This is part of the IVF Series I am writing that recounts my experience with IVF. At this time, I am 10 Days AET (After Embryo Transfer) of my third IVF Cycle.
Cycle #1 – December 2018 and January 2019
I had been taking progesterone injections. Progesterone must be injected into the buttocks. The needle is 3″ long and has a 23 gauge. What does this mean? See below. The smallest needle shown below is a diabetic needle. The middle needle is the one I used to inject into my butt. The entire length of the needle must go into the muscle. The needle to the far left if used to draw the oil into the syringe.
After the first retrieval, the nurse gave me a sheet that covered 5 days of med instructions. I was to return on Monday for a pregnancy test. By Friday, 3 days after the blastocyst transfer, a home pregnancy test confirmed I was pregnant. My doctor conducted a blood test and yes, my HcG was at 70. I was pregnant.
So why do I have to take the progesterone injections? I did some internet research where people had argued that “the progesterone injections produce a healthier fetus,” and I found additional research from MIT that confirmed, “There is no evidence that progesterone produces a healthier fetus.” This argument is bull shit.
So I called the Fertility Clinic and asked why I had to take the injections now that I’m pregnant. Her answer? “It’s produces a healthier fetus.” I looked at the article online from MIT that debunks this claim. “Okay,” I said. “Well, how long do I have to take these injections?”
Every day. For three months. I did not sign up for this. Until this phone call, I had no idea that I would have to continue treatment up to the second trimester. A month prior to that day, I had no idea I would even need to have injections done. “Do I have to take the progesterone?” I asked.
“Well…” She said. She hesitated. She actually hemmed and hawed. “We recommend it.”
Like a salad? You recommend the fish and the pinot gris too? Based on a “recommendation” I stopped taking the progesterone.
And I started my menstrual cycle.
Guess what progesterone REALLY does? Progesterone is the number 1# communication hub in a woman’s body that tells her body whether or not she’s pregnant. It stops, delays, and starts the menstrual cycle. When progesterone is present and/or it increases, the woman is pregnant and the hormone tells the female body, “Don’t menstruate! Don’t shed the uterine lining where an embryo has implanted! You’re having a baby!” A drop or decline in progesterone tells the body you’re not pregnant, and you need to shed the uterine lining.
That dumb bitch told me “they recommend it.” Do doctors “Recommend” insulin for diabetics? NO! They tell them to take the damn insulin or they’ll die from sugar sickness! So I miscarried. At the ER, one day later, they measured my HcG at 270. From 70 to 270 in one day? I was pregnant with twins. Had I been pregnant with one child, the HcG would have been 140.
The despair that followed…The experience was devastating and it pulled my husband and I closer more than ever before. We were so broken, that I clung to anything to help us heal.
I declared I was doing IVF again and immediately decided to use 100% of my tax return on a second cycle.
Statics show that undergoing a 2nd cycle increases your chances so long as you don’t wait. In hindsight, we should have waited. We were too scared to wait and jumped right back into treatment without giving my body a rest. The problem with this? We over-harvested my eggs, though I didn’t know it at the time.
Read about the InVitro Experience as it happens