Local woman shares her experience with infertility, IUI
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This blog is written by a local 33-year-old woman who wishes to share her story anonymously.
Our story isn’t huge or elaborate, but I feel like it’s still important to share. What I hear from others is that we are both “normal and healthy” and people can’t believe we haven’t been able to have a baby yet. I want people to know infertility can affect anyone and in many different ways.
My husband and I have been married for almost six years. We planned to not start growing our family for a while because we wanted to enjoy some time just the two of us before bringing a baby into our lives. Of course, we thought we had to plan to not have a baby. We assumed it would be easy as soon as we were ready. Fast forward and now we are three and a half years into trying to conceive.
We tried to get pregnant for a year on our own. After six months of trying, I started to question if maybe our timing was off. I was not ready to think something might be wrong. A few more months passed and I decided to talk to my doctor about it, as each passing month was getting harder and harder. But still, I was not ready to accept the fact that we might need help getting pregnant. My doctor recommended medication and testing, but I was resistant and wanted to hold off until we had been trying for a full year. I had done my research and thought surely within 12 months of trying, we would get pregnant.
Then a year came and went. I called my doctor and she laid out our next steps. First up was a semen analysis, and we were told results came back normal. Next was an HSG test to check my tubes. Again, results were normal. My doctor then referred us to a specialist. I was embarrassed that we were having to seek help, that we were not able to make a baby on our own. But at the same time, I was hopeful we would finally be able to have a baby.
Our first IUI cycle was canceled because I overstimulated on the medication. We completed three IUI cycles and all three were unsuccessful. During that time, we learned my husband’s sperm could be higher quality than what it was. Our options at that point after three failed IUIs were to see a male fertility urologist or start looking into IVF.
We decided to see the urologist and we left the appointment with a plan. My husband had a varicocele, which we learned is common in males, and can be fixed with surgery. And the best part, insurance would cover the majority of cost because it’s a medical condition. After the surgery, we were told it would be about six months before we would see true signs of improvement in the sperm. We knew we would not start any fertility treatments until after that time frame, but our plan during that wait was to try on our own, fully expecting nothing to happen and soon enough we would be back at our RE’s office.
But God had another plan. My husband kept insisting I take a pregnancy test after being only a few days late. I finally agreed so he would stop asking. Sure enough, there was a plus sign on that little plastic stick. I couldn’t believe it, I thought the test was expired or faulty so I flew out to the store to buy more. Two more tests and each one positive. We were shocked and so incredibly happy. Not only did my husband’s surgery work, but we got the results we wanted faster than expected...and on our own!
We had our first ultrasound scheduled with our RE a few weeks later. What should have been the best appointment, seeing a little flicker of a heartbeat, quickly became a nightmare of a day. She could not find anything. She explained she was concerned our pregnancy was developing somewhere it shouldn’t. It was then confirmed, our pregnancy was ectopic and growing in my Fallopian tube. Our RE explained the options to treat an ectopic pregnancy and we opted for Methotrexate injections instead of going right for surgery, because my tube was still intact. About 36 hours later, my husband took me to the emergency room because of the excruciating pain. The ectopic had ruptured and I had surgery to remove my tube.
We were told we had to wait at least three months before we could try to conceive again since I had the Methotrexate medication initially. During that time, after I had healed, I had another HSG test to check my other remaining tube. It was not required to do, but I needed to for my own peace of mind. Finally, three months went by, and we chose to try and conceive on our own for a few months since we were able to once before. Our new plan was to start fertility treatments after the New Year and give ourselves a little break. But once again, God had other plans. We found out we were pregnant in December, but soon after had a miscarriage.
Now we are back working our RE and started fertility treatments again. Our first IUI cycle was canceled because I only had one follicle growing and it was on my side with no tube. She increased my medication and we tried IUI two more times. Both were unsuccessful.
Our third IUI would have fallen during a vacation we had planned, and after talking with our RE we decided to skip any medications and just enjoy our trip. We just returned home from the best vacation and are now in the two-week wait. So, fingers crossed!
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