I love crin*ne gel.
It's true love, not a schoolgirl crush or a passing fancy. I am passionate about the stuff. Devoted, really. I have now met the progesterone supplementation system of my dreams. It may not be perfect, but it's perfect for me.
I've been around the block a few times. Back when I was a mere beginner at this infertility thing, just starting with IUI's, my first RE introduced me to progesterone suppositories, and I had a pretty serious habit for a while. I diligently kept the bullet-like blobs in my refrigerator, even taking them with me in a cooler on out-of-town trips, less they dissolve into a sticky puddle. Every night from just after ovulation until I was certain of cycle failure, I would awkwardly poke one of those chilled beauties up into my nether regions, eschewing the applicater provided by the pharmacy (what did they think I was, a total wuss?) for the old-fashioned one finger method. Then I'd run to bed, while shoving a bunch of paper towels into my underwear in preparation for the inevitable deluge. Then in the morning, I woke up to a delightful pants-full-of-goo sensation, as during the night I had leaked a volume of fluid that seemed impossibly large when compared with the original suppository. It was an ugly relationship. Unseemly, and ultimately disappointing. So, after the last IUI, during the phase when I was waiting to move to Korea, and "trying naturally" (try not to laugh too hard, I went through the motions like a champ), I made the switch to progesterone cream.
The thing with progesterone cream is that not only does it not work, it's hard to even pretend that it's working. The up side is that my inner thighs (or belly, or inner arms, or whatever other part of my body was the lucky winner in the progesterone sweepstakes) was well-moisturized, but the down side was that I felt like a fool.
Then during IVF#1, I was introduced to the hard stuff. Progesterone in oil injections. The big guns. Not for the faint of heart. The freebase of the progesterone world. I only had a one shot/day habit, but even that was enough to leave me crabby, in constant pain, and emotionally traumatized. Why oh why didn't I listen to Ronny Reagan and just say no? After the negative blood test, it took over a week for the bruises to fade, and several weeks for the pain to go away. Even now, I still sometimes flinch if something brushes against those two tender spots. It doesn't hurt anymore, but the pain left a shadow.
When this cycle started, I was prepared to face PIO again. I'm not a masochist, but it'd take a lot more than a big fat needle full of oil to make me give up my dream of becoming a mother. So, I was taken totally aback when my doctor informed me that the distributor has stopped supplying my clinic with PIO (I guess that even with the volume that they used, profit margins weren't high enough). So, they have switched all of their patients to the gel. She told me this apologetically, noting that "it's just as good, but a bit more expensive."
Expensive. Right. The total cost for a 14-day supply was about $100 US. That's about $7/day that I'm paying NOT to have to stick a big fat needle into my arse. Now I'm normally a pretty frugal girl, but this strikes me as a pretty good deal. In fact, with the savings that I enjoyed on lab fees due to my lackluster performance in the egg production department, this cycle actually ended up being cheaper than the last, even with that pricey pricey crinone gel included.
So, I went home to try it, figuring that it would be just like the suppositories. For once, I was in for a pleasant surprise. Not only can it be stored at room temperature (thus sparing me that fresh icy sensation), but this stuff barely leaks. I can use it in the morning and then go to work without wearing adult diapers. There is a tiny little drop of leakage sometime during the day, but it's barely noticeable. Honestly, if I didn't know it was the crinone, I might just mistake it for some of that cervical mucus that newbies on trying-to-conceive boards are always going on about.
So, don't bother trying to convince me that there are other fish in the sea. I've finally found the one for me.