Saturday, 20 May 2017

IVF #3, FET#3: Lubion Injection

Something that I learned very early on in the IVF process is that you have to try and learn something from each failure, if you don't you'll probably drive yourself crazy. I think trying to find one positive thing from each disappointment is about one of the only things that has kept me sane during the last four years.

Case in point:

  • IVF #1 - Cancelled cycle due to OHSS. Lessons: I respond (very) well to stimulation meds, hyperstimulation is serious and very, very bad.
  • IVF #2 - four embryos made it to blastocyst, froze three and transferred one fresh which didn't take. Lessons: I can make it to egg collection without hyperstimulation, egg collection isn't fun but I can survive it, our embryos can make it to blasto stage, perhaps fresh transfer isn't best for me as my body might need more time to recover.
  • IVF #2, FET #1 - transferred two embryos and both stuck but suffered an early miscarriage. Lessons: I can get pregnant! Progesterone delivery might be an issue as have had spotting whilst on Cyclogest on both transfers, perhaps it's time to try something different?
  • IVF #2, FET #2 - transferred our last frozen embryo and switched to Crinone Gel for Progesterone support, spectacular failure five days after transfer. Lessons: Progesterone absorption is clearly an issue, time to bring in the big guns! Also, 100% success at thawing our embryos, this is a good thing.
  • IVF #3 - Return of the OHSS, freeze all cycle with 9 fabulous embryos! Lessons: I still respond (very) well to stimulation meds, our embryos appear to be better quality that the ones we produced two years ago so those lifestyle changes we made have obviously helped.
See what I mean?

The major lesson we've taken away from our failed (and briefly successful) transfers is that my body is stubborn about accepting support.

We switched from the Cyclogest pessaries to the Crinone Gel because I liked the idea of getting up and moving around after putting it in, rather than having a lie down for twenty minutes each time. The Cyclogest sort of bullet shaped and in a waxy coating which leaks out afterwards and I was suspicious that perhaps the medication was leaking out as well. It appears that Crinone Gel is even harder for the body to absorb though, so this time we're back on the Cyclogest with the added fun of a Progesterone injection once a day as well.

When this was agreed upon I did what any normal person would do. Promptly logged onto Dr Google and freaked myself the hell out!

Everything I was reading about was Progesterone in Oil (or PIO) injections. This is an oil-based injection, usually sesame (which some people then discover they are allergic to), which is injected in the posterior (and is therefore hard to self-administer), and can cause ongoing discomfort in the form of painful lumps under the skin. Oh, and it's intramuscular which means a massive great big needle. None of this reassured me and there were several moments when, despite identifying Progesterone absorption as being an in issue independently of my doctor, I seriously considered changing mind mind about doing it.

So imagine my surprise at our appointment on Thursday when our nurse, the lovely D, went off to get a collection of syringes, needles and our latest lot of meds, and returned with something called Lubion. I sort of panicked a little because a voice in the back of my head started jumping up and down yelling 'we haven't Googled that one!' but as it turns out, it's a lot easier to use than the alternative.


For one thing, there is no mixing involved! Fertility treatments are so stressful as it is without the added hassle of sucking up liquid from Vial A, injecting it into the powder in Vial B, stirring it around to dissolve it, drawing the resulting solution back into the syringe, switching needles and injecting yourself, all to a set schedule where you're not wanting to be even a minute late with it.

See those little vials, I just suck up the liquid from one of those and inject it into my tummy. And that's right! My tummy! No gymnastics or asking (the chronically needle-phobic) Mr Click to do it for me. I like to be in control of stabby things getting injected into my body, thank you very much.

Since I knew that the PIO injections were a literal pain in the ass, I was prepared for this to be a little uncomfortable. And it was. Not helped by the fact that I nicked something as it was going in and I ended up bleeding right after I took the needle out.


It also seems to be harder to push in than the injections I've been on previously. Normally when you get a stingy one (Cetrotide, I'm looking at you), you whack that sucker in as quick as you can so the burny feeling hits you once it's all in, not halfway down the syringe. Try as I might, there's no way I can get this one in as quick as I'd like to. You just have to keep pushing, grin and bear it.

I was so tender after I did this one yesterday that I had to unbutton my jeans all day, I managed to do it right where my waistband falls and it was pressing against it when I sat down. There's a tiny bruise there too and an area about the size of a 50p piece which hurts when I bent or stretched.

Today's was a lot smoother, no blood and less pain so hopefully I'm getting the hang of it (having said that, I just poked my belly to check if today's injection site is tender and it is when poked so add that to the list of things not to do)!

Fingers crossed I'll still be doing this daily injection in twelve weeks time. I'll be a pro at it by then!

5 comments:

  1. It also seems to be harder to push in than the injections I've been on previously. Normally when you get a stingy one (Cetrotide, I'm looking at you), you whack that sucker in as quick as you can so the burny feeling hits you once it's all in, not halfway down the syringe. Try as I might, there's no way I can get this one in as quick as I'd like to. You just have to keep pushing, grin and bear it.

    This fertilization business seems like quite the process, although I'm sure it will all be worth it. Bruises everywhere? Have you joined any forums with other mothers going through the same process? When I was pregnant I often came across forums of every nature that's why I'm asking.

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  2. From your previous post it sounds like everything is going good. I've given hubby injections where I had to mix the liquid into the powder and given myself injections with the prefilled pen for diabetes. Those darn injectable meds can leave painful little bruises alright.

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  3. How brave are you, embracing all the things you need to do! Keep it up! :-)

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  4. You seem so brave to me going through all this again - your determination will win through - sending good thoughts you way :)
    Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

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  5. bless your heart - I hope it all works out.

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Let me know what you think. :-)