A few days after your period starts you’ll be given FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) in the form of injections. This will stimulate the ovaries into making multiple follicles and eggs and continue for eight to twelve days.
‘Inject myself?!’ we hear you cry! We know this may sound daunting, but you’ll be shown exactly how and when to do it by your fertility nurse.
You may experience some bruising in the site of your daily injections, but you can minimise this by choosing a slightly different site each day. You may also notice a tiny bit of bleeding after you’ve injected but this should clear up quickly. It’s not as bad as it sounds though, just take a deep breath and remember why you’re doing it! You can always ask your friend or partner to do it for you.
You’ll need to continue taking your GnRH medication throughout stimulation treatment unless your doctor tells you not to. If you are initially classed as ‘short protocol’ by your doctor, they will prescribe alternative medication, to prevent natural ovulation called an LH antagonist. And this will be administered when stimulation treatment begins.
It does feel like there is so much to remember, what medication to take, when to take it and how. But just keep that diary planner up to date and you’ll be fine. You can also note down if anything needs to be kept in the fridge.
How might my body feel?
During this stage, as the eggs start to grow, you may feel a little bloated and uncomfortable. The drugs can also cause emotions and mood swings similar to PMS. More seriously, these stimulation drugs can cause a condition called Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome, or OHSS, where the ovaries are overstimulated and produce too many eggs.
This can cause a mild bloated feeling but in serious cases can cause pain, vomiting and blood clots. Your regular clinic visits should prevent this from happening – if your medical team see any sign of OHSS developing on your blood test or ultrasound results, they will discuss your options with you.
If you get a moment, have a read through one readers experience of the stimulation phase. She has some top tips you might find useful!