Preparing for FET – Progynova, Synarel and Pessaries

Just when I thought it couldn’t get much worse than daily injections, I’m introduced to Synarel (a nasal spray) and Progesterone Pessaries, tampon looking ‘tablets’ which are not injected or ingested orally! Cue the self-doubt here – it’s difficult to know whether or not you’re doing any of this correctly. Thank you Dr Google!

Progynova
Here’s where it began. I started taking Progynova on CD5. Progynova is a tablet that’s ingested orally and contains estrogen to thicken the lining of the uterus (endometrium) before FET can take place. I started by taking 1 x 2mg tablet twice a day.

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Side effects include but are not limited to: mood changes/depression, spotting, premenstrual like symptoms, nausea, stomach pain, headaches, feeling tired, acne, weight gain.

I was feeling quite bloated and nauseous for a few days and my CD14 scan revealed I still had some fluid. My lining was only 5mm and needed to reach 8mm before moving to the next step so my FS increased Progynova to 2 x 2mg tablets twice a day. I had a blood test to check progesterone levels and also commenced taking Synarel.

Synarel
Synarel is used to suppress the growth of follicles and is absorbed in the bloodstream. I had one spray twice a day, 12 hours apart (one nostril in the morning and the other at night).

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Side effects include: headaches, hot flushes, nasal irritation, muscle pain/weakness, acne, mood changes/depression, increase in hair growth.

I hated Synarel. Half the time I didn’t know if I sniffed it in deep enough, if the angle of the bottle was ok, if it was too far up my nose, if anything was even being absorbed. It left a disgusting taste at the back of my throat that lingered for a while and made me want to gag. Hold in your sneezes and don’t blow your nose because you don’t want to be taking another dose!

Progesterone Pessaries
My next scan was CD18. My lining was looking good but I had a follicle/cyst (damn PCOS) and needed to have another blood test to check that progesterone levels were ok. In the afternoon I received a call from the nurse giving me the all clear to commence Pessaries the following morning – 400mg twice a day, 12 hours apart, while continuing to take Progynova. Progesterone Pessaries are used in the luteal phase (LP) to support the endometrium and ensure that the lining of the uterus is optimal for implanting an embryo. If FET results in a pregnancy, you’ll be lucky enough to continue administering these Pessaries twice a day (sometimes up to four times a day!!!!) for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. I can only laugh….

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Pessaries are stored in the fridge and need to be used immediately as they have a cocoa butter base and start melting pretty quickly.
Side effects include: nausea, acne, fluid retention, weight gain, breast tenderness, abdominal pain and discomfort and pretty much every other pregnancy symptom you can think of!!

I have a really sensitive tummy (yes, I’m a decaf drinker for this reason) so usually feel the bloating/fluid retention/gastric upset side effects. It was no different with the Pessaries. I could definitely feel it in my tummy – bubbling, cramping and nauseous.

No more morning gym sessions for me. Instead I lie flat and can’t move for at least 30 minutes after the pessary is inserted. Give me needles any day! How the hell can four doses of these things be taken in one day!?

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