85% of couples conceive in the first year, I am not one of them

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The Comprehensive IVF Report

I had another check today to see how my eggs are doing. Apparently I have some overachievers, and what appears to be plenty of smaller ones. I wish I knew what was considered normal. I believe my biggest is still around a 16 or 17, which was the size it was Tuesday morning if I’m not mistaken. She only bothers to measure the ones over 11, of which I have 5. I saw what looked like 5-6 follicles on each ovary. I understand why she only cares about the large ones for now.

I decided to post my experience on all of my drugs and IVF experience so far. My IVF drug side effect and “how did the IVF drugs feel” to you report.

Started on BCP: Mini pill given due to Factor V clotting. Got Nora-Be. Produced slight weight gain, shifting muscle pain in my thighs especially at night, and lightish brown periods every other week. Didn’t seem abnormally crazy. No headaches.

Cyst formed and was kept on pills for an extra month.

Cyst collapsed and estrogen level fell to normal. Started stims and drugs.

  • Foltx supplement – Says on bottle it will make you tired, but I’ve been fairly tired this whole time. Could also be blamed on the time change. Hard to say if it really makes you tired.
  • Asprin – No complaints, and by day 7 stim check my doctor says my lining looks gorgeous. Last period was on BCP around October 24th.
  • Doxycycline 7 days – Husband and I both on it. He hasn’t reported any issues. I don’t remember what the bottle says but I believe it’s something about not taking it with food. My IVF nurse specifically said IGNORE THAT, take it with food. You will get nauseous if you take it on an empty stomach and may throw it up. I took it once an hour or so after a light meal and felt sick. Definitely take with breakfast and dinner.
  • Dexamethasone – Taking because some hormone level (androgen?) was a little high and this hormone can negatively effect egg quality. This drug helps suppress it while growing eggs. Says to take at bed time so I do. Since I’m asleep I can’t report any side effects but it doesn’t seem like there is any.
  • Gonal F multidose vials at 225 daily dose – Easiest injectable BY FAR. No pain, bruising, burning, itching, or marks while injecting or after. Love it.
  • Menopur 1 vial + 1cc water – First and 6th injections left bruises, one large and one tiny spot. STINGS while injecting and seems to inject slow no matter how hard you press, but little lingering feeling. Worst one taken because of burn while injecting.
  • Ganarelix – Love the fact that it’s a PREFILLED SYRINGE. Score one for no mixing and convenience. No pain while injecting but after a minute it begins to burn at the injection site. Will burn on and off for up to an hour, but most burning goes away in 10 minutes. At least happy it doesn’t burn while injecting like the Menopur, it’s more like a time bomb. The burn is slightly worse then Menopur.

Had at least 5 over 1cm follicles by 3 days of stimming. Started Ganarelix on day 4. Looks to be 11-12 follicles of varying sizes overall. ER either 11/12 or 11/13.

Injection Tips:

  • Use the videos from Freedommedteach.com for mixing instructions
  • Lay on your back.
  • Push the needle ALL the way in.
  • Needle should be straight up and down, not at a 45 degree angle.
  • Make sure ALL the air is out of the needle, little bubbles stuck to the plunger are fine but any air bubbles that get injected will cause bruising.
  • Apply pressure to the injection site even if you are not bleeding. Pressure helps keep brusing at bay and helps dispurse the meds, massaging the area with the gauze pad is also good.
  • Go slow. Injections don’t feel as bad as you think. Besides the initial poke you could practically leave the needle in there and not feel it. It’s only the poke you feel, and the drugs if they cause a burn. The needle sitting in the skin doesn’t feel like anything, even in sensitive belly skin.
  • Although you can inject to the tops of the thighs, go with the stomach. There is more fat to grab onto (even if your small like me). Also the lower stomach is closer to the ovaries which is why it’s the best spot to inject. It likely yeilds slightly better results for stimming.
  • Let go of pinched skin before pushing the plunger.
  • Pull the needle straight up and out.
  • Let the alcohol on your skin dry before injecting, if not it’s going to sting.

Side Effects:

Overall I feel better than I thought I would. My ovaries are a little sore but nothing major. I don’t feel hormonal and crazy at all. No headaches, BUT I think I have another yeast infection, could just be a hormonal itch. I’m starting to get a little miffed with these because I can’t pinpoint it to any one thing. Last time I had one was when I had my sonohysterogram. Coincidentally I also had sex the night before or the night before the night before. Yeast infection showed up day after sono. This time I had sex on day 2 of injections and meds and  next day I was itchy. Could be from the sex, could be hormones, could be the antibiotic. WHO KNOWS. All I know is I haven’t told my doctor because it’s not as bad as the last one and I can stick it out for a while longer. Just babying it with some itch cream and an ice pack. I don’t believe having an active yeast infection changes anything for IVF since I’ve read of other women whos doctors just prescribed them something and continued on with the ER and ET. Either way, I’d rather not treat it at the moment.

I have noticed that I have gained about 3-4 lbs. I feel like because I am in that pre ovulation phase for an entire week now my husband seems very interested in me. It’s been proven that women who are ovulating tend to attract more male attention than when not ovulating. I wonder if the attraction is high with IVF cycles because of the sheer amount of eggs forming. I don’t know, it just seems like my husband is very “into me” lately.

Anxiously awaiting ER now. COME ON ALREADY!

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