Lee and I attended an injection class Wednesday morning. The purpose of the class is to go over our medication outline and walk through the mixing and administering of the medications. To say that I am overwhelmed by all of the information presented is an understatement of epic proportions.
Below is a copy of our medication outline. I’m sure after looking at it, you can understand my trepidation.
Most of the drugs will be administered via subcutaneous injection. That’s fine; we knew that going in to this. However, the majority of the drugs do not come ready to use. They will have to be mixed just so. One mistake on preparation and we could be out hundreds of dollars.
Both Follistim and Gonal-F are follicle stimulation medications. They do the same thing, so we’ll probably end up choosing whichever one will cost us less money. The Gonal-f is the only ready-to-use medication and the more expensive one, so Follistim will likely be what we end up using. Follistim comes in pen form, with medication cartridges that need to be inserted into the pen. These should be relatively easy; you just dial-up your dose, and boom. Done.
The amount of time I’ll be on Gonal-f/Follistim is undetermined, but most likely a few days. Once they have determined that my follicles have been stimulated enough, we move on to Menopur.
Menopur is a follicle maturation drug. Around the end of August, Lee and I will be going in for ultrasounds every few days to monitor my follicles. Menopur is a powdered drug that will need to be mixed with saline in order to inject. The amount taken and length of time we will be on Menopur will be entirely dependent on the ultrasound results, so we will have to rely on daily messages from our doctor on when and how much in order to make sure we are administering correctly.
This is where it starts to get fucking scary. Next up on our list is Ganirelix Acetate. Ganirelix is an ovulation prevention drug. Missing one dose of this drug will ruin the entire IVF cycle. If this is not taken at the right time each day, I will ovulate and all of the work that we’ve done will be for nothing.
If all goes well with the Ganirelix, then we move on to either Pregnyl or Novarel. Both are HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormones. This drug, will induce ovulation, so it needs to be taken at just the right time; I believe 36-40 hours before the egg retrieval. The amount taken completely depends on ovarian stimulation up to that point. This is also another drug that is in powdered form, so extra care needs to be taken when preparing this drug.
One of the side effects that is common in women with PCOS when undergoing IVF cycles is ovarian hyper-stimulation. As such, it’s probable that I will have to also take an additional injection drug called the Lupron trigger along with the Ganirelix shot to stop that from happening. Fun, right?
Timing is everything for the next month and a half. It’s incredibly daunting.
Yet at the end of the day, this will (hopefully) all be worth it. I dream of the day that Lee and I can celebrate our first positive pregnancy test. And years later, when our children are old enough to understand the processes that we went through to bring them in to this world, they’ll realize what this whole experience was actually about.
A story of true love, determination, perseverance, and the marvels of modern science. A family that just wasn’t complete until we had them.