Monday, June 12, 2006

IVF division of labour (humour)

If you don't know much about the IVF process the division of labour between the two parties goes a bit like this:

WOMAN - may start by taking a birthcontrol pill (ironic, eh?!) then she moves on to either a disgusting nasal spray or self-injections. After about 2 weeks she adds more injections to stimulate the follicles for another 2 weeks or so. During this time ther are regular blood tests and the fun of vaginal u/s (aka dildocam). When it's time to harvest the eggs (or oocytes if you want to be technical) she takes an hCG injection (yep - the pregnancy hormone, if you pee on a pregnancy test it will show up as a positive result) and 36 hours or so later she goes in for an egg retrieval and depending upon the clinic this is done under sedation or general anaesthetic. After all this probing she starts using progesterone pessaries or gel every day. Progesterone is an evil drug that makes you feel like you are PMSing x 1000. It's also highly messy. After 2-5 days she goes back for the embryo transfer and gets to ride in the special chair so that the dr can replace the embryos back into the uterus via a catheter - all very romantic. Then it's another 2 weeks of progesterone - some women also have hCG booster shots - before her period arrives or she gets a positive pregnancy blood test. During this time there are all sorts of protocols to follow and you must remember to take the right amount of drugs at the right time.

MAN- has a few preliminary blood tests which often make him nauseous and then provides a "sample" on egg retrieval day. Some clinics even provide private rooms complete with alcohol and pornos to help him perform, others have to do it at home and have to transport it leading to all sorts of comical situations. The most important thing for him to remember is to give it to the right person. In our clinic handbook this was highlighted in pink and bolded so you knew it was important - although who else were you going to give it to?