The Progesterone Shot
I do not know if it was because the progesterone shot was the last of the shots I took last time that it has created a strong memory in my mind, but this is the shot that I dread. During the last IVF cycle, I remember distinctly the feeling of relief when “I thought” the shots were behind me until the nurse told me it was time to start the progesterone shots on the day of retrieval. Progesterone what?
I found this video and article below quite helpful to explain the reasons behind the progesterone for IVF patients:
Progesterone – the key facts for IVF patients
Progesterone: IVF patients know it well. Why? Because progesterone supplementation is essential for getting, and staying, pregnant after fertility treatment. But not all progesterone is created equal. Some products work better. Most have side effects. All are fiddly. So here’s the lowdown on the role of progesterone during IVF – and the best way to take it.
The reason IVF patients need extra progesterone is purely chemical. After natural ovulation, the follicle that contained your egg turns into the corpus luteum. Intimidating Latin name, but a simple function: it secretes progesterone and makes your womb lining super-ready for your fertilised embryo.
But IVF isn’t natural. You’re down-regulated. Your medication produces multiple follicles. The brakes are then applied to stop egg release before egg retrieval. And your eggs are unceremoniously collected when your body least expects it. In short, IVF disrupts your natural progesterone function. So you need lots more of it for proper luteal support, from egg-retrieval day onwards. Progesterone facilitates implantation and can stop a miscarriage in its tracks.
After reading this, I see why some reason choose to continue doing progesterone shots beyond what the doctor recommends.
Overall, this second time around it has not been “as” painful as the first. I think there are a couple of reasons for this:
1. I was mentally prepared for them. I think I hyped it up in my mind to be so terrrible, that they were not as terrible as I had expected. It’s all about expectations right!?
2. I had a shorter needle this time around! Yes! Thank you Dr. Chung. I called the nurse in a panic the first day because I thought a mistake had been made in my perscription delivery. I did not have the needle size that was on the instructions. I was kicking myself for not checking the list sooner. (Always check your meds when they arrive!)
Why did I have a shorter needle? I asked the same thing. Apparently based on my size and weight, the Dr felt that I did not need the longer needle and saved me an inch of pain. Thank you Dr. Chung for being so considerate.
I have to give an extra special thank you to my husband for being there to prepare and give my shot every evening. It would be much harder both physically and mentally to do these on my own. He is a pro at preparing and administering the shots now!
How long do I take these shots for? I asked around and most people say 10 weeks, while some go for as long as 12 weeks. I will see where I fall in that spectrum.
Time for another shot!