Wednesday, February 8, 2012

25 shots and counting

I took my 24th and 25th shot this morning.  I feel like my abdomen should buy me a card.  "Thank you for 25 good pokes in the belly.  Cheers to more in the future." 

For those keeping track at home, that's:

19 Lupron shots
4 Follistism shots
2 Repronex shots

...with about 6 of each kind to go, and a trigger shot thrown in.  All together, I should have about 45 injections under my belt (or more literally, above my belt) when they go in to retrieve the eggos.  And then I'd start the good ole shots in the ass.  But more on that in future days.

In terms of pain for the current meds, it goes Follistism < Lupron < injecting liquid fire into your stomach, then having Chuck Norris roundhouse kick directly into the puncture site < Repronex

(I'm not a Repronex fan, in case you didn't pick up on that.)

A little background on these drugs for those budding pharmacists out there:

In the stimulation stage, the doctor is looking for drugs that trigger growth of follicles in the ovaries.  This is naturally done in a woman's body by gonadotropins (hMG), which are produced by the pituitary gland.  The two types are luteinizing hormones (LH) and follicle stimulation hormones (FSH), which work as a kind of tag team to optimally develop the follicles.

Since my docs have shut my body down, they now need to replace these hormones and even maximize them to promote growth of enough follicles to retrieve.  They can either use drugs that have naturally harvested these hormones, or ones that have genetically created the hormones in a lab.

Repronex is an example of natural hMG and is basically highly purified gonadotropins extracted from the urine of post-menopausal women (all together now -- EWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!).  Repronex contains both the FSH and LH hormones.  Follistim is a genetically manufactured drug that contains FSH.  These two will work in tandem to replicate what my pituitary gland would do in a normal cycle.

Anyway, as far as shots go, the Repronex is pretty rough.  My husband gets to play chemist and prepare the shot by mixing sodium chloride with the medication in solid form, so it can dissolve completely.  This results in about 1ml of liquid to inject.  The needle is larger than the other injections, and it honestly feels like you are shooting fire into your abdomen.  At first, I thought I must be having an allergic reaction, or something, but internet research shows that I'm in good company.  That must be what it feels like to shoot up pee, I guess.  I don't recommend trying it on your own.

I had another ultrasound/bloodwork appointment today.  This is the first one post-stimulation, so I was definitely excited to see the result.  The goal was to have a higher estrogen (E2) level, but not too high, and some growing follicles, but not too large.  My ovaries are apparently akin to a pork loin on a smoker; low and slow is the way to go.

I had follicles ranging from 7-9mm on one ovary, which is pretty ideal.  On the other ovary, I did have a follicle measuring over 10mm, which was a little advanced for this stage.  My E2 level also came back at 521 pg/ml, which is pretty high for Day 3 of stimulation (they were looking for 100-200).  The combination of the two resulted in them decreasing my Repronex for now (yay!!! Let's hope that helps the pain!).  I'll go back on Friday morning, and we'll see if that made a difference or not.  The major issue that could arise would be hyperstimulation, so the doctor is extremely careful to not have my follicle size or E2 levels skyrocket.  They weren't too concerned right now, but if it's not aligned on Friday, I could be at risk of having eggs of lesser quality (think pork loin cooked too fast and too hot), or even having the cycle cancelled.  So fingers crossed this change helps!


  1. Hey there. Keep up the good work! If it helps, I did everything you're doing (except my Repronex were intramuscular -- all I took sub-q was the little pen shots, and the trigger shot). I had a nice batch of eggs and enough to freeze 8 after my fresh cycle was over. I'm now at 11 weeks along after my first frozen cycle try -- yay popsicle baby! -- and i've been taking Progesterone in Oil (PIO) in the ass every day for about 15 weeks now. omg, my ass will never forgive me.

    Keep it up -- you're doing great!!

    1. Thanks, that's so nice! I am definitely not looking forward to the progesterone shots, but part of me feels like it will be a nice break from the SQ ones (I'll change my mind on that the first couple days, I know).

      My heartfelt congratulations on your pregnancy. I'm sure your frobaby will be very loved :)

      Thanks for reading!


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