursday, and start stimming next Thursday night. My protocol is 10iu of Lupron daily until next Thursday, then drop it to 5iu, and add 225iu daily of Follistim. My last birth control pill is tomorrow, so CD 1 should be about next Tuesday. I’m also taking Metformin, prenatal vitamins, DHA, CoQ10, and extra calcium and vitamin D, but these are all oral pills. Only the Follistim and Lupron are injections.

On August 26th I’ll go in for a monitoring ultrasound, and my RE will decide whether to schedule me to trigger, or have me continue on Lupron and Follistim longer and return for another ultrasound before triggering. Our first IVF, we had a low percentage of the total eggs retrieved that had triggered properly. My understanding of the trigger is that it tells the eggs it’s time to go from 46 to 23 chromosomes, so they can be fertilized. My RE thinks it didn’t work on a lot of them because they had grown too fast. In other words, I was “over-stimmed”.

Even though we had a single, genetically competent, girl embryo that made it to transfer, since she didn’t implant and we didn’t have any others make it to blastocyst stage for freezing, that cycle was a total bust. The only thing it did was give us very expensive clinical data showing we end up with a lot of chromosomally abnormal sperm and eggs, thus conceiving chromosomally abnormal embryos. That is, when they are able to actually conceive.

This time, my dosage of Follistim has been decreased, and an additional stim dropped entirely, with the hope that this will allow more of my eggs to mature a little slower, and properly trigger. This is what we are now hoping and praying for virtually every day.

I’ve also decided that I’m going to learn how to give myself the injections this cycle. That does not mean I will actually be doing them all myself. Nurse Stepmom is again generously giving me my injections, but I’m going to have her teach me how. I’ll do a couple under her tutelage, on the off chance I get stuck having to do it myself. But until that happens, I’m having her do it! I haven’t had pain or a bruise from any of these injections yet, and I firmly believe I owe that to her expertise and skill! This process is stressful enough without having to stab myself every day.

And no, the Wacky Wicketeer is not allowed near my shots. You see, my big, strong husband is afraid of needles. Despite this fact, he grudgingly said to me one day, “I guess I could try giving you a shot.” I replied with a firm, “no way!” I love him for wanting to help, but what I don’t need is a husband passed out on the floor and me still standing there, having to stab myself.

Finally, I promised my tweeps (friends on Twitter, for those who aren’t) that I would share another use for the insulated bags Dove gave us at BlogHer ‘11. Here it is: Transporting our IVF meds that are supposed to be refrigerated! Hey, if it’s good enough for ice cream…

If you have any questions about anything I’ve discussed in this post, please don’t hesitate to ask!


  1. Yay for being in cycle! Hope the change in protocol is what you need. And I'm glad you're going to learn to do your own shots - great that it's not necessary, but empowering to know you could do them if you need to.

    For me, it's less drama to just do them myself - makes them less of a Big Deal, if you know what I mean...


  2. Ah Ha~! we are cyclebuddies!!! My monitoring starts on 8/22! I finished BCP and got AF today. Hope we both get lucky this summer!!!

  3. Im not quite cycle buddies with you, I don't start jabs for another 3 weeks :( IVF #2 as well.

  4. I have my fingers crossed that this is it for you guys!

  5. Hi, good luck for this cycle, fingers crossed it will be a success for you. I am currently taking 300mg Clomid, Metformin 3x a day and provera for 7 days to induce my menstrual cycle. At the moment I am still not ovulating on day 21, although I'm not having a 28 day cycle so maybe I am ovulating late but it's not being picked up. Did you do anything like this before starting IVF? I am also having Acupuncture too, had my firat session on Wednesday. My next app with subfertility is on the 30th August. Anyone know what the next stage could be. Is there another process before IVF?

  6. Hi Anonymous!

    PCOS is a on a spectrum, and I'm at the mild/moderate end. I'm lucky enough that I have regular menses, but my PCOS makes it so I don't always ovulate regularly, and my eggs are poor quality.

    In the beginning of our fertility journey, we only had a diagnosis of male factor infertility. I wasn't diagnosed with PCOS until after my 2 IUIs and 2 miscarriages. You can see my timeline and treatments in the column on the right. I was put on Metformin for my PCOS just last November, and I've also gone on 2-3 months of birth control pills before each of my IVFs, so I only had a few months of TTC naturally on Metformin. But again, I never had a problem getting my menses.

    My experience was that PCOS was most likely the cause of my two miscarriages. The only way I know of to try and work around that is with IVF with preimplantation genetic screening.

    I was never on provera, and only took clomid as part of my IUI protocols, so I'm not sure what else to tell you. Our history is a bit different. But I hope you get some help from this. Thanks for reading!