So you’ve received your IVF medications, what happens next?
Well the drug appointment at the fertility centre is a doddle. They explain the first medication you’ll be using, supervise your first injection and book your next appointment.
The first medication I’m using is Buserelin, which stops your own cycle, putting you in a temporary menopausal state. I started the Buserelin injections on day 21 of my cycle and they will continue for about 30 days – up to egg harvesting.
The needles are so fine that you hardly feel them going in, but that doesn’t really make the injections easier for me. After the first couple of injections I felt that it was going to be quite manageable, but as the weeks have gone by I find it harder and harder to give the okay that precedes the needle. Because of this we decided that my husband would give the injections, so we do them at 6pm each evening. This allows him plenty of time to get home from work, but means we can still to go out in the evening if we need to.
Now on our 17th day of injections, and I think we’ve found a few helpful tips:
- Though the hospital thought that doing the injections in the stomach was easier because the skin is thinner, we found giving them in the thigh worked better for us.
- Our needles are only a half inch long, but we’ve found it helps to keep the needle pushed firmly into the skin and try to keep the angle high so it goes deep into the muscle. If it’s too shallow, the injection burns and itches as the fluid makes its way to the surface where it creates bubbles under the skin. It doesn’t seem to be a serious problem, as the fluid will be absorbed within an hour, but it’s unpleasant - and easily the worst part of the injection.
- I found it helped to keep the muscle slightly tense, as if you twitch as the needle goes in tensing around the needle really hurts!
- Don’t be surprised if your period is late! I was a bit worried something might be wrong when my period didn’t show up as expected but eventually it arrived.
- And once it did it didn’t want to stop. My period’s normally 3-5 days, but this time lasted for 8 days!
Even though I can't say the injections are easier than I expected, there has been an unanticipated surprise. From the day we started the injections, I finally could see a way forward. For months I've been going through the motions, but I'd lost my purpose and drive. Now that we're moving forward, I've finally found hope again - hope that the IVF may work and hope that we may achieve our dream.
Our next appointment is Wednesday, where I’ll have an ultrasound scan to check the lining of my uterus is nice and thin (after an eight day period I don’t anticipate this will be a problem), and if everything looks good we’ll start 10 days of Menopur injections to stimulate egg production.
This was originally written for the Emma's Diary Blog.