Handling Fertility Hormones
Hormones are funny. Funny, odd, not funny ha ha. As if infertility and fertility treatment wasn’t stressful and emotional enough, then there are the hormones. Extra hormones. LOL. Really. Extra hormones. Wanting to be pregnant, wanting your baby in your arms, finding that you can’t get pregnant the old fashioned way, need to go to a doctor, manage the financial aspects, the medical treatment, the numerous doctor’s appointments, not enough to make you crazy? Ok, and then let’s add some extra hormones to the mix.
Clomid Stories - One of Many
Ok, I remember my first experience on Clomid. It was not pretty. Who knows if it was really the hormones or just an emotional reaction to them? Who cares? I turned from a fairly normal, slightly neurotic woman into a crazed, over reactive harpy. No one could say anything to me about anything without getting shrieked at. It was really ugly.
My best friend, Pamela, took the fertility medications and did not have that reaction. I wanted to kill her most of all. If I had to be that miserable, was it too much to ask that she be just as miserable? Wasn’t that what a best friend would reasonably do?
If you think I am exaggerating, think again. I’m not.
My good news? For me, when I went to the injectible medications (which I didn’t want to do), it was a huge relief. I can’t emphasize enough how huge a relief it was. I had none of the reactions that I had on Clomid and it was a relief beyond relief, for everyone involved.
Sit and talk with a group of women in fertility treatment and it runs the gamut. Some of us have no reactions to some of the medications, some of us have big reactions to others and still others of us barely notice any of it, including the injections.
Fertility Injections and Anticipation
What struck me most was the anticipation. There are very few of us who are used to giving injections. Still less of us who are used to giving ourselves the injections. So along with the fear of reaction to the medication, there was also the anticipation of actually giving ourselves a shot. I sat there and counted to ten. That worked very well. I can still hear my husband laughing though, because I counted to ten about two hundred times. The first time I gave myself a fertiity injection, it took me twenty five minutes. Twenty five minutes to give myself an injection with a needle about the diameter of a single strand of my hair.
It was easier the second time.
The anticipation of being on the medication is similar. You hear horror stories, really, horrible stories, on the internet, on message boards, even from friends who have gone through fertility treatment. The quieter stories are those without those reactions. Those of us who take the medication and have elevated emotionality. Like that phrase? Sounds simple. You don’t have to have a horror story to feel more emotional and edgy.
What’s the moral of the story? Anticipation can easily turn into anxiety. Fertility treatment isn’t easy, at all, either physically or emotionally. Expect that treatment may be challenging, give yourself and those around you a break.
How do you handle these treatments and situations? Any suggestions for the rest of us?
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Infertility treatment can be very simple or very complicated. Here's the run down on simple.
Intrauterine insemination and artificial insemination are the same thing. Both infertility treatment procedures place the sperm where it can meet the egg.
Sometimes these treatments are done with medications that cause you to produce more than one egg, sometimes they are done with no medications at all. The insemination is done using a catheter, with sperm that have been cleaned in a lab, placing the sperm through the cervix into the uterus.
Sometimes that's all it takes.
Sometimes it's even simpler. Sometimes it's properly timed sexual relations (intercourse) and understanding when you are ovulating. Knowing that day one of your cycle is the first day of menstruation and that ovulation will take place, in a cycle of 28 days on about day 14. That having sexual relations on day 12, 14 and 16 will work best for trying to conceive.
Sometimes conceiving is something right inbetween. There's medication that brings on ovulation so that an egg can become large and mature enough to be fertilized after it's been released and travelled down the fallopian tube. Then, instead of any type of insemination, you have sexual relations and allow sperm to travel up to the uterus through the vaginal canal.
There are simple solutions sometimes to infertility.
Infertility does not always mean that you will need IVF (Invitro Fertilization) or donor egg or other third party reproductive help.
Often, understanding your own reproductive health can make a difference. Keeping track of how often you get your period and how long it lasts is not only helpful to you, but also helpful if you should need help from a fertility specialist.
Do you know your family history can help too?
Did your mother have trouble becoming pregnant? Were her periods regular? When did she start menopause? Were her periods regular?
Knowing these simple things can make a difference in getting pregnant.
Moral of the story, don't assume that if you are having trouble getting pregnant, that your path to fertility will be long, expensive and overly involved.
It can be much shorter and easier than you ever thought possible.