hcg injections

When 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 repeatedly a day for up to three months? I didn't. Possibly in order not to discourage potential patients, reproductive endocrinologists don't enter detail relating to your medication schedule and soon 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 all 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 due to my excessive nervousness, my sensitivity to Menopur was heightened, and I started to experience some side effects. hcg injections

In hindsight, my body's reaction 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 results? I was severely bloated, gained weight, and felt pain and discomfort at the site of injection.

Actually, I've no doubt that my introduction to Menopur injections was tainted to a large degree by my subconscious expectations that the knowledge will undoubtedly be unpleasant. Why do I believe so? Because the second time I had to undergo the same protocol, it felt as easy together, two, three. So did the next time.

My experience with IVF injectable medications was a completely 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 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 x greater than that needed 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).

But wait; that's not all. Following the egg retrieval, I was surprised just as before to get another long schedule, including more injectable medications. Since we were transferring a frozen embryo post preimplantation genetic screening, we had to include an extra 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 a day starting 5 days ahead of the embryo transfer. Adding 4 intramuscular injections of hCG to this 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 think that 80 injections in 9 weeks will be a lot, allow me to disappoint you further. A few days before my embryo transfer, my doctor's assistant told me that in the case of pregnancy, I will need to continue the estradiol and progesterone injections for another 9 or 10 weeks. That's comparable to 16-17 injections weekly, for a grand total of about 230 injection from the beginning of the IVF cycle to the end of my first trimester. Lot, isn't it?  hcg injections

The purpose I am trying to create is that many of us first-time IVF patients have little idea as to what to expect in regards to fertility medications, and doctors probably don't advertise the whole truth ahead of the treatment in order not to intimidate their clients-not necessarily because they would like to secure their business but primarily in order not to inflate their stress levels in what is already a tense process. Don't get me wrong, though. Sticking thick long needles within my body 1 to 4 times a day and taking 10 different pills throughout my IVF cycle is a minor inconvenience for the best price: a risk-mitigated pregnancy followed closely by the birth of a wholesome child.

Comments