Meds

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lovebuggy1's picture
Joined: 08/13/11
Posts: 374
Meds

I was just curious...is there sort of a standard medication set-up that women do when they are trying their first cycle with IVF? Or is it more tailored towards the woman and her particular needs/issues? Thanks! Smile

annierose's picture
Joined: 03/27/06
Posts: 333

There isn't a standard exactly. It seems like certain clinics prefer certain medications over others, but they definitely tailor the meds to your needs (or should!). For my cycles, I was on BCP for a while, then did lupron (to suppress the ovaries), follistim and repronex (to develop the follicles), HCG trigger (to trigger ovulation), then PIO (progesterone in oil shots until pregnancy was either developed enough to stop or pregnancy was determined to not have worked) and estradial pills (because my body didn't seem to produce enough with IVF). The amounts of stims (follistim and repronex in my case) were adjusted as they had me come in for ultrasounds to see how my body was responding. They can increase or decrease the dosage to have the optimal amount of ripe follicles for your body. After the first couple of shots, they become less of a big deal overall. Once you get to that point, there's a wealth of information on here on making the shots as comfortable as possible. I hope that helps! Smile

meggyrn's picture
Joined: 02/16/09
Posts: 2263

I pretty much followed the same protocol as PP for my first cycle. Sometimes the first cycle can be more of a "trial run" if that cycle doesn't work out. The RE doesn't really know how your body is going to respond to the meds if you've never done stims before so can make changes for your next cycle. Your RE should adjust the amount of stims after each monitoring appt if needed. My RE for my first 2 cycles kept all my stim doses the same even though I wasn't responding. I tried two different protocols, my 1st one was the "normal" one and my 2nd one was the long lupron protocol. My RE didn't do any testing on me, therefore he didn't know that I had diminished ovarian reserve so didn't account for that in the amount of stims I'd need. Hence, my cycles only producing 1-2 embies. For my third and final cycle I went to a different RE who tailered my protocol since he knew I was a poor responder. He increased my stims after each appt and had me do a different trigger in hopes of maturing the eggs more. I still only had one viable embie at transfer, but had a lot more mature eggs retrieved. That cycle didn't work out either. But just wanted you to know that each cycle is different.

lovebuggy1's picture
Joined: 08/13/11
Posts: 374

Wow! The amount of meds you have to take is a little overwhelming...but it's great to think that medical technology has advanced enough that this is a great option.

DH literally has a chemical imbalance when it comes to needles. He actually fainted once when he saw me give blood. I know that I'll be the one admininstering the shots to myself. I think I can handle it, but still a little nerve wracking.

meggyrn's picture
Joined: 02/16/09
Posts: 2263

It does seem like a lot of meds and stuff to remember. You'll probably get a calendar or schedule from your RE once you've started your cycle. What I always did was highlight off the med right after I gave it to myself. That way I didn't get confused which ones I gave and which ones I didn't. Everyone has their own thing that works, but this worked the best for me. Once you get going, it doesn't seem as overwhelming.

megeyre's picture
Joined: 10/29/09
Posts: 194

Ditto to what everyone else said.. it is tailored to you. My RE does a great job of almost over educating so you understand everything about how to administer the shots, to the possible side effects, to the timeline for everything. Hopefully, your office will do the same. I was on Follistim with my IUI's so RE had a good idea how I responded. He switched my to Bravelle for my IVF cycle and I will find out tomorrow how I'm responding. The amount of meds is overwhelming at first, but remember, you most likely won't start them all on the first day. I was on Lupron for several weeks, which for me was an easy shot, before I started stimming so I was able to mentally and physically ease into everything. KUP and hope this helps!

lovebuggy1's picture
Joined: 08/13/11
Posts: 374

Thanks ladies! Did a lot of internet research today on medications and read through several IVF blogs. I feel a little more educated now. I think the scariest thing is the "not knowing" aspect of all of this. It's a lot of information and I have yet to come across a website that really informs you of all the steps. Maybe that's because it's different for everyone. But as of right now I have a month to cool my heels until I even get a consultation so I'll be trying to get as educated and prepared as possible. Being on this board helps a lot! Smile

Joined: 04/21/08
Posts: 1063

This is why I think it is so important to look at doctors individual success rates- because they differ and I suspect drugs have a lot to do with it. There is not a standard protocol, and much of it will depend on your specific circumstances. Also, it is why I call IVF a numbers game. Would you play the slots in Vegas if you could only play the slot machine one time? If the number of times you are willing (financially and otherwise) is small, gotta pick that slot machine carefully. The protocols all have pros and cons. I know I did not respond as well to the protocol my doc suggested, but luckily we still had success (so far). If we had to go through a second cycle, he would have known to be more aggressive (increasing my risk for overstimulation of the ovaries which is usually painful- but results in death in rare cases)

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

Steph - if it would help my RE send me an email with a ton of information regarding IVF and the meds, I could forward the email to you if you (or anyone else) wants.

DancingNancy's picture
Joined: 08/30/11
Posts: 520

Steph - It is a very confusing process I agree. It does get a little less confusing though. Your clinic should have you attend a nursing class sometime after your consultation but before you start your meds. At my clinic, they gave us a notebook w/ all of the different protocols and when to do what. They also taught us how to inject the shots. Just like w/ everything, practice makes perfect. If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me. I would suggest writing down any questions you have for the RE and take those with you to the appt. Do you have anything upcoming between now and the appt to help keep your mind off of things? Any projects around the house that you have put off that you could do? Good luck and keep us posted!

lovebuggy1's picture
Joined: 08/13/11
Posts: 374

In order to keep my mind off of things I got out all of my fall decorations and put them out. It's only August!! I do love fall though. I left the Halloween decorations in the garage, but I was tempted....