Monday, December 2, 2013

Follistim Day 1

Well ready or not today is the day!  I got good news this weekend as my period starting right on time after I stopped my BCP and my blood work all came back "perfect" according to nurse Jenny.  This was a relief for me as I know if your levels aren't low enough this can delay or even cancel the cycle before it really even gets started.  So one milestone down. Tonight we start the first stimulation injections which for my protocol is Follistim.  If you are wondering what this drug is all about below is a brief description

Follistim AQ (follicle stimulating hormone) is a man-made form of a hormone that occurs naturally in the body. This hormone regulates ovulation, the growth and development of eggs in a woman's ovaries.
So for IVF follistim is used to help produce (hopefully) multiple follicles on each ovary.  In regular ovualation each month one ovary produces one follicle which grows, matures, and releases one egg.  However our goal for IVF is obviously to retrieve several eggs so we need mulitple follicles.  Come on Follistim!  Then on Wednesday we'll add in a drug called Menopur which will help the eggs mature inside the follicles.  I'll continue taking the lupron because it basically tells my brain NOT to ovulate, as the doctors want to control when that happens, which they'll do with a HCG "trigger" shot once the follicles are big enough and they believe the eggs to be mature.  So this week our schedule is as follows

Monday-Tuesday - Lupron (AM injection), steriods, prenatal, Follistim (PM injection)
Wednesday-Sunday - Lupron, sterioids, prenatal, Follistim, Menopur (PM injection)

That's 3 injections a day Wed-Sunday!  Whew!  The follistim is given in a pen that functions just like an epipen.  The needle is tiny and the only side effects I have really read about are the bloated feeling that comes with the growing follicles (which would be a welcomed side effect as that means the meds are working!).  I've heard that you can get so bloated by retriveal that your pants won't fit and you'll be uncomfortable walking.  So I'm prepared to spend this weekend hanging out on the couch in yoga pants.  Sounds pretty relaxing actually!  I've also heard that since the Follistim is refridgerated you should take it out approx. 15 min. before you give the injection to let it warm up a little bit, so I think I'll follow that advice as well.  

Oh- I almost forgot I also started accupuncture last week!  I went twice last week and will continue to go twice a week until retrival and then once a week after transfer.  I have read so many positive correlations between IVF and accupuncture and since my insurance covers 50% decided to give it a try.  The needles don't hurt (especailly compared to what we've been doing) and it's actually a nice break to just lay there and relax for 20 min.  He does 8 needles all around my stomach and I rest for 20 min. and then I flip over and he puts four in back and we wait another 20 min.  The goal is to increase the blood flow to your uterus to help with implantation.  Below is a picture!

If any of you who have been through this before have thoughts/advice for the upcoming week I would love to hear it!  

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