IVF 2: stims and a unicorn

I thought I’d do a quickie update as last time I managed to blog the way through my IVF cycle and this time I’ve hardly mentioned it! I am doing it, I promise!

Last night I tried Menopur for the first time. It wasn’t as bad as I expected (after the ease of the Gonal F pen, I thought mixing powder and solvent would be a faff, but it’s strangely satisfying). But it’s not as straightforward as Gonal F so I wouldn’t say I love it. Gonal F is super easy to use as you just click on the jabber (I’m sure there’s a name for it) and click the dial and jab it in and press the plunger. For Menopur you actually have to do some alchemist style mixing.

I now have my Buserelin (down regulation) down to a fine art. My usual time for doing it is at 06:30 in the morning, at which time I’m half asleep, half blind and it’s sort of a sleep-inject. It’s actually a bit of a faff doing Buserelin as you draw out the liquid in one needle and then change the needle to a smaller one and inject with that. I’ve never accidentally injected with the bigger needle (as it’s a big-ass needle and I’m not going to stick myself with that!) but I have dreamed about it, if that counts. (It doesn’t.)

Anyway, here’s the Menopur, London style. This geezer has been sitting in my fridge, occupying half a shelf which could have been devoted to pizza healthy groceries, and so it was a bit of a relief to get it out. They say on the schedule from the clinic that you’re supposed to bring it to your scan day so they can show it to you, but I wasn’t lugging that thing around and putting it in the work fridge next to everyone’s sandwiches (can you imagine?!) and so I apologised and then the nurse at the clinic said “Oh you don’t need to bring it anyway… I always tell people not to bring it” (as I guess in the old days they didn’t have the demo sets like they have now).

 

As you can see there’s a small vial of Menopur. It’s white powder. Then two syringes of solvent. Literally all you have to do is add the contents of the syringes to the powder and wait for it to dissolve. Then dose up from that with the other syringes which are in the big pack underneath.

I say “literally” – it did involve a bit of unpacking and wrangling with various stoppers and whatnot, but really it was quite straightforward.

The injections are in ready-constructed syringes so the main thing is that it takes a while to draw up the liquid because the sharp bit is so small. It was okay though once I had the hang of it.

The main PITA (pain in the… belly) is that the injection did not want to go into my skin. It’s a tiny one compared to any of the other injections, but it was kind of comical trying to push it into my flabby belly. It sort of just pushed in and didn’t break the skin. It was like my belly was saying “Nooooo… Get your stims away from me!”
Nevertheless I persevered and got it stuck in. I would have to say this is the one that hurt the most. On the whole scale of injections, IVF injections don’t hurt much at all – it’s nothing like that one where the dentist comes towards you with the medieval looking syringe to inject into the roof of your mouth (which even then is nice because lidocaine, amirite?) and so I really am probably over egging the whole thing by saying it hurt a bit. But it was sort of annoying.

On the plus side, you get a load of injection swabs so you can disinfect the site beforehand and pretend to be a doctor.

All in all, not too bad really. I’m mainly worried I’ll forget to take the injections in the evening so I’ve set alarms for it. I’m on 250 Menopur and now 0.25 Buserelin (half what I was on before). I can’t remember the dosage units but they’re the ones on the syringe so I think I’m doing what I’m supposed to!

As for side effects, I’m totally a fatty right now but I’m not sure if that’s the meds or me generally being greedy. My boobs have gotten a bit bigger, but I think that could just be as a result of being a bit pudgy or it might be the meds. I know they got humungous last time so I’m hoping that stays under control for a while yet. (T is in favour of big boobs so at least that’s something.) I feel sooooo tired which I think probably is a side effect. But aside from that I feel a bit better than I did generally on down regulation. It’s only day 1 of stims so there’s still time to feel terrible, though! I’m not looking forward to the bloat.

Anyway, that’s a short summary of stims so far.

What about the unicorn? you might ask.

For your reader delectation, here is my Unicorn of the Day.

  
Don’t ask me how I came by this unicorn. (It was work related!)

The subtitle to this image is:

You don’t have to google “sassy unicorn” to find this amazing unicorn image. However, if you do google “sassy unicorn” this is one of the top results.

Whose day wouldn’t benefit from a sassy unicorn? Exactly.

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45 comments

    • Nara

      Hi! I don’t ice. It’s actually fine… I’ve done it twice now and I don’t need ice. It definitely doesn’t go in as easy as the Buserelin! But it’s not too bad. I don’t have to mix more for a few more doses yet I think! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • Courtney

      Funny…. I liked mixing it too. I enjoyed working it around, watching it dissolve, and losing up the syringe. I think this goes along with my control freakness!

      Like

  1. countyourselfunlucky

    Good luck with the stims. I totally used to do exactly the same with buserelin (sleep inject)! it’s so interesting looking at the slightly different variations in how the drugs come – my mixable gonal f had similar water filled syringes but the menpour had water from little glass bottles, I couldn’t understand why they had to be different! – anyway enjoy the chemistry and hope it all goes well and you grow some good follicles xx

    Like

    • Nara

      Oh did you have to mix your Gonal F? I loved the pen! I’ve done it twice now and it was okay, but I just find it’s a bit weird trying to draw out the liquid because of the vacuum. It takes me a while to do the getting out the air thing!

      Like

      • countyourselfunlucky

        I got the mixing version to avoid refrigeration-at-work issues but I much prefer the pen, kinda got fed up with mixing drugs in the end because I was doing three per day. The vacuum thing is really weird. I always thought it should help draw up the mixture but it didn’t seem to help somehow… and yes air bubbles – urgh. I had to do injections a few times at work and spent so long faffing with the thing which was not cooperating that the lights went off in the loo I was in! ha ha.

        Like

      • Nara

        Oh yeah! We have those toilets too, haha! I didn’t get a choice of mixing or not mixing – I would definitely prefer the pen! I guess I’ll see where we get to this cycle. If it doesn’t work then I’ll probably ask to go back to Gonal F next time! That said so far (touch wood) I don’t feel as bad as I did on Gonal F. But I can’t tell if that was just the work stress or the high dosage of Gonal F I ended up on (375 by the second week).

        Like

      • countyourselfunlucky

        Wow that is a high dose! I did my first two ivfs just on gonal f but this time did menopur / gonal f combo. They affect hormones slightly differently as I understand menopur is more LH-based so it makes sense to try something different and hope for a different outcome. I really hope it works for you ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

        Like

      • Nara

        Well I started on 225 I think and went up from there as didn’t really respond in the first week. I still don’t think it was a good response even though we got 12 eggs as only one made it to transfer and no frosties. Ideally this time we would get more than one!

        Like

      • countyourselfunlucky

        Absolutely I really hope you get a better conversion rate this time. My cycle responses have been very varied so I hope this time you have the added benefit of natural variation (so to speak).

        Like

      • Nara

        Well I do worry we might even get nothing. I’m not sure if that’s better than a miscarriage or worse! They’re both bad! I keep trying to tell myself that there is a low success rate and keep my hopes reasonable / dampened…

        Like

  2. RJ

    I’m glad things are going well with the stims. Fingers crossed for you! As for the unicorn, AWESOME! Gotta love being sassy!

    Like

  3. calcandide

    When i used menopur, I used to quickly jab myself, as if i was throwing a dart, and i barely felt anything. When my husband did it, he often did it slowly and it hurt, so i had to take him off injection duty. Quick and done, like pulling off a bandaid is the way to go!

    Also, mixing the medicine myself made me feel like a mad scientist. It’s the only part of infertility treatment i miss.

    Like

    • Nara

      Thanks for this tip! Used it tonight and it worked!

      Strange how everyone likes the mixing… Who knew? I had no mixing last cycle!

      Like

  4. Amy M.

    I always had such an easy time mixing my meds, since we mix drugs and vaccines at work all the time, it was really second nature to me!! I’m glad you got the hang of it though. I hope things continue to go smoothly for you!

    Like

    • Nara

      Ha, I didn’t think of that! It must feel like work for you! It was easier this eve as I don’t have to mix it every time… I think once every 4 times or something. We shall see!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nara

        So weird, somehow I unfollowed you since your last post? I don’t know how that happened… I definitely have been following you. Anyway I just realised when I responded to your comment as it gave me the option to follow you… In case you get a notification and think “What a *****!” For not following you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Argh WordPress!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Amy M.

        Hahahaha! I don’t know why it does that. I never realized it did that, I thought people I followed just went quiet for a long time. It wasn’t until I actually went and looked at who I was following and saw ones missing that I freaked out!

        Like

  5. EmilyMaine

    I have heard that menopur stings or burns or something so go ahead and moan about it! I like the ice suggestion! Stims always made me really tired at the start too. It was like a whack over the head with a bag of hormones. Here’s hoping you have a nice speedy stim phase that doesn’t throw you around too much X

    Like

    • Nara

      It does seem to sting a bit more than the other meds. But it’s really not bad! I’m just whinging for no reason! ๐Ÿ™‚
      I definitely feel really tired at the moment, but I’ve felt tired for the last few weeks (then again, maybe it’s down reg too). I don’t feel anything stim-ish so far but only had two injections!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. miku

    Hahaha amazing. I so get the weirdly awesome feeling of mixing together your stims. I always felt like a chemistry student. Can’t believe this cycle has started already!!! I’m so very excited for you! I hope everything goes well xxxx

    Like

  7. Ash

    Haha! Oh I remember when I was totally freaking about injecting myself so I googled a video to reassure myself that I could do it. The first video that came up was a girl poking a needle repetitively at her stomach but couldn’t break the skin, so I was like ummmm I’m gonna pretend I didn’t see that ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I don’t know about you but I just think us women are bloody awesome for conquering all this needle business and I reckon we can definitely have a whinge about it every now and then! Keep kickin butt x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. notpregnantinrezza

    I found menopur burned – I hope you don’t have that effect, it doesn’t sound like it. But the needle not going into skin sounds like a freaky experience. Giving yourself needles is super tough I reckon. Hope the side effects of the stims don’t hit you too hard.

    Like

    • Nara

      Thanks! It doesn’t seem to burn as such but it is more painful than other injections. I think it’s the rubbish needle (you can easily bend it) which makes it tricky to stick in the skin!
      I don’t mind giving myself injections generally. It really doesn’t hurt much at all… I always bang my shin on the side of the bed and that hurts more! ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Courtney

    I hate unicorns. They freak me out on the same level as swans and peacocks. I have never understood why people like them – I think they’re creepy.

    It seems everyone enjoys mixing their meds. I thought I was weird for liking that. Ha!

    Like

    • Nara

      Haha! I really am not a fan (don’t worry… We are still the same!). I just thought the sassy unicorn was funny – his expression! I hate swans too!!! Don’t come across enough peacocks to have strong feelings! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  10. dubliner in deutschland

    Actually I remember my first day of the injections I also had trouble piercing the skin, had to keep trying for ages, I guess I didn’t poke hard enough and then the needle probably got blunt or something. Ended up just prolonging the whole experience and feeling like a right idiot! I find it funny that so many people seem to love mixing the meds.

    Like

    • Nara

      Haha! So it’s not just me then! I really found those needles to be a bit rubbish. You could bend them with your finger! The ones I have for Buserelin seem much better.

      I honestly never knew how many people loved the meds mixing! So funny… I didn’t love it *that* much! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

    • Nara

      No I really have no idea! I think maybe some do both. It depends on the protocol I suppose. I think they changed to Menopur as I was a slow responder last time…

      Like

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