Starting out with a bang... or a bent needle.
Out of all of the needles I could have selected, I picked the dud.
No joke. I prepped all of my meds and when my mother tried to inject the Menopur, the first shot of the cycle, the needle wouldn't go in. She tried again and instead of going in, the needle bent. Like it completely bent sideways at a 90 degree angle. I've never seen anything like it. As much as I wanted to share a photo, I will spare you.
Perplexed, we forged forward and replaced the needle to get the shot done. I now have a moderate fear that this will happen every time and have taken to inspecting every needle to make sure it is in fact pointy.
When they pack your medication they provide you with enough needles and syringes for about 6 months of daily medication injection, or at least my pharmacy does. It's kind of ridiculous. I can understand having a few spare needles and syringes, but is it truly necessary to provide me with a bag filled with 60 individually wrapped syringes?
It's still unclear to me what I'm supposed to do with all of them after this. It feels like a tremendous waste to just throw them out. So much plastic. But, I imagine it's not much different than with medication where you aren't allowed to donate them or give them back.
I understand where rules about medication come from, in theory. And, I'm not eager to hit the black market for my fertility meds. But, a part of me is pained by the idea that I'm spending thousands - yes, thousands - of dollars each cycle on medications and whatever I don't use I'm supposed to throw out. I'm guessing come the end of this cycle I will have as much as 5 days worth of Menopur left over. Hundreds of dollars worth of medication that I'm supposed to just throw out. It hurts my heart. I would much rather help someone else front the cost of their cycle by giving it away than watch my money decay in a landfill. There has to be a better solution. Come on big pharma, nothing about any of this screams net zero or sustainability.
Insider tip: I did a lot of research prior to my first cycle. I guess my mother rubbed off on me, as I was convinced there had to be a way to find a discount on the medication. Good news, there are a few ways.
Insurance: Unless you live in one of the handful of states where your insurance will help cover fertility treatments, you're on your own. In some states, like Massachusetts, if you've tried, and failed, to have a child for 6 months or more insurance plans are required to provide some level of fertility coverage. I'm not entirely sure how they track this whole trying and failing for 6 months thing... 🧐
Medication Discount Programs: For those of us looking to extend our fertility and wait until we're really ready to have a child, the above is probably not an option... unless you can figure out how to try for 6 months and fail successfully. Enter the medical discount programs. I unearthed two during my deep investigation. There may be others. Heart Tomorrow and Compassionate Care help cover the cost of certain common fertility drugs. I was lucky that three of the medications I was prescribed were part of these programs. I also lucked out that COVID had been a tough financial year for me - who ever thought I'd be saying that?! - so I qualified for 50% off through Compassionate Care. I've leaned on both of these programs heavily in both cycles to help make it all marginally more bearable on my bank account.
So despite a broken start, night one was a success. I woke up the next morning with light bruising where the Menopur was injected, but largely the body is no worse for the wear and I should still have a few more days before I start feeling too "stuffed."