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Posts Tagged ‘IUI’

Two

Holy crap! There’s two in there! And most importantly, they both have heartbeats! One is measuring at 9mm (6w6d) with a heart rate of 127 and the other is 12mm (7w1d) with a heart rate of 147. The doctor I saw today was very pleased but of course, cautioned me about the fact that I was still very early and about vanishing twin syndrome. I go back in next week for another check up to see if they are progressing.

It continues to baffle me how we could have gone without getting pregnant for a full year naturally, and then for almost another year with fertility drugs and then all of sudden, bam, two at once. I can’t help but wonder about what it was that made it work this time (and twice as well!) but I guess I will never know the answer. For now, I am just relieved that there is life inside of me. I will post the ultrasound photos soon!

Thanks so much to everyone for all of your warm comments and support. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. I do and will continue to follow you all on your journey’s as well.

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bfp

Wanted to stop taking the progesterone supplements today so I could get my period and start my IVF cycle over so I peed on a stick this morning to be sure that I could stop. I am in shock. I had written this off completely because my IVF cycle had gotten canceled and I thought IUIs were not going to work for us. My husband refuses to be excited or believe it until I get the blood test. I’m with him on that. Skeptically optimistic???

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I went to my clinic’s IVF info session this evening. Was packed with lots of information but nothing really I didn’t know. I just want to get the show on the road at this point. Before I start with the IVF program, there are a few tests that are mandatory that I need to do. One is the saline sonogram of the uterus. They do this to rule out fibroids, polyps and Ashermans or any other abnormalities in the uterus that may affect implantation. Also I’m probably going to have to do some blood tests for diseases. There are some other hormone level testing that is required but I’m hoping that the ones I did for the IUIs will cover those. I spoke to the IVF pre-cycle coordinator today and she is going to call me to let me know what labs I still need to do.

Assuming I pass all of these tests, I’m wondering how soon they’ll let me start the program.

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Moving on from IUI#3


(image as seen on Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik)

I was really depressed this morning. I could barely muster the energy to talk to anyone, even my mother. But by the end of the day, I felt better. A few things really helped me.

1) I read a post called “How To Get Someone Or Something Off Your Mind” on a blog called PluginID. It was an eye-opener. As a person who is having a hard time getting pregnant, I live and breathe infertility. The worst part is that we start to identify ourselves with our procreation problem. We start calling ourselves “infertiles”. We get angry at others for not understanding us…and I know this is true for me…we start identifying ourselves with our problems. I’ve referred to myself numerous times in this blog as being “barren”, “infertile” etc. OK yes, I’m having a tough time getting to my goal, but I don’t have to call myself these names. I don’t have to be that person. I can still be me. I have other interests, other hobbies. Why can’t I associate myself with that part of my life instead of being an “infertile”? That’s what I need to take back. It’s a change in perspective and it’s hard because I’m neck deep in this shit, but I have to pull myself out of it for my own sanity. Please read the post if you are interested. I do recommend it if you identify with the thought patterns I’ve written above.

2) A person named Jezzafuji commented on my blog yesterday and wrote some really really great things in response to my horribly negative post about the IUI#3 failure. If you are reading this and you need some perspective and hope, please read it here. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who comments on my blog. This is why the internet is so amazing. I don’t even know you in real life but every person’s comments have the power to make such an impact on me and others who are in the same shoes. Thank you.

3) I spoke to my cousin who went through 3 failed IUI’s and then had identical twins from one transferred egg via IVF. She gave me hope again. Her doctor told her that IUI’s are a waste of time and she thought so too. It’s funny how everyone who succeeded with IVF says that! However, I know others who have succeeded with IUIs so I wouldn’t say that this is true for everyone. But for me, I have to say that I knew it was a waste of time after the first failure. Hindsight is 20/20, I know.

Moving on and feeling good about it.

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My doctor is definitely a researcher. Any question I asked was answered with a “well, as a matter of fact, there is research out there that shows…”. But this was a good meeting in my mind. My doctor is much more personable and easy to talk to in person. He actually gave me opinions which was good. This meeting was about what the next steps would be if this IUI fails.

Should we do injectables with IUI next?

He brought up a brand new research paper that was just released and copied it for me. This study shows that doing injectables after 3 failed cycles of clomid is of no value. The paper recommends that you go straight to IVF to get a baby faster and more reliably than injectables. Doc seems to think that we should probably just go straight to IVF. See the study here.

Should I have a laparoscopy?

His opinion on this was if I wanted to keep going with the IUI’s or wanted to bear children naturally, he said I could have a laparoscopy. But he said if I was to consider the IVF track, he would try to deter me from doing a lap because he said there’s no proof that a lap can improve your chances of conceiving via IVF. He did make a point to remind me that no matter how minor, a lap is a surgery and to not take that lightly.

Other interesting information

The other bit of information he downloaded on me yesterday was that Asian women have a reduced success rate of pregnancy after receiving fertility treatment. This goes for Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Indian women. They don’t know why, but he said there is a significant difference in the time it takes an average Caucasian women to conceive via treatment as compared to an average Asian woman. He believes that the medication affects Asians differently than they do Caucasian women and that somehow it affects the endometrium. I’m Japanese and therefore I am even more fucked than I was before. See the study here.

Decision time

No huge decisions have been made yet. Meanwhile I’ve signed up for the IVF information session. Will keep you posted.

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acupuncture
(image as seen on baby blues)

It’s CD4 of my third femara/IUI cycle. AF is almost gone now and I have to say that this was by far the easiest AF I have EVER had and I completely credit Acupuncture and Chinese herbs for that. It was beautiful if I may say so myself. No painful cramping, no clots (sorry for the TMI), it was the kind of period that I imagine the most fertile people in the world to have. I’ve been going to acupuncture on a weekly basis in the last month. I was going bi-monthly but I switched to a woman who is covered by my insurance and so I can afford to go weekly. If nothing else, the treatment itself is incredibly relaxing and my acupuncturist actually CARES about me (unlike the RE and his baby factory). It’s relaxation and therapy all in one. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it. It helps tune out the maddening thoughts in your head and I’ve read that it’s complimentary to fertility treatment. More info on baby blues blog.

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I am going to think out aloud here because I want to have this conversation with my RE at our consultation. I’m going to ask him about laparoscopy and he’s going to tell me it’s “elective” and that it’s up to me if I want to have the procedure done. So I want to think this through knowing where I am at right now.

So the whole fertility treatment process for “unexplained” infertility is a basic elimination process. As follows:

Clomid/Femara combined with IUI

The IUI procedure effectively eliminates any issues with sperm not getting through the cervix and allows a larger amount of higher quality sperm to get closer to the egg(s). Multiple eggs obviously increases the chances of conception. But it doesn’t eliminate egg quality problems, sperm/egg interaction problems or implantation problems. This is where I am in the process now and it hasn’t worked out so far.

Injectables combine with IUI

This is plan B for superovulation and IUI. Injectables are more stimulating and I suppose that’s supposed to further increase your chances of conception. But the issues listed above are not eliminated.

IVF

Because the egg and the sperm are brought together on a cute little petri dish, IVF eliminates the need for the sperm to find it’s way to the egg at all. Also visible now and possibly prevented are any sperm/egg interaction issues, i.e. any issues with the sperm not being able to penetrate the egg, too many sperm penetrating the egg etc because the technician makes that magic happen in the lab. It also has the added benefit of giving you some idea of the quality of your eggs. But IVF doesn’t eliminate implantation problems because after transfer, the blastocyte still needs to be able to “hatch” and embed itself in the uterine lining and many other steps for it to become a viable pregnancy.

The thing is…none of these procedures address implantation issues. If you’ve got that, it appears that you are totally fucked. And while Laparoscopy can help diagnose endometriosis and it’s an opportunity to clean up cysts, scar tissue and address inflammation which could interfere with follicle development and a fertilized egg traveling through the fallopian tube, apart from removing fibroids, does it do anything to help with implantation? My thoughts from all this is that, if you’ve made the decision to proceed with IVF, the only thing that I can see a lap helping with is improving follicle/egg development IF you have issues around that. (Of course if you’ve had an ectopic pregnancy then there is a medical need to get in there and do a lap so that’s a separate issue). And when you weigh the benefits of having a lap and then having to do a 2-3 month “break” afterwards, with what issues you can eliminate with the IVF procedure, the pros are not that great for someone who doesn’t feel like they have a whole lot of time on their hands. And I’m thinking that’s why my doctor and so many other doctors don’t require patients to do a laparoscopy, unless there is a visible cyst or a medical reason to do so.

Please someone correct me if there is a flaw in my thinking or if there is something that is missing but based on this, I feel like maybe the right time for me to do a lap is if the first IVF fails to give the IVF elimination plan a chance to eliminate some of the obstacles. But then again IVF is expensive and physically intense and I would love to give the first IVF it’s best shot at working with a cleaned out inside. Maybe even a clean slate for when I get to injectables/IUI! See now I’m faltering again…I wish there were ANSWERS!

I’m not even at IVF yet and I’m jumping the gun but sometimes the act of planning my shit out helps me relax and take back control. Would love to hear others thoughts on this and please point out the flaws in my thinking. I am just pulling this out of my ass and trying to distract myself from the latest failure.

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