Let the Stims Begin

So for better or worse, the time has come where I start my IVF stimming meds. Every time I think of doing injectibles, I think of salmon roe as pictured above, because my ovaries always feel like this! Today, we went to the clinic and sat down with the doctor and our manager Yaryna. I told them of my egg retrievals and that due to my PCOS, I develop a LOT of eggs, and it can be easy for me to get hyper-stimulated, which has happened twice in the past. The last time I did an egg retrieval was about a year ago, and in hindsight, I realize I probably should have gone to the hospital a day earlier since I was in a lot of pain just walking. The obvious solution to this problem would be to do low dosages of the hormone medications, but the tricky part with me (also due to the PCOS) is that I don’t respond at all to low dosages. So it’s a constant rollercoaster because I have to high dosages to start, but me monitored a lot to avoid hyperstimulation. Back in Boston, this meant going to the hospital every two days before work, and the process just wore me out, so I’m thankful that everything is convenient here.

My doctor, Yulia Kotlik, decided that I should start off with 200 Gonal-F and 75 Merional, and that I should start my stims the following Wednesday. Merional is something that I had never encountered before, but it’s pretty much the same thing as Menopur, except that it is an intramuscular shot for some reason. This was new to me, because all of the IM shots that I’ve had in the past were the progesterone-in-oil shots, but I was relieved to find out that unlike the PIO shots, it is relatively painless, and it doesn’t feel like the hard lumps that I’ve had in the past with the PIO shots. I’ve been directed to go down to the nurse’s office inside our hotel at 10am everyday so she can give me the shots. I’m used to doing them myself, so I’m not sure if this is part of them making sure that I’m following the protocol and not doing anything funky, or if it’s just a nice plus for us because of we’re staying at Venice. Either way, I’m going to follow directions (for now, haha) and see how things go.

Sidewalks covered in rain!

After the clinic, we met up with a friend named Valentina, who was introduced to us through Shabana. We asked her to take us out for some authentic Ukranian food, and she said we should meet near St. Andrew’s Church, one of the many beautiful churches in Kiev. One thing that Kiev and Boston have in common is the turbulent weather, where it can be sunny one second, and pouring another. On this particular evening, it decided to pour, and I was fascinated by how the roads just filled up with water, rushing towards some storm drain that I couldn’t see anywhere. It literally covered the sidewalk, and for a second, I thought we would get stuck in the water, but it died down quite quickly.

We arrived at Andriyivskyy Descent, and went to Kapana, which is known for authentic Ukranian cuisine. We had so much fun with Valentina, learning about Ukraine and its history, relations with Russia and Genghis Khan, and the beautiful buildings that surround the street. Because it rained, there were no vendor in the streets, but usually, this is the place to get some awesome souvenirs, which we made a mental note of for the way back. We ordered some potato croquettes, a bowl of borscht, a fish dish, and chicken kiev, and it was all very tasty! They are famous for a particular dish, but the waiter was honest with us and told us that there is no cabbage right now, so it would not be as good as it would be in September, when they have fresh cabbage in season. I thought it was so nice for him not to try to rip us off, especially since he could totally tell that we were foreigners.

Tomorrow, we plan to go to check out the Pechersk-Lavra, which is the famous bell tower in the city and includes the monastery caves (eek), along with the Miniatures Museum. More to come soon!

6 Comments

  • lindcey hawks

    On my first two IVF cycle I didn’t feel anything until about halfway through (day 5-6). I had 15 eggs collected the first time and 10 the second time. Next time I was on a different protocol. I could feel activity after day 4 of stims. It was crazy!!! Seems all the side effects from stims ever existing! ~
    Tenderness, swelling and bruising at the injection site.
    Hot flashes, blurred vision, nausea, bloating, and headache.
    Irritability and restlessness.
    Breast tenderness and swelling.
    Risk of ovarian hyperstimulation, thankfully left at the ”risk” stage only.
    I think it varies depending on the protocol. The first two cycles I was always worried on whether or not it was working ’cause felt nothing.
    As for the tips on how to cope better with injectibles. Ice pack before. Heating pad after (until transfer. Also, moving the muscles after helps — could be a massage or going up/down stairs.) Anyway one should keep in touch with her nurse or dr to make sure everything’s going on just right.

  • amaluis

    Injectibles and things connected were never easy. I used Menopur and Gonal-F in my IVF cycle and I did not have any side effects. I only felt poorly as my eggs were growing because it was painful. I did stimulate very fast, only 8 days, and was high risk for hyperstimulation. My abdominal area became quite bloated and very tender, but again this was just the eggs growing. As I neared my egg retrieval I couldn’t even sleep on my side. because it pulled on my ovaries too much. And my doctor wouldn’t let me do much activity for fear of twisting my heavy ovaries. Menopur can burn going in. I just injected it super slow, and I didn’t feel a thing. Gonal-F for me was in a pen form but was easy to use. I was a bit emotional during the stimulation process but I don’t know if that was a side effect of medications or just the stress of the reality that I was actually going through the process. Overall it turned out ok. I also bought a small plastic 3 drawer bin from Walmart to keep my needles, alcohol pads and other supplies organized and handy.

  • mileK

    Injectibles and things connected were never easy. I used Menopur and Gonal-F in my IVF cycle and I did not have any side effects. I only felt poorly as my eggs were growing because it was painful. I did stimulate very fast, only 8 days, and was high risk for hyperstimulation. My abdominal area became quite bloated and very tender, but again this was just the eggs growing. As I neared my egg retrieval I couldn’t even sleep on my side. because it pulled on my ovaries too much. And my doctor wouldn’t let me do much activity for fear of twisting my heavy ovaries. Menopur can burn going in. I just injected it super slow, and I didn’t feel a thing. Gonal-F for me was in a pen form but was easy to use. I was a bit emotional during the stimulation process but I don’t know if that was a side effect of medications or just the stress of the reality that I was actually going through the process. Overall it turned out ok. I also bought a small plastic 3 drawer bin from Walmart to keep my needles, alcohol pads and other supplies organized and handy.

  • MillieG

    Injectibles and things connected were never easy. I used Menopur and Gonal-F in my IVF cycle and I did not have any side effects. I only felt poorly as my eggs were growing because it was painful. I did stimulate very fast, only 8 days, and was high risk for hyperstimulation. My abdominal area became quite bloated and very tender, but again this was just the eggs growing. As I neared my egg retrieval I couldn’t even sleep on my side. because it pulled on my ovaries too much. And my doctor wouldn’t let me do much activity for fear of twisting my heavy ovaries. Menopur can burn going in. I just injected it super slow, and I didn’t feel a thing. Gonal-F for me was in a pen form but was easy to use. I was a bit emotional during the stimulation process but I don’t know if that was a side effect of medications or just the stress of the reality that I was actually going through the process. Overall it turned out ok. I also bought a small plastic 3 drawer bin from Walmart to keep my needles, alcohol pads and other supplies organized and handy.

  • Jercey

    Injectibles and things connected were never easy. I used Menopur and Gonal-F in my IVF cycle and I did not have any side effects. I only felt poorly as my eggs were growing because it was painful. I did stimulate very fast, only 8 days, and was high risk for hyperstimulation. My abdominal area became quite bloated and very tender, but again this was just the eggs growing. As I neared my egg retrieval I couldn’t even sleep on my side. because it pulled on my ovaries too much. And my doctor wouldn’t let me do much activity for fear of twisting my heavy ovaries. Menopur can burn going in. I just injected it super slow, and I didn’t feel a thing. Gonal-F for me was in a pen form but was easy to use. I was a bit emotional during the stimulation process but I don’t know if that was a side effect of medications or just the stress of the reality that I was actually going through the process. Overall it turned out ok. I also bought a small plastic 3 drawer bin from Walmart to keep my needles, alcohol pads and other supplies organized and handy.

  • Alexia

    While rare, it is possible to experience IVF treatment side effects that are more concerning, such as: Intense pain in the pelvic region or abdomen. Heavy vaginal bleeding. Fever at or higher than 100.5 degrees. Blood or other discoloration in urine. Rapid weight gain in a short span of time. Shortness of breath. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your doctor or fertility specialist immediately, as they could be signs of OHSS. severe side effect happens when the ovaries react to medications by swelling. While OHSS can go away on its own, it is critical that a doctor evaluate the situation and determine what course of action is best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *