New to this game - fact check?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-10-2008
New to this game - fact check?
Sun, 04-18-2010 - 9:10pm

We are new to Assisted Reproduction, after losing some "prime time" working with an ill-informed local OB/GYN, taking on a relative's special needs child, and sorting out some overlapping diagnoses / misdiagnoses / undiagnoses (mine). Any input or advice will be appreciated.

Recently, follow to a uterine biopsy presented a good opportunity for an "assisted" try with the reproductive endocrinologist we are now seeing. So we jumped in: Clomid 100 (oral) x 5 days = 7 follicles; Bravelle/FSH 300 (injection) x 4 days = follicle size 10-15.5; Bravelle/FSH 300 (injection) x 3 days more = 5 follicles 18+ on right side (left tube is wrecked); then 225 x 1 day; HCG x 1 day; intrauterine insemination w/ partners processed sample (25 million motile sperm) 4 days ago, followed by prescribed "regular" intercourse daily x 4 days.

SO WHAT DO I EXPECT NOW? Was extremely cramping and pelvic congestion for a couple days, then better, now really crampy again today. Have orders for blood draw & preg test 14 days after insemination.

What now? Hints, advise, etc., all appreciated. Don't know what to expect, and I guess that I am not allowing myself to expect too much. We have "drawn the line" at this technology; husband is NOT open to egg retrieval, donor sperm or egg, traditional IVF, or adoption.

I am 43; my husband is 46. I have been pregnant previously without assistance - longest pregnancy was 11 weeks (8.5 years ago), most closer to 2-5 weeks (often don't know until it's over) - but have not been pregnant in the past year. I have PCOS, adenomyosis, endometriosis, Salpingitis isthmica nodosa (SIN), and a large benign intramural fibroid tumor. I am also allergic and/or highly sensitive to wheat, gluten, beef, soy, eggs, dairy, citrus, melon, peaches/apricots, and strawberries. Do not drink or smoke; husband drinks only occasionally. I am +/- 30 lbs. overweight - developed after adult chicken pox (along with autoimmune issues, sensitivities, etc.) which is difficult to take off even with exercise & diet.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-08-2009
Sun, 04-18-2010 - 10:39pm

Hi there.'ve been through a lot.

I don't have much advice for you with regard to IUI. We only attempted one try due to our diagnosis of male-factor infertility. Our RE was very honest and up front with us about not wasting our money on multiple IUIs when we could put that money towards IVF.

Since IVF is not in the cards for you, I guess I would just ask your RE what he/she thinks is a prudent course of action for you with regard to multiple rounds of IUI.

Of course, wishing you all the best and hoping that a sticky baby takes on the 1st attempt.


P.S. Just thought I'd share with you my infertility/pregnancy history:

Age 30: Chemical pregnancy
Age 31: Ectopic pregnancy
Age 32: Blighted Ovum
Age 33: Failed IUI
Age 33: Spontaneous Conception/2nd ectopic pregnancy
Age 34: Successful IVF 1st Attempt: Baby Girl in 2004; 35 at delivery
Age 37: Spontaneous Conception: Bonus Baby Boy in 2006
Age 39: Spontaneous Conception: Miscarriage in 2008
Age 40: Spontaneous Conception: Bonus Baby Boy due 08/2010; I'll turn 41 3 weeks after delivery!!! ;)

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-10-2008
Mon, 04-19-2010 - 10:26am

Thanks for you encouragement! Right now, my biggest concern is just not knowing what is related to the process and what is not. I try not to be too hopeful, as I realize our chances of successful conception are slim, and our chances of a full-term pregnancy are slimmer.

I have been terribly crampy about every other day since the IUI, and absolutely dead tired (which is not like me) - slept 16 hours yesterday! I assume most of the sensations (nipple sensitivity, breast tenderness, bloated feeling, etc.) are left-overs from the clomid, FSH, & HCG.

I hate to bother my doc's staff with newbie questions, so it's nice to have experienced "on line" friends.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-08-2009
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 8:43pm

Ugh...I remember taking all those meds and you're right! They play havoc with your mind and body b/c as you said, it could be pregnancy-like symptoms due to the meds and not a true pregnancy.

BUT, we are thinking positively here, right?!!!

The tiredness is such a huge I'm hoping it is a good sign.

The tww is the worst!

Hang in there,

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2008
Fri, 04-23-2010 - 12:46pm

Hello and welcome!


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-10-2008
Fri, 04-23-2010 - 8:53pm

I am scheduled for blood work for preg test on 04/29. Intrauterine insemination was on 04/14; tech said the sample was "excellent," as it had 25 million+ highly motile sperm. Feeling better towards the end of this week with regards to cramping & constipation, but still dead tired by 8 PM, waking to pee during the night. Breasts still tender with nipples over-reactive and sore - probably the nightly progesterone suppository?

The waiting is the hardest part! I'm partly excited, as this is the first time we've had sound professional help (medical resources are scarce in our rural area), but don't want to be too disappointed, either. I'm assuming that our chances of success are below 50/50.

Thanks for the feedback - we aren't telling ANYONE that we are trying this, so it's nice to have an outlet. I'll let you know - Beth

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2005
Sun, 04-25-2010 - 8:06am
Hi Beth and GL with your 2WW. You are almost there, but I agree, the waiting is the worst. The symptoms you describe can be caused by PG and the progesterone -- and the meds just make the wait alll the more trying. Hang in there and
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-10-2008
Tue, 04-27-2010 - 12:56pm

I need an emoticon for "roller coaster"!

I have lab orders for Serum Beta HCG test on Thursday, 04/29/2010 - just HATE the waiting. Thought about trying an "early" home kit, but probably a waste of $$$. The box says "5 days before missed period," but I'm not sure when that would be! Since I did 4 extra days of FSH injections PRIOR to the HCG "trigger" shot & IUI, does that mean my "cycle" is now 4 days longer?

I have been trying to keep a positive attitude, but yesterday & today I am not succeeding - just want to crawl back into bed! Keep thinking of every little thing that I could have inadvertantly eaten or done "wrong" to mess this up.

It is nice to have someplace to "vent," because my spouse does not want to hear it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-10-2008
Tue, 04-27-2010 - 8:40pm
Well, this would be cycle day 28 - 2 more days until lab pregnancy test. This afternoon, I have cramps & staining. The nurse at my RE says to drink lots of water, take Tylenol, and wait & see. Am thinking that this probably means we're back to square 1.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-19-2004
Wed, 04-28-2010 - 5:41pm

Cramps and spotting can be signs of implanation, so don't count yourself out. With good sperm and a good response to meds like you have it sounds like your chances of getting pg via this route are pretty good. 2 recommendations though.

1. Metformin. If you are not on it, get on it and stay on it through at least the first trimester. PCOS causes a very high rate of miscarriage which metformin pretty much brings this risk back to normal. It can also improve your chances of getting pregnant (only if you have PCOS). I had 7 losses, 4 fresh IVF's, 1 FET, and 11 IUI's before I got on Met. Did an IUI and got pg the first time on Met and it stuck!

2. Food allergies. Be very careful to avoid all foods you have allergies to, especially gluten. Gluten intolerance causes infertility unless you follow a gluten-free diet.

- Jenna, 41, DH 38 TTC since September '06 with MFI. 3 failed unmedicated IUI's with DH sperm, 1 failed IUI with injects with DH sperm, IVF #1 BFN, FET BFP but M/c week 5, IVF#2 BFP m/c week 7, IUI with injects and donor sperm: probable chemical pg. 1 failed unmedicated DS/IUI. Started BCP's 7/30 for IVF #3, ER 9/10, ET 9/15, Beta 9/24 results 9/25. BFP, Twins. Lost 1st twin at 9-10 weeks, lost second twin at 16 weeks 12/17/08. Attempted IUI #4 converted to DS/DH IUI April 09 at my request, BFP and M/c. IVF #4 June 09 BFN. DS-IUI w/injects 7/6/09, BFN. Hysteroscopic myomectomy to remove fibroid 7/29/09.Unmedicated DS-IUI 9/09, BFN. DS-IUI with injects, 10/09, BFP and M/C. DH/DS-IUI with injects and HGH, 12/6. BFP! Betas: 12dpo 12/18 58, 14 dpo 12/20 157, 16dpo 12/22 379, 22 dpo 12/28 4,002

- Jenna
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-10-2008
Thu, 04-29-2010 - 7:12pm

Thank you for the tip regarding metformin; that is not a therapy that has been presented to me, but I will ask our reproductive endocrinologist about it tomorrow when he phones. It is frustrating to me that, 12 years ago when I started reading about PCOS in the literature and asking docs, they said either it wasn't a "real" diagnosis or was "nothing to worry about." It has only been the past 3 years that I have been diagnosed, and no treatments yet discussed.

Serum beta hCG was less than 1 today, so not preganant now & haven't been this cycle. Having a really weird menstrual period, ranging from nothing to staining to spotting to moderate flow to ungodly cramping - in about 3-6 hour cycles.

Now time to talk with my spouse and see if he's willing to try this again - Thanks for the encouragement.