Rubbish things no one tells you about IVF

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK
Worth it all: My Sonny Jim

The first IVF baby was conceived on this day, 40 years ago (#IVFis40).

To mark the (rather amazing!) milestone, as a mama of an IVF tot, here are some rubbish things no one ever tells you about it…

  • If you are a needle-phobe, it will either break you – or cure you.

By my reckoning, one cycle of IVF probably involves you getting stabbed about 70 times (in your belly, your thigh, in your bum cheek.) A lot of them you’ll have to do yourself, or get your other half to do. You’ll even have a special yellow toxic-waste sharps bin – like actual drug addicts on TV.

  • At first it seems like the hospital are communicating in another language (IVF, IUI, OS, ET, 2WW.)

You’ll find yourself Googling, a lot, and then realising fertility forums are even worse with the medical jargon and acronyms. You do figure it out. Eventually. And then you start talking like it yourself. WTAF?!

  • The process where, pre-IVF, they inject dye into your fallopian tubes to check they’re not blocked (called HSG) is genuinely, eye-watering painful.

They tell you to take painkillers beforehand. For the love of all that is good, do it.

  • They’ll pump you full of hormones to make your ovaries produce as many eggs as possible ahead of collection (14 they managed to get from me.)

The thing is, these eggs – or rather follicles – generally measure about 2cm across by the time they are harvested (and yes, you do begin to feel a bit like a chicken when people talk about harvesting your eggs.)

For a few days you will basically have bunches of grapes hanging out in your ovaries and you can feel your ovaries stretching to breaking point. Wearing heels? Out of the question.

  • The two week wait between the embryo being put back snug in your uterus and you being able to do a pregnancy test will be the LONGEST 336 hours of your life.

Despite all this, it was totally worth it to have my Sonny Jim though…

This feature was first published in the Echo newspaper on Friday, October 10, 2017:

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