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Really ignorant question about assisted conception - any help?

(8 Posts)
RevoltingPeasant Wed 22-Jun-11 22:03:15

DP has a chronic pain condition which means we can't have regular penetrative sex (basically, he has ED). We are considering ttc next year. As far as I know neither of us has any fertility issues - but obviously actually conceiving might be an issue!

I know this is incredibly ignorant but what can we do about this? When I have tried looking for info on assisted conception I keep getting websites about IVF, which is presumably not what we need. DP is capable of having an orgasm and thus producing the necessary - just not, er, in me blush.

Is there help available for this kind of situation?

havealittlefaithbaby Thu 23-Jun-11 06:37:06

Have you considered trying him producing (ahem) sample into sterile pot then using a syringe to put it into you?! I've heard it works, less romantic I know but might mean you don't need to go.down ivf route immediately! Also since general consensus says you're more likely to get upduffed if you orgasm, you can have a treat too! ;)
If that doesn't work, assuming everything is ok with you, they may offer you IUI first (put the sperm closer to where it needs to be). Hth.

JenniL1977 Thu 23-Jun-11 06:47:03

Hello Peasant,
There aren't any stupid questions, if you don't know the answer smile and I'm really sorry you're having this problem.
The answer is yes. I'm 32wks pg with my first, who was conceived through our fertility clinic. I have several low grade problems which add up to a bit of a mountain. However, the clinic didn't want us to "use up" our IVF if we didn't need to; so we had a procedure called IUI (intrauterine insemination).
What happened (for us, you may not need any of this if you ovulate properly) is I had to give myself an injection every day from the first day of my period, this was with Menopur which is used to stimulate my ovary to grow an egg. I had a scan every 3 days to measure the size of the follicle(s) growing on my ovary and how many there were; once they could see that only one or two follicles were growing they would adjust the dose of my injections to make sure that only the strong follicles grew and that I wasn't suddenly going to grow 9 (because nonatuplets might not be the best idea smile ). Then, when the main follicle had got to 17mm I had to give myself another type of injection to make me ovulate.
36 hours later, DH and I would go back to the clinic. DH would give a sample (ahem!) which they would then "wash" to get rid of the sperm which were deformed/slow/wrong, leaving the strong ones. This takes about two hours, then I would go in. The nurses would then open up my cervix (just like having a smear) and the sperm would be put right inside me, using a syringe with a long bendy tube on it so they could direct it right up through my womb and into the right tube for the side I was ovulating on. It's not painful, maybe a little uncomfortable. They leave you to lie there for 10 minutes, then off you go and do a pregnancy text 14 days later.
All they're doing is basically what happens naturally - they put the sperm as close to your egg as possible and wait to see what happens.
If you had to pay for it privately, it's much cheaper than IVF. What I would say is if you're looking to ttc next year, get yourself into the GP now and get referred - it can take a while on the NHS to get into the system, get tests done, etc etc. It took us about 2 years before they offered us this treatment (but we had to have a battery of tests to see why we weren't conceiving naturally).
Sorry for such a long post! If you've got any questions, please feel free to ask me. And good luck smile

RevoltingPeasant Thu 23-Jun-11 10:06:50

Hi Jenni, yes, thanks so much for that - really clear and helpful!!

As far as I know I have no fertility issues as I think I have been pg before when younger but mc quite early on. Not sure, of course, and we would do the appropriate fertility tests first.

Nosy question, if I may? - how long did it take you to get pg this way, with IUI? From what I could learn off Google, they do it in cycles like IVF, right? Do you have to have multiple cycles?

And thanks again for the info smile

havealittlefaith we may try that route first and then try to go the IUI route if we don't get any joy.... Thanks both!!

JenniL1977 Fri 24-Jun-11 19:33:10

Hello Peasant,
Sorry lovely, been oooop north to see my mates smile and just back now.
We started 4 cycles. The first one the dose they were giving me of the Menopur was too high and I had 17 (yes, that many!) follicles growing. Which if we'd carried on would have possibly meant 17 eggs! So I was sent away after 5 days with a strict "do NOT SWI!" ringing in my ears (no-wants 17 babies all at once, even when you've been ttc for 4 years!)
So I had to go away and wait for my period.
The second cycle three of the 17 follicles had turned to cysts on my ovaries (just symptomatic of one of the issues I have with my fertility, and pretty normal for a lot of women) However, that cycle we didn't even get to injecting me because the drugs would have just fed the cysts and made them bigger.
Next cycle - we got the dose right, got right through to the insemination, it didn't work that month.
Next one worked, 4th time's a charm smile - well, after 40 odd cycles of ttc, something had to bloody work!
You have a unique (or pretty rare) set of circumstances though, so should imagine that you'll get through the system pretty quickly. I would think though that they'll want to check out that you're "working" correctly before they start you off on this course, there's no point the NHS wasting money on a procedure if then they discover you have any sorts of issues - not to worry you or anything though, I'm sure you'll be fine. But like I said, it's best to get in there and get in the system, a lot of people are after these services.
If you're in the North of England, it's likely you'll get referred to Leeds: if they say that, ask for Mr Rutherford to be your consultant. The other one, Mrs Sharma is an absolute cowbag, unfortunately.
This may all be a moot point, they may have something else they want to do with you though! But I didn't find IUI traumatic at all (not like the friend's who've been through ICSI and IVF), like I said it's just doing what happens naturally really.

JenniL1977 Fri 24-Jun-11 20:22:37

Ah, good call putting your question in AIBU smile much more traffic there. And some good answers there too. Hope all goes well for you. If you want to ask me anything else at any point about IUI, please just pm me.

RevoltingPeasant Fri 24-Jun-11 20:41:05

Thanks Jenni! That is so helpful and so kind of you to share smile

You also answered the next question I was going to ask, which is, is it on the NHS or should I start saving?

Oddly, I have just moved from Leeds, so would've been referred to St Jimmy's or LGI, no doubt! Have just moved to Devon and am nearest to Derriford Hosp there, which has a GUM and a fertility clinic where they do IUI apparently. So will get booked in at my GP's!

Thanks again, it is so good to talk to someone who has actually been through this.

Oh, and before I forget..... congrats on your pg - really hope you are enjoying it and have a lovely birth experience smile

JenniL1977 Sat 25-Jun-11 09:00:02

I wouldn't think that you'll have any issues getting some sort of treatment on the NHS, Peasant; your DH has an existing condition which they must have mapped the side effects of (the not being able to have sex bit?) - maybe a trip to the GP to make sure this is in his notes might help you along the way?
I'm no expert on other types of treatment, this is the only type I've been through. The Assisted Conception boards are really good on here though, lots of support and help from people who know what the frustrations of not being able to conceive naturally are.
I think I remember the clinic telling me that if we wanted to pay for more than the cycles Leeds NHS would offer us (which is 3) then it would be about £1200 - much cheaper then the £6k IVF would cost. That included all the scans and drugs though as well as the insemination so I thought that was pretty good value, tbh. Thankfully we didn't need it for this one but I don't know what their policy will be if we want another child in the future.
Thank you for your good wishes for me smile I actually hate being pg! But I'm not being ungrateful, I know I'm really lucky to be pregnant now. As I tell people I want a baby, not the 9 months before it snd there's a big difference! But I'm just being whingy because I'm fat and bored and just want to see what she looks like and get on with being a mum!
Good luck yourself doll, hope all goes well for you x

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