November 22, 2017
With the synchronization cycle (a.k.a. the pill cycle) in the rearview mirror, it is time to describe what it entails. This phase, in it’s simplest terms, is the time when the donor and recipients menustral cycles are aligned through the use of birth control. In addition, there is an injection and endometrial biopsy that occur toward the end of the cycle.
On the surface the cycle appears straightforward and relativity harmless, but for someone with a gastrointestinal disease, the birth control pill is harsh and uncomfortable. From the day I ingested the first dose, I immediately began to feel symptoms. My stomach screamed at me on a daily basis, but I persevered. I admit that there were days I was I ready to pack it in.
Twenty one days later the next and most painful part of the cycle occurred on one tortuous day. The day started off with an injection called Decapeptyl, which is used to suppress ovulation. This was immediately followed by a biopsy of the endometrial lining. The purpose of this procedure is to disrupt the lining and release growth factors to improved the chances of embryo implantation. It is believed to benefit those women who have failed to get pregnant through IVF.
I have endured many painful procedures in my life with both my Crohn’s and fertility treatments, but this by far was the worst. For ten minutes my gynecologist continually inserted a tiny plastic tube into my uterus in order to extract cells. With each pass the cramps and pain made me gasp, nearly bringing me to tears. Nothing alleviated my discomfort, and since I cannot take over the counter pain relievers because of my Crohn’s disease, I had to fight back the tears and breathe through the pain. I can only hope that this procedure helps with embryo implantation.
To top off an already uncomfortable week, I had an unexpected early tooth extraction and bone graft to prepare for a dental implant in the near future.
The pill cycle was anything but easy, and certainly tested my strength, will, and determination After this difficult cycle, I know that I can handle whatever challenges may lie ahead.
Stay tuned for the next blog in which I talk about preparations for the “real cycle.”