Prepping for the Fake Cycle

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Time to cross the fingers.

Took the last Provera pill yesterday and so we’re now waiting for my period to begin, hoping that did the trick so that I can finally get crackin’. By Monday I should be starting the mock cycle of delestrogen injections every 3rd day, getting my Endometrial Receptivity biopsy (ERA) scheduled – nothing like working injections around doctor’s office schedules around the holidays, eh? – and thereby knowing when to start PIO injections as well.

Here’s a few interesting things I have come to realize after so many cycles when it comes to failed implantation:

  • Traditional protocol is to take progesterone for 5 days preceding one’s embryo transfer. Looking back at my online calendars, transfer day was on that 6th day, BUT I was doing my PIO shots in the morning as per my RE’s instruction, and that means I actually had 6 progesterone shots before transfer. Does this mean we may have technically been doing the transfer a day late for the average uterus?
  • Along with the above, three out of the four unsuccessful transfers were done late in the day on that 6th day (usually 4-5pm), giving that 6th PIO shot many more hours to absorb. The first transfer and the 4th “successful” (miscarriage @ 9 weeks) transfer were done in the morning. Knowing there is only a 12 hour window for implantation, could this have made the difference? Could I have gotten pregnant on cycle 4 only because it was in the final minutes of the 12 hour window? Could my transfers have occurred when I was post-receptive?
  • And it seems knowledge of the Matris Ultrasound, a non-biopsy version of the ERA (i.e., totally painless), is few and far between beyond a couple of bloggers and forum participants. My own RE had never heard of it and the website sadly doesn’t say who uses it (grrr). What a bummer – fertility clinics could make a killing off this test (not to mention increase their success rates), right? Or I suppose they’re profiting more off of multiple failed IVFs, ugh…

Food for thought, for sure. I chatted with my RE yesterday and while I didn’t mention the above, I did ask him if I could do PIO shots at night like I do with Delestrogen, and he said that would be fine. I primarily wanted that to happen because it’s more convenient with my husband’s schedule (hey, I’d rather go into his work and have the shot in the back room at 8pm when he has late shifts compared to getting up at 5am before his early shifts), but thinking about the finer points of my cycles and medication timing, this would mean on the biopsy day I’ll only have had 5 PIO shots injcted into me, rather than 6.

Who knows, with this and – fina-fucking-ly – a perfect thyroid TSH (and hopefully improved antibodies numbers, which we’ll test again in a few weeks), perhaps this final attempt will give us what we have longed for for so long. It’s hard to be optimistic, but I’ll be giving this last cycle my pure, honest and positive attention. I have researched everything. I have gotten my thyroid down to normal levels. I have gotten second opinions, I have changed some of my providers, I have returned to others. I have gone down every avenue, from IUI two ways to donor egg IVF five times which led to the loss of our baby in August at the fourth attempt, to foster/adopt to international adoption to domestic adoption.

This final round? I need to do this for me. And then, no matter what, the chapter of bringing life into my womb? It will be whatever it is meant to be.




13 thoughts on “Prepping for the Fake Cycle

  1. Good luck lovely! I really hope this one is a success for you! I do read a lot about these PIO shots, but they seem to be used mainly by US clinics/doctors. I’ve been using Cyclogest pessaries which are a bit ick but must be nicer than a jab in the butt each day!! My doctor even said there is no clinical evidence that taking extra progesterone does anything, however he believes in next to no supportive meds so perhaps he’s not a good one to ask! How’s your back going?


    1. Yeah he let me use progesterone pessaries last time but only after the transfer, as he thinks it’s the gold standard for pre transfer and then said he’s more open afterwards, which is also what my second opinion said. I figure I’m going to try to mimic the same thing I did on cycle for which got me pregnant (even if not for long), and tough it out. I actually find them equally annoying as at least the shot is only one day and remembering to take the progesterone pessaries 4 times a day was pretty grueling but at least I work from home haha. At least though this is just a mock cycle so only do 5 shots in a row of that, and delestrogen is every 3 days ( and way faster of a shot then progesterone in oil).
      Thanks for asking about my back… I have to remember to be grateful for the little things like being able to get out of bed on my own and off the toilet and fun embarrassing things like that. But unless I lie on my bed that’s the only way I can get my pants and socks and shoes on by myself so my husband usually helps me because there still is no leaning over and no sitting down for more than a minute or two at a time without pain. It’s effed up. I keep laughing as I’m thinking at least I’m well enough to stand and get a shot in the ass when my period arrives right ? Oy.


      1. Four times a day?! Mine are twice a day! I don’t find them so bad actually but I know of others who say it’s the worst. I think I’m more relaxed in general with the meds now than I ever was.
        So glad to hear you’re making progress with your back. You’ve got to laugh when things get so bad. My mum has terminal leukaemia (actually she was meant to not be here anymore by about 3 years – she’s pretty awesome) and my sister and I regularly claim her various possessions right in front of her. It’s become a weird way to bond over something that will happen eventually, but with her having some involvement in it. I’m all for this kind of dark humour. Hoping you’re going to be okay to sort out all things period without assistance. I think my hubby would not be so bothered about delivering me to the toilet and helping me get dressed but if he had to “get involved” with the bodily functions he wouldn’t be happy!!


        1. Yeah 4 times a day is what makes it a pain in the you-know-what compared to two times a day that’s for sure. The messiness is the least of my concern, my doc said that the shots ensure the entire amount gets to where it needs to be immediately. Amazing how many millions of protocols are out there isn’t it?

          Yeah even in my worst pain I would not let my husband do anything more than help me on and off the toilet if you know what I mean . .. I just looked him straight in the eye and said” this will be a bad for a marriage if you do that” LOL… when I was in the ER they had to have me pee in a bedpan which was awful and I made everybody including the nurse leave the room while I did it. Fortunately my husband worked with those who have serious developmental disabilities for over 15 years so at least he’s a pro at helping people put on their socks and shoes, and all the icky stuff as well was much more than what he’s dealing with with me heh.


        2. All I’ve worked out from the differ protocols is that no one is really sure what works so we are all a science experiment.
          Glad to hear you’re well enough to take care of business solo 😂🙈. After my last D&C who knows what happens but they wedged what the doctor described as a tampon up me to stop some form of bleeding. I made husband go outside when the nurse removed it but even so I was like this is not a tampon! It was more like when a clown keeps dragging hankerchiefs out of his sleeve. Never ending!! Weirdly, I found it really funny! I blame the drugs!


        3. Oh man that is funny, I’d have done the same thing. Yeah I gotta say I love to when my doctor asked me if I think I’d “completed” the miscarriage at home after taking the pills to make it happen… I’m like I don’t know I bled for 12 hours, not exactly experienced at this… yet he never did an ultrasound… strangely enough I think it actually passed a few days after, but I never had any plans to look down and check it out. Here’s hoping things going forward in the coming year are awesome for all of us…

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        4. By the way I’m glad the three of you have such a strong bond and I definitely don’t have that in my family. When my dad died he left everything to my stepmother who in turn share the money with her three daughters and I got nothing. Not that I wanted any stuff but it’s hard to see 3 people going on trips around the world while I was just fighting to pay my mortgage back then. I think that’s the thing that’s lonely has to about this is that I have no family interested in what I’ve been going through.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. We have a strong bond in some ways which is nice but my family have next to no clue about my situation beyond that we are “doing IVF”. If you asked either my mum or my sister what that actually involved they would have no idea. They certainly don’t provide any valuable support though my mum does ask me how I am from time to time. The inlaws are negative support. My best friend is an an IVF – immune patient veteran though and she counts for about 10 people!!


  2. Whoa, crazy that you were doing PIO shot on the 6th day, before transfer? I was always told to bring my Crinone in on that 6th day but don’t use it until after transfer. That is all curious and confusing! I am hoping the ERA (will you take a 6th PIO for it? Stick with 5 days?) will shed some light. Hoping you won’t have as much pain as I did :-0


    1. Yep I’ve always taken 5 days of progesterone before transfer to prepare the lining for donor egg transfer, pretty standard protocol from what I’ve read. No idea what the schedule will be as of course I’m still waiting for my period to come which hopefully will be here by Sunday or Monday at the latest… that’s why I’ll call the clinic and they’ll be able to figure out my schedule but I’m pretty sure it will be 5 days not 6, since I’ll be doing the shots at night instead of in the evening,


  3. In my clinic I was start taking progesterone the day after the transfer! And then it’s suppositories three times a day. Messy business! It definitely sounds like you are doing absolutely everything you possibly can, so you certainly shouldn’t have regrets that you didn’t do all you could! You are such a strong person. I’m crossing everything for you that the next cycle will be the one!


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