IVF drug protocols? How do they affect blood sugars?

Hi everyone,

I'm in NZ and my husband and I have finally qualified for public funding so we will be doing sperm retrieval in about 6 months, and IVF/ICSI in about 18 months time. Hooray to finally being on the waiting list!

My question to you is about IVF drug protocols: When we spoke to the reproductive endo she mentioned that she might put us on either a 4 week protocol or an 8 week protocol. Then the IVF-nurse thought it might be better to put me on the shorter protocol because it may make my diabetes easier to manage. So, what protocol did you get prescribed? What did it feel like? How do the IVF drugs affect your blood sugars? Do you know any good resources (books, sites, blogs) for this sort of info? I would love your help!

Thanks :D

Hi Kaitake,

Congrats on qualifying for funding and making it to the waiting list! 18 months is a long wait, but it gives you lots of time to prepare and find answers to any questions you may have.

When I did IVF/ICSI, we did the "short" protocol. It was actually only a 3-week process. I started "stimming" (taking hormones to stimulate my ovaries) on day 3 of my mentrual cycle. By day 14 or 15 I had my eggs retrieved, they were fertilized, and 5 days later one embryo was transferred back to my uterus. Unfortunately it didn't work for us and we are still on the fence as to whether or not we will try again, but if we do try again our doctor has recommended a longer protocol. Not the 8-week protocol (that involves taking the birth control pill for a month before stimming, etc). The protocol suggested for us is called "down-regulated" protocol which involves taking a hormone to rest the ovaries for a week before stimming.

To be honest, most of the time throughout our IVF cycle I felt pretty good. By day 8 or 9 of the cycle I started to feel bloated from all the follicles that were developing inside me (I ended up with 23 eggs). The egg retrieval was uncomfortable and slightly painful in the moment that it was happening, but the pain only lasted for 30 seconds to a minute, and went away as soon as they were done.

The only hormone that affected my blood sugars was the progesterone which is given after the egg retrieval. It's to prepare the uterus for the egg transfer and to encourage the embryo to implant. I had to take about 25% more insulin than normal during that time. Rachel, another woman in this group who also did IVF mentioned that she had a similar experience with progesterone. I was prepared for it though because I know that my insulin needs naturally increase after I ovulate each month (which is when progesterone increases in the body).

Although I don't know of any resources specific to diabetic women (unfortunately it seems we are a minority - either that or not enough of us are talking about it), I used to frequently follow discussions on www.ivf.ca just for general IVF info. Although mostly Canadian women use the site, the IVF discussions are pretty generic and apply to anyone doing IVF. I found it extremely useful during my cycle.

Good luck on your journey, and if you DO find any useful diabetic-related IVF info, please feel free to post it here! I am sure many of us would find it useful. :)

Take care,

Thanks Lori! That is a wonderful amount of info for me to get started with :) Yes, it does seem like T1 + IVF is a VERY small group indeed! I'm not so worried about the 18 month wait, as we've already been waiting upwards of 6 years to qualify just to get onto the waiting list. 18 months will fly by I know it. So sorry to hear your first IVF didn't work. Wishing you all the best for the future. And thank you very much for your reply :D