For those of us going through IVF, we all have done a little bit of research online, joined at "least" one Facebook group, and have come to the realization; I am going to be getting this shot with that big ass needle? Then the questions begin to build up. What is progesterone? Do I really need it? Why does it have to be such a big needle?
Lets clear some of the confusion and answer some questions first, then I will cover some of the side effects of progesterone oil. Hopefully this will help us all.
So What is Progesterone?
Progesterone is a naturally occuring hormone in the body. This hormone is produced in the ovaries, the adrenal glands and in the placenta during prgnancy and it can be found stored in the fat tissues of our bodies. Progesterone is heavily involved in a women's menstrual cycle and it helps to support pregnancy.
In women trying to conceive, progesterone supplements may be used to help regulate a period, especially for those who have stopped menstruating. In women that are undergoing ovulation induction or IVF progestrone supplements are also used.
IVF patients are in need of extra progesterone due to a chemical need. During the egg retrieval process during IVF, cells that normally create progesterone after ovulation are removed. When the body natrually ovulates, the follicle that containes your egg turns into the corpus luteum. This Latin name may seem a little intimidating, but it really has such a simple function: it secretes progestrone and signals your uterine lining to become ready for the fertilized embryo, so the embryo will successfully implant and grow. But as we have all come to know IVF is not a natural process. There is medication that is taken to produce multiple follicles, then there are other medications given to put on the brakes and to stop the ovaries from releasing the egg before the eggs can be surgically retrieved. Then out of complete suprise to your ovaries, your eggs are collected. So in short, IVF disrupts the natural progesterone function. As a result of this disrupton our bodies need more progesterone for proper luteal support, from the day your eggs are retrieved till about the end of the first trimester. Progesterone facilitates implantation and can literally stip a miscarriage from occuring.
There are other circumstances in which progesterone supplementation is required, such as; donor-egg recipients, Frozen embryo transters (FETs).
Different forms of adminstration
When you scroll through your facebook IVF support group pages and you seem to realize that there are a bunch of different methods of admistration. You could take progestrone orally, vaginally, intramuscularly, and subcutaneous. For these four methods there are multiple pros and cons, as well as there are many side effects from all forms of progesterone.
Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come.
So now that we have learned what progesterone is, and why you have to take it. Lets get to the symptoms we all get to look forward to experiencing on this IVF journey. Here are your top ten symptoms related to the intake of progesterone.
- Vivid Dreams
- Mood Swings
- Abdominal Bloating and Cramping
- Joint pain
- Swollen or Tender breasts
- Vaginal Discharge
- Increased hunger
Now, remeber these are just some of the top 10 symptoms, there are certainly other symptoms that can be experienced and had. I hope that through your IVF journey, your symptoms are few and far between. Remeber that these symptoms are just a small step towards becoming a mother. I know you can get through these hard times, and I know if you are doing the shots, your bottom will certainly recover from the daily shots. The things we experience to become moms is crazy, but in the end will be well worth the pain, trauma, and experiences we have on our journey.
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