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10 Side Effects of Progesterone Shots for IVF

Image Source: Thinkstock
Image Source: Thinkstock

I’m two days away from finding out if my latest embryo transfer was successful. Of course, I’m trying really hard to stay hopeful and positive, but I’m just not “feeling” like I’m pregnant. I don’t mean that I don’t feel any pregnancy symptoms; I know there’s no way to feel any of those this soon. I mean that innate feeling you always hear women talk about when they say, “I just knew I was pregnant.” I’m not feeling that. At all. A reader reminded me that last time I was certain that I was pregnant, and I wasn’t. So maybe this time I don’t think I am but I’ll find out I am. Who knows…

I’m doing everything my docs are telling me to do. I’ve gotten to that point (so unlike when I first began this journey 17 months ago) where I’ll practically do anything they tell me to do if it just might up my chances at a successful pregnancy. That includes progesterone injections this cycle, which I’ll take for a full 9 weeks if I am pregnant.

The theory behind taking progesterone shots for IVF which are once-a-night intramuscular shots with a 1 and 1/2 inch needle that go into my backside right above my rear end and right below where my muffin top starts is that progesterone gives support to the lining of the uterus and is needed to maintain an early pregnancy. Since there may not be enough progesterone made by the ovary during an IVF cycle (and especially an FET cycle like mine), more progesterone is often given.

But, like everything on this wild and crazy fertility journey, it brings its own set of side effects. These are mine. Fun times. Well, not really…

1. Vivid Dreams

My dreams have been so incredibly vivid. Not necessarily good or bad dreams, just vivid. And a lot have to do with water. Or bugs. I wake up most morning needing to take a few minutes to process that none of it was real. That’s how vivid they are!

2. Increased Facial Hair

I’m not the most patient person to begin with, but the progesterone has pushed me to a whole new level of intolerance and impatience. The littlest thing can send me quickly and easily over the edge.

3. Total Impatience

I’m not the most patient person to begin with, but the progesterone has pushed me to a whole new level of intolerance and impatience. The littlest thing can send me quickly and easily over the edge.

4. Cramping

The cramps aren’t too serious, but they are definitely very different from period cramps. They’re deeper and stronger. I’m really hoping some of them are from implantation and not just all from the progesterone!

5. Wicked Hunger

I eat just about every two hours during the day, and have been good for two smaller but legit lunches almost since the progesterone shots began I’d say about four days in. My coworkers think I’m nuts; thank goodness they know what I’m up to otherwise they’d probably think something was seriously wrong with me.

6. Tired. All. The. Time.

I feel like I could take a nap at any given moment of the day. Also, the fact that I’m tired all the time from the shots doesn’t mix well with my lack of patience.

7. Lightheaded And Dizzy

This is my biggest complaint. If I stand up too quickly. If I get out of bed too fast. If I walk up the stairs two at a time. I get lightheaded. And since passing out is a fear of mine, this side effect kicks up my anxiety.

8. Sore Backside

The injection sites right above my butt and right below my muffin top, on each side are itchy during the day and also incredibly sore. It feels like a sore muscle. Ice has seemed to help a little, but not that much.

9. Weight Loss

Since I started this journey 17 months ago, I’ve gained 12 pounds. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve ever gained weight. I sure have gained some serious sympathy for people who struggle with their weight, because this sucks. Not fitting into my clothes is frustrating, and I’m hesitant to buy new because I keep hoping I’ll be pregnant next cycle! But the progesterone has actually knocked off almost two pounds over the past 11 days. Not really sure how that works when I’m eating so much, but who am I to question?

10. Pimples

Ugh. This side effect has been part of every single medication and hormone I’ve taken over the course of my fertility journey. Most of the time, I have at least two small but reddish zits anywhere on my face. I can’t wait to have my skin back! Though I’ve been told pregnancy can forever change your skin. I wouldn’t care if that were the case, because it’d totally be worth it!

 

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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