Saturday I began my first two injections: Gonal-F and Menopur. Both of these are follicle-stimulating hormones. FSH is the hormone responsible for stimulating the development of egg-containing follicles. We produce FSH naturally in our bodies, but with an IVF cycle, we want to increase the number of follicles (and therefore eggs) that are produced in a cycle. In addition to FSH, Menopur provides luteinising hormone (LH), a hormone that regulates our menstrual cycles and egg production. LH increases just before ovulation.
Both of these meds are self-injected into the abdomen area, just below and around my belly button. I've been instructed to do these for a total of six days, one in the morning and one at night.
Now, of course there has to be a story:
Saturday morning I gave myself the Gonal-F injection with relatively no problem. It took a little psyching myself up, but I finally did it. Saturday evening, I was all set to give myself the next injection but freaked out when I saw the size of the needle. I was supposed to have been given a 1/2 inch needle; instead, I was staring at a 1 & 1/2 inch needle! Now in the measure of, say, a mile, an inch doesn't matter much. But when you're talking about sticking something into your stomach, an inch matters a whole lot. After checking and re-checking our paperwork, we realized it was a mistake on the part of the pharmacy, but there was nothing to do at that point except use it. I only pushed it in 1/2 inch, but it was still slightly traumatizing.
When I've used FSH medications in the past, I've had quite a bit of negative side effects. So far in this cycle, I'm good. I've got three and half more days of injections, then Friday I head in for my next instructions, which may be to continue more of these or start something different.