Friday, October 13, 2006

At Least I Don't Live In Buffalo

Man, 3 feet of snow? In October? Forget it.

Thanks for your interesting replies to my last post. I think I may have mistakenly given you all the impression that M was not giving me any say in the matter. That could not be further from the truth. I agree with Krista - she was letting me know how she was feeling, and soliciting my feedback. It was more a theoretical exercise than a practical concern of mine. It's just interesting to me that, in situation where the woman DOES say she's through, there's really nothing the husband can do. Each has veto power over the other. But M would never make a unilateral decision like that for a number of reasons, chief among them is that we just depend on eachother's opinions too much. That's such a huge decision, she would never feel comfortable making it on her own. Plus, even is she did feel comfortable making it, she feels like it wouldn't be the right thing to do to not include me in the decision.

Ok. On to the topic of the day: Lupron.

M used to work with a girl who was going through IVF. Let's call this girl "Beth". I never met Beth, but I heard about her every day (sometimes I listened, sometimes I didn't). At the time, M and I knew NOTHING about IVF, not a thing. We had not officially started fertility treatments for #2 yet. When I heard about her, I felt no connection or empathy, because I couldn't relate to her situation. But I did feel bad for her. She had gone through like 3 failed IVF cycles. She was getting in trouble from her boss for leaving work all the time to go to RE appointments, she was all bloated and totally cranky. She was so bloated, she had to wear maternity clothes! That's WHACK.

So anyway, M and Beth reconnected by phone yesterday. I'm happy to report that Beth is pregnant! But now that M is more knowledgeable about IVF and IF in general, they really got into a big discussion about it. It turns out that Beth's main problem from IF (the bloating, etc) was from Lupron. Her FIL is a doctor (not sure what kind) and he had an absolute fit about Lupron. He said it was a very dangerous drug and that no woman should go on it. He said he was sure that in a few decades, there was going to be a huge outbreak of uterine cancer, and they would realize that there was a direct link to Lupron taken during IVF. Apparently, Lupron is manufactured for the treatment of endo, and even the drug manufacturer recommends that it NOT be used for infertility treatments. This guy even called Beth's RE and told him all this, and the RE admitted that while it is a dangerous drug, and even though the manufacturer recommends it not be used with IF, the amounts being used per cycle are so low that they pose no danger to the woman. Dr. FIL replied that may be true, but for those people going through 3,4, 5 IVF cycles, the dosage was no so low anymore.

Anyway, the FIL eventually piped down, Beth went on the Lupron, and now she's pregnant.

I just add this story to the huge pile of evil stories I have heard about Lupron, and Mrs. Smarshy will be going on it soon., which has me quaking in my wingtips.

Has anyone NOT had a bad experience on this stuff, and has anyone else heard about this link to uterine cancer?

22 comments:

serenity said...

I didn't have any issue with Lu.pron. It made me feel a little woozy & lightheaded & forgetful, but it was mild. The headaches I got from stimming (Gon.al-F) were much worse than whatever I felt during the supression phase.

It is true that Lu.pron does not have an indication for supression of ovaries. It is primarily used to TREAT cancer, though, as far as I recall.

You're going to hear those stories. IVF is pretty unnatural, and there have been no long term studies that look at the health of women who have gone through multiple IVF cycles. Like with every decision during IF, there are risks... but not much that you can control.

God. Three IVF cycles. That totally freaks me out.

Well, she's pregnant tho - I guess that's something!

Heather said...

Did you call something "Whack"? LOL Thanks for the laugh this morning.

I know nothing about Lupron, sorry.

Hoping For A Baby said...

I just took my first ever Lupron shot last night. I know there are unknown risks to all the drugs used in IVF, but my desire to have a child is definitely stronger than my fear of any potential health concerns I might have in the future. I figure if all this ends with a child, it will be worth it.

That said, I'm definitely interested in the side effects of the various drugs used. I've heard that Lupron (or maybe it was something else) can put you into a menopausal state, which worries me. My husband has been pretty good at dealing with the hormonal me, but I'm sure he's not ready for the menopausal me. Hell, I'm not even ready for the menopausal me!

Hopeful Mother said...

Yeah, Lu.pron is a weird drug. It does some weird things - for me it is what I call "Lu.pron Loopiness." I feel like my head is either going to fly off or fall off at any moment, along with the biggest headache ever. I think this is related to its menopausal effects.

Lu.pron is supposed to treat endo, but I've also read that its use in IVF is off-label.

Like Hoping for A Baby, I'm blissfully ignorant about any long-term health risks from IVF. A lot of cancers (uterine and cervical) are less likely in women who have given birth, so I figure if we can make it that far, that will bring things back to a normal risk level. (And, hey, there would be a BABY too!)

THere is a lot they know and a lot they don't know about IVF and how it affects the body, so we kind of have to go with it, or not do IVF... and I'm not willing to sacrifice the potential for a child over unknown potential risks right now.

Krista said...

Smarshy before I did a second cycle of IVF I did some research of fertility drugs and their link to cancer. While there has been some studies that show a link, the majority do not. And the studies that do have been critiqued for various things, including not having adequate control measures. I was not able to find one good longitudinal study that made a significant link between fertility drugs and ovarian or breast cancer. It is scary though, to take all these hormones and wonder what they are doing to your body.

When I asked my doctor, she said that there was no "good" research that points to a link with cancer. She also said the clinic chooses not to use luperon and puregonal anymore simply because there are more pure synthetic drugs available. If you are unsure about luperon pershaps you could ask about Suprefact as a suppression drug. I didn't have any side effects from it.

Emmie said...

I wanted to chime in and let you know that I had no major side effects to the Lupron. The first shot left a huge bruise, which now looks like a faded birthmark 2 months later, and I had a few minor hot flashes. That was it, and I considered myself lucky.

My sister's friend went on Lupron for very bad endo. It did very bad things to her, but she was on a much stronger dosage. She swore she'd never touch it again.

As with everything, I guess moderation is the key. I'm hoping you'll only need one cycle!

soralis said...

Wow that sounds scarry, hope it doesn't have any bad effects for your wife. I used different drugs for my IVF cycles.

"some times you listened, sometimes you didn't" still giggline over that one!! You must be related to my husband!

Take care and wishing you and the Mrs. all the luck you need!

theoneliner said...

Does this mean we should disband the "save smarshy" search and rescue party?

I don't know about Lupron...except to say that worries like these freak me out too. I'm gonna go get back under the bed.

rypa said...

Headaches, hot flashes, fatigue, insomnia and irritability were my side effects. My first cycle was the worst as I was on a higher dosage for a longer period of time. The next two cycles weren't too bad because I was on the lowest dose and switched to another suppression drug part way through.

Good luck Mrs. Smarshy, I hope your symptoms are minimal.

One Mother's Journey said...

I can't comment on the lupron because I've never been on it. However, anytime you're "stimming" anything you're forcing it to do something that it's not naturally suppose to do - it does make sense that it might cause problems. Scary stuff.

To be totally honest, a huge consideration in our deciding not to persue treatment anymore was the side effects from the LOW doses of Clomid I was taking. Talk about "Whack!". It scared me to go on anything more aggressive.

Of couse, I wouldn't be so quick to call the side effect anything but absolutely fabulous if they would have resulted in a baby. hehe.

spark said...

LOL about the whack! You make me LOL in just about every post.

I actually felt pretty good on Lupron -- mostly because it didn't suppress me. But once it did finally start working & my E2 levels dropped, then I started to get headaches.

For IVF#3 we're actually going to try a non-Lupron approach (since I my ovaries LOVE it too much and don't calm down) - Ganarelix. Hopefully that does the trick.

Given all of the toxins/chemicals/junk that my body absorbs by living in our modern-day world (which I'm sure will cause all kinds of cancer), I'm really not as worried about the minimal risks of Lupron.

Lara said...

Lupron wasn't so bad to me. I had a few headaches and the hot flashes...UGH! But other than that it wasn't terrible. However my body didn't like it and it actually surpressed me and I didn't grow any follies. I am in the 2ww from a cycle that used NO LUPRON and nothing to surpress ovulation at all. It's my only successful cycle (as far as getting to ER and ET) out of three. Good luck! I know everyone else has said it too, but you are HIlarious! Better go so I can figure out the word jumble at the bottom of the page. If you don't get this post...you know why.

fisher queen said...

The microdose lupron protocol was the one that worked for me, so I'm in favor. Many of the IF drugs have links to cancer, but as someone wrote above, they are all tenuous, and the doses we take are relatively small. As for side effects from lupron, I had a horrible headache, but on the whole it was just fine. Clomid and progesterone were much much worse.

TTC in NC said...

Hey, I'm a lurker. I don't know that I would place the blame on Lupron. I've done one cycle of just ovulation drugs and two of IVF, none succesful. The first two cycles were without Lupron - in the non-IVF cycle I ended up in the hospital for hyperstimulation. In my second IVF cycle I ended, the RE recommended Lupron because cycles done with suppression using Ganerelix Acetate apparently have slightly lower pregnancy rates, although they are a lot shorter. He also told me my chance of hyperstimulating was lower with Lupron. Didn't notice any side effects I ended up in the hospital again with hyperstimulation. And Clomid... don't get me started! That stuff did nothing for me, except the worst hot flashes ever and then suddenly I started seeing flashes of light. End of Clomid. At least with Follistim I actually ovulate, even if it puts me in the hospital. Sorry I'm probably freaking you out, but I think Lupron is the least of your worries.

susan said...

I had no reaction whatsoever to Lupron. Nothing at all. I was hoping for hot flashes 'cause we had not turned the heat on in the house yet and I was freezing my ass off but no such luck. Felt like my normal self.

I'm not worried about the cancer connection. Everything we take is dangerous. And I agree the does is so small.... I can't get in a bundle about it.

Good luck to Mrs. S with the lupron...and to you!

susan said...

And another thing I'm thinking.... and I have NO experience to base this on...but I think the older you are the lower your dosage...they don't need to give you as much to supress ovulation. So...I was 10 units initially (about the size of 2 pencil erasers--if even that much) and then went down to 5 units. I'm 37.

I could be talking out my ass here, it is just my theory.

While I think about it, this IVF I've had no symptoms. The stims don't do anything to me either. With our IUI I was a bit crazy after the HCG shot. So maybe crazy is just around the corner for me...

Anonymous said...

I had the occasional hot flash with Lupron. I wasn't terribly concerned about any future risks- partially because I don't think there's any confirmed research. But largely it's because my family history puts me at risk for pretty much every chick cancer there is, so maybe I'm not the best one to ask.

Meri-ann said...

No idea about the Lupron...

But- the boy and I are at the same crossroads about moving on with ivf. To keep going or not? Unfortunately we have no living children as yet, but I'm feeling like I'm at the end of the line. He's just nowhere near it.
Where is the compromise?

VanillaDreams said...

*shrugs* Well, I already had Ovarian cancer when I was 18....Soooo, you know "been there, done that"...... ;)

I seriously would be more concerned with the toxins in our environment that we are constantly exposed to every day of our lives. Pretty much the entire world is made up of carcinogens. Which explains the HUGE increase in early childhood cancers, etc.

I've taken Lupron three times now. Once for the fresh cycle, and twice for two FET's. I am on a small dose, 0.1 mL, or 10 IU, if you prefer.

I feel COMPLETELY NORMAL on it. Like, I seriously cannot tell I am even taking ANY medication, whatsoever. NO side effects at all.

Also, Lupron is a cancer treatment drug.....I, ummmm, seriously doubt that there is any direct link between Lupron and CAUSING cancer. 'Cause you know, that would be like, water causing fire, or some such thing. ;)

Kimmer said...

Never heard the lupron cancer link, I think everything causes cancer now days. I've used lupron in 1 of my 3 cycles and I actually loved the stuff, well not loved it, but it didn't really cause me to be moody... Who knows? I do know that I was not bloated at all while on just lupron, did bloat a little from the stims. It suppresses your E-2 so don't see why B was bloated from it, strange…
The only side effect that I suffered was headaches, but that was towards the end of the suppression stage when I was getting ready to start the stims. After 2 days of stims I was fine.

OHN said...

One of my clients is a urologist and I know that he uses Lupron for his male patients that have prostate cancer.

I was on stims 20 years ago and still have all my normal parts..no cancer etc--hope that makes you feel at least a little better. :)

Thalia said...

I've taken buserelin, a lupron analogue, and zoladex, a similar suppressant drug, and neither affected me significantly, I just needed to make sure i got enough sleep. If not I got migraines. It does not have to make you loopy, but I think we all have different reactions to it.

Re cancer etc., any drug, any chemical in nature that you care to mention can cause cancer at the wrong levels, or because of some interaction with your personal body chemistry. As far as I know there are no studies tying these drugs to increased cancer rates, and they have been used a long time.