IVF#2: Microdose Lupron Flare

I remembered my time with my old friend Lupron from early in the year, so I had some slight concerns with side effects…but the formula for the microdose is compounded and diluted so it gives a low dose of just enough medication to spike my own hormones right before I start stim shots, then suppresses ovulation afterward so I don’t lose all those eggs I am working so hard to grow.

This protocol added two shots a day to my regular meds; one in the morning and one at night given with a tiny insulin needle. As I mentioned, I was a needle pro by this round, so the extra shots didn’t bother me, but my skin was a little tougher after just going through the last round, so this round of meds hurt a little more as I had trouble getting the needles in occasionally, and I ended up with a lot more tummy bruising.

The Microdose Flare did what it was supposed to…my estrogen was high right out of the gate, where as last time we had trouble getting it to go up at first. My follicles grew at each appointment just like they should, and the only concern this cycle was how high my estrogen was getting so quickly. We decided to trigger after 9 days of stims this time, which was what our goal had been going into this cycle. So everything was going according to plan.

This egg retrieval was a little more difficult recovery-wise, likely because of my high estrogen (over 4,000 at trigger). We got 11 eggs, which was a few less than the time before but I was hopeful that they would be better quality since we switched up the protocol. I had a little more soreness and nausea this time, and ended up binge watching Orange is the New Black with “T” and sticking to my bed.

I got the call the next day that out of 11 eggs, eight were mature. But….only three fertilized normally. My heart hit the floor. How? We switched up the protocol to give us better eggs…and we had way, way less fertilize than the first cycle. How could this be successful with only three embryos? Last time I had 11 embryos and only got two blastocysts…and even those didn’t work. The odds were not in my favor.

I fully expected to get an embryo report the following day that said “Sorry, they arrested and didn’t make it, no transfer.” However, my report said all 3 are good quality and continuing to develop. Due to the low number of embryos available, the doctors felt it was best to do a day three transfer, since there wasn’t much benefit in waiting until day 5 to see which were the strongest embryos. It was best to get them back in their natural environment.

We went in for our transfer on a Friday, and I planned on pushing for a transfer of all three embryos. Last time we put two back and neither created a healthy pregnancy, and I feared leaving one behind would be a waste, because it may not make it to freeze since last time we had no embryos make it to blastocyst after our transfer. The doctor and embryologist felt strongly about only transferring two, since their quality was so good. One was an excellent eight cell embryo with no fragmentation and all equal-sized cells, which is really good I guess, and the other was 8 cell and already compacting with just slight fragmentation, which is also really good.They told me with the quality of those two, there was a high chance for twins. The third was slightly less good-looking, but still a good embryo, so they had concerns about multiples of triplets or more if we transferred three. Not wanting to be Octomom, I agreed on two, and prayed that our third little bean would make it to blastocyst and be able to be frozen.

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