Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mammo, PIO... Oh My!

I had an interesting day yesterday.  I had a post-op follow-up appointment for my surgery to remove polyps in my uterus.  Everything looked good, and I found out I actually more than one polyp though they were pretty small.  So everything should be all set.  I also asked the doctor about if I should have a mammogram done.  I had called the clinic a couple of weeks earlier asking if I should schedule one now since I had just turned 40 in August, or if I should wait till my next annual physical in April.  I also mentioned that I may getting pregnant soon with a frozen embryo transfer.  When I spoke to the nurse then she said I could probably wait till next year to do it.

Anyway, back to my appointment.  When I asked the doctor about it, he suggested we should just get it done right away.  Like the same day.  He wanted to be safe and get it done now.  If I were to get pregnant, they won't do a mammogram as it is an x-ray procedure.  I won't be able to get one while breastfeeding either.  So, I may be 41 or 42 before I could have one done.  He said we could probably wait, but why take the chance when we could take care of it right away.

Wow!  My first mammogram!  And an unexpected one too.

So, the doc had the nurse walk me about 50 feet down the hall to the imaging clinic right next door and they were able to get me in right away.  It was a new experience for me.  I've heard lots of horror stories about getting a mammogram.  I didn't know what to expect.  Usually, I am pretty well prepared and researched for anything new.  But the technician was very nice and explained everything to me, step by step.

All I can say is that it was not excruciatingly painful, but it was pretty uncomfortable.  But I am glad that is done and over with.  I will get a letter in the mail with the results and any follow-up steps if needed.

Image from

I started my PIO shots this morning.  I have been super nervous about it.  Of all the things about the embryo transfer process, this is what worries me the most.  At NEDC, you take the PIO shots 5 days before your transfer, and then continue until your pregnancy test.  If you are pregnant, you continue taking the shots for 10 - 12 weeks.  In my past IVFs, I have never done PIO shots.  Instead, I have always used the progesterone suppositories.

Babe has been super excited to "shoot me"!  This morning, I started off by warming up the heating pad (buckwheat filled pillow/pad) in the microwave.  I also have a smaller rice filled pad that I heated up as well.  I used the heating pad on my butt while warming up the bottle of PIO in the rice pad.  I read somewhere to warm up the oil as it will help thin it out and makes it easier to inject.  I filled the syringe with the 18G needle and made sure there was 1 CC of PIO. Then I switched out the 18G needle with the 22G needle.  

I laid on my bed on my front and told Babe to let me know when he was ready.  I made sure to exhale when he quickly stuck the needle in me.  I felt it go in, but no pain.  It was kind of ticklish actually since he was being gentle and careful.  He even let go of the syringe and let it stick straight up, with no hands!  Then he pulled the plunger back a little to check to make sure it did not draw up any blood.  If there were blood, it would mean that he struck a blood vessel and he would have to pull out the syringe, change the needle and stick me again.  Luckily there was no blood.  So he SLOWLY injected the PIO.  I showed him a couple of videos of where people injected really slow.  I told tell he was counting under his breath.  He's so detail oriented like that, and that's why I love him!

When he was done injecting all the oil, he left the syringe in for couple of seconds before pulling it out.  I then rubbed the site vigorously for a few seconds.  He put a bandaid on, and then I put the heating pad on and rubbed it for a few minutes.  And to be extra safe, I used a handheld massager on the spot for a few minutes.

I can honestly say it was a breeze.  All the worrying for nothing.  The worst part of it was Babe's freezing hands!  He really seem to enjoy doing this.  I think it gives him an active role in the whole process.  In the past, I did all the shots myself except for the intramuscular trigger shot for my IVFs.  The whole morning, I did not have any pain and barely even remembered I had a PIO shot. 

However, this afternoon, about 6 hours later, I can tell my butt is sore.  I guess it is not going to be as easy as I thought.  I read somewhere, after a week, you can REALLY feel it.  Oh well, it will all be worth it eventually.  I hope.

Here's to TWO firsts for me.  A mammogram and my first PIO shot!

I leave you with a couple photos of my PIO and the needles used (sorry they are not of the best quality).  The top one (18G) is used for drawing the oil into the syringe.  The bottom one (22G) is the one used to inject the oil.  Notice the huge size difference in the needle!  You have to make sure you don't forget the change the needle before injecting, or you could be in a lot of pain!

PIO, and the two needles used
Top needle used to draw the oil, bottom used for injecting.  See the difference in size?


  1. Those needles! Awful and scary. Good for you for getting through it!!

  2. I'm with ya, as I've done both! It sounds like you (and DH) did great. Good for you!


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