This post was originally posted on 3/25/2019 but has been updated with more tips and resources for your IVF Journey!
I asked on my Instagram Stories what questions people had about the IVF process and I got a pretty good mix of seriously in depth questions about medication types, avoiding OHSS and tips for people who will be going through IVF & a bunch of general questions about the process itself for people who haven’t been through IVF/don’t need IVF to get pregnant. So I’m breaking up this post into two parts: Part 1 will be the questions for those who have never been through IVF/won’t need IVF to get pregnant and Part 2 will be the more in depth questions as well as how to avoid OHSS + my tips for your next IVF cycle. You can read Part 1 here.
Before we get too far, I want to share the IVF Journey Journal with you! This journal will help you keep track of medications, doctor appointments, dosages and your feelings throughout your cycle. I highly recommend the IVF Journey Journal to help you document your IVF cycle!
Okay. Since Part 1 was all about the actual IVF process, let’s just get this party started! I’ll put the actual questions that were asked so you can have context and then put my answers!
Q: I’ve done 10 IVFs so I’m sort of an expert, but I’d love to know which meds (oral/injections).
Q: How long did you do injections before the retrieval?
Q: Did you take supplements?
A: we did follicle stimulators and used Follitropin delta (this follicle stimulator is not currently on the market. we were a part of a clinical study and you can read more about the study here if you want) for 10 days , ganirelix for 3 days, leuprolide (aka lupron) trigger shot.
we had a total of 11 days of shots. during this time i didn’t take any oral medications or supplements.
Q: How much did the egg retrieval alone cost?
A: My answer for this is a little weird because we did a clinical study, so I’m not sure what the actual cost was/is for our clinic. Sorry. This isn’t helpful. But the rest of the answers should be!
Q: Was it painful?
Q: How bad are the shots? Side affects?
Q: I’m terrified of the egg retrieval, is it uncomfortable?
A: SHOTS: on a scale of 1-10 shots were literally a zero for me. there was a little pinch at injection but it wasn’t painful after. when i took ganirelix it was a tiny bit itchy, so i put ice packs on the injection sites each night when i took ganirelix and that helped. i also massaged the injection site too.
EGG RETRIEVAL: the actual egg retrieval wasn’t painful at all. plus you’re under general anesthesia so it wasn’t bad at all.
POST EGG RETRIEVAL: there were times where it WAS painful, but for the most part, it was just uncomfortable because i was swollen. i was given tylenol/codeine for pain and i took it in at night so i could sleep. but i didn’t need it during the day except the day after my retrieval.
Q: How did you avoid OHSS? I’m so nervous I’m going to get it.
A: sugar-free gatorade (i tried to drink 64+ oz of gatorade every day), ramen noodles & salty crackers. that’s basically all i ate for 5 days to help flush out the excess fluid. i’d also recommend getting a heating pack AND an ice pack. i only had a heating pack & it was awesome, but it got hot (obviously) and i think it caused more swelling. so i would recommend using the heating pack and then icing after to help reduce swelling.
Q: What tips do you have for after the egg retrieval?
A: even though you’ll feel alright the day of your retrieval, don’t overdo it. rest for at least three full days (aside from getting up to walk around every couple of hours to avoid blood clots!) sleep in a more upright position, drink gatorade & then drink more gatorade (or smart water, just make sure there are electrolytes). i’d also recommend going to the store before your retrieval and making sure you have the following items ready to go because you’re gonna want to just hang out for a few days:
egg retrieval/post retrieval prep shopping list:
- The IVF Journey Journal to help you remember the important info!
64 oz of gatorade for 5-6 days
broth + salty soups (like canned chicken noodle)
saltines, ritz crackers, wheat thins, goldfish
heat pack (this is the one we got. it is cheap and works really well!)
ice pack (this one has a strap so you can just attach it to your belly!)
i’d also recommend queueing up your favorite netflix shows to pass the time. it gets kind of boring. i crocheted, colored, slept, and caught up on blue bloods to pass the time.
for those of you who aren’t quite ready for IVF or are nervous, check out the Infertility Journey Journal. it helps walk you through your fears, emotions and experiences during your infertility journey! it has helped me so much in my journey and i know it can help you too!
okay! i think that’s all of them. if you have any questions, leave them in the comments & i’ll be sure to get to them!