You’ll begin FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) injections a few days after you start your period, and will continue to take them for eight to twelve days. These injections stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple follicles. While you might be nervous about injecting yourself, a fertility nurse will show you exactly where, when, and how to do it.
It’s common to experience some mild bleeding and/or bruising in your injection sites. To reduce bruising, try injecting into a slightly different place each time. Some people choose to ask their partner or a friend to inject them – just take a deep breath and try to remember your reasons for going through this!
Your doctor will prescribe GnRH medication for your entire stimulation treatment, unless you are classed as ‘short protocol,’ in which case they will prescribe alternative medication called an LH antagonist.
With so many different instructions, timings, and medications to remember, most people find that using some form of diary or planner is very helpful.
How will I feel?
As the eggs start to grow, you may feel uncomfortable or bloated, as well as experiencing mood swings. In severe but rare cases, the stimulation drugs can lead to a condition called Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS), in which your ovaries produce too many eggs. OHSS will make you feel bloated, but in some cases can result in blood clots, vomiting, and pain. If your clinic sees any signs of OHSS, they will speak with you about your options.
Read through this article about one of our reader’s experiences during her stimulation phase for some suggestions that can really help!