Saturday, November 19, 2016

IVF #1 --- Pre-Testing to Egg Retrieval

In August of 2014, we decided we would go to the doctor to start the In Vitro Fertilization process (IVF). Grayson was now 1 year old and I felt emotionally ready to jump in to "trying for a baby" again.

We met with Dr. Robins and went over our options and we told him we would like to do IVF. So we met with LeAnn our nurse coordinator and also Lora the financial coordinator to get things going. Before we could even begin the process we had to have a bunch of Pre-Testing done to see if there was any other cause for our infertility besides my non existent ovulation with PCOS.

My Tests, etc.:
Baseline U/S
Catheter check
Culture (gonorrhea/chlamydia)
Pap Smear
Day 3 labs/ AMH
CBC/HIV/Blood Type/Rh Factor
Prolactin/TSH/ Rubella
Infectious Disease
IVF Medication and injection instruction

Neal Tests:
Semen Analysis
Infectious Disease Testing

So by the beginning of September we had all of these things done, and Neal checked out all good, and my tests all came back good so it was just an anovulation problem. So we were ready to move forward to stimulating my ovaries and getting those eggs out.

Here are the meds we used in this cycle:

Follistim: this medication contains follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and is used to help stimulate healthy ovaries to produce eggs. This medication is usually used in combination with another hormone (hCG) to bring about the growth and release of a mature egg (ovulation)
Microdose HCG:   or low dose HCG is used for ovarian stimulation during IVF it helps,the smaller follies to grow...sort of tricks them into thinking it is trigger time.
Ganirelix: Sex hormone suppressor: It can prevent premature ovulation in women undergoing infertility treatment.
Lupron: new twist on the antagonist ovarian stimulation protocol for IVF called the "Lupron trigger protocol" or GnRH agonist trigger protocol has recently been used by some fertility specialists to completely eliminate the development of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. (OHSS):
Doxycycline; Antibiotics It can treat and prevent infections

10/20  Last day of birth control
10/21 Labs indicate ovaries are suppressed
10/23-10/27 Period
10/24 Labs and u/s
10/24-10/26 Follistim 150 iu, Low HCG 10 units (both are shots in abdomen)
10/27 Labs and u/s
10/27-10/28 Follistim 100 iu, Low HCG 10 units
10/29 Labs and u/s
10/29-10/30 Follistim 100 iu, Low HCG 10 units, Ganirelix (all 3 shots in abdomen)
10/31 Labs and u/s Neal to take Doxycycline
10/31-11/1  Follistim 75iu, Low HCG 20 units, Ganirelix
11/2 Labs and u/s No Follistim, Low HCG 20 units, Ganirelix
11/3 Labs and u/s No Follistim, No Low HCG, No Ganirelix, Lupron Trigger shot 80 units at 1 AM, Have intercousre with condom
11/4 Lupron Trigger shot 80 units at 1 PM and Labs
11/5 RETRIEVAL DAY -- Neal dropped of semen sample in morning -- 9 Eggs retrieved and placed in petri dish with Neal's sperm (which looks similar to image below)
11/6 Day 1- 4 of the 9 Eggs fertilized
11/8 Day 3- All 4 eggs still growing
11/10 Day 5- 1 Frozen embryo others still growing
11/11 Day 6 - 2 more embryos frozen

My estrogen was too high and risk of OHSS (hyperstimulation) was too high to do a fresh transfer so we did a Freeze all to do a Frozen Embryo Transfer later.

11/12 -11/17 Period and start birth control 11/14 to get ready for FET in January.

No that's just a little run down but now to the nitty gritty of it all. As you can see it's busy and every single day you have to remember your meds or are travelling to the doctor for labs and u/s. It's a bit stressful and you're hoping your body responds like it should.

The stimulation drugs are all shots given in your tummy and My Hubster really is the greatest, he squeezes that pooch of mine and sticks it right in like a pro. So on some days I was doing 3 shots a day in my abdomen. It was sore, it was bruised, and I felt like a pin cushion. As I started getting more follicles and they were getting bigger I felt bloated, and looked like I was pregnant and was a little miserable.

This is an image of what an ovary looks like when it's ready for retrieval...

On Retrieval Day you don't wear anything with a scent, so deodorant, etc. is out. They took me back and I put on my gown and hair net and socks and they hooked up my IV. They had me walk into the sterilized room, get up on the bed and then they push the anesthesia juice into the IV and I was out. Woke up in recovery room with Neal. They told me the retrieved 9 eggs and that my estrogen was too high  so risk of overstimulation was too high so I wouldn't be doing a fresh transfer on Day 6 like we'd hoped.

I went home and slept and put heat packs on my abdomen ( I mean they literally stick a needle in your ovary and suck out the eggs so of course you're sore) that night I had super sharp shooting pain up my back and into my shoulder. It hurt so bad I couldn't even breathe. I panicked I called the nurse and she said it was probably just an air bubble from the procedure and to take Tylenol.

My bloating went down after I finished my period and within a week I was feeling much better.

Next up is our first FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer)....


  1. Angie, you're so brave for going through this. That description of the needle just about did me under.

  2. The memories! I did hyperstimulate after my retrieval and it was one of the worst sickness I've ever experienced for 10 days: it just got worse each day and I looked 6 months pregnant with a hard stomach. Oh girl- it's such a process!!! My whole tribe here is praying for y'all and that our hope and will for you is God's too!!!!! Cmon modern miracles and technology! You've got this! Xoxoxo.