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Down regulation: what is involved?

By 3rd April 2016 ALL THINGS IVF

Down regulation is a daily injection that you administer yourself and usually continues for a couple of weeks.

I found that down regulation was the hardest part of IVF simply because it seemed to go on forever. Once I had reached the stimulation stage, I was that much closer to my egg retrieval date so I could see a light at the end of the tunnel but while I was down regulating, I just felt as if it would never end.

One of my main complaints with IVF down regulation was the headaches. Some days they were just unbearable and I very quickly realised why there was so much advice out there for you to keep hydrated during IVF. Water really does help to keep the headaches at bay, so make sure you drink lots each day. I also found that if I didn’t drink enough water one day, the headache the next day would be that much worse. Make life easy on yourself and keep hydrated, you’ll be glad that you did!

What are the side effects of IVF down regulation?

IVF down regulation is probably the hardest part of IVF just because it seems to go on forever. I was also a bit emotional during down regulation but I think this was largely down to being at the beginning of the IVF process and that the end of the process seemed to be ages away. I hibernated during this time and watched a lot of Netflix! Whenever I talk to couples who are due to go through IVF, I always recommend that they be completely selfish with their time during IVF. It is such a difficult thing to go through and time to hibernate, cry, laugh or scream is absolutely crucial. Indulge yourself.

I also found that my skin, hair and nails took a bit of a beating from down regulation. My skin was a bit dry, my hair lost its shine and my nails were very brittle. This was just down to dehydration so, once again, I cannot recommend water enough!

There are also lots of ways you can look after your skin, hair and nails without adding extra chemicals into your system. Download How To Cope with IVF and read the ‘Creating your home health sanctuary’ section.