Infertility treatments take time. Before starting treatment, you need to consider your time and schedule as well as your partner’s time and schedule. This means time investment. Does your job offer you a flexible time schedule or do you need to be at your desk at 8am on the dot? What is the distance between your center where you have to get bloods drawn and your work? How long will it take to get to work? Does your husband or partner travel a lot for work? If so, you may want to discuss a time for treatment when your partner is not travelling. If you are undergoing Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In-vitro fertilization (IVF), your cycle schedule can include the following:
- Baseline exam, ultrasound, blood work
- Attending an injection class (if injectable medications are used)
- Blood drawing and ultrasound every couple of days, then every other day, then every day until the insemination or harvesting of eggs occur. This can last anywhere from 10-13 days of your treatment cycle. There is no set schedule for this monitoring phase, it depends on how your body responds to the medicine.
- Daily injections subcutaneous , intramuscular or both depending on treatment and protocol chosen for you by your doctor
- After IUI, suppositories may be prescribed for a couple of weeks or continued injections daily until your blood pregnancy test (IVF)
- For IVF, you may need a Sounding Test to test your uterus
- In IVF, there will be harvesting of eggs, and a transfer visit (to transfer the fertilized embryo(s)) to your uterus
- Male partners also need to come in for baseline tests, injection class if performing injections, other tests if there are any infertility problems specific to partner
Just remember your protocol may be different but the above was pretty much mine. My personal experience of going through 5 IUIs, is no matter how well you have your life planned, plan for the unexpected. It’s so important, I have to say it again, plan for the unexpected. Have a mindset of going with the flow and if you have to wait 45 minutes in the morning before getting your blood work, then so be it. In undergoing treatment, you have to be flexible and anticipate delays in doctor’s offices, and sometimes delays in phone calls. My first IUI was so stressful, I didn’t know what to expect other than what they tell you on a day to day basis. All the other stuff, I had to find out on my own and when things happened unexpectedly. The good thing was my office was only 5 minutes away from the hospital center where I went for blood draw and ultrasounds. But even with that, I felt stressed. I was still working a 12 hour day seeing patients all day all the while going in almost every other day for blood work, ultrasounds and waiting for my call back in the afternoon with instructions. I was pretty stressed during my first IUI. One time during my first IUI cycle, I didn’t get a call back so of course I flipped out nervously thinking Oh no, I don’t know how much to inject of the medicine! But not to fear, I spoke to the doctor on call and got my answer. Thank goodness. I had to remember sometimes these things do happen.
So please keep in mind, going through infertility treatment, IS going to take some of your time. You will have to invest time. If you keep in mind some of the things you will have to go through and need to do, it will help you to plan for some of it. The rest, just be flexible and it will work itself out. Who needs the extra stress anyway?!!