The Lupron Diaries: What is Lupron and Why Are You Freaking Out About It?

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Yeah, I’d never heard of it either.  I’d never heard of lots of things before we started trying to have a kid.  All of the sudden, my vernacular is filled with acronyms that look absolutely ridiculous to the outsider: AF, BFP, BFN, DTD, BD, DPO, LH, HCG, CM, IB, TWW…ugh, the list goes on.  I swore I’d never be one of those people who wrote like that.  But all of the sudden, you’re on every fertility message board and it’s like your brain just oozes right out of your ears and all of the sudden you’re drooling and squinting to try to see if the result line on the ovulation test is as dark as the control line and your hand is covered in pee.

I digress.

Lupron Depot is a drug that suppresses the production of sex hormones (read: estrogen) and is used for a variety of things, including endometriosis, fibroids, and even prostate cancer for men.  It’s injected, either monthly (3.75mg) or in a larger, 3 month dose (11.25 mg).  If it works, it reduces endometriosis in the body and helps slow/prevent production of new lesions.

Because it suppresses the production of sex hormones, it causes the body to mimic the process of menopause, which is about as fun as getting a shot in your butt every month that puts you into menopause.  There’s an add-back medication (norethindrone acetate 5mg)  that helps with some of the symptoms, but even the drug’s own website is pretty frank that Lupron treatment isn’t a walk in the park.

Side effects include acne, growing a freaking mustache, dizziness, hot flashes, nausea, diarrhea OR constipation (I guess I’m never going to poop right ever again), stomach pain, scaly skin, joint/muscle pain, bone thinning, depression, insomnia, forgetfulness/confusion, and decrease in libido (yay for Joey, eh?) (Source)

So, it’s clearly not a joyful experience.  However, what really freaked me out was the repeated accounts of massive weight gain and fits of rage.  Apparently there’s even a petition to Congress for further investigation to be done into Lupron’s side effects.  It’s alleged to have caused permanent damage and even deaths.  I certainly don’t want to be crippled by joint pain and thin bones for the rest of my life, and I can assure you that dying isn’t on my agenda either. So why am I taking this drug?

It’s interesting what you’ll do for the sake of having children.

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