Tell me everything please

Hi. I've just filled in my forms from the clinic and we're awaiting our first appointment.. Although I've researched ivf as much as possible I would like to hear from ladies who have gone through the process. I have many questions; what is collection like? And the transfer? Do they hurt? Do the injections hurt? Can you use a cream to numb the site first? Or an ice pack? How many folicule scans do you have and do they hurt? I'm a BIG wimp you see 😂

28 Replies

  • Haha! As a fellow wimp, I completely understand your concerns! However, you will find that your wimp tendencies will dwindle. For example, I had the longest blood test ever this morning - 5 vials were collected to test for every thrombophilia condition. This time a couple of years ago I would have been on the floor, but today I took it all in my stride! I even sneaked a little look while she was doing it - something I have NEVER been brave enough to do before!

    My egg collection was fine as they sedated me - I would request the same if you can. I did have a bit of pain after and I even woke up that night with excruciating period-type pains, but paracetamol took the edge off and I know that some clinics say to take codeine too if the paracetamol isn't sufficient. Transfer was absolutely fine, nothing worse than a smear test.

    As for the injections, the first couple are a worry, but you soon get used to them and they don't hurt if you pinch enough skin. I even missed them when I stopped taking them as they had ruled my life for so long! I don't see any reason why you can't use some ice to numb the site a bit first, but I bet that after a week or so you won't even bother. It's surprising how quickly you become an expert at injecting yourself.

    The thing that worried me the most, and that no-one told me about so I wasn't even expecting it, is the pessaries. Yes, you will have to stick something up your bum once a day! From what I can gather, everyone has their own technique that works for them, but, again, it is something you get used to very quickly. I was doing it in public toilets all over the place by the end!

    Honestly, none of it is really that bad at all, and you have the added bonus of being able to be very proud of yourself for being so brave - I know I was! My parents came to stay one weekend and were in absolute shock that I was injecting myself as I have been such a wimp about all that kind of stuff all my life. If I can do it, anyone can. You will be fine! Xx

  • Hahaha Hi Tugsgirl - I had all of the same questions!!! Everyone's answers/experience will be different but I'll briefly tell you mine in a nutshell for long protocol ICSI;

    Lots of waiting, lots of blood tests, more waiting, scan, more waiting, blood test, scan, more waiting (can you tell there's a theme here?!),

    Meds day - start down regging, first jab hurts a little but you're anxious when it's being done which doesn't help and they do get easier! You can numb it with ice if you want to but I would pinch my tummy to try and balance the pain. Then it's stimming and you have to mix the meds before you inject (I was terrified but it's honestly fine!), these ones sting a little more going in but the pain is manageable.

    Egg collection; Yes I found this painful even with the sedation/pain relief (plus they gave me extra) but it was totally worth it to get our 8 eggs and the recovery is quick. Some women don't feel anything - some even fall asleep!!!

    Embryo transfer; More uncomfortable than painful. The most uncomfortable part is when they clean everything, it just feels so bizarre! But again it is fine and completely worth all the discomfort for the excitement and hope of what's to come!

    Scans - not painful at all but be aware that by the time you've finished the process at least 50 people will have looked at your hoo-ha so be prepared to lose all your dignity hahaha ;)

    The reality is that some of it is painful but it's the emotional part that takes it's toll the most. Try to stay positive, try to relax and stay close to your partner throughout. If you've got a good support system it will help hugely. Plus the women on this site are incredible for giving advice and support even when you're just having a bad day so make sure you check in when you need a little pick me up or to vent.

    Lots of luck to you, the whole journey is so exciting! x x x

  • If I'm being honest fear is outweighing any excitement atm! 😂 Pessaries up your bum? I could handle the front but omg. I had the Hysterosalpinogram last year with the catheter and found that unpleasant. Is it similar to anything during treatment?

  • Haha yep that's where they go! They really do put you through your paces!! I've not had a Hysterosalpinogram but I've just had a quick read and I think it sounds quite similar to the transfer process but remember that when you're at that point it will be very exciting I promise. I had so much anxiety before we got started but the day I got my bag of jabs I'd honestly never been happier! x

  • If it helps my pessaries go in the foo foo not bottom lol

  • I will keep my fingers crossed its the same for me!

  • Hi how exciting, I had a long protocol which like mamma bear says it is long . You do feel a bit up in the air with the meds but it's ok. I had to have an endometrium scratch which for me was the most painful part of it all , they scratch the lining of your womb if you have endometriosis it helps your womb for implantation. My husband did my first cycle of injections and in a strange way made us feel more close he was feeling more involved. Scans are fine maybe a bit uncomfortable but you get used to it. Egg collection wasn't half as bad as I thought it would be, sedation was great , I felt very sleepy you can hear and feel but I didn't find it painful during sedation . It was quiet tender for a few weeks after . Egg transfer is pretty straight forward . I had reflexology through my Ivf cycle to help me relax and focus . It's more of a mental drain but so so worth it when you think how much it ups your odds . Good luck and be patient xx

  • I'm so scared! Thank you

  • Don't be scared , i used google ALOT, found so much out . However it is easy to become a bit obsessed with the Internet , it's a good thing joining a forum like this X it helps x

  • Yes I'm glad I joined! X

  • Hi. Just had my IVF.Went much better than I envisaged or could have imagined.

    Had to get various blood tests done prior to the start.

    Vitamin D was low and Thyroid was high. So had to take a spray and tablets for them and retests were carried out around 4-6 weeks to ensure they were OK as they play a vital role

    Injections to be brutally honest was daunting, but after a couple of times it's a breeze. Pinch as much stomach as you can and then inject at an angle of approximately 45degrees. Take your time injecting and deep breath before gently taking needle out.

    I used to take injections at 10pm and then retire to bed with a book or listen to music to relax.

    Only side effect was baggy clothes were my best friend :-)

    Drink as much water as possible. I was drinking about 3 litres a day. At the end of the day we are injecting good to flush out :-) and eat properly.

    I was juicing every morning and had a proper breakfast despite not being a breakfast person as i am always rushing for my hectic job.

    Scans and blood tests were done every other day for me

    Egg Collection was painless, slight discomfort. it was done under general anaesthetic.

    Was awake a few mins after it

    24 eggs were collected on Friday 5th August and Partner and I went for a long gentle walk in St James Park as it was a sunny day.

    Slight discomfort but nothing too painful. Doc said I could take paracetamol if I needed but decided not too as have already been pumping chemicals into the body.

    The phone calls from Embryologist were the most nerve wrecking moments for me

    1st phone call 20 got fertilised, day 2: 18 are progressing well, day 3: 17 going strong, day 4: apparently it's a lazy day for them no update , day 5 : 7 healthy embryos will be frozen and potentially 3 or 4 more will form Embryo. Day 6: we have 10 healthy embryos.

    Oh I am having to freeze my embryos as my oestrogen level was high and would have been risky to do transfer. In a way I am delighted as my body will be in a more natural state for the baby to grow.

    So, roll on October.

    Just ask believe and receive. My journey isn't yet over but its all good.

    PS: internet is great but everyone's experience is different.

    Best of luck

  • Thank you for telling me your story. And fingers crossed for you in October

  • Thank you:-). Stay positive and all will be OK. Drink as much water as you can as I have heard from so many therapists it helps as one of them said you want your eggs like juicy grapes and not shriveled raisins 😃. Eat well/ sleep well and think well.

    There are a few free meditations while you are going through treatment on Spotify if you enjoy meditating .

    Best of luck and keep us posted about your journey x

  • Never tried it but I'm willing to give it a go!

  • I found the Hysterosalpinogram very uncomfortable 😱

  • God help me! Lol

  • Hi Tugsgirl. Well after a long delay I am finally starting my medication this Sunday! So I'm right at the start of everything too. From what I've read it seems that everyone reacts differently to the procedures and the best idea is to try and not get too stressed. Having said that my motto to stay calm will probably be completely forgotten about when I get on the bed for egg collection (this is the one that I'm most worried about)! But we can only try our best. Good luck to you x

  • Ooh good luck! It would be great if you wanted to keep me posted 😊

  • Hi ivf or icsi is really not that bad. I actually quite enjoyed it in the end because you finally felt in control of the situation. I am very squeamish never imagined I could cope!! The worst part was the emotional part it is brutal and you don't realise how much you really really want it until it's over. The vaginal scans were fine not sore at all just a bit embarrassing. Injections were ok once you got used to them. By the end it was hard as your stomach is so badly bruises takes a while to find a good spot to inject. Pessaries are not pleasant! I put them in my vagina they do leak a bit but the hospital said it was fine. For egg collection you just got knocked out I didn't feel a thing. Egg transfer is just uncomfortable but it's fine we even got to see the www embryo. Sadly we didn't make it but I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

  • Many thanks. Yes I suppose as scared as I am, as nervous as I am, by biggest fear is that I only get one shot at this 😕

  • Ps I'm sorry to hear it didn't work for you and I hope someday you will do it all again

  • don't worry. the more stress you add to your case, the less chances for success. pain is obviously your phobia? isn't it? in my case, I wasn't afraid of pain, but i was afraid of failure. and that's how it actually was. 5 failed attempts ivf, 1 failed surrogacy attempt. I realized then that I shall get my nervousness under control. I devoted myself to other chores, met with friends, painted, cooked. I took antidepressants. Our next attempt was a success. All our emotions are material, don't forget about that

  • Pain was my phobia before I started yes. But I did it and I was proud of myself despite a BFN. Next time I'll know that I can deal with it, I'll be stronger

  • the words of a strong woman. I hope you will find the way!

    I had 6 unsuccessful attempts so I know what it is. Emotions shall be controlled. Keep trying and good luck

  • Thank you. I only got my BFN this morning so it is very raw and hurts so much but I'm not ready to give up

  • sorry. I know how it hurts.

    anyways, chin up! My years of despair and struggle ended up in parenting TWO children - the happiness I would never even admit to myself after gettin negative after negative. keep trying, sis

  • hi, so sorry about your bfn. still it's not a verdict and please keep trying. I'm single, tried donor sperm ivfs and even donor embryo transfer. bfns all the time. it was a complete despair. i obviously waited too long for my mothering and now the nature says no. it seems that surrogacy is my only one next step as they told me I should stop trying. still I face so much obstacles on my way mainly because i have no partner.

  • I'm not giving up. We have 4 good quality blastocysts in the freezer and a follow up appointment on Monday.

    Thank you for commenting. I hope that sometime your dream comes true 🍀

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