PIO vs. Crinone

On the bottom shelf of our bathroom pantry, wedged tightly in the very back, is a big Ziplock bag. Inside of that bag is a month’s worth of unopened Crinone suppositories. Those babies set me back over $300 last fall: for a month’s supply. Of goopy hormones. That my body makes naturally. Yikes.

Dr. C is having me take IM PIO for the FET. I’m worried about how my butt will fare after being shot up daily for 13 weeks with progesterone… I’ve seen you guys’ pics: those dark bruises and dagger-like needles are almost enough to send this chick running for the hills. I have little choice in the matter though, since PIO seems to be the gold standard for REs.

Since it never hurts to check, I called my insurance company to inquire, and, as usual, they refused to cover the cost… apparently PIO isn’t “medical necessary.” (Fun fact: Last time my insurance company gave me this same runaround about stims not being covered, I asked the customer service rep if they’d cover a prescription for Viagra. She said they would. I then asked how Viagra was medically necessary. I have no shame.) Last week my nurse suggested I price out some local pharmacies for PIO, then get back to her about which pharmacy she should order my meds from. And holy canolis was I stunned (in a happy way!) when I had to make the not-so-gut-wrenching decision of choosing to spend $107 vs. $117 for my PIOs.

It’s refreshing while on this weaving, swerving highway of infertility when something—anything—doesn’t break the bank. To pay a hundred-odd bucks for one month’s worth of a medication is a downright steal compared to those pricey stims. It almost feels like I’m taking advantage of them for once. Almost.

There’s still the pesky matter of my Ziplock-encased Crinone. I can’t exactly return it to the pharmacy. And I hate to have spent so much money just for it to collect dust. So if we get a BFP and if my progesterone levels afterward are looking good, then Nurse says Dr. C might let me switch from PIO to Crinone. Those aren’t bad odds. Crinone is not without its own yuck side effects, but at least I already know what to expect with it going in.

At the end of the day, I’m not sure whether it matters how the progesterone gets into my body. I don’t understand why one delivery method is three times as expensive as another for the same hormone, but that’s why they pay people smarter than myself to figure these things out. It could just be a matter of convenience. I think I once read somewhere that, since PIO goes directly into the bloodstream, it can be measured via blood tests, whereas the progesterone that Crinone adds is not measurable on a blood test. Not sure how true that is. Like I said, though: people much smarter than me haha.

Either way, all my meds are ordered and should be delivered soon. I’m partly nervous and still partly neutral about the FET. I’m hoping my excitement levels will go up as I get closer to transfer. It’ll get real soon enough.








Author: Marixsa

Resolving infertility as childless-not-by-choice and encouraging fellow endo warriors along the way.

8 thoughts on “PIO vs. Crinone”

  1. I think that is true about PIO showing up on a blood test and suppositories not. And when you have a medicated (vs. natural) FET, your body is making no progesterone at all, so I found it very comforting to have my number show up on the blood tests. But maybe you’re doing a natural FET? In that case, I don’t think it matters as much. You can also donate any unused crinone (if you can’t end up using it) to your clinic and they will give it to another couple in need. Either way, I’m glad you’re gearing up for a transfer. FINGERS CROSSED!


  2. I have done Crinone for all 3 of my prior transfers and it can be measured through blood, at least mine always was so Im sure you could do it too. They even ran it stat. My progesterone was always quite high on Crinone as well but I decided against it this upcoming transfer bc like u said PIO is golden I guess. Plus I was sick of the gooey mess honestly. Every loss it got worse for me. I was scared to death to start the ass shots, but its not been too bad so far. Request Lidocaine numbing gel. Its a MUST. I barely feel anything. Best wishes!


  3. Honestly, I think i actually prefer PIO to the alternative I took, endometrin. The messiness was a major pain for me, and having to administer it at work was just the worst! Just think, PIO is once a day and you’re done. And no messiness! Good luck to you! Wishing you all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

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