The Not so Glamorous Parts of IVF

Tuesday, April 18

If you have never been through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) you may not fully understand what women put their bodies through during IVF. Well, IVF is broken down into 3 different phases:

-Injections to stimulate eggs (10-14 days)
-Egg Retrieval
-and Embryo Transfer

There are unfortunately not so glamorous parts of IVF. I've come up with a few, based on my own personal experience with IVF.

1. Unnecessary weight gain - Before starting a normal IVF protocol, you are given birth control. Birth control makes you cranky (or at least it did for me), and want to eat all.the.things. Because of that you end up gaining weight. You also don't feel like exercising or being yourself.  

2. Bloated - Because you are on birth control, and during injections, you tend to become bloated. All those hormones (or no hormones) running through you tend to add on the excess water.

3. Feeling like a pin cushion - Giving yourself 3+ shots a day and trying to find a good spot on your belly that isn't already bruised or is as painful can be nearly impossible. By the end of the 10-14 days of injections you feel like you've become a pin cushion.

4. Worry at every ultrasound appointment - There is always this constant worry with ultrasound appointments. Worry about if my eggs are growing, will I have to do another day of injections, etc. When you've put so much time and money into IVF, you want it to be successful. You don't want to have to put your body through this again.

5. Surgery aka Egg Retrieval - Most of the time during egg retrieval you are asleep. I have heard of women being fully awake for egg retrieval, and have heard horrible stories. If you were put under for egg retrieval, you will most likely sleep for a good chunk of the day. You could be in pain or sore the days following the surgery.

6. Progesterone - Out of everything that I've listed, this by far beats all of them in not being so glamorous. When getting ready for embryo transfer you start Progesterone, which helps with sustaining a pregnancy. There are 3 different types of progesterone you can use; Progesterone in Oil (another shot), Progesterone Gel (inserted vaginally), and Progesterone Suppositories (inserted vaginally). You may be able to pick your poison. The reason I say that is you will either have vaginal leakage (a lot of it) or have your significant other give you a shot with a huge needle that will be injected in your butt daily. If you have a successful cycle, then you will be doing these until you are 10-12 weeks pregnant, so roughly 3 months.

7. The tears and heartache after a failed cycle - Because you've invested SO much time and money into IVF, you SO want it to be successful. After going through so many years of being infertile, you pray and wish your body would work and sustain a pregnancy. But when you get the call that you didn't achieve pregnancy, the tears come, the questions come, the heartache comes, and the "will we ever become parents" come. That is what makes this the not so glamorous part of IVF.

Is there anything that made IVF not so glamorous for you?
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  1. That is so hard! Honestly all of those reasons are exactly why I felt like I personally couldn't do IVF. Anyone who goes through IVF is a warrior ��

    1. Yeah! Way more intense than an IUI or trying naturally!