The lowlight of my IVF journey: these slippery, slimy, waxy little devils

The evil little devils: progesterone pessaries
The evil little devils: progesterone pessaries Photo: Carly Ellen Lee

WARNING: this is going to get messy, gross, personal and involve way too much info. This is total over-sharing of one of the 'highlights' of IVF: progesterone pessaries.

Can I hear a collective supportive disgusted groan?

A few days ago I started progesterone pessaries. Basically, these are the most evil little devils ever. Give me injections any day – they are a walk in the park compared to these tiny, waxy bullets of pain.

Twice a day, morning and night, I 'administer' these little devils ... and no, I don't swallow, inject or shove these up my nose. They go right up in my poor vajayjay. As if my lady flower hasn't copped it enough in my conception journey, getting poked and prodded by everyone who feels they have to, then I have to go and torture her some more.

What's so bad about them, you ask? They're basically the same as a tampon, right? NO.

Imagine using a slippery, slimy, waxy, dissolvable tampon. One that starts to melt on contact with the warmth of your skin – and the second you start unwrapping its foil packaging, the clock starts ticking like the countdown on a bomb. You need to have everything ready, be totally prepared, unwrap and GO. Your heart rate starts to rise, you hope you get it in there first go with no false starts. If you panic, the situation gets worse – they practically dissolve right before your eyes, right into a dripping oily mess in your hands.

And once they're away in their snug little home you'd think the worst is over, right? No, of course not. Firstly you need to lay down and stay still for 30 minutes after application. Don't dare move, cough, sneeze or laugh, because those little suckers will slip right out of your love canal, then it's all over and you're back to the beginning.

In that half an hour, you spend the time contemplating whether or not you put them in right. Are they in far enough? Did you store them right? Are you using them the same time as you did yesterday? How will you fit your evening dosage in around your social commitments? Is it weird to lay down on the floor of the restaurant bathroom for half an hour? Can it wait until bedtime? Did I set my alarm half an hour early tomorrow morning? Can't sleep in!

Once the timer has finished counting down you slowly and cautiously rise to assess the damage. When everything checks out you think you can begin to go about your day, but be sure to wear a liner to absorb the inevitable slow leak that's going to occur throughout the day, making you wonder if your damn body actually absorbed any of what it's meant to in the first place. Back away from those sexy lacy undies, as they will get ruined. From here on, it's beige grandma pants for you.


Then comes the endearing side effects.
Most people experience itching, burning thrush – in fact, the bloody things should be sold with a complimentary packet of Canestan. Maybe they're made by the same company? And don't think for a moment you can do away with the easy peasy single-dose tablet treatment – no, you can't have that if you 'might' be pregnant. For you, it's the several-times-a-day thrush cream. As if your magic jewel box wasn't moist and greasy enough, it's practically a fish and chip shop now ... well an itching, burning fish and chip shop.

After a few days you think you've got these things sorted, you stock up on liners and Canestan, you've got alarms set in your phone for every possible situation. You're prepared for everything. Then the rest of the side effects settle in. Nausea, bloating, headaches, fatigue, cramping, increased heart rate, itchy, sensitive and/or sore nipples. The perfect combination to make you feel like a goddess sex vixen. Believe me, you'll want to stab your partner in the eye whenever they look at you with their 'Netflix and chill' face.

Of course, all these symptoms are the perfect combination for someone who's trying their very best not to get their hopes up that they might be pregnant. You've practically become the textbook on pregnancy symptoms, with the mental stability to match.

Just to top it all off – if it all works out, and you fall pregnant after shoving these up your date and taking all the other medications and going through IVF, if it's actually positive, you'll be rewarded with extending your dosage for another 8-12 weeks (cue the party poppers).

Why do we put our honey pots through these things? Seriously my poor hoo haa!

Follow Carly's conception journey on her blog, or follow her on Facebook.