A Tale of TTC Medication Starring Progesterone

This post may not be for everyone–it can get a little TMI.

I decided to do a separate blog post on all the side effects that I have had with TTC medication. I mostly I wrote this so I can remember the details and I thought I would share to help anyone who is about to start medicated cycles. So far, I’ve attempted two medicated IUI cycles. That said, the most recent cycle was cancelled due to “no response” to the medication (ie. no follicles at CD12) after taking Femara CD4-8 and Estrace/Estradiol CD5-12. During that time, the most notable side effect was bloating off and on.

Last cycle (my first medicated IUI cycle), I started doing progesterone suppositories the day after my IUI, or three days after the trigger shot. I took them until the beta confirmed we were out and the RE said I could stop taking them. I got the lovely red version of the pill so when it leaked throughout the day, I couldn’t tell the difference between progesterone and potential spotting. The pill also comes in yellow and I would’ve preferred that over red. There are a lot of things that I do not like about progesterone suppositories but I will say, I slept very well while taking them. Prior to taking them, I would wake up multiple times in the night but after starting them, I passed out until morning.

Each cycle, I promise myself not to symptom spot but with new medicine, the changes are hard to ignore. I also like to document everything in my Fertility Friend app so that I can remember how I react to medicine (with a BFN) or so I can remember pregnancy symptoms (with a BFP). Below is a quick list of all my progesterone symptoms from my last IUI cycle by DPO and some general notes.

General Notes:

  • Sensitive nipples the entire time I took progesterone
  • My mood and energy didn’t seem to fluctuate due to the meds
  • Slept great through the night
  • A regular (not thin) pantiliner sufficed for the leakage
  • At night, I could check CM and it was always creamy on progesterone
  • BBT stayed elevated and didn’t drop until I stopped taking progesterone
  • Period didn’t start until 3 days after I stopped taking progesterone

DPO (Days Past Ovulation):

6DPO: Twinges/Fluttering feeling in uterus and some cramps in the morning through afternoon. Sharp pains in the evening.

7DPO: Twinges/Flutter continues. Minor waves of nausea in the morning. Minor headache through the day. Pain in the ribs during the evening. It felt like a stitch and it hurt when I touched it (like a bruise).

8DPO: Rib still hurt. Boobs start to feel tender but not terrible. Some minor flutters/twinges but nothing like 6 and 7DPO.

9DPO: We got a vvvfl. We were cautiously optimistic that it was not the trigger. The biggest indication was that the line seemed to be darker than two days prior (when we were testing the trigger out). Cramps and gurgling stomach in the evening.

10DPO: Consistent nausea that could’ve been psychosomatic (spirits are not as high). Some pinching in the evening. Headache in the morning likely due to the stress of a potentially lighter (or equal) HPT. Boobs are tender near armpit when touched–feel bruised.

11DPO: Ankle was oddly hurting. In the afternoon, boobs started to feel tender without touching them. I had a sharp stitch-like pain in my boob. I was very emotional this morning. I probably cried 4 times in a 2-hour window. There was another very faint line on the HPT but it dried practically invisible.

12DPO: Mild dull pressure in uterus during the morning. Boobs are still sore/tender without touching them.

13DPO: Some sharp cramps in the evening and had another faint positive pregnancy test. They aren’t getting any darker. Starting to think about AF and possibility of chemical pregnancy…

14DPO: Negative beta blood test. Stopped taking progesterone at night and waiting for AF.

I hope this helps someone! I feel very stupid looking back and reading all of this… This post has been written for at least a week now. When I first drafted it, I was feeling too embarrassed to share it. Reading all the symptoms by DPO, it reads very obsessive. In my defense, those faint positive tests did not help. Our RE never told us the beta number, they just said it was negative. Maybe it was a chemical pregnancy? But at this point, I don’t think it matters. Unfortunately, we aren’t any closer. If it wasn’t a chemical pregnancy, progesterone is a cruel drug. It can make you feel like you are 9 months from giving birth and there will be nothing there. But on the bright side, I am glad I’ll remember.

I am working on another post about our new plans which will be more exciting and less of a downer. Stay tuned!

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