Happy Valentine’s Day

Egg retrieval is set for Saturday!  Guess where we’ll be spending Valentine’s Day.   My left ovary went crazy over the past 24 hours…it’s like a little popcorn machine in there!  Somehow I went from 7 follicles over 12mm yesterday morning to 20 today.  (I suspect we may have gotten some squirrely counts throughout the monitoring process as the numbers have been all over the board.)  Quality, of course, remains to be seen, but I’m still pretty encouraged.

I’m a little surprised that they want me to still stim tonight, but that’s what they told me to do, so consider it done.  (I think RE’s must have the most compliant patient population of any medical specialty.)  We’ll find out tomorrow what time to take the Ovidrel and also get our retrieval time on Saturday.

Speaking of Ovidrel…  I knew that many of the stim drugs have…ahem…interesting origins (e.g. urine of menopausal women, pregnant women, etc.), but I didn’t know until today the key ingredient of Ovidrel (and my other good friend Gonal-f).  Wait for it…they come from the ovary cells of Chin.ese ham.sters!  This made me laugh out loud when I saw it…if for no other reason that the word “hamster”  is one of those oft-bandied about words in our marriage as it happens to be one LG’s favorite words.  I’m taking this as a sign!

Edited to add:  While the hamster part still makes me giggle in a Beavis-like way  (because I am just that simple), I do think it’s important to be as knowledgeable as possible about the treatments I’m undergoing and the medications involved.  That’s why I’m grateful to one of my commenters, Michelle, for lending her expertise around the subject.  Please take a look at her comment below for a great explanation of the recombinant proteins that form the basis of Ovidrel and similar medications.  Thanks, Michelle!

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7 Responses

  1. I also thought the origin of Ovidrel was funny when I first learned it. For that matter, I still do!

  2. Good luck on Saturday. Funny about “hamster”…one of Mr. Awake’s favorite words is “chicken.” (sometimes he uses it as a term of endearment, though “monkey” may be edging it out…)

  3. Just had to clarify a bit — many recombinant proteins (including recombinant HCG or Ovidrel) are made in Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell lines. This kind of cell has been developed into an effective protein factory. The instructions for the protein you are interested in making (like HCG) is put in the Chinese Hamster Cell line (thus it is “recombinant” or a combination of the cells’ original genentic material and the genetic material that instructs the cells to make the protein of interest). So in the case of Ovidrel, the Chinese Hamster Ovary cells have the instructions to make human HCG within them. They are grown and the HCG is produced by the CHO cells and sent out into the medium (the liquid that the CHO cells grow in) and isolated from the cells. That’s how large quantities of very pure human HCG can be made and sold. So Ovridel is not of hamster origin — those cells were just used as the “cellular factory” to produce it.

  4. Seriously?! I had no idea!
    Lots and lots of luck and thoughts sent your way for Saturday. Keep us posted.

  5. Best wishes for a great retrieval!

    I had no idea about the hamsters. I wonder if they’re Chinese by race or just nationality. 😉

  6. Here from L&F. Just wanted to wish you luck today!

  7. I could not get over this either (I posted something similar on the first blog I had: http://notevenalittlepregnant.blogspot.com/2008/05/curious.html)! Honestly, just when you think infertility isn’t odd enough….

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