Fertility Medications ~ Get Ready, Get Set, Go

fertility medications   syringeGetting ready to do a fertility cycle means lots of things. If you are undergoing an IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycle at RMACT, it will mean attending a “teach” class. A teach class is exactly that; a class that teaches you what you need to know about administering fertility medications. Our knowledgeable fertility nurses will walk you through, step by step, the particulars of the various medications that you will need to use to have a successful IVF cycle.

 

There are a variety of medications that are used at different times of your cycle to suppress or stimulate hormones and it’s necessary for you to know which ones to use at which times. Nothing is left to chance however, so there are a variety of ways for you to know how to proceed once your cycle starts.

 

The first step is the teach class, but it’s not the last way to get information about how to take your medications. The medications also come clearly marked about what they are and what they are used for; nothing is left to chance or misunderstanding. There are detailed, written directions to reference as well. At RMACT, we also have a patient portal, which has detailed video recordings (similar to the teach class), describing what needs to be done and when.

 

Of course, speaking to your patient navigator or nurse is always an option if you have questions that are unable to be answered in other ways or you want to double check that you understand the directions correctly.

 

As always, you are not alone in this. Fertility treatments are sophisticated and oftentimes complicated. Fertility medications can be as well. Questions are a normal way of understanding the procedures involved. Don’t be surprised if you have more questions after a teach class or after watching a video.

Tips for Understanding Fertility Medicine

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Go to the teach class on a good night sleep, having eaten properly and with something to drink so that you can pay the best attention possible
  2. Write any questions down and ask them at the teach class. Write the answers down
  3. Attend class with a partner, spouse or friend if possible. Having a second set of ears and eyes is very helpful
  4. If you have more questions after the class that you were unable to ask or that came up after reviewing the medication materials, do the following:
    1. Check more than one source to find answers, such as the written directions or videos on the patient portal
    2. Ask questions of your patient navigator and nurse

 

It’s important that you understand the directions. They can feel difficult and complicated. You may feel embarrassed that you don’t get it. Know that you are not the first nor will you be the last who has difficulties understanding what to do. The chances that you are going to ask questions that have never been asked before are very slim.  Our wonderful, dedicated nurses are used to being asked questions. They want you to understand and will do what is needed to ensure that you do. Please don’t worry about being a difficult patient; ask the questions that you need to. The most heartbreaking thing is to have a patient be unwilling to ask a question and compromise their fertility cycle because of an error in medication application.

 

Know too, that small errors are common. They are not usually catastrophic and often not even compromising. Just make sure that your nurse and fertility doctor know immediately if you have made a mistake so that they can help you make any adjustments that are necessary.

 

Many patients tell us that once they start, they find a groove and it becomes much easier.  That the first step in taking the medication is the most challenging. That the first fertility injection is the most intimidating.

 

Ask questions, find answers, take your time. This whole process is so much easier when you do those three things.

 

And as always, we’re here to help. 

 

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Topics: Medications

Lisa Rosenthal

Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.

Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.

Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.

Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.

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