My theme this year is IVF/ICSI, a process we’re starting at the moment and today it’s Q for Queasy.
It took me some time to decide on my Q topic for the day. I’d already covered the importance of asking questions in my C is for Confusion post, and I did questions as my Q post during my first A to Z Challenge. It wasn’t until I switched my S topic that I realised that Q would be a good way to talk about some of the side effects you might experience during IVF treatment.
The number one symptom I had during my cancelled cycle was queasiness. I don’t deal well with being sick and nausea makes me anxious about throwing up and so feeling like that semi-constantly was not much fun. The main culprit for this was the metformin I was prescribed to help develop my eggs. Nausea is actually one of the better side effects, it can also cause upset stomachs, which is one of the reasons why they’re usually fairly flexible about your dosage.
The queasy feeling really messed up my eating schedule so I took to eating little and often. A small breakfast, with the old standby of ginger biscuits by the bed for first thing in the morning, grazing on fruit through the day, until mid-afternoon when I would start to get starving and could usually stomach a more substantial meal for tea. I think it’s important to eat healthily, even though you might not feel like eating much at all, because you’re asking a lot of your body during treatment. Staying hydrated helps too, especially if you're lucky enough to get headaches as another side effect.
Those travel sickness bands help too. I’m not sure how much of it was psychological and how much of it was actual pressure points working to eliminate the nausea, but either way, I didn’t once throw up and the days when I wore them were usually better days. If it’s something you find yourself struggling with, it’s probably worth a shot.
Last week during my O is for Ovaries post I mentioned some of the side effects associated with the medication which is used to stimulate your follicles. Aside from the discomfort associated with the swelling of your insides, the side effects listed for the medication usually include mention of the site of your injections. Funnily enough, if you stab yourself with a needle you can expect the area to be sore. Just a heads up. ;-)
It’s important to let the medical team dealing with your treatment know if there are any really unpleasant side effects that you’re struggling to cope with. They won’t be able to stop all of them, but they’ll certainly be able to offer you advice about dealing with them.
And if you’ve got a friend or family member going through fertility treatment, you can bet that they’ll experience some fun side effects from the medication. Don’t be alarmed if they display some crazy mood swings, aside from the other things I’ve mentioned. They may randomly start crying, or dash to the loo to throw up, or wander around with their trousers undone. Just let them know you’re there for them and offer to help out if you can. They’ll appreciate knowing there’s someone on their side.