Estrace Estradiol Pill Dosage IVF Priming Medication

We’re at the point in the journey now where we are living this day to day vs looking back. There are a lot of things in my experience to date that I didn’t share, but we will get to the more minute details eventually (things like the medications, the supplements, the diet, the coping mechanisms).

But here we are. In the unknown, writing without really knowing what comes next.

We decided after our biopsy cycle to move ahead as soon as possible. On Oct 3 we began to plan for a new Egg Retrieval with our new clinic. One hail Mary to see if we can create embryos again, this time on a different protocol altogether.

So far we have sank tens of thousands of dollars into this endeavour. It’s like playing the lottery, but not knowing if there’s actually a prize to be won or not. I have counted many things I could have spend my money on, but didn’t. Many experiences I have not had or had to forgo because of treatment and the dream of bringing home a baby of our own one day. It puts me in a bit of an ethical dilemma every time we forge ahead and put more investment into this. This money could be spent in a lot of ways, either on our future or by using it to help others. For now, we have made the decision that this is still important to us, and although sometimes we feel guilty about using our funds this way, I know people who toss their money out the window in worse ways, so that gives me a bit of peace in the decision. (for those wondering, 3 cycles will put us at about 70k CAD without any transfers – bye to my salary for a year).

Egg Retrieval 3.

As soon as I got a bleed from my mock cycle, about 3 days before I stopped the medication, I called the clinic for my cycle day 1 (CD1). Just like that I was on another adventure. The nurse immediately faxed my prescription to my pharmacy and we were off to the races.

This time I am set to do priming for 35 days. A mix of Androgel (testosterone) and Estradiol, followed by a week of provera to induce a period. I am currently on day 26 of this priming.

On October 31 I head into the clinic for injection training (not that I need it at this point, but it’s protocol), and to pick up my stim medications. I’m scheduled to start those on November 11, the day I begin my Christmas mini sessions of all things (hah!). Last year I also had to do stims during my mini sessions. I was SO bloated and so exhausted. This time it’s just day one of stims so hopefully I’ll feel fine for a few days before the side effects kick in full force and the bloating begins.

My protocol for Egg Retrieval #3 is as follows:

Day 1-5

  • Aspirin 81mg mg, Take two tablets of Asprin 81mg daily, for a total of 162mg.
    Saizen Inject 0.5 mL (1 mg) subcutaneously
  • Rekovelle 12.00 mcg subcutaneously
  • Menopur 225 IU subcutaneously

Day 6+

  • Cetrotide 0.25 mg subcutaneously
  • Rekovelle 12.00 mcg subcutaneously

Trigger day (TBD)

  • Dual trigger TBD dosage

The medication types are similar to retrieval 1 & 2 but the priming, constitutions and dosage differs quite a bit.

Technicalities aside, I am somehow feeling hope again. I think nearly a year of trying to conceive naturally and coping with the ups and downs of testing, to be let down again and again, has set me up to be able to handle the emotions of IVF – it isn’t the case for everyone, but I somehow have been able to compartmentalize this part of my life and hold my grief and frustration simultaneously with hope. One day, maybe that won’t be the case. It does get harder each time we have a loss or a failure, but over time our path becomes more clear and as we get more answers and results (or lack thereof), I think we will begin to feel confident in the directions we are taking.

IVF has been a very reactionary process. As much as I’d love to plan ahead and say “I will only do X number of retrievals, put $X into this”, you truly don’t know until you’re faced with that very moment and the emotions that come with it. As logical as you want to be, the hope for your future, the vision you have for your life, the person you become through the process (and god has this process changed me) will dictate those next steps as you reach those individual markers or decisions in your journey.

Today, the way I feel is that if this cycle fails we may try the donor egg route, which is a whole other path and life for us if that’s where we end up. But that’s something we will only know when the time comes to make the call. It will also be a hard route, knowing I’ll have to grieve the loss of my own fertility (if it was ever there to begin with, who knows). The loss of a biological connection, the loss of a stage of my life. But I am so damn ready to enter the next stage. A stage that doesn’t involve endless limbo with my body failing me.

So for now I’ll stay in the realm of hope. I’ll do everything in my power to make this cycle count and to give it my best shot, because that’s all we can do when these things are so very out of our control.

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