Now it's time to discuss my last part of our treatments. Then, I think we'll be done!
So, in April B's SA was good enough for me to head back to see Dr. M. We made an appointment for a consultation to see where we needed to go and what our next steps were going to be. Together we decided that our next course of treatment was going to be injectable sitmulation meds and timed intercourse. He strongly recommended doing intrauterine insemination (IUI). Well, truth be told, he really wanted me to do invetro fertilization (IVF), which terrified both me and my bank account. We just weren't there yet mentally or financially. But, my insurance didn't cover an IUI cycle (or IVF for that matter!) and I wanted to exhaust all my insurance coverable options first. The success rate for our course of action was 10%, the success rate for IUI was 18%, and the success rate for IVF is 60%. Just to give you some sort of idea, the average healthy fertile couple has about a 30% of conceiving each month. So, either way our odds were low for what we were willing to do at that point. Dr. M did say that your first month has the lowest chances, whith the chance increasing each cycle until your third cycle. After that it sort of plateaus.
With a plan in place, we went to our injectable class. It's required by all fertility clinics to ensure you know how to properly mix and administer your meds. Thank goodness B was there with me. Cause the minute the nurse started playing around with the needles, all I could hear was the blood rushing in my ears and y inner voice trying to convince myself to not pass out. At that point, I was still a HUGE needle wuss. We took the class, got everything set up, ordered my meds and waited for my other medicine to induce lovely old AF. Here's the timeline of how everything works:
CD (cycle day) 1 - 3: go in for a baseline ultrasound. This measures how your body is at the beginning. It looks at your uterine lining and your ovaries to ensure there are no cysts and sees how many eggs are chillig out in there. It should be said that all of these ultrasounds are internal. So, definitely not what you'd expect from an ultrasound. Those in the infertility community come to lovingly refer to it as the "vag cam".
CD 3: start injections. Dose to be determined by the RE and prior response.
CD 6 - ? : Monitoring ultrasounds as needed. These measure the uterine lining to make sure it's thick enough for implantation. I think the goal is to get it at about 10 mm. They also monitor the number and size of your follicles. Obviously you want at least one good one. More is better. Too many is bad news bears. The goal size for these babies (hahahahaha, see what I did there?!) is about 18 mm or bigger.
At some point in the cycle most women also start another medicine to prohibit you from ovulating too early. I took this shot exactly once and realized I was allergic to it so I never took it again.
Once you have a big enough follie, then you take your "trigger shot". This triggers you to ovulate. The evening you take this shot (all shots are takend b/w 6 and 8 pm) you're supposed to, well, you know. Then, 36 hours later you either you know again or have your IUI. Then, two weeks later you pee on a stick and see what happens!
Ok, this post is getting kind of long, and probably very technical and boring. Looks like there will be a part 6 to finish this saga up!