Friday, January 23, 2015

IVF #2 Protocol

I can't believe we're only a couple months away from the start of our fresh IVF cycle. I am excited, scared, nervous, anxious, hopeful. Pretty much every emotion in the book can describe how I feel about this. It changes from day to day. Most days I'm excited and hopeful. Other days I'm sad thinking about our canceled FET and how if the embryos would have survived, we probably wouldn't be going through this right now. Thinking about the baby or babies that might have been. They would have been a couple months old about now. And while I've come to terms with losing all of our embryos, it's still painful to think about.

We've had a lot of progress over the last couple weeks when it comes to this next go round. We've had some tests done, received our protocol, and started working on getting our meds taken care of. Not only is the procedure not covered by our insurance, but neither are any of the medications. It makes me so glad we pay the ridiculously high premiums we do so that none of this can be covered. Sense the sarcasm? Yeah, I laid it on pretty thick. On the plus side our RE's office is helping us get the best possible prices on our meds and informed us of some potential assistance programs for cash paying patients.

Our tests that we had done pretty much dictated the protocol we will follow this time around. Since we already know from our canceled FET that all looks well internally, all I had to do was give a few vials of blood. My cycle day 3 labs are as follows:

Estrogen - 42.5                                  Normal <50
FSH - 6.5                                             Normal <10
AMH - 2.58                                        Normal >1.2

All of those numbers are within normal range, and pretty similar to where they were for our first IVF cycle. I did a day 21 Lupron protocol then, and will be doing the same protocol this time. However, the protocol has changed a little bit since last time, so there are a couple new drugs I'll be taking. The list of meds include:


For those of you not familiar with IVF meds, the Lupron is used to down regulate the ovaries and make sure I don't ovulate. Follistim and Menopur are then used to hyper stimulate the ovaries. The Menopur is is new to me drug. Once there are enough mature follicles, Ovidrel is used to finalize the maturation process. PIO, is a progesterone injection that is taken only after the egg retrieval. All of the medications are injectables, and the only one I'm nervous about is the PIO. I didn't have to use it last time, and I've heard it's a real pain in the ass, literally.

Robbie wasn't lucky enough to get out on testing this go round. It's been a while since he had to have any testing done, so the needed an up to date semen analysis.

26% forward motility
1% normal forms

Those numbers are pretty in line with all previous tests. Different clinics use different testing criteria for SAs, so I don't want to say what normal numbers are. According to our clinic, all Robbie's numbers are in the low range of normal, except for the morphology. It's due to the morphology number that we have to do IVF and that we'll do a process call ICSI, Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection. They take the sperm and inject it directly into the egg instead of placing them in a dish and letting fertilization happen on it's own.

Now that I've bored you to death with all of the medical aspects of this, I'll hit you with our timeline. This can change by a day or two depending on my cycles, but I will be starting Lupron the last week of March. The first week of April is when we'll start stimming, and it will be about a month until we know if it worked. Pretty damn exciting stuff!

Over the next two months we are doing as much as possible to get ready, which I'll share more about later. The IVF process is rather draining, so I want to make sure I'm as healthy as possible. I also want to make sure we have any and all projects around the house, and at work done by then. It's going to be a busy and exciting few weeks, and I'm sure I'll be starting injections before we know it.


  1. Thank you for sharing the details I wouldn't know otherwise. I'm so glad you guys are able to try for more kiddos, you are such a great mom!

  2. PIO isn't so bad!!!!!! It looks and sounds scary, but once you start it's okay. I even did it to myself a few times (though someone else doing it is still much better.). :) I'm sending you lots of luck! But not too much.. We probably wouldn't any embryos splitting into septuplets or something too crazy! :) he he