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The Love/Hate Relationship with My Period When I’m Doing IVF

Love/Hate Relationship with Your Period when Doing IVF

Three days ago, after my third IVF attempt, I found out that I am not pregnant. Today, I got my period — which, let’s face is — no woman is really ever thrilled about. But your feelings toward your monthly visitor change when you’re undergoing fertility treatments.

That first sight of blood brings with it dichotomous feelings. It is both a hurtful reminder of what didn’t happen — again — and a hopeful indicator of being able to begin — again.

That’s the craziest thing about this IVF path: there is no even ground; it is all either high-highs or low-lows. And even those can rise and fall within the same minute.

Getting my period after a failed IVF cycle, this time an FET cycle, is one of the many roller coaster-y times of emotion on this fertility journey.

Today’s period arrived heavy and fierce. Usually, my first day is a gentle transition from no blood to a peekaboo of blood to a light flow. But today, it was immediate and full-on bleeding. It was a big slap in the face haha-you’re-not-pregnant bleed. It shocked me. And it hurt. Not physically, not with massive cramping. But its rude intrusion hurt me.

No sooner did my heart ache at the sight of the blood than it begin to feel relief. I sighed and whispered, “Thank you, my friend, for your timely arrival.” I could have waited an unknown amount of time for it to return after this recent cycle-fail. But my period graced me with its presence a mere three days after I stopped my fertility meds. It shocked me. And it felt great. Not physically, not with massive euphoria. But its pleasant surprise felt great.

That’s the craziest thing about this IVF path: there is no even ground; it is all either high-highs or low-lows. And even those can rise and fall within the same minute. More often, though, one of them — the high or the low — sticks around for a bit longer: the days long or weeks long excitement of prepping for the cycle that you just know is going to be the one; the days long or weeks long disappointment of discovering that cycle was not the one; the times you swear you can’t do this anymore; the times you vow you’ll never give up.

Some women say that the waiting and waiting and waiting is the worst part of this struggle. Waiting to begin a new cycle. Waiting to get the result of the pregnancy test. Waiting, waiting, waiting to become a mother, often after years and years of trying. And I certainly think the wait is rough.

But the roller coaster of emotions is far more difficult for me. It’s a mind fuck of the grandest kind.

We hadn’t decided what our next move is going to be — whether we’ll hop back on that horse and try again this cycle or wait a bit and breathe — but the speedy arrival of my period will force a decision either way. And while I may not be ready this very day to get back on that horse, I likely will be in a week or so — at which point, it’ll be too late for me to begin if I don’t decide today to do so. Oh, how the IVF cycle is sometimes a vicious one…

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Photo: iStockphoto

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