2013-09-13

Today cycle three of IVF started properly as I am now on the IVF drugs. This will be a thaw cycle, using a frozen embryo the husband and I made in March.

The first type of drug to be taken is a down-regulator to stop ovulation and simulate the menopause. This is because they don’t want any eggs floating about, they want to keep it all clear for the pre-prepared embryo. Previously I’ve taken these down-regging drugs by self-administered daily injection, but this time I’m trying it a new way.

So I set off for the clinic at 8.30am for a 10am appointment, and arrived ten minutes early. It was so quick, I was taken in straight away and was out again by 10am.

The nurse took me into a consulting room and locked the door. That was weird, that had never happened before! I wondered what she had in store that demanded this – and it turned out it was because she intended to inject me in the ass. I don’t recall having ever had this done before so that was new!

The nurse told me to lie on the bed, facing the wall, and pull my trousers and pants half way down my bum. While I was doing this she prepared the injection and brought it over. It looked like quite a big needle to me, but when she stuck it in I barely felt it so that was fine. It was like a hot scratch, and I could feel the liquid going in, but nothing painful as such. I then pulled my clothes back up and that was that I was free to go.

Thing is, I had some questions.

Me: What have you just injected me with?
Nurse: Decapeptyl
Me: And that does the same as the daily injections?
Nurse: Yes
Me: But lasts longer?
Nurse: Yes
Me: And is a different drug?
Nurse: Yes
Me: Can I expect any side effects?
Nurse: No
Me: It’s just that I didn’t get any side effects with the daily injections so I’m concerned I might get some with a new drug.
Nurse: Oh no I’m sure you’ll be fine if you were OK on the other one
Me: OK
Nurse: Although some people do get headaches or hot flushes or sweats or feel very hormonal
Me: Yes, exactly, I’m concerned I might get those – because this is a different drug so I might react different to it
Nurse: Oh OK, well yes you’ll probably be fine. Anyway taking the single injection is much better because you can just have it and forget about it so the IVF feels shorter.
Me: I’m not sure that will be better for me or feel shorter to me, I don’t mind doing the IVF so this just means I’ll be waiting longer. As I’m not good with waiting this will probably feel worse.
Nurse: Oh.

Throughout this conversation the nurse was standing, and moved towards the door, and opened the door. Clearly wanting me out.

It annoys me in so many ways the general lack of information that the clinic gives me as standard, and the vague information I am given even upon asking. But not just that, they don’t make it easy to ask questions and make you feel unwelcome when you do so. I don’t think they intend that, in fact they say you can ask questions any time in person or by phone. But it is like pulling teeth, it really is, and the body language and monosyllabic responses do make you feel like you are wasting their precious time. Consequently I would imagine a lot of people wouldn’t bother, or might not be telling them how about their wellbeing concerns. I don’t think that is good, in fact I think it is short sighted and probably drives people to seek help and information from less reliable sources.

Plus just about everyone at the clinic misunderstands me, all the time. They are all so kind and sympathetic but they are not empathetic. They don’t listen to *me* and *my* concerns, they assume everyone has the same concerns and this means they regularly get it wrong with me. That winds me up.

I’ve looked up this Decapeptyl and it seems that this is an alternative to the Buserlin (which is what I had before, but looks like in other countries Decapeptyl is the standard drug for the daily injections) and you can take it as a daily, monthly or three monthly dose. I assume I am taking the monthly dose as last time I took the daily injections for around that long, but they didn’t say when they gave me it. Another thing I don’t know, and didn’t know to ask. And particularly because I was lying on a bed and couldn’t see the nurse prepare or tidy up the injection stuff I didn’t see any boxes or anything so had no idea what she was giving me.

Anyhoo. Next appointment is in two weeks, to see if the injection has done its job.

So far so good with the injection. I went swimming directly after, and that was fine. I could feel a slight throb in the arse department for a while, but so far no headaches or sickness or anything. I will monitor myself for that. Whilst waiting for the bus I did notice a weird taste in my mouth – like an artificial plasticcy taste. Could be imagined, or unrelated, but I’ve had it a few hours now and drinking a cherry smoothie didn’t shift it.

For me, the jury is still out on whether a single injection is better than the multiple injections. Any side effects will be the deciding factor either way, but so far the single injection is more inconvenient. It requires a whole extra appointment that you don’t need for the daily injections (which they give you at your pre-treatment scan). This means another fixed point where you have to drop everything and go to the clinic (and it has to be a specific day, no flexibility) and each appointment for me is an hour and a half journey each way. So that’s a half day out of work as compared to three minutes each morning doing something that is painless, can be done anywhere and at my convenience, and quickly becomes routine.

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