The time is here. It’s already here. I keep thinking to myself, “Man. Those 6 months just flew by!” We are getting ready to start our next IVF cycle! Which means more frequent updates from yours truly! Aren’t you excited?! 😉 I thought I would first share a quick overview of our upcoming cycle and how it differs from the last one.
Our last cycle was what you would consider a pretty standard protocol called “Long Lupron” or “Down-Regulation Lupron”. This protocol usually takes 6-8 weeks depending on the person. A big portion is suppressing the individual’s body or as I like to put it, “sending the bear into hibernation”, with the use of birth control pills (OCPs) for the month prior and a standard dosing of Lupron injections. This allows doctors to ensure your body isn’t ovulating until they want it to. Then when they are ready, they wake up the “bear” with stimulation medications (stims) which usually takes 8-10 days. Then when follicles are measuring at the size they want (typically 18-20mm each), they instruct you to do a trigger shot at a very specific time. Think of this heavily concentrated injection as the gun going off at the start of the race. This tells your ovaries to release the eggs to be ready for the retrieval. Typically 36 hours after the trigger shot is the egg retrieval procedure. Then they fertilize the eggs and monitor them for 5 days when they will then transfer a select number back to their cozy home to hopefully be made into full-blown human! (Wow, looking back through this, I just explained standard IVF in one paragraph…go me!)
In case you haven’t read before, the long protocol didn’t work out for us. So now we are switching it up! We are doing a faster-paced, what feels like warp-speed protocol, called “Microdose Lupron Protocol” or “Microflare Protocol”. From start to finish, this process will takeabout 4 weeks. We are doing this protocol because my RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) believes my body because too suppressed the first round. Basically meaning, the “bear” didn’t fully wake up and was slightly groggy and hungover.
There are a few major differences that will happen this time around in addition to the short time frame. Our first cycle they put me on birth control pills for almost a month prior to adding suppression with Lupron. This cycle I will only be on OCPs for 9 days. Again, in hopes my lady parts don’t get into as deep of sleep as last time. I will be take Lupron but just as the protocol title suggests, it is a very small dose. In our first cycle, Lupron was injected once a day and is used for approximately 10 days prior to starting stims. This time around the Microdose Lupron will be injected twice a day just 3 days before stims and will continue to be given during stims. We will be using one different stimulation medicine, Follistim, at a much higher dose and the other stimulation medicine, Menopur, will stay the same as last time. I have heard it is not uncommon for follicles to grow much quicker on this regimen and I may not need the full 10 days to stim. Last cycle, I needed the full 10 days. I’ll trigger with a different trigger shot this time, Pregnyl instead of Ovidrel, 36 hours before my egg retrieval. We won’t know when my egg retrieval will be until they monitor with blood work and ultra sounds every 3 days while I’m stimming. As it stands right now, I have been told my egg retrieval will most likely be between 8/24-8/26. Then 5 days after that happens (8/29-8/31) will be the transfer. Two weeks after my Egg retrieval (9/7-9/9) is when I’ll take a pregnancy test.
That’s basically what we have in store for us for the next month! Stay tuned for weekly and soon-to-be daily updates with how things are going! Please continue to pray for us and our family as we go forward with this treatment. We can use all the help we can get!
Until next time,