Thursday, October 22, 2015

How to get pregnant: Medication edition

I'm well on my way to transfer of embryo number 2. I am much more amused this time around at how this process works. First, I take birth control. High dose. No placebo pills. I also have to get on anti-diabetic meds (thanks PCOS!) and aspirin. Then, the Lupron shots start. Goal: chemical menopause. After about a week of this, I stop the birth control pills, keep giving myself shots every morning, and switch to estrogen. The estrogen dose increases incrementally as I get my lining checked, then decreases a bit and stays constant either until the cycle is over or until I'm out of my first trimester. Once my lining is sufficiently thick, I stop the Lupron and start progesterone shots. These are the ones that hurt like heck. 5 days later, we transfer, and the progesterone continues. In the couple of days leading up to transfer, I also add an antibiotic and an oral steroid to the regime. The day of transfer involves a muscle relaxer. Metformin and Aspirin can be dispensed with if I get a positive pregnancy test, otherwise they will probably continue through another transfer cycle.

Looks like this (not all meds are actually in this picture, just what arrived from the specialty pharmacy):

Ta-da! And this is just for a frozen embryo transfer. If I was doing full-blown IVF, the meds would be more numerous and significantly more expensive.

So far, I've made it to the end of the BCPs and through the first ultrasound. Apparently my PCOS induced "string of pearls" is very much intact and pronounced on the left side. Meh. Oh well. Next ultrasound is next week, estrogen starts Saturday. I've been pretty lucky in that I haven't had many side effects other than some nausea and cramping from the Metformin. No hot flashes or horrible mood swings from the hormones.

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