So….What’s in the Box? (my day-to-day protocol coming once I have it)
First, for the smarties:
Androderm – testosterone patches, potentially helps low responders or gals with high FSH (i.e. low ovarian reserve) to respond better to stimulating meds (taken for 2 weeks before starting all the stimulating hormones).
Estradiol – helps maintain the endometrial lining of the uterus, making a nice home for an embryo to implant
Follistim – mimics FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) in the body. FSH tells the oocytes in your ovaries to grow and mature. (subcutaneous injection)
Menopur – This hormone is responsible for ovarian stimulation for the development of egg-containing follicles. (subcutaneous injection)
Pregnyl – mimics the hormone LH (Luteinizing hormone) in the body. LH is the hormone that triggers ovulation. (subcutaneous injection)
Ganirelix – prevents the usual hormone exchange that causes follicle production and ovulation by suppressing the pituatary stimulation to the ovaries. This lets the Follistim stimulate a more uniform development of multiple follicles. (subcutaneous injection)
Leuprolide – suppresses the hormones LH and FSH to keep a woman from releasing immature follicles and eggs. (surprise, also a shot)
Progesterone (in oil) – stimulates the uterine lining (endometrium) to continue to develop so that an embryo that implants will have a thick, supportive environment to nourish it.(intramuscular injection) – I’ll start this a few days before egg retrieval
Doxycycline – antibiotic, reduces the risk of infection following egg retrieval.
a metric crap-ton of syringes and needles.
Now for anyone whose head is exploding (like mine), look at it this way:
Some things help you make eggs, some things keep you from ovulating those eggs, and other things help you ovulate the eggs when The Russian deems them ready.
My REs assistant explained it like this:
In a typical month there’s a race where a number of follicles run, but a “lead” follicle gets ahead. That follicle matures an egg which (hopefully) will ovulate. One egg. Per month. Some ladies might pop a few. Who knows.
Anywho, with fertility meds you get a number of follicles lined up in the blocks. They start running but instead of one getting way ahead and winning, a whole mess of follicles all join hands, sing Kumbaya, run the race in the spirit of fairness and good sportsmanship, and all cross the finish line together. Meaning, many follicles produce many eggs that the RE, in my case The Russian, can retrieve.
At least that’s what you hope.
And then you hope that just one of those little suckers fertilizes, implants and then grows into something you will be terrified of birthing through part of your body that doesn’t seem like it will allow for those circumstances.
Here are some websites I used in compiling this list.