Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Prednisolone During IVF

Every day I'm learning so many new things about this process.

Yesterday I went to the Dr. and had an ultrasound to check the progress of my ovarian stimulation. He had already upped my dosage to the "max dose" for stimulation, so he was checking the size of my follicles to determine if I needed to stay on the max dose. Previously I had 18 follicles. This time he measured 6 that were responding to the treatment, ranging in size from 6mm to 8mm. The nurse assured me the others are still there, they just haven't responded yet, but they will.

In addition to the shots I'm taking every day (5iu of lupron in the morning, 2 doses of menopur in the morning, one shot of follistim 300iu at night) I was also prescribed 7.5mg of prednisolone nightly.

The nurse explained that the prednisolone is "because you're on max dose". I go back to the Dr. tomorrow and I'm sure he'll explain it better. From what I've researched about prednisolone, it is a steroid used to treat inflammation. Most likely he prescribed it to make sure I don't get inflamed, but I'm happy he prescribed it for another reason.

There is a lot of controversy right now in the Fertility Field about auto-immune infertility issues. If you remember, Courtney Cox claims she couldn't get pregnant because she had anti-phospholipid antibodies which were preventing her embryos from implanting because her body thought they were invaders that needed to be destroyed. After taking medications to supress these cells she got pregnant. Prednisolone has been used to treat these same conditions. It is prescribed for women who have had multiple miscarriages due to auto-immune conditions, including lupus. The controversy lies in the fact that many Reproductive Endocrinologists don't believe there is enough evidence that these cells have that power. Most won't even discuss it with you, as I've witnessed on many websites.

I think it's very possible that I could have some of these "natural killer" cells in my womb, which prednisolone combats. For women who have been known to have these NK cells in their wombs, a cycle of prednisolone has suppressed the cells and allowed the woman to conceive. The cycle is continued through pregnancy until the fetus is large enough that the body can't attack it.

I wanted to take this medication when I first heard about it, so I'm glad it is being prescribed to me now, even if that's not why it was prescribed.

Other than some really ugly stick marks and bruises on my stomach I'm doing fine. I've given in to the process because I'm determined to succeed.

The doctor doesn't think I will have surgery before next Monday, so the timing is perfect because my job ends this Friday (my birthday!).

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