IVF Medication Side Effects

At 11:30 p.m. last night, I did my final injection of this, my second, in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle.  The last shot was of Ovidrel®, which will stimulate my ovulation, so my eggs are ready to rock ‘n roll at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow, when my reproductive endocrinologist goes in to retrieve them from the follicles in each ovary.

In the 11 days from July 20, the start of this cycle, through yesterday, July 30, I did 30 injections of four different medications into my bloated, bruised, needle-marked stomach.  And, they’ve taken their toll. 

I read all of the information about each medication—Gonal-f®, Menopur®, Cetrotide® and Ovidrel—before I injected them into my system two months ago.  But, with the increased dosages of the two ovulatory-stimulation meds this cycle, I’ve had more side effects—and ones not referenced in the materials.  

As a result, I’ve reread the information, and I found there has been no study among women taking all of these medications at once, which is what happens during an IVF cycle. 

For Gonal-f, the patient’s information leaflet says, “No drug/drug interaction studies have been performed.”  For Menopur, the information states, “No drug/drug interaction studies have been conducted for Menopur in humans.”  For Cetrotide, “No formal drug interaction studies have been performed with Cetrotide.”  For Ovidrel, “No drug-drug interaction studies have been conducted.”

Of the side effects outlined in the medication materials, I’ve experienced abdominal enlargement, abdominal cramps, abdominal fullness, abdominal pain, headache, injection site bruising, injection site pain, injection site reaction, malaise, pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting (minor), and breast tenderness.   

I’ve also had an adverse reaction to the sun:  After an hour and a half at the park last weekend, I got a sun-poisoning rash across my chest—dozens of red, raised, irritated bumps—where it had been exposed due to a V-neck t-shirt.  My complexion is a mess.  I have a rash underneath my wedding and engagement bands.  I’m emotional.  I can barely stay awake, which, to me, is more severe than “malaise.”  And, none of this is mentioned in the medication materials. 

I’ll write more about medication side effects in future posts.  Tonight, I want to try to get some decent sleep in preparation for my egg-retrieval procedure tomorrow. 

As of my Wednesday ultrasound, I still had only 11 or 12 follicles, which is disappointing compared to my more than 20 last cycle.  I’m hoping that, while there are fewer, more of the eggs retrieved from them will be mature, and more of these mature eggs will be chromosomally normal.  I’ve learned that to undergo IVF, it’s imperative to have hope. 

Off to bed…

No comments yet.
You must be logged in to post a comment.