Looking at the last couple years of my fertility journey I've learned that the physical pain from everything is nothing compared to the emotional pain I've felt.
The side effects from the drugs (Clomid mostly) are there and blah. The blood work is just needles in the arm. I don't even take a deep breath like they tell me anymore. It only affect me if they take a large number of vials (6+) on an empty stomach. Bring a snack to eat after in that case. The most painful thing about blood work is that sticky tape some offices use to patch you up after. The internal ultrasounds are nothing. The wand is the size of your standard dildo. The HSG was hell, but I'd do it again (with a lot of complaining) if I had to. Lap surgery left two incisions in my stomach. It was sore but I didn't take any pain meds and was back at work 3 days later lifting heavy items. The gas bubbles hurt the most. The Hysteroscopies and D&E I was fine with. Up walking around soon after and back to work the next day. Both IUIs there was cramping, but nothing too terrible. Injections the in stomach seem to creep more people out than the pain they cause me. It takes a little force to push the needle to break the skin, but once it's in I am fine.
Many women would get queasy about the thought of simple the blood work or dildo cam. None of that is pain to me. I don't even look at the most painful thing in the world, labor, with fear anymore. All that stuff is just temporary physical pain.
The emotional pain is what will get you. Sometimes you go through a cycle with so much hope. You had sex at the right time, or the IUI/IVF went perfect. You wait two weeks with all these early pregnancy or implantation symptoms. You think to yourself that you must be pregnant. Maybe even take a early pregnancy test and swear you see a faint line. Come to find out your cycle didn't work. All the hope you had is now crushed. The only thing you can do is pick up the piece and try again next cycle.
Maybe your cycle does work, and then you lose your baby.
After my second ultrasound with my first pregnancy I had to start prepping for the great possibility I would need a D&E. My emotions were a mess at first. Why did I have to wait two years for this to only have it taken away? Why does everyone else get pregnant with the snap of their fingers and they take a healthy baby home from the hospital? Two weeks later at my fourth ultrasound they confirmed our fear. They told me my body did everything right for the baby, it was still trying to feed it. The sac was perfect size for a 10 week old. But the baby wasn't perfect size. It was no longer moving and the heart had stopped. The following day was my 27th birthday, the day after I was in surgery for my D&E. By the time my D&E came I was fine, I had already disconnected from my baby. But never the same person I was before.
I went back to work before my D&E. Most days I was so dizzy but my RE told me as long as I wasn't bleeding excessively then there was no need to go to the ER. I had my insurance card in my pocket along with a brief note about what was wrong with me and my emergency contact. Just in case because some days I was so sure I'd pass out with the building moving so much. The dizziness went on for months, later diagnosed as Vertigo, but the worst of it ended after the D&E.
The thing that upset me the most were my boobs. As soon as I hit 5 or 6 weeks pregnant my areolas began getting larger, along with the standard soreness. Weeks after my D&E I remember standing naked in front of the bathroom mirror. My areolas were still large and my boobs sore. My body was still hormonally pregnant. It made me angry and I just wanted everything to return to normal. Those sore breasts where for pregnancy, and I was no longer pregnant. One day I even wore a bathing suit top in the shower because I didn't want to feel the water hitting them and reminding me.
Emotional pain like this story hurts me way more than any physical pain of fertility treatment.-Selbe