Wednesday, February 8, 2017

My Journey Through Infertility Pt.2, Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

***Disclaimer: I'm getting down and dirty with my journey of infertility and the process involved. I will be using anatomical terms, sex and bodily fluids in my descriptions. Basically I want to paint as real of a picture as I can. If it's not something you think you can handle, I suggest you stop reading now.***

This is the 2nd of a 3 part series discussing my journey with infertility. If you want to read the first part, you can find it here. For this part I'm going to be talking about Intrauterine insemination (IUI) also known as artificial insemination.

Once we realized that the Clomid was working, but not resulting in a pregnancy, our doctor sat down with us to discuss the next steps. He gave us 4 different options, continue on Clomid with ultrasound monitoring, have a laparoscopy performed to see if I had endometriosis (I mentioned earlier to him that I seemed to have all of the symptoms), do a procedure called IUI, move to in vitro fertilization (IVF), or do nothing and try on our own. He told us the most cost effective step was to move onto IUI, so that is what we chose to do. As a side note, I do want to clarify the cost of the "cost effective" IUI. Again, I have medical insurance, but it does not cover infertility treatments so we were paying completely out of pocket. The cost of the ultrasounds where still $250 a pop but now, each time I went in for the actual IUI procedure it was cost an additional $750.

With IUI, I had to continue taking the Clomid and go to the doctors office for 2 ultrasounds, the main difference being, that now my husband had to supply what they referred to as a "sample". This sample was taken and cleaned to remove any dead or slow swimmers. On my second ultrasound, I would lie down, feet in stirrups and the doctor would physically take my husbands semen and directly place it past my cervix. The reason for doing this is sometimes sperm is unable to travel through the cervix to the uterus because of weak swimmers or perhaps the shape of a women's tubes aren't conducive for easy swimming, etc. By placing the sperm directly in the uterus, it bypasses any reasons they might not have made it there on their own.
Here's a fun diagram for everyone.

Doctor F suggested we do this procedure up to 3 times, if it doesn't work after 3 times, then it will likely not work period. This process was a little more awkward than the previous treatment. Instead of a female nurse practitioner dimming the lights, quickly inserting the trans-vaginal probe and covering me back up while she looked at the screen, I had my doctor pull up a chair and pop a squat right in front of me and all my exposed glory. He would then work on getting the sperm to where it needed to be while making small talk with me. The entire process from me assuming the position on the table to the doctor taking off his gloves was about 5 minutes. The procedure itself was a little uncomfortable. I felt slight cramping each time and would bleed a little afterwards.

After 3 tries at IUI, we were still unsuccessful in actually making a baby. It's kind of crazy, I convinced myself that this procedure would work. The first procedure with the Clomid and ultrasounds only were to make sure I was ovulating. I know I didn't have any tube blockage thanks to the dye test I'd done earlier. This procedure was putting the sperm right where it needed to be, it had to work. When it didn't, I again felt like a failure. After the last failed pregnancy test, my doctor brought us in immediately to talk about what to do next. Again, we were presented with the same exact options, although my husband and I were considering a 5th option at this point, adoption.

Stay tuned for the last and final in my series about infertility...

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Now a days infertility affects approximately 1 out of every 6 peoples. You can find Best Urologist in NJ at


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