You beta be kidding me


Okay, seriously, 11dp5dt and I STILL don’t know if this cycle has worked or not.

I wasn’t listening to the nurses when I had my transfer. I was so happy to have blastocysts and frozen embryos everything they said went flying in one ear and out the other on a glittery rainbow train driven by fairies. Well, the train has gone now and I’m annoyed and grumpy. This is (a small percentage of) the reasons why:

– I am having hCG boosters every 3.5 days
– My next ones are Wednesday (15th – am) and Saturday (18th – pm)
– My beta tests are Monday 20th and Wednesday 22nd
– Pregnyl has a half life of 24-36 hours and my first beta is 36 hours after my last injection. This means I could still have upto 2,500hCG in my system on beta day!

It’s not going to tell us anything! Even if I’m making my own, it’ll be a drop in the ocean compared to the stuff that is artificially coursing through my veins. There will certainly be no way of telling if the number has doubled or not. Even if it has, surely it will look like it has dropped as the injection leaves my system?

I’m going to have to call them tomorrow. To me it looks like they have just given me an extra week of hCG jabs for no particular reason. I can appreciate that they want me to wait until the 20th since I’ve had the boosters, but that only makes sense if I don’t then have more boosters next week.

I hope I can speak to someone sensible. I’m feeling pretty naff with all the drugs and stress so I also hope I don’t get frustrated and I stay polite.

I think I’ve decided that if they tell me to take them next week anyway, I am going to rebel and ‘forget’ to do Saturday’s injection. It won’t affect a pregnancy – I will be over 5 weeks by then if I am pregnant and it will make the betas on Monday and Wednesday worthwhile.

It’s official. This wait is driving me mad.

BB xx

53 thoughts on “You beta be kidding me

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      It makes no sense! I feel like it makes so much no sense they should agree with me… I hope. They never do betas or hCG boosters so I need to speak to someone with their wits about them who will listen!

      1. mylifeasacasestudy

        Betty, don’t ‘beat your head against a brick wall’. You’re right. Your HCG should be high enough by that point to support a pregnancy & if it’s not then you’d just be prolonging the inevitable by continuing the shots *and* screwing up your betas so there would be no clarity. So, if these yahoos dismiss you or say “I see your point but do it because we say so”, then don’t be afraid to skip the last shot, knowing that it won’t affect the outcome. Just don’t skip your progesterone (duh). XOXO

      2. barrenbetty Post author

        Thanks for the pep talk! I’m feeling like a bit of a wimp this week with everything but I’m going to man up and tell ’em tomorrow. I’ve decided just to call them and explain what injections I’ve been told to do and just tell them I’m not doing the one on Saturday rather than ask them a question! I need to put my brave Betty hat on.

  1. mumofone

    BB – My first uneducated thought was: oh no but the HCG is there for luteal support – which is often lacking in fresh IVF cycles because when they suck out the follicle they can take some of the cells that are meant to support growth of the corpus luteum….but then my training kicked in and I looked for studies.
    The Cochrane Collaboration is an organisation that reviews all studies they can find on a topic and presents their results. They are often considered the highest source of evidence based medicine. Here is their conclusion on the matter:
    “This review showed a significant effect in favour of progesterone for luteal phase support, favouring synthetic progesterone over micronized progesterone. Overall, the addition of other substances such as estrogen or hCG did not seem to improve outcomes. We also found no evidence favouring a specific route or duration of administration of progesterone. We found that hCG, or hCG plus progesterone, was associated with a higher risk of OHSS. The use of hCG should therefore be avoided. There were significant results showing a benefit from addition of GnRH agonist to progesterone for the outcomes of live birth, clinical pregnancy and ongoing pregnancy. For now, progesterone seems to be the best option as luteal phase support, with better pregnancy results when synthetic progesterone is used.”
    So I do read in that that there is no specific evidence that taking HCG AND Progesterone will improve implantation or early pregnancy support. I’m sure that your clinic is trying to do anything/everything they can to support you after your difficult journey so far – BUT you may have a point in stopping the HCG – but definitely keep on with the progesterone – and see what happens???
    In any event – quote them the Cochrane Review information and really blow their minds with your superior knowledge LOL

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Ooh, that’s really interesting. Thanks! Neither of my clinics give anybody hCG support and they both had good success rates so I guess I should be okay without…. I’d have to keep up the progesterone until 8 weeks though I think. Have you ever used Utrogestan? It’s so so gross. I swear it’s the worst of all the progesterone supports!!!

      1. mumofone

        I used Crinone Gel. It wasn’t too bad. I think it rates the best out of all the ways you can administer Progesterone if you survey patients! Your descriptions of Utrogestan as becoming like hot melted glue sound awful!! Although we should both spare a thought for our American friends. Over there its quite common that they use PIO. Despite the fact there are many studies which show that Vaginal Progesterone is as good and perhaps better than PIO. I’m told the injections hurt A LOT and its not something you can do yourself either 😦
        As for how long you need to take it for….it appears there is no clear evidence for this. Varies between 8 – 12 weeks for most studies in the Cochrane Review I read. The placenta is supposed to take over sometime between 8 – 10 weeks I think from memory?? (Wikipedia will probably know LOL)
        I wonder whether you could ask them to switch you to the gel instead of the tablets? Although it doesn’t seem to matter which type of progesterone you use…the gel is supposed to be marginally better from a side effects/tolerability POV.
        I don’t know how flexible your clinic is though 😦

      2. barrenbetty Post author

        They aren’t flexible at all! I’m stuck with the grebby Utrogestan. It really varies here with progesterone support. My old clinic stopped at OTD and said that the corpus luteum makes enough progesterone if you are pregnant. My new clinic stops at 8 weeks (although I have such a big stash from my failed cycles I’m going to carry on til 10 if it works, haha). I spoke to my doctor about it and he said the latest research was suggesting that no progesterone support was needed at all. Geez.

      3. mumofone

        I’m sorry – that (i.e. no progesterone support) makes no sense to me. FFS I’m an anaesthetist and I can read the papers – a Cochrane Review from 2011 no less!!!! – which clearly states the benefits of progesterone for luteal phase support. So what are they doing? Its possible it may depend on which protocol you’re using and I’m certainly not familiar with the 50 million different ones I’ve read about on people’s blogs over the last couple of years. But a classic standard long down regulation protocol completely obliterates the body’s ability to make enough hormones to stimulate the corpus luteum to make progesterone – let alone the fact that the egg retrieval process might take some of these important cells…
        I don’t think I like your clinic 😦

      4. barrenbetty Post author

        Well you don’t need to panic because they still give it up to 8 weeks! I wasn’t happy with my old clinic stopping me on OTD. This new one has stopped doing long protocols so maybe that’s why… He said it because I wanted PIO and he said no and that was one of the reasons. My old clinic said the same thing, that the corpus luteum is making the progesterone (and they always do long cycles!!) so there is no need for it. They said that they only give the progesterone as a boost and to help keep the lining nice, hence why they stop at OTD. It’s mental how different everyone thinks… Makes me think that nobody has any idea what is going on! I don’t trust any of them anymore!!!

  2. kiftsgate

    I think first of all that you can be very proud of yourself. Waiting for anything – a letter, from now on will just be plain easy! I have no idea about this HCG support. But do call please. And if you freak out, too bad for them.. they should have been clearer earlier on.. beside it’s their job to deal with highly hormonal ladies. Big big hug BB! xx

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      I’m going to call them tomorrow! I hope they listen, but I’m not doing the injection on Saturday whatever, I’ve decided. They hadn’t arranged the hCG injections despite my constant questioning every single appointment so it was all really rushed and last minute in the end. I think they’ve just made a mistake and done it all without thinking…

  3. journeyformybaby

    Yeah, there’s gotta be something up with that. No way can you test that soon after a booster and have any clear idea of what is going on. I hope you get it all sorted quickly and easily.

      1. journeyformybaby

        I did a little googling and found a lady who took the boosters every 3 days for 4 shots and then had beta. Is that how many they are having you take? I didn’t work out how many dpo that would make her.

      2. barrenbetty Post author

        No. That is what I want to do though… That would mean my last shot was 15dpo (yesterday) and it would all be out of my system by the betas. I’m supposed to do them until 22dpo and my betas are 24dpo and 26dpo. It just seems more and more stupid the more I think about it!!

      3. barrenbetty Post author

        You’re not stupid! That seems a lot more common. Either that, or just two shots at 3 and 7dpo. Part of me doesn’t want to stop though incase they are holding off AF. I don’t want it to start!!!

      1. Nushi

        Thanks 🙂 we are well. I’ve been meaning to get back at blogging – shame on me but it’s really hard to get any time with no help

      2. barrenbetty Post author

        I’m not surprised! I’m going to stop blogging if I ever get pregnant (properly pregnant!). I’d love to see an update from you at some point if you ever get a few free minutes 🙂 x

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      They can’t if I’ve had the booster on Saturday. I’m starting to question Wednesday’s one as well now. Sigh. I hope I can speak to someone sensible tomorrow,

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      I can hardly remember my egg collection it was so long ago! Can’t believe I’ve still got so long to wait. Sigh. At least it should be teaching me patience…

  4. myhopejar

    I think your plan sounds good to me. I can understand that they want to help support implantation with the extra hcg, but I agree that you should have enough of your own by beta day. Continuing to send you strength to get through the next week and praying for a rising beta that makes it clear you’re pregnant!

      1. mumofone

        I cannot understand why clinics don’t do betas. I get that they do not show whether a pregnancy will progress properly or even guarantee a take-home-baby. I understand they cost time/money/effort for the clinic. BUT in the setting of IVF – I can see 2 big benefits: 1. Because they may help identify possible ectopic pregnancy if not rising appropriately (and the risk of ectopics is higher with IVF than natural conception) and 2. Because they give peace of mind to the poor patient who is already struggling with so many psychological issues of infertility. So for goodness sake if you can take away some of the “uncertainty” of the process with a few simple blood tests then why the hell not?

      2. barrenbetty Post author

        I totally agree!!! It’s definitely not the norm to do betas in the UK. The majority of clinics just do POAS then a scan at about 7 weeks. I don’t think they appreciate the uncertainty and stress of it at all!

  5. hopefulandhungry

    Oh boy, the extra hcg really does make your beta day confusing. What exactly are the hcg boosters used for? Sorry if you’ve mentioned before. Hope you can make it to the 20th without going too crazy, I know I’d be. 🙂

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      It’s to try and extend my luteal phase because my last two cycles my period started 9 days post egg collection. I asked for PIO but they said no. I’m regretting getting the hcg jabs now – this wait is driving me crazy!!!

  6. Bec

    Just throwing a thought in….if you are pregnant and you have a Beta on DPO 24 you might find you can tell due to the exponential increase of any natural pregnancy HCG at that date. I had a look at my beta which was on DPO 22 in my FET preg cycle. It was 3,215 hcg (a jump from 166 on DPO 14). 3000 odd is on the average for that DPO (but there is a large range). Before it hits 2000 it doubles within 48 hrs and after 2000 it slows down to doubling every 72-96 hours. I suppose what I am trying to say is that they can possibly estimate how much synthetic HCG is in your system (given you know generally how much you have injected in and how fast it leaves the body) against how much is the average HCG in preg for that DPO. It is by no means an accurate way of doing it (and torture for you) but I suppose I was just trying to work out how they could do it. In general, I still don’t really understand why they have done it this way in the first place!! I hope you have a successful discussion with them.

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Ooh that’s an interesting thought, thanks! I’d not looked up how high it should be around 24dpo. I’m hoping to speak to them this afternoon and get an explanation. I’m sure they hate me. I call up all the time asking stupid questions and querying everything they’ve told me! Haha. They’ll be hoping I’m pregnant just so they never have to see me again.

  7. Pingback: That’s beta | barrenbetty

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