Infertility and infertility treatment, such as IVF, can be very stressful. It’s a nerve wracking experience that many couples have to go through in order to have a baby. My husband and I recently started our IVF cycle and I wanted to share things I wish I knew before starting IVF.
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How Much Time is Needed for IVF
IVF is no walk in the park. It can practically be a part-time job. There will be so many tests, scans, blood draws, and other doctor’s visits when starting IVF. Eventually, when you’re far enough in your cycle, monitoring appointments can even be daily.
On day 7 of taking IVF medications, I was then instructed that I would be coming in daily for monitoring.
IVF Injections Aren’t That Scary
I get it, a lot of people have a fear of needles. I’ve never really been scared of needles. The scary part of IVF Medication for me was the thought of having to administer it myself. However, the injections themselves don’t hurt. The most common “pain” I hear is a burning sensation when particular medication is administered (I have yet to personally experience this).
TIP: Just breathe and do it quickly! The more you think about it, the more you build up your anxiety. If you’re using a pen (like Gonal-F) it’s best to just jab it in quickly. Pain free! 🙂
You Won’t See Your Fertility Doctor for IVF
Primarily, you work with your nurse through 90% of appointments. The only time I have seen our actual fertility doctor was at the very beginning of the IVF process when he performed an ultrasound on my uterus. Every single appointment after that has been with my nurse(s). Find a good clinic with nice and quality nurses as you will be working with them the most!
How Much Extra Cost is Involved
Before starting IVF, they will want a lot of tests done to rule out anything major. You’ve seen the IVF price sheets from your clinic and understand the costs of IVF… Just be aware that I had to do a bunch of other tests that weren’t included in the overall IVF costs. Some of these tests are diagnostic and can be covered under insurance… there are some that weren’t (for me).
- PAP Smear
- Hysteroscopy (What to expect with this test!)
- Saline Sonogram
- Infectious Disease Blood Draw
- Semen Analysis
I had to pay close to $500 out-of-pocket for the Hysteroscopy, $200 for the HSG, and $200 for the Saline Sonogram. We also did multiple semen analysis testing as well which was about $100 per test. Keep in mind, every clinic is different and every insurance policy is different.
How Quick (and Slow) Everything Goes
IVF is definitely a giant game of Hurry Up and Wait. Certain tests must be done within a certain time-frame of your cycle as well as having to be at the clinic by a certain time after taking a medication. Sometimes you feel absolutely rushed while simultaneously feeling like time is slowing down. I know when I was waiting for my cycle to start, it felt like AGES before it finally arrived. Just be prepared!
How You Feel While on IVF Medicine
CRAZY. You feel crazy. You’re injecting hormones into your body and growing follicles in your ovaries. I was moody, emotional, anxious, and felt a lot of pressure and cramps. I wasn’t sure how I would react to the stims. Will I produce enough follicles? Will my body handle the medicine?
It’s best to remain as calm as possible while undergoing IVF. I listened to my body and got plenty of rest all before egg retrieval.
At the time of writing this: I’m on day 8 of stims and have yet to undergo my egg retrieval procedure.
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