Infertility

(Re)Introduction - Hi there!

Hey All, Happy Thanksgiving! I posted on this thread back in March when my wife (same-sex couple) and I were just beginning the process of our IUI journey.  I've lurked some, but since I wasn't actively beginning TTGP with IUI, I didn't want to jump in on most people's conversations.  We've taken it slow, due to costs and nerves, and are now ready to start!  I don't see a general intro thread on this community so I'm saying hello here, before I jump into future IUI boards.   Is that okay? I hope it is!  I could jump on the TTGP boards instead, but I felt that because I am using assisted methods to get pregnant this might be a better support system.

We are trying our first round of IUI in December and I intend to carry. I'm early 30s.  We are using an anonymous sperm donor we chose online. We're paying OOP, we have health insurance which will assist but we have a high deductible aaaaaand the year is about to end.  Fun times! We've worked with an awesome RE near us; I've gotten all the bloodwork done I have been tracking ovulation through OPK (Clear-Blue digital OPK) and have been taking prenatals since early Sept.  My blood confirmed ovulation but with lower-than-desired progesterone levels, so I'll be getting progesterone supplements once we start IUI.  I've got a "normal" thyroid for a non-pregnant/TTGP person but they wanted my levels for that a bit lower too, so I've been on synthroid for 2 months.  They also told me to take extra amounts of folic acid and Vitamin D to get those levels to the optimal #.  All levels are going up or down as desired with the additional meds and supplements! I've been pretty regular with cycles my whole life, so I am cautiously optimistic but know the realities of the process we are beginning.

Our RE believes there is no indicated reason to do a HSG test or take clomid/etc.  I've found it confusing because another lesbian couple we are close with saw a different doctor at a different practice, and their doctor suggested doing the HSG and also offered clomid/etc. if they desired it.  I guess different doctors have different methods, and we'll do a few rounds like this before I start to get antsy.  I appreciate the more conservative approach, but also don't want to waste $ from each procedure and vial of sperm used ($900/vial - 1-2 vials per cycle!).  Trying to not get myself too overwhelmed in the beginning.  

Well that's me, medically.  I really value all of you and your ability to communicate with each other about this process, which is not easy to deal with.  Community and solidarity really helps with any challenge. I feel fortunate to be joining such a strong, determined group of people on this journey to grow all our families. 

Lots of love to you all, and I hope your bellies are full of delicious Thanksgiving yummies!  xo

ndz2018

Re: (Re)Introduction - Hi there!

  • @lazyornghousecat Welcome! So i think it’s strange they aren’t doing the HSG test either. Hmmmmm i wonder why? I mean Since you’re doing IUI what if one of your tubes are blocked? Not that it is but there’s always a chance. Personally, me being neurotic I would push for it especially if you’re paying out of pocket for this. Why chance it? 
    rooonilwaazlibtinjp78
  • Welcome! I think you’re in the right place but I’m not the best with all the rules :smile:  I hope you find support here. I have loved my time on this board. 

    The only advice I have is trust your gut. I go to a top RE in the USA and still question and research every single thing. That has served me well because even the best can miss something. I wouldn’t necessarily do an IUI without day three blood work (FSH, AMH, LH, E2) just because of the cost. I never did an HSG and had 3 IUIs (my original RE never thought it was important and this is before I switched doctors and developed my squeaky wheel philosophy). The tubes are the size of angel hair pasta so even the smallest thing can cause a blockage. It’s also a good test to start to look for endometriosis. Some people don’t have the classic symptoms and then they have a blockage and further testing is ordered. However, it very very very likely you are perfectly fertile. Good luck!!! Welcome to the board! 
    • Me: 36 DH: 33
    • TTC since June 2016
    • Me: PCOS DH: Morphology 1%
    • 3 TI with Famera and trigger shots-BFN
    • 3 IUI's with Famera and trigger shots- BFN
    • IVF August 2017 25 eggs retrieved, 19 mature, 13 fertilized (ICSI), 5 frozen, 3 PGS normal 
    **********TW***********
    • FET November 2017 Transferred one 6 day blast (a little GIRL) BFP Beta #1 236 Beta #2 809


    ndz2018rooonilwaazlibtinjp78
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  • do114do114 member
    10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited November 24
    Welcome! I am in the exact same situation. Same-sex couple starting IUIs. We did consults with 2 different REs before starting. One was going to start off strong with all possible treatments from the beginning including extensive testing, HSG, etc. The second RE wanted to de-medicalize it start with just the necessary blood labs and amp up as needed. Their approaches were completely different, and I think I have a pretty straight forward situation. It totally depends on your doctor. We ended up going with the second RE because we found him more personable and liked his approach. We didn’t want procedures that weren’t necessary (though if a couple IUIs don’t work, we will be doing more work up) We just did our first cycle with Femara day 3-7 (I have PCOS) and monitored IUI with donor sperm.  It looks like it’s ending in a chemical pregnancy though, I’m waiting on my second beta now. 
    This board has been a huge source of information! I’m excited to see someone else in a similar situation joining. I don’t always feel like I fit here or the TTGP board. FX for your December cycle!! 
    rooonilwaazlib
  • @ndz2018 Thank and I agree! This is what is so confusing about this process for same sex couples. There's no amount of sex my wife and I can have which will get us pregnant (lol) so we start off right away.  So I guess they're cautious because it could all be fine and we just need to get the sperm from the 3rd party to get us KO.  Heterosexual couples who have no reason to suspect fertility issues wouldn't go for all the tests, etc right away...but you're right since we're spending all the $ anyway there's a good argument for spending a little more just to be certain.  Argh!

    @Irisheyes81 thanks!  Yes it's always important to trust our gut.  Hopefully soon my gut has a lil baby growing it it!  :)

    @do114 Hi and thanks! AWESOME to see another same-sex couple on this board.  I have tried to get the LGBT parenting board going but it's so slow and I want some more connection that the individuals on there can provide on a regular basis. That's another reason why I stayed lurking on this board, because I didn't always feel my situation fit with the other people. But hey we're all working with the same procedures, trying to reach the same result.  I am grateful to be connected to so many people who have experience with this and can understand/support. I hope to provide support too!   It's so confusing having different doctors giving totally different protocols and opinions.  I definitely don't want unnecessary procedures, but also don't want to throw out $, time, and sperm if things aren't up to prime pregnancy levels.  Looking forward to be stalking keeping in touch with you!
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  • ndz2018ndz2018 member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    edited November 27
    @lazyornghousecat  we started trying about 6 months back and nada! I’m also 37 and my SO is 42 so we wanted to make sure everything was in working order. Went the RE on Oct 27th and immediately did some blood work up and as soon as AF came we did our CD 3 bloodwork and scheduled my HSG and Saline sono. Also a semen analysis ..Turns out he has low count and 0% morph) and I have a septate uterus!! So we are going right past IUI to IVF.. our egg retrieval is next month, then i have to have a surgery to remove the septum then heal so we probably won’t have a transfer till March. 
    Did you do your CD 3 tests? I have an AMH of 4.17(which is a little high) , FSH of 7.8 and that’s all I can remember off the top of my head but everything was in normal range... I was a little low on Vit D but that was it. She asked me if i have PCOS Bc my AMH were high and I’m well... ya know 37! But I do not. 
     (btw I cant Unbold this for some reason sorry) 
    The initial U/S showed my septate uterus ( but they thought it could’ve been a couple thing even thought I could have had TWO uteruses (or is it uteri idk lol), the HSG and Saline sono confirmed the septum. But I’m glad we did every test as now we know exactly what our issues are, however all that being said it was an easy decision for us as it was all covered under insurance as well as unlimited IUIs and 4 rounds of IVF(FYI i had no idea good my insurance was that good for infertility till we went in) . Since I am “advanced maternal age” we are doing PGS testing and also ICSI where they put a single sperm into the egg(due to SOs low count and 0% morph) none of which is covered and came to a total of $5200. 
    I think if I were in your case I would ask what the HSG will run you and if it is within your range financially, personally I would push for it but again I’m super neurotic about this stuff. 
    unfortunately I dont have any IUI experience and this is my first round of IVF coming up. The emotions go from excitement and nerves but more excitement. I hope in some way this is helpful and again welcome to the community and FX FOR YOU AND YOUR WIFE
    :) 
    rooonilwaazlib
  • @ndz2018 thanks so much and FX for you too!! I'm calling my RE this week anyway to set up for next month's first round of IUI so I definitely will ask for an appointment to see her and discuss options <3
    ndz2018
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  • @lazyornghousecat welcome to the boards!  We started out on a pretty similar path we did IUIs all my labs were pretty normal but since we were using expensive frozen sperm they did put me on chlomid to up our chances.  Chlomid is DIRT cheap (fertility med speaking) so it might be worth it to up your odds especially if you are OOP and want to avoid having to multiple cycles.  One of the biggest lessons I have learned on this journey is to advocate for myself.  Do you research, ask questions and don't be afraid to be a pain in the @ss.  Wishing you both great success in starting your family.  
    Me:36 DW:31  
    TTC History in Spoiler ***Trigger Warning*** Losses Mentioned 
    Dx: My wife has no sperm  :D and apparently my embryos aren't as good as they look
    2016

     * April IUI#1 - BFN
     * June IUI#2 - BFN
     * July IUI#3 - CP  :'(
     * Sept IVF#1 - 4 Retrieved & Mature, 4 Blasts.  Fresh Transfer 1  - CP  :'(
     * November FET #1 - Transferred 1 Blast - CP  :'(
    2017 Switched REs - Recurrent loss testing for me - all normal, remaining 2 frosties sent for PGS - both abnormal
     * April/May IVF#2:  9 retrieved, 8 mature, 7 fertilized, 7 blasts!  Sent for PGS = 2 Normals in the bank! 
     * November IVF #3 12R, 8M, 6F, 4 blasts! - Awaiting PGS results
     * November FET# 2 (Transfer a PGS normal from IVF#2) - BFP!!! Beta#1 - 63, Beta#2- 128, u/s scheduled 12/18
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