Needle Rant and Updates to Protocol

Last night was my first night of shots for this cycle – stims as we say in the biz, short for stimulation meds/stimulation cycle.


That’s Menopur on top, Lupron in the middle and Follistim on the bottom.

The mixing of the Menopur is what takes the longest and though they’ve told me to use 1ml of water I always put a bit extra in there, like another .1ish.

My little 3 shot cocktail went peachy keen fine and yet again it’s all about LETTING THE NEEDLE DO ALL THE WORK!!!!  I cannot emphasize this enough – just rest it on your skin, press gently and the needle will quite literally sink into the skin, (and for me is) almost pain free.  All this jabbing and getting a running start is all movie show – the needle’s so tiny and sharp – just let it do it all.  I read all about the pressure and build-up ladies are putting on themselves to do these shots and for reals the anticipation is the WORST – so just skip that part and don’t over-think it. Prep those shots, rest the needles on the skin, gently press and it’s in.

Alright, rant done.

Oh, and for me, doing these shots myself is very empowering and now that I’m used to them, it’s a fairly quick process.  My hubbo always yells, “I’m proud of you!” from the other room and though he’s always said he’d help with the shots, I’m glad he doesn’t.  I think he’d be far more worried about hurting me and the shots would end up taking longer and hurting more.  I had to get myself over the psychological hurdle of doing the shots and I am now flat out proud of myself every time I do them.  I know it’s a way for husbands to be involved in the process, but I do wonder if it ends up making it harder.

Alright, rant done.

Also, I’m genuinely sorry if these shots are super painful for you or maybe you just can’t do them alone.  That blows.

Alright, rant done for real this time.

There’ll be some subtle differences to this next protocol, at least for starters. I’m adding dexamethasone (which is a steroid) in pill form once a day. There’s limited information on its use on the interwebs, so this is what I’ve pieced together from the internet and also from talking with The Russian’s Right Hand.

  • it doesn’t so much do things specifically by itself but enhances how the other drugs work
  • it can hopefully lead to better quality eggs and more of them by tempering how the body responds to the introduction of all the other drugs. i.e. the drugs can do what they do while the dexamethasone waves it’s arms around and says, “hey look over here for awhile, pay no attention to what those drugs are doing, look at this shiny object instead!” (I like to imagine the dexamethosone shaking a tiny set of keys as a distraction).
  • perhaps helps the body to not react to the re-introduced embryo as “foreign matter” i.e. the body can reject those things that it feels shouldn’t be there…. so basically the dexamethosone says, “hey don’t be a bitch about this, just leave that little emby be.”

I’ve read that it can cause insomnia in some folks so I’m taking that pill in the morning.  It’s not something that everyone needs, but after reviewing how I responded to everything last cycle The Russian feels I’m a good candidate.

I will also start off with a lower dose of Follistim this time….I may still get bumped up over the course of the stimulation cycle, but we’ll see how it goes.

I’m curious to see the differences between this cycle and the last. Old glass-half-full McGee here is hoping for a) very few side effects yet again and b) a bit better output on the eggs collected vs eggs fertilized ratio. I was also pretty slow and steady last time on the follicle growth so I wonder again if I’ll go 13 days of stims or more/less.

I’m back to knitting a bunch which is VERY therapeutic – right now I’m making some socks for me, some boot toppers, a baby blanket for one of my besties who’s due in December (so I’ve some time on that) and a scarf that a pal commissioned me to make.  Since it’s Chicago, winter could come at any time so I ought to get on that.

Sorry about that needle rant…..but don’t make it awful if it doesn’t have to be!!!!

Clearly I can’t let this go…..

8 thoughts on “Needle Rant and Updates to Protocol

  1. Good luck with this new cycle! I follow the same method of injections as you do–I sort of ease my pinched skin toward the needle and gently press them together…voila. Usually pretty okay, but your needles look bigger than mine, so I am glad it feels routine. It’s funny what we can get used to doing.

    • I use mostly 25 and 30 gauge needles (the follistim’s even tinier) – what do you use? Oh, the progesterone needle’s a bit bigger….but thankfully that’s going in my nice soft fanny. Glad your shots are “okay” as well!

      • I don’t know what gauge they are…lol. Whatever comes with Bravelle to do subq shots. Not sure about your drugs, but mine come with two needles–one GINORMOUS one to mix the solution and drug vials up and get it ready. Then the actual second needle for injecting, which is a fraction of the thickness and length of needle one. Maybe I am just so psychologically relieved to take off the first needle that the second one seems like a baby in comparison. Whatever. I’ll take it. Had my trigger a few nights ago, so no more shots for a while, which I actually miss. I’d rather have something to do with nightly shots than sit around for two weeks waiting. I’m sure you know the feeling.

  2. Totally agree on the needle rant though! It was so not a big deal at all! The anticipation was far worse than anything. Did the meds burn a little? yes. But yes, I wish I hadn’t bee so fearful all those years of thinking about the dreaded IVF. My experience as a whole was totally fine! I was on dexamethasone as well. I think as long as you are off it after retrieval you are totally fine. I read some things that worried me if it was in there post-transfer. Ask your doctor when it stops and they will probably say day before ER.

    • I’m only on “the dex” until ER so that sounds good! I read a few things about coming off it but that sounds more like when you’re on it long term. Did you experience anything/side effects – can’t say I feel any as of yet. IVF just hasn’t been everything I read about….almost the opposite. I don’t want to go shouting that from the rooftops like a braggart but I do want ladies to know that it MIGHT just be okay, not everyone reacts to the hormones, etc. the same way.

      • I also took Dexa in the mornings to help with sleeping better, but I did seem to have some insomnia. I am not sure if that was environmental though, as I live in Hawaii and have no A/C. IT’S DAMN HOT. But yes with IVF, I really monitored what I read as I am a big believer is being prepared, but also having your own experience. Some people are complainers, drama queens, have low pain tolerance…. I know that sounds mean, but their experience does not have to be my experience. And it seems, for the most part, it wasn’t.

  3. Pingback: Gratitude at T Minus 2 Weeks and Counting | spiritbabycomehome

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