2 Things That Surprised Me About IVF Medications

ivf medications

As I write this, I’m in the middle of my 2nd IVF cycle.  For those of you who have yet to experience your first IVF cycle, I thought I’d share two things about IVF medications that surprised me.

IVF Medications Usually Require Specialty Pharmacies

When I was doing my medicated IUI cycles, I was able to get all my medicine from my local pharmacies.   I comparison shopped and ended up buying my medications from Target and Costco.

But IVF is different.

Most pharmacies don’t carry the medications you’ll need.  Unless you live in a major city, you probably don’t have a fertility pharmacy close to you.  You’ll likely end up ordering your medication online.

Things to think about when ordering your meds online:

  • Where will you have them delivered?  At home or at work?  Most online pharmacies require a signature due to the value of the package and the need for refrigeration.
  • If you have them delivered at work, are you okay with your co-workers possibly seeing you receive a large box from a pharmacy?  How will you handle refrigeration?
  • If your pharmacy ships via FedEx, you might want to consider having your medications shipped to a FedEx location and held there until you can pick it up.  This is a good option for people who work.  Just make sure you’ll be able to get to the FedEx location and pick it up before they close.

Meds Require A LOT of Organization

The box of meds is HUGE.  There are so many vials, boxes, syringes, and needles.  Clear out a large drawer (or two), or get a large basket to corral them all in a single spot.  Label any boxes or bags that aren’t already clearly labeled.  Do your best to keep things organized so you can administer them smoothly and efficiently each day.  Update 5/22/15:  My friend Nikol has a fun post on how she used a super-pretty box to keep her IVF meds organized and corralled!

I also recommend keeping a running inventory of how much quantity you have left of each medication.  Depending on how your blood work and scans turn out during your cycle, your doctor may change your dosage from what he originally ordered.  You may end up needed more medicine than you ordered.  There’s nothing more nerve-racking than realizing you need to place an overnight order NOW so you have the medicine your need for tomorrow.  Keeping an inventory will help you avoid these kind of surprises.

*** Looking for more tips on surviving IVF?  Check out my post, 10 Practical Ways to Prepare for IVF ***


Image courtesy of iStockPhoto.com

  • Madaline

    This is such a great post for non – IVF’ers. I never knew how difficult it would be to get these drugs, I wonder if it’s the same in Italy (where I live).

    • Lisa Newton

      Good point. I have no clue what it’s like in Europe!

  • This is great info. I’d add that you have to take a DEEP breath too. Type A personality is great for IVF and the meds… organization is helpful. But you have to know that there WILL be things outside of your control… you’ve got to roll with it. There was a GIANT winter storm that grounded all shipments out of my chosen pharmacy… who could have predicted that? I was in the middle of stims and needed meds in less than 48 hours. I obviously had to find a second online pharmacy, get a new prescription faxed, etc… in those hours it felt like the end of the world and my precious plan and spreadsheet were a waste… you’ve got to roll with it. Just about any situation can have a positive outcome, but you’ve got to keep your head. Deep breaths!

  • As someone who has never done IVF but is preparing for it….I’m very glad to see this post! Those are definitely things I would have NEVER thought of on my own. That’s what I love about the blogging community, we can all learn from each other’s experience 🙂

    Thanks again for the linkup!

    • Lisa Newton

      Good luck on the upcoming cycle, Jessica. I tell everyone that the worst part is the anticipation- so don’t let that get to you!

  • i agree that organization is key. I also made myself an excel sheet in order to put an X in the box if I did that shot or not. It helped me remember what was next and if I actually took the shot or not.

    • Lisa Newton

      My clinic gave me a similar sheet and it’s so helpful. After a few days, all the shots run into each other and I can’t remember if I took them or not. So I cross everything off, too.

  • Oh the meds! Mine were delivered to our door on dry ice and in the best styrofoam cooler ever, that we still use! 🙂 J

    • Lisa Newton

      Haha, yes, I’ve kept all the re-usable ice packs!

  • Thanks so much, Lisa! I I had to have my IUI med sent specially to me; they are using the same pharm company for this round! It def feels a little overwhelming!!! Thanks so much for this! Fingers crossed and prayers for IVF #2 for you!!! I should be starting my meds next week, I think! I have my ‘practice transfer’ on Thurs. xo

    • Lisa Newton

      Good luck with the practice transfer and starting your meds. Give me a holler if you need to chat or if you feel overwhelmed with the meds. Remember, the anticipation is the worst part!

  • Thanks for this post – it’s helpful to have some prior advice as I am starting to prep for our (hopefully imminent-ish) IVF cycle!

    • Lisa Newton

      Glad it’s helpful to you Haisla. Good luck with your upcoming cycle!