Our IVF journey… starting cycle 1

Our IVF cycle officially started the day after my birthday.  I was started on the long protocol, which is recommended for many younger patients or those with strong ovarian reserve (clearly I was the latter of the two…).

For this cycle, I will be taking Lupron, Follistim and Menopur.  Here is a brief overview of each shot’s purpose:

Lupron- This essentially “shuts down” the body’s reproductive hormone system.  Ovulation cannot occur naturally while on Lupron because LH, which triggers ovulation, is suppressed. This prevents a premature surge of the LH before the retrieval, which could cause loss of the cycle. (I ovulated prior to my trigger shot during our IUI cycle).

Follistim- It is a recombinant follicle stimulating hormone that helps healthy ovaries to develop and release mature eggs.

Menopur- Menopur injection contains human menopausal gonadotrophin as the active ingredient. Human menopausal gonadotrophin is a combination of two naturally-occurring female hormones, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH), extracted and purified from the urine of post-menopausal women. In the case of IVF, Menopur is used to stimulate multiple follicles and eggs to develop.

I started on 0.2mLs of Lupron, however after our baseline ultrasound (on cycle day 3), it was reduced to 0.1mL, and I began 150 Follistim and 2 IU of Menopur nightly.  My hubby gave me my Lupron shots each morning, and my coworker (who was a labor and delivery nurse previously!) was able to give my 2 nightly shots, thankfully!!  I was not ready to do those myself.

Lupron is easy, since there is no mixing – you simply draw it up and inject.  The Follistim was also incredibly easy, since it is a prefilled pen with a very small needle.  The Menopur has been my least favorite, both to prep and to inject.  My dosage used two vials of the Menopur (which is actually a powder) mixed with saline, so mixing it was a bit more cumbersome.  The needle is a bit bigger than the Follistim, but the actual needle itself wasn’t too bad – the medicine itself… ouch!  Menopur stings a bit going in and for a few seconds after it is administered.  We injected all of the meds into my abdomen, rotating the site daily, so I also had a ton of little bruises scattered across my stomach.

After our second ultrasound (CD7), I had five follicles on the right and 7 on the left.  They were still relatively small, so we continued on the same dosage for the next few days.  Our ultrasound on CD10 showed 8 follicles on the right and 9 on the left with my lining growing at a good pace.  The follicles were still overall small, although two on the left were measuring at least 14mm.

Finally, after 4 ultrasounds (CD13) we were finally ready and retrieval was scheduled for CD 16  😀

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  1. I’m praying for you! OMG I don’t know you and I want this to take so bad for you. I had an IUI after 7 miscarriages. I also had to do the injections and all the ultrasounds. I cried everyday out of fear and frustration. That period in my life tested my faith and marriage big time. That was in 2011. I wish there was a blog out there like yours so I didn’t feel so alone going through the whole process. I can’t wait to see updates and your pregnancy pictures!!!

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