I would like to first say that Mike and I are among the very fortunate few whose insurance actually covers fertility treatment. I didn’t realize until we started going through all of this how lucky we are and my heart goes out to anyone who is paying out of pocket for their treatment/meds because I know we wouldn’t be able to afford this if it weren’t for our insurance.
Simply put, IUI involves monitoring and timing your ovulation. Once you ovulate, the doctor will inject your partner's sperm into your uterus through a catheter. Even on a good day the odds of success for this procedure is only 20% which is pretty similar to the odds that an average couple will conceive on any given month. This procedure is usually helpful for couples that have an issue in getting the sperm to meet the egg.
In IVF, a women is put on various medications that are injected into the stomach to stimulate follicle growth in the hopes of developing multiple eggs. Once the follicles get to a mature size indicating mature eggs that are ready to be fertilized, the woman undergoes surgery to remove the eggs. The eggs are then fertilized in a laboratory using the partner's sperm. After several days of growing and dividing (usually 3-5 days) the best embryos are then placed back into the woman's uterus where they will hopefully implant into the uterine wall and become a baby!
For our first IUI Dr. Lee put me on a low dose of Clomid for 5 days. Clomid is an oral fertility medication that is used to stimulate follicle growth. However, in the end I still only produced one good follicle. Never the less, I was still really hopeful that one was all it would take. But on the day of the IUI we got some bad news – Mike’s sample came back with a large amount of the sperm not viable. Dr. Lee said that we may as well continue with the IUI but between me only having 1 follicle and Mike’s bad sample that he thought we only had approximately a 10% chance of it working. I remember lying on the table crying because I felt so crushed! Mike sat next to me and held my hand the entire time and just kept telling me that it was only our first try, and that it would happen. I was surprised at how fast the dreaded 2 week wait went by (This is the amount of time you have to wait before taking a pregnancy test). Even though I kept telling myself not to get my hopes up, I did. I started imagining tons of pregnancy symptoms… When I did finally get my period, I was crushed all over again.