Thursday, March 3, 2011

I Want a New Drug, Part III

I promised that I'd run my next fertility post on Thursday since four days after I started Ganirelix, I injected two separate medications to trigger ovulation. According to the notches I've been scratching into my bedpost, today is Thursday (bed rest, remember?) so here we go!

The doctor gave me a specific time at which I had to give myself a trigger shot. They time it exactly so that when it's time to go in for the egg retrieval (or alternatively for IUI as this stage is the same process), the body is ready. When you consider that there are really only a few hours every month that even a regularly ovulating woman can get pregnant, it seriously isn't a wonder that the human race didn't die out hundreds of years ago!

As comic Tommy Johnagin, a finalist in last season's Last Comic Standing, points out, nobody ever goes out one night, gets drunk and accidentally builds a shed. If you want to build a shed, you have to reeeeaaaaally want to build a shed. But yet somehow it's possible to go out one night, get drunk and accidentally create another human being! Amazing!

So with IUI, I triggered myself three times with 10,000 iu of HCG. Of all the shots I've had to give myself during this entire process, I think HCG is my least favorite because it requires actually mixing the medication prior to injecting it. Maybe it's just me, but I'm a nervous enough person during this process to also be worrying about properly concocting probably the most important medication! I mean, no HCG = no ovulation = no babies.

No pressure, right?

It's also a little tricky to draw the medication out of the vial since the needle is so long, but there's so little liquid in the vial. My nurse actually told me that some women have actually injected themselves with air because they didn't realize that the liquid wasn't drawing up into the syringe.

Okay ladies, I realize that you might be nervous while mixing your HCG, but if there's still liquid in the vial, you might want to retrace your steps and try again. I mean the last time I checked, air doesn't trigger ovulation otherwise we'd all be walking around in a constant state of having ovulated. Just sayin'...

There's also a lot more liquid in this shot than I was used to from prior IUI medications so that was difficult to deal with as the medication slowly made it's way into my body. I found that injecting the HCG into my stomach was much easier than my leg so after coming to that conclusion, I struggled much less with this shot. The two times that I did inject into my leg, I ended up with a bit of pain and tenderness at the injection site which while not completely miserable was rather uncomfortable.

For my IVF cycle, I triggered myself with two medications: HCG and Lupron. My doctor decided to use smaller doses of both medications because he was so worried about my ovaries becoming hyperstimulated. Supposedly, the Lupron helps combat that concern.

Lupron wasn't terribly difficult to deal with either. It comes with box full of syringes with needles already attached. The Lupron is held in a small vial that you use to fill the syringe and you're ready to inject. Pretty simple and no side effects that I can recall.

Because the Lupron decreases my estrogen, I have to use Vivelle-Dot to replace that estrogen (since that seems to be rather important for baby-hatching purposes). These are stick-on patches that I replace every two days. They stay on really well and I haven't noticed any horrible side effects (although by the time I started using them, I was on so many other medications, who knows what medication was causing what!) I use two at a time and move them across my stomach as I replace them.

Exactly 35 hours after I gave myself triggering doses of HCG and Lupron, I went in for my retrieval, which was one of the things about which I was most scared. Luckily my doctor's office went to extreme measures to make sure I was comfortable for come back on Saturday to read all about that!


  1. double face palm...LOL....

    anyway, i really can't get over how many shots you have to self-inject. i can't even swallow pills without making a big production!

  2. I find this fascinating and I'm so glad you are sharing your story. There are so many people who have gone through or are going through this and I can only imagine how many of them are landing on your blog as a result of various search terms-

    I can't wait to hear the rest of the story - it better have a happy ending for all this work and dedication!