August 24, 2023

Ask Fertility Nurse Hannah: How Will Fertility Meds Affect My Life?

An image featuring Nurse Hannah Lind, Director of Nursing at VFP Pharmacy Group and text that says

People undergoing fertility treatment are strong and dedicated. They’re already aware that they’ll have plenty of appointments and rounds of treatment to prepare for IVF or IUI cycles. Even people looking to preserve their fertility will need to undergo treatment and procedures to freeze their eggs.

If this is your first cycle, you probably have questions about how the treatments and medications can affect your daily life. Do you have to change your exercise routine? Are there foods you should avoid?

For this installment in our Ask Nurse Hannah series, she’ll address questions regarding how fertility medication and treatment can affect your daily life. You can find more information about our Director of Nursing Services, Hannah Lind, RN, here.

Question: Will my fertility medication affect my daily routine or work schedule?

Hannah: This is an interesting question. A patient going through IVF will usually need three to six blood and ultrasound appointments, plus egg retrieval (which is a surgical procedure), and then an embryo transfer if they’re doing a fresh transfer. If the patient is doing IUI, there will be fewer appointments.

Patients need to be available for these appointments, which may require flexibility. They’ll need to dedicate two to three weeks of uncertain schedules to accommodate these last-minute scheduled appointments.

The medications themselves also require some special attention. Patients will need to take injectable meds (and oral if prescribed), and they need to be done at roughly the same time each day for the best, most consistent response and outcome.

And finally, fertility doctors may request patients take morning and evening meds. Patients should pick a time (or times) they can be most consistent with—times that make the most sense for them.

Question: Are there any foods or activities I should avoid while taking my fertility medications?

Hannah: Patients should avoid alcohol while trying to conceive. 

Aside from that restriction, clinics will advise patients of activity adjustment based on their regular activity level and type—and patients should follow their individual MD instructions. 

But generally, when follicles start to enlarge, patients should adjust their activities to avoid high-impact aerobics, running, aggressive abdominal twists, and crunches. While follicles are growing and ovaries are enlarging, ovaries become more susceptible to torsion (twisting of the ovary), which blocks blood flow to the ovary. 

Less aggressive activities like walking, stretching, and gentle movements (like prenatal yoga) are encouraged.

Do You Need Help Administering Your Medications?

Hannah: At VFP Pharmacy Group, we understand that people can feel apprehensive about administering medication—especially when it’s an injectable method. That’s why we proudly offer free virtual medication lessons.

During a private lesson, a VFP clinical educator will meet with you via a secure video connection to walk you through the injection or instructions for your medication. If a partner or friend will be helping you administer the medication, that person is also welcome to your lesson—it’s up to you.

If you’re interested, simply fill out the form, and a clinical educator will be in touch with you to schedule your lesson.

In the meantime, if you have questions about the side effects of your medication, you can always ask your prescribing physician or Nurse Hannah.