So that last post, where I told you all about the meds I’ll be taking? Yeah, that’s no longer the case. Apparently we are going to go with a different protocol. It’s the same idea: shut down the ovaries and take control of the follicles and ovulations with medications. We are just using a different medication to prevent ovulation. Instead of using cetrotide, we are using Lupron. Lupron is a GnRH agonist, which actually stimulates the GnRH receptor. Now this may seem counterintuitive, since normally stimulating the GnRH receptor would *cause* ovulation, not prevent it. But GnRH is usually secreted in pulses. If you stimulate the receptor constantly (with lupron for example) it “wears out” the signal and the pituitary can’t respond normally anymore.
We’re also going to add a second medication to help with follicle development: Luveris. This is synthetic LH, which is another pituitary hormone that helps make good follicles. And a few other medications: antibiotics and steroids. Plus, I don’t have to take the progesterone shots, just some suppositories. I think I’d rather take the shots.
So, the official IVF schedule:
7/26–start birth control pills (and yes, I get to use the stash I have at home)
8/4–start Lupron (one shot every morning betwen 6 and 8 am)
8/10–stop birth control pills, but keep taking the Lupron
8/15–suppression check, make sure these meds are doing their job
8/16–start Gonal-F and Luveris, two shots every night between 4 and 7 pm, keep taking Lupron every morning. Also start some antibiotics.
8/20–monitoring with ultrasound and bloodwork every 2 days until the eggs look ready to go
8/25–Trigger! Last shot!
8/27–Egg retrival, more antibiotics. Start progesterone the next day.
8/30 or 9/1–embryo transfer. Keep taking progesterone. Start taking estrogen.
It’s going to be a busy month. I am supposed to stop drinking alcohol and caffeine when I start stims, and drink lots and lots of water. I also have to stop running when I start stims, and can’t start again until mid-September. I guess it’s finally time to get serious about swimming… and schedule one last happy hour for 8/15!