Anyone else also diagnosed with Unexplained Infertility? IUI or IVF

(72 Posts)
seaviewasia Mon 03-Sep-12 15:00:46

Hi there, just wondered if anyone is in a similar situation to me. I have unexplained fertility, in perfect health, all my tests including FSH levels, Lap and dye tests have all been perfect. I am 34 years old and we have been TTC for 3 years. Doctors tell me I am a picture of health. I have regular 28 day cycles - almost always to the day. I have never had a missed period, been pregnant or been on the pill. My husband's tests all came back normal too. He is 39.

I was slightly underweight and in order to qualify for IVF on the NHS I have had to put on 3kg. I am half a kg away from normal weight.
I was always extremely relaxed about getting pregnant but I am beginning to feel the pressure after trying naturally for 3 years. I will be 35 in January.
I have now been referred via the NHS to have IUI/IVF but after 3 months I am still waiting for an appointment. I also have an appointment with a private clinic this week as I feel I need to move things along now.

Just wondered if anyone here has been in a similar situation. Would you have IUI first before IVF if you were in my situation?

PicaK Mon 03-Sep-12 21:20:23

Well I was in your situation (except in the normal weight range). Three goes of IUI didn't work for me - IVF did eventually. If I could go back in time then i'd tell myself to skip that year of IUI. And also not to do ivf in the winter cos that didn't work for us.

But that's our gut instinct and as much use to you as a chocolate teapot.

It could be that in your case you'd be one of the few that IUI works for so ivf would be a metaphorical sledgehammer. But life is short and the longer you do the infertility journey the harder it gets. If you have the money then I'd say leapfrog to ivf.

I'd also say get your private person to do blood tests for autoimmune stuff. But again that's cos i've just found out i've got Hughes syndrome. See everyone's opinion is hopelessly influenced by their experience.

I would say chase up that NHS appointment. Stuff goes missing and it shouldn't take that long to see a consultant even if the treatment takes a while.

Best of luck. Throw everything you've got at this and don't feel guilty about it.

seaviewasia Mon 03-Sep-12 22:27:30

Pica, thanks so much for sharing your experience.
I will definitely chase up the NHS route.
I know what you mean. I am keen to do at least IUI once. I have been told that it's worth doing if I am easy to stimulate but if not I should go to IVF hence why I thought worth doing at least once to try it out.
Thanks so much for your suggestion. I will ask about these additional tests. I am so new to all of this it all feels a bit overwhelming.

PicaK Tue 04-Sep-12 07:15:16

It is overwhelming.

My one bit of advice i'm v confident about is that counselling really helps.

Bluegingham Thu 06-Sep-12 09:35:11

Picak, I agree, esp immunes.
Fwiw though I'd totally forget iui. The success rates are SO poor it's not worth bothering with, esp mid 30s.
Have a look at the HFEA site for the success rates of clinics. The best, but sadly most expensive is ARGC. Their stats are the closest thing you'll get to buying your own baby.

Devilforasideboard Thu 06-Sep-12 18:47:30

We have a diagnosis of unexplained infertility and the consultant didn't even mention IUI, we're going straight to IVF/ICSI. He says the IVF/ICSI will potentially be useful as a diagnostic tool given that there's no obvious reason why I'm not conceiving.

I was similar and we had 5 unsuccessful IUIs.
Even at the time I hadn't heard of anyone who got pg that way. Have since only ever known one person.

Almost everyone I talk to wishes they had skipped IUIs and gone straight to IVF. It just wasted time/money and built up hopes.

My personal story is TTC for 3 years, had 5 IUIs then took some time to consider whether/when to do IVF and feel pg naturally. Then fell pg naturally again when DD1 was 18 months old.

Good luck.

seaviewasia Thu 06-Sep-12 23:36:02

Thanks ladies.

Appreciate your suggestions. I thought the same about IUI - success rate very low but so many health professionals I have spoken to say I should try it - doctors and the acu chinese doctors. They keep telling me I am still young so worth trying but I don't think 34 is young in fertility age...

I am in two minds still. My thoughts were to try it once, see how it is and depending on how easy I am to stimulate, I might carry on or not.

daintynuts - so happy to hear your positive story.

Will more than likely go with CRGH. Anyone had any experience with them?

MummyDoIt Thu 06-Sep-12 23:41:41

I can speak in favour of IUI. I was unexplained, all tests perfectly normal, no reason why I shouldn't conceive. My consultant recommended three IUIs before moving on to IVF and I conceived on the second cycle. We had no treatment available on the NHS so it was worth a shot as IUI is so much cheaper than IVF.

highlove Fri 07-Sep-12 16:14:08

I'm also a (partial) IUI success in that I got pregnant with a combination of injectibles and IUI on the first go. Very sadly miscarried at about 8 weeks but obviously that's not related.

Having said that, we've exhausted our NHS options and no we're going private we are going straight to IVF/ICSI...if I could do IUI again on the NHS I'd give it another go BUT as we are paying for it, we concluded better to throw our money at what gives us most chance of another pregnancy. We could do three goes of IUI with injectibles for the cost of a cycle of IVF so just felt like that was the right option for us.

You will see further another thread on IUI vs IVF further down which I started and the consensus was just go straight to IVF. My reservations were just that IUI is closer to 'natural' and I had a thing about not being in the same place when my potential children were conceived. But the bottom line is I want a family so have decided to do what is most likely to make that happen.

Best of luck

highlove Fri 07-Sep-12 16:14:10

I'm also a (partial) IUI success in that I got pregnant with a combination of injectibles and IUI on the first go. Very sadly miscarried at about 8 weeks but obviously that's not related.

Having said that, we've exhausted our NHS options and no we're going private we are going straight to IVF/ICSI...if I could do IUI again on the NHS I'd give it another go BUT as we are paying for it, we concluded better to throw our money at what gives us most chance of another pregnancy. We could do three goes of IUI with injectibles for the cost of a cycle of IVF so just felt like that was the right option for us.

You will see further another thread on IUI vs IVF further down which I started and the consensus was just go straight to IVF. My reservations were just that IUI is closer to 'natural' and I had a thing about not being in the same place when my potential children were conceived. But the bottom line is I want a family so have decided to do what is most likely to make that happen.

Best of luck

sw11mumofone Sat 06-Oct-12 21:57:38

I was in a very similar situation. All tests perfect, picture of health but ttc for 3 years with no luck. Went to a private clinic and was recommended to do 3 lots of iui before ivf. Fell pregnant on the second try and didnt need ivf. I would highly recommend my clinic -CRGH - they have had some of the best results in the country for the last few years. For my second dc (currently 19 weeks pregnant) I had ivf. However this was because my fertility levels had significantly dropped since last time (am now 39). Luckily it worked first time. I would definitely do iui first as it was cheaper and far less invasive than ivf. Such a personal choice though. Good luck!

blondebaby111 Mon 12-Nov-12 14:07:28

Hi there, yes we have unexplainned too...its hard because you feel like its not a proper diagnosis. I tried just one round of clomid which didn't work either so we decided after a lot of thought (i really didn't want to go down this route really) to try I.V.F. it wasn't half as bad as i was expecting it to be and can happily say we are going back tomorrow for our et...really hope and pray this works. We never got the option of iui so don't know much about it but whichever you choose i wish you lots of luck xx

seaviewasia Thu 29-Nov-12 12:47:51

mummy,, high love, Sw11 and blonde - thank you for your comments.
I will definitely be going for IUI in the new year. I finally decided this was what I would prefer to do. It was also helped by my Ovarian Reserve Test results which was excellent. I figured I have waited this long, I can wait a little longer and try the most natural assisted conception route first.
Thanks so much everyone. I hope it all goes well for all of you.

Neyite Sun 02-Dec-12 11:39:08

I had ovulation stimulation with Clomid and trigger shot and was lucky on the third cycle. He is six months old now and we are about to try for a sibling naturally. I was 37 when I conceived.

Ginshizz Mon 03-Dec-12 12:43:17

Hi,

DH and I had been ttc for 3 yrs when we were referred to the NHS ACU. DH's swimmers were a little on the lazy side but everything for both of use was within the normal parameters so we were told we had unexplained infertility.

I had tried seven months on clomid privately with not so much as a sniff of a bfp.

We were told IVF was our best option becaus of the length of time we had been ttc. At the time we started IVF, I was 34 and DH was 38.

We then pushed for ICSI as well as we only had one shot with NHS funding so didn't want to take any risks - our dr was fine with this.

We now have a lovely little 6 mo DD currently trying to cover my iPad with yoghurt!

We were given the option of three rounds of IUI but I was so emotionally exhausted with not getting pg despite everything (I really though clomid would do it for us!) that we decided to go straight for IVF. I can't explain why but I just didn't have any faith in IUI being able to work for us and I just couldn't deal with the thought of waiting even longer to get pg, although that was just me being impatient feeling frazzled I think as there is no reason why IUI wouldn't have worked.

I think it's one thing for the drs to think you are young enough to try other options (which, of course, you are) but it depends on how you feel.

I have to say I found IVF easier than I had feared. We had short protocol IVF so from first injection to bfp was a little over three weeks.

Best of luck with it all

Xxx

Griffomais Mon 03-Dec-12 17:41:43

Hi hope u don't mind me joining in... I've been TTC for 27 months no luck at all now diagnosed with Unexplained Infertility. I am so terrified abt IVF but I know it's probably going to be our only hope. How can I prepare myself for it? If ou o private how long from consultation to actually receiving treatment?

Ginshizz Mon 03-Dec-12 20:14:18

Griff sorry to hear you are having ttc problems. I am not an expert, but I can tell you what it was like for DH and me.

We had IVF on the NHS so I don't know how this compares to going private but our timings were like this:

End of April: first appt with dr
June: tests for me - FSH, LH, AMH, rubella immunity, HIV status; SA and HIV test for DH
HFEA forms filled in and analysed
July: second appt with dr to discuss results and plan treatment
August: 13th, started course
Sept: 3rd, bfp; 9th, the day I was meant to POAS!

If you go private, I think you won't have to wait as long for tests to be done and analysed. We did lose a few weeks waiting for me to be on the right day of my cycle for tests etc and then, obviously, to start the course.

You can start the course at the beginning if the cycle after all your tests come back.

I have to say, it wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done and you need to brace yourself to pack up your dignity and put it in storage for a few weeks (you need fanjo scans throughout the course to monitor how the drugs are doing). The injections were actually fine, and the hormonal bonkersness I was expecting didn't happen much

If anything, it was harder for DH because I was doing all the "work"

I definitely recommend seeing if a short protocol will suit you as it skips the bit which I think can be really hard, the down regulation.

PM me if I can tell you anything else

Good luck!

Nothingontvat3am Mon 03-Dec-12 20:25:48

I was in your situation 2 years ago after 3 failed iuis I finally got pregnant on my first ivf attempt. My friend (also unexplained infertility) now has beautiful twins after her 1st iui.

QODRestYeMerryGentlemen Mon 03-Dec-12 20:32:55

6 months of clomid, 4 unsuccessful IUI - didn't even get to insemination stage as was under, over, under and over stimulated .... Straight surrogacy .... Offered nhs ivf appointment on the day I was starting adoption/surrogacy maternity leave grin

All unexplained, I'm 43, been with DH for 27 yrs, no contraception for 20 yrs now, never been pregnant

galwaygirl Mon 03-Dec-12 20:43:04

The success rates for IUI are the same as for trying naturally while 'unexplained'. At 34 I don't think you have time to be hanging around to be honest. Your chances of IVF success will decrease the longer you leave it. I went straight to IVF as recommended by my clinic - we actually went for ICSI as I wanted to avoid finally discovering the problem was with the egg walls or ability of sperm to burrow through with a failed fertilisation. I was 30 at the time.
We had 5 blasts at day 5, did a single ET and now have DD who is almost 18 months. I never feel like I rushed - IVF wasn't that bad.
The doctors in my clinic are experts and would never recommend IUI for unexplained.
I think you need to bear in mind how close you are to 35 and not kid yourself that you have time on your side. Sorry to be so blunt but I think people who consider themselves young fertility wise in their 30s are deluded.

FuriousRox Mon 03-Dec-12 20:57:09

Did you have an amh test (anti mullerian hormone) ? I don't know if the Nhs does it as we decided to go private rather than waiting the full three years. all my tests were totally normal apart from that one, which showed a lower range reading. The amh thing is to do with egg supply, so maybe it's the same as ovarian reserve testing.

Based on that, and me then being 34, we were advised to skip iui and go straight for ivf, which we did, with success. I was really failing to see the point of iui by then anyway.

Good luck OP, it is a hard road you are travelling. Good luck.

Griffomais Mon 03-Dec-12 21:34:43

Hey Ginshizz thank for yor post really helpful information - going to have to look in to it after Christmas as getting desperate now. Think the IVF waiting list in my area is 3 years and I'm 35 just now so think going private is going to be my best hope - its so expensive sad

galwaygirl Tue 04-Dec-12 08:06:59

Griffomais - it is really expensive but I wish they could break success rates down by infertility cause as it seems like unexplained is a good one to have in that IVF works really well. Just from anecdotal evidence.
Think about ICSI - it's more expensive but a lot less expensive than doing a full second cycle after finding out the explanation is something which would have required ICSI if you know what I mean.
I really feel that for us the problem was getting the egg and sperm together and once that happened it all went really well. There were no womb lining problems or anything to worry about.
I got 13 eggs, 12 of which were suitable for ICSI and had four blasts in the freezer after getting pregnant. I'm currently pregnant with number 2 after a single FET which only cost £500 as our clinic offers a cheaper price.
When I was preparing for IVF I was stressing out so much thinking of having to have enough money to give it three goes etc but it can work better than you think.
Hope you get lucky very soon x

mannyb Thu 03-Jan-13 12:45:43

Hi there. I am 33 and was trying to concieve for 3 years. I had a low fertility but it wasnt low enough for the doctors to be concerned. The y said i had unexplained infertility. My partner is 33 and he has above average semen so we really couldnt understan why nothing was happening. Everyone around us appeared to be getting pregnant so easy. I had 2 IUIs which failed. We decided at the last minute to do a third over Christmas before our IVF appointment on the 7th January. We had it done on the 17th December so it was just wait and see... I found out on the 29th December that i was pregnant.... we are over the moon..i think that it is worth trying it cost us €3000 in all between prescriptions and bloods and the procedures themselves but it was worth every penny... I wont lie... it was the most comfortable thing i have ever had done but it only take a few mins... and is worth it in the end smile

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