Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ivf - day 58 - progesterone

IVF begins with the easy shots. The tiny little needles that you can barely feel.

Truly, you can barely feel them, and other than sometimes bruising, they're not a big deal.

Now, progesterone-in-oil shots are a big deal. Literally.

Big needle. Big syringe. Big deal.

I'll show you the size comparison in another post, but for now, I'll discuss how this drug is administered and why it's important.

First, the how-to's, because let's face it, if the doctor says to do it, I'm going to do it whether I understand it fully or not.

After loading the syringe with the oil, I call Greg out of bed to give me the injection. He's not a morning person, so I use this to get him out of bed. It works beautifully because he doesn't want anything to compromise my IVF cycle.

I've already cleaned off a spot on my backside and he holds the skin tight (aka spreads the fat out) and shoves the needle in. At this point, I'm usually saying something like, "Quit hesitating" or "Do it ALREADY!!!" The anticipation is worse than the shot.

Once it's in, he holds the injection site still so he can pull back on the syringe.

He pulls back to make sure there's no blood entering the syringe. If there is, that means he's hit a vein (very rare, never happened to me) and he'll have to re-inject in a different spot.

Once confirmed that he's in the muscle and not a vein, he slowly injects 1cc of progesterone in.

We do this once each day and will continue to do so if my pregnancy test is positive on Friday.

So, you want to know why? I did, so I asked.

Progesterone is normally produced by the body and it sustains a pregnancy. It originates from the ovaries, after ovulation. I figured, since I ovulated 19 eggs, I'm producing a lot of progesterone, so I shouldn't have to take a shot. (This makes sense in my brain.)

It's true, my body *should* produce the progesterone, but I've been hopped up on all the other hormones (both suppression and stimulation) that interfere with my body's natural way of doing things, that it might interfere with my ability to produce progesterone correctly as well. So, we do these shots as a safety measure.

Progesterone works in the body in these ways:
  • Helps to regulate the menstrual cycle.
  • Prepares the lining of the uterus for implantation.
  • Keeps the lining of the uterus thick which is necessary for a successful pregnancy.
  • Produces a rise in temperature after ovulation, which remains until menstruation occurs.
  • Creates a nutrient rich environment for the baby by increasing glycogen and arterial blood to the lining of the uterus.
  • Keeps the uterus from having contractions.
  • Causes the cervix to thicken and create a mucous plug which prevents bacteria from entering the uterus.
(taken from this source)

After ovulation, my progesterone needs to be at least 30 ng/mL to sustain a pregnancy. So, last Friday, I went in for bloodwork and it came back at 81 ng/mL. Perfect! No increase in dose.

And, other than showing you the size of the needles, which I'll do tomorrow, I don't have anything else to say about progesterone. It's a pretty straight-forward little booger.

ETA: In my original post, I misspelled "progesterone" 10 times including the title. Misspelling is SOOOOOOOOOOO unlike me, so let's hope it's pregnancy brain. And, if you're out there and noticed an untrue fact or misspelled word, please know I'd rather be corrected and be right, than go uncorrected and be wrong. Unless you're my husband, you can correct me anytime. ;)

One last thing, if you haven't already, please read the post below and comment to win one of the fabulous eBooks from Ella Publishing.


Karen said...

glad the pro levels are good. i think you are so strong to go through all this. and g-man too! sending positive thoughts your way! hugs!

me said...

I'm also in an IVF cycle on the progesterone shots. I was so scared of them and the long needles, but our IVF retrival nurse gave us the best tricks for the shots which I wanted to pass along since they've worked great. I lie on my side (switching sides day/night) and lay with my legs out, not fully extended, knees just slightly bent. Then my husband finds the target zone (nurse drew it on with a sharpie for easy access). When I am ready I take a DEEP breath in and then breath forcefully out like I am trying to blow candles out across the room. As I am blowing the husband goes in with the shot. That way he knows when I am ready and I am so distracted by the breathing I am nice and relaxed for the needle. Anyway, this has worked great for us so I wanted to pass it along. Good luck with your pregnancy tests! We go in for our day 5 transfer tomorrow.

Kimberly said...

WOW, I am a Type I Diabetic..and I thought I had it tough. Fingers crossed that you are pregnant. I have been keeping you on my TAWG list.

somebody who needs to love herself said...

Hi April I just started subscribing to SC last month. love it. Good luck with the IVF and getting pregnant. fingers cross! hugs

BabyBokChoy said...

Hey April, I read here, but I don't comment, but today, I just want to say, hang in there, happy positive baby thoughts to you...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, very interesting. And kudos for your honey being willing to do the injections... YUCK! Hope you get good news tomorrow!

Tina J.

Joaniebolognie said...

YEP! I'm thinking it's pregnancy brain!!!! I'm praying it's pregnancy brain!!!!

Come on Progesterone!!!! Friday is going to be a GREAT DAY!!!!!

Kimberly said...

This is just so AMAZING! I love reading all your updates and learning more about this process...and know this...every post you make, I am covering you in prayer too! (((hugs))) this is so EXCITING!!! xoxo Thanks for sharing this jOYFUL journey so openly! :)
Love ya,

lindsay/aggiebonfire00 said...

april, just wanted to let you know that you and greg are in my thoughts and prayers right now. i don't know God's timing, but you and greg are going to make the most amazing parents. and omg...he/she or THEY will have the most amazing scrapbooks!