My first stimulation scan to check the progress of the developing follicles took place on 29th August, a Wednesday morning. The scan was carried out by a nurse with a student nurse in attendance and followed the format of previous transvaginal scans. I did, however, find the scan a little more uncomfortable than previous ones as the ovaries, presumably, had enlarged. The nurse seemed satisfied with the results and that the follicles were developing nicely, 3 in particular on the left and 7 on the right. The womb lining was ‘starting’ at 3.1mm. A blood test was taken afterwards and I was advised to continue on the medication regime I already had in place unless I received a phone call to indicate otherwise. No such call came. I continued to work after the scan as normal.
I returned for a day 10 scan on Saturday morning 1st September. I was a bit nervous about this scan as I feared it would be as uncomfortable as the previous one. However I didn’t find this to be the case at all. Perhaps this was because the follicles were easier to see requiring less moving about with the scanning wand. I could see the black blobs quite clearly on the ovaries shown on the monitor. The nurse took measurements of the follicles and the womb lining. I went into another room to have a blood test taken again and was again told to remain on my medications unless a phone call later indicated otherwise. Again the 10 follicles were progressing nicely and the womb lining had moved to 7.1mm. My husband was with me on this occasion and was allowed into the scan room where he sat on the ‘man chair’ at the back of my head. We were both present for my blood test and the nurse looked at the file to see if there were any particular instructions for him. The file noted that he would give a fresh sample on the day but as his count is extremely low, he was to prepare for the possibility that a backup TESE (Testicular sperm extraction) may be performed or that a second sample may be needed. As a result we would both have to come in fasting on Egg Collection day from midnight the night before (food and water). A final scan was booked for me for Monday morning, day 12, 3rd September.
The final scan on day 12 was similar to that of day 10, the 10 well developed follicles were noted as well as some smaller ones, which may or may not reach maturity by retrieval day. I could really see how large the follicles were on the monitor on this day. A blood test was taken but it was noted that I was now deemed ready for egg collection. The nurse completed a form for me and stepped through it with me. I was to take my last spray of buserelin at 6pm that evening. Stimulation injections were to be stopped. I was to take my trigger shot of HCG (Ovitrelle) at 9.30pm that night. The nurse gave me a demonstration on how to administer the shot as it was in its own separate syringe. However, it was greatly similar to the Puregon shots I had been taking and was to be administered in the same way in the same place. I actually managed this shot just fine, though jabbed myself twice as I thought I had left a drop behind. The nurse’s suggestion to draw back the syringe before pushing it up to prime the needle worked perfectly and it was easy to control. The injection was administered in the tummy, the same as the stimulation ones and the needle was very thin and short.
In terms of symptoms during the stimulation phase, I didn’t notice very much. However as I got beyond day 7 I could feel sensations in the ovaries and some backache (presumably from growing ovaries). I also got more tummy bloating and had to retrieve some ‘fat trousers’ and an increasing number of forgiving skirts from my wardrobe. I also found rapid movement a bit uncomfortable so my usual power walking speed was much reduced to a gentle stroll. I continued at work until the the close of the day before my egg collection, stopping off on the way home to have an acupuncture treatment.
That night I decided to get into a calm frame of mind by listening to a relaxation CD. I fell asleep half way through but hopefully some of the positive messages went in to my subconscious.