Meet April Chrstina and her husband Greg. When April was diagnosed with endometriosis, a condition in which tissue similar to the tissue that forms the lining of your uterus grows outside of your uterine cavity, 10 years ago she decided to turn her pain into purpose by educating others about health and wellness.
April and Greg married in March 2018 and tried to get pregnant the following year. But they struggled. April learned her AMH level was low and the best way for them to conceive was through IVF. April chose Kindbody for their IVF journey. And like her journey with endometriosis, her goal is to raise awareness around the topic of fertility and normalize reproductive care.
Follow along as April shares the process of preparing her eggs for retrieval with IVF injections.
April Christina’s Journey Begins (Day 1):
“The thoughts and conversations that preceded our decision to start an IVF journey were numerous. My advice to both women AND men is before you start any fertility treatment really understand what your fertility baselines are (baselines allow you and your physician to get a glimpse of the health and state of the ovaries and pelvic organs before a fertility treatment begins). [Regardless of if you are trying to conceive now or not] knowing your baseline will provide a better understanding of what your journey would be like.”- April Christina
April Christina’s IVF Injections (Day 2):
The process of injections are a fact of life when it comes to IVF, but they don’t need to be a traumatic experience. The exact drug and dosage used during IVF depends on a your age, medical history, test results and the personalized plan you drafted with your provider. Talk to your care team before your cycle begins to get some tips and tricks on how to go about the injections.
In this video, April Christina is talking about a fertility medication called Menopur – which like most fertility drugs – contain a hormone called follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) that help stimulate the ovaries to produce several eggs.
April Christina’s IVF Injections (Day 3):
Although light spotting can be normal during the injection phase, women should monitor bleeding to ensure it is not a sign of complications. If you are seeing continued bleeding and or spotting, call your physician right away.
April Christina’s IVF Injections (Day 4):
Egg retrieval fatigue is real! After all similar to most medications, there are certain side effects that can occur when taking these fertility medications. Fatigue is often the number one complaint, but is completely normal. We encourage our patients to rest as much as possible and practice self care.
April Christina’s Trigger Shot:
The last step prior to retrieving your eggs is actually “triggering” the eggs to go through the last stage of maturation with a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
Timing this shot is vital, as you’ll want to ensure that your egg is mature enough to be viable for fertilization however not too mature. The shot is typically a one-time injection.
Last Thoughts Before Egg Retrieval
“Hold On! Don’t Give Up. For every person watching this and thinking about exploring fertility options and questioning when is the right time – the time is now. You won’t have all the answers but as you go through the journey, the road and your vision will seem clearer. If you need to take a break, IT’S OKAY- that is a part of the process & mental health is important.
For the ones that may feel isolated – I see you! I’ve been there. You’re not alone. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. More women than you know suffer in silence. But it can end with you. Help that friend or family overcome it! Be encouraged.” – April Christina
When is IVF needed?
The treatment is a choice for those with fallopian tube issues, or people who face conditions like endometriosis, infertility and male factor infertility. After a fertility assessment our physicians will review your fertility options and help guide you to the treatment needed.
Why do you take medication for IVF?
The IVF egg retrieval process starts with our physician prescribing you a series of medications (usually injectable shots) to prepare the uterus and stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple mature eggs. Multiple eggs are needed because not all eggs will fertilize or develop properly after fertilization.
How do we ensure your follicles grow?
During ovarian stimulation, our physicians monitor the growth and development of your follicles regularly. Based on what we see, you may need to increase or decrease dosages.
After you receive the hCG shot how long do you typically wait before egg retrieval? What is the process like?
The egg retrieval will take place after ~34 to 36 hours of the hCG shot. The procedure is done in a minimally invasive way – meaning it usually has no scars, stitches, and a short recovery time.
Kindbody is a new generation of women's health and fertility care. Providing you with the information you need to take control of your health and make the decisions that are right for you. We’re a community of healthcare providers, fertility specialists, and women who get it. We’re on a mission to democratize and de-stigmatize women’s health and fertility care, making it accessible, intuitive, and empowering.