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Did you get pregnant through IUI?

(16 Posts)
JessieMcJessie Mon 13-Apr-15 08:05:35

We're looking at IUI privately but from what I have read it actually doesn't seem to be much more effective than well-timed sex.

DH and I have been trying for about 7 months and have no issues other than that I am 41. I'm think that the problem is more likely to be egg quality and IUI won't fix that, and wondering if my doc is just out to make a quick buck.

I would have scan on day 3 of my cycle, then inject drugs for a week or so to stimulate double ovulation, then more scans and timed insertion of washed sperm and progesterone pessaries post insemination. It does seem a lot more precise than what we've been doing so far but I am sceptical.

Any success stories?

Bluestockings35 Mon 13-Apr-15 09:20:30

I had IUI without drugs and got pregnant first time but I was having it because I'm gay so no previous history of having tried with a male partner. I'm 35. Before insemination they will do a bunch of tests to check your egg reserves (a blood test), follicle production (an internal ultrasound), and they will probably also want to check that your Fallopian tubes are not blocked (aquascan and hycosy). I refused those last ones because I had no reason to suspect there was any problem and it sounded quite invasive and unpleasant, not to mention expensive. In my case I felt that was just a money-making exercise for the clinic, but as you've been trying it might be wise to do it.

The cost of all these tests and the initial consultation will exceed £1000 before they even inseminate, and then the insemination will be about £800 per cycle plus cost of drugs, so not cheap. I'm saying this because I found some clinics weren't exactly upfront about all of these initial tests until you actually go for a consultation with them, by which point you've already started spending money. But at least you don't also have to buy the sperm��

JessieMcJessie Mon 13-Apr-15 09:34:00

Thanks Bluestockings. That's encouraging, hope your pregnancy's going well. My very closest friends are a gay couple who have a lovely little boy, they tried IUI twice with no luck but had success on their first round of IVF, one of the reasons I am a bit sceptical about IUI.

I talked to the clinic about the blocked tubes test and the doc said that as I had no history of anything that might have blocked the tubes it was probably not worth the money at this stage. He dressed it up like saving us money/avoiding an invasive procedure but, being cynical, I found out today that this doc doesn't do IVF, so maybe he's trying to fleece us for IUI money since we'd obviously go elsewhere for IVF if tubes were blocked. Hmm.

2015isgoingtobeBIG Mon 13-Apr-15 09:41:00

Sadly three attempts at IUI all failed for me and it took two attempts at ivf for me to fall pregnant (to be fair, the second cycle was a disaster as I ovulated on a bank holiday weekend when the centre was closed so by the time they scanned me the egg had bolted but they gave it a try anyway). I'm now 37 but was 35/36 when I went through IUI. We had all the investigations, including the hycosy, and fell into the unexplained infertility category. I had all of this on the nhs and I don't think I could have been referred for ivf without having tried it but I'll be honest, if I was going private I wouldn't have bothered with it as its only by the third cycle that for my age there was a 45% chance of success. All of the tests for the IUI you'll have to do for ivf anyway. The on,y advantage of IUI is that it is an easier way to get your head around the idea of assisted conception-or at least it was for DH and I. The other thing to be aware of is they don't advise back to back months of stimulation so if you had an IUI cycle this month that failed, you would have to have a break of a month before you could start stimulating again so my three cycles of IUI took six months plus time for the various tests. On the nhs, this meant it was about a year later that I started IVF-a year that I feel was wasted and means I am a year older now pregnant.

Good luck and ask away if you want to know anything else.

JessieMcJessie Mon 13-Apr-15 10:04:54

Thanks 2015IGTBB. Compared to me you're a spring chicken so I wouldn't worry too much about that extra year! It's useful advice for me though. I'm not in the UK (expat British working in Asia) so I think the advice may be different about leaving a gap as my doc did not mention that at the consultation. However if the NHS advise it then I'd be inclined to go with their advice. As you say, it's maybe a good way to dip your toe in the water of assisted conception, but I think we'll probably just try IUI once then move straight to IVF.

Interesting what you say though about chances increasing with each IUI cycle - any idea what the reason is for that?

2015isgoingtobeBIG Mon 13-Apr-15 10:47:23

The reason for the gap was explained to me as that there is a risk of ovarian hyper stimulation which can be life threatening with back to back treatment. (Googke OHSS for more info). I don't know why the chances increase with each cycle but I think for the first cycle there was literally only a 10-15% chance of it working-I remember talking to a friend about it feeling very despondent and she pointed out there was no reason why I couldn't be one of the 10% because somebody had to be.

And thank you for the spring chicken comment! As you'll discover, in the world of infertility age becomes significant because of the reduced success rates once you pass 35 and I certainly ended up feeling a bit sensitive about my age...until I fell pregnant and then suddenly I wasn't considered old! I'd look at the NICE guidance for fertility as a useful guide as to what you'd get here and also forums such as Fertility Friend (uk based site not US one) as you'll fjnd loads of ladies at the same stage in life and treatment. It was a godsend to me when going through treatment as there was so much knowledge on there and I got lots of information I could take with me to appointments to ask the specialists about.

JessieMcJessie Mon 13-Apr-15 11:00:26

TBH I am too afraid to look at any statistics relating to fertility and age because I know it will say that over 40 the chances are very very slim. I think that sort of info is only useful if you are considering delaying starting a family.

I just didn't meet the right man till I was already too old and I can't change my age so, provided the docs will treat me I may as well have a go, any chance is better than no chance. I'll reassess if I get to 43 with no luck, don't fancy pumping myself full of drugs repeatedly.

Turquoisetamborine Mon 13-Apr-15 11:01:08

At your age I wouldn't waste time with IUI and would go straight for IVF/ICSI. I was treated on the NHS for secondary infertility and had a laparoscopy first which showed my previous section had scarred my one tube so that's why I wasn't getting pregnant, among other reasons. My consultant said that the NHS clinics in our area aren't even offering IUI any more as the chance of success versus the cost is so much lower than IVF.
I was 34 with my first cycle of ICSI which failed then found a really good private clinic and was successful on my second round at 35 and am now due next week.
Good luck!

Turquoisetamborine Mon 13-Apr-15 11:02:47

Also the actual process of ivf wasn't as bad as you'll be expecting. I did long protocol first time which was gruelling but short protocol the second time was 4 weeks from start to BFP so over in a flash.

2015isgoingtobeBIG Mon 13-Apr-15 11:39:25

You get the thing about age and statistics drummed into you throughout fertility treatment unfortunately (or at least that wa my experience) which was completely unhelpful because I too didn't meet somebody until I was older than most of my peers hence starting after the magic age of 35. I knew this reduced my chances compared to if I'd started trying ten years earlier but if I'd done that, I might have got pregnant quicker and without assistance but I'd have been divorced by now or bitterly unhappy in a marriage that wasn't right for me. The ivf cycle that failed, on paper and based on statistics would have been a total success with high quality embryos produced. In contrast, the one that worked, was a total disaster with very little response to the stimulation drugs, only two eggs collected, and a last minute switch to icsi because there was bacteria found in my husbands sample on the day of collection. Both eggs fertilised but not as high quality as the first attempt. On paper, even the nurse said they wouldn't have expected it to be a successful cycle....but both those precious embryos didn't read the statistics and both stuck so here I am 34 weeks pregnant with twins.

Yes chances reduce with age but there are still chances so I completely agree with your attitude. I would only suggest you look a little into the statistics so that you don't waste time and money on treatments that really have a very low success rate and that includes looking at the success rates for different clinics/consultants offering the same treatment for ladies in your situation. If you want a comparator, the best clinics in London are crgh, argc and the lister. They all publish their success rates either on their own website or through the human fertility and embryology monitoring site and it may be worth comparing any quoted success rates of the consultants where you are.

mrswishywashy Mon 13-Apr-15 13:43:06

I had three goes or iuis last year, two natural and one medicated plus two cycles where I didn't ovulate. I was 35 when I had tests and came back with an Amh of 5.6 which is considered low and then hycosy which was clear. Think all up blood tests and scans were £800. An natural iui was £795 plus sperm £800. Medicated was I think £1200 plus drugs. All iuis negative.

In February I started my first ivf and am now 10 weeks pregnant, I'm now 37. Total cost I'm not quite sure drugs around £1600, sperm £800 plus cycle cost £6000. Still a long way to go.

If you're dping medicated it might be quite good to see how you respond although the meds will be much lower compared to ivf. The other thing to think about is a natural ivf cycle so minimal stimulation but then get a better idea of quality of eggs.

daimbar Mon 13-Apr-15 15:12:10

Yes got pregnant through IUI and it wasn't expensive. I was able to get all the initial fertility tests free on the NHS via my GP (21 day progesterone, hormones and a HyCoSy + a scan to check the number of eggs) so you should enquire about that and then you will have a good idea of whether you need to try medication or go with your natural cycle.

We went to Denmark for the IUI as it was much cheaper than London - even with the flights. It was about £350 for the insemination I think. The place we went to was called Stork Klinik and cannot recommend it highly enough - the staff were all absolutely lovely and it was as close to the 'real thing' as possible. Now 28 weeks pg. Good luck!

StoneBaby Mon 13-Apr-15 15:37:34

I had 4 cycle of gonal-f injections and iui plus dtd before and after. No success.
The 5th cycle we didn't dtd just had the iui and I'm now 25 weeks pg
Good luck

JessieMcJessie Tue 14-Apr-15 03:34:59

2015 that's a lovely story about your embryos not reading the stats, congratulations and best of luck for D-day soon.

Also thanks to everyone else for the stories and congrats to you all.

arthaven80 Sun 07-Jun-15 15:43:38

Hello Bluestockings35!
I'd be keen to hear where you had your treatment. I also have no reason to suspect I would need aquascan and hycosy for my IUI treatment (the problem seems to be low sperm motility) but the clinic is still pressing for me to have both done - even though I've planned Natural IUI with them to go ahead the same month as I'm supposed to do those tests.
I'm trying to stay stubborn and not do either of auascan or hycosy as I understand they may require taking antibiotics afterwards which might not be a good thing when TTC the same month.
Grateful for any quick advise, first day of my cycle is early next week!

misssmilla1 Sun 07-Jun-15 16:42:24

We spent 18 months ttc and were finally successful naturally, just at the point at deciding whether to opt in for IUI.

From my research and the tests we had done, I would say that there is little point in going ahead with IUI and paying for it (and would say the same about IVF) until they know that you're tubes are open, you're ovulating regularly, your egg reserve is good, you don't suffer from endometriosis, and then that your DH sperm count and quality is good enough.

The former tests for you are important (imo) you can have blocked tubes (either partially or fully) and endometriosis without any known complications, and you really have no way of knowing about egg reserve, the quality of them etc until they do tests (see here for some of the basics www.fertilityauthority.com/fertility-tests/blood-tests-infertility) Age isn't necessarily an indicator here; you can be in your 20's and have low reserve etc. Sperm tests are also v important as they are a major cause of infertility, but often one of the last things to be considered.

I think it depends on your approach, but I wanted the tests done first before we embarked on anything else, as it helps to pinpoint what method to follow. My Dr told me that if sperm counts are below par and these can't be remedied or you have egg reserve problems, then IUI is probably not the solution.

I also read (and this is probably open to further research) that success rates for IUI over 35 are about 10-15%, which ultimately put me off (I'm 38) as I figured we'd have a good chance ourselves with timed intercourse, given our tests came back negative.

My Dr gave us the following options (we're in the US so might be a bit different)

- timed intercourse with clinic monitoring (to see when I was fertile - bit pointless as I already knew)
- timed intercourse with fertility meds and monitoring to stimulate ovulation
- low dose fertility meds, monitoring and IUI
- high dose fertility med. monitoring and IUI

Not sure if you've read The Impatient Woman's Guide to Getting Pregnant, and Expecting Better; some interesting stats there on what to look for, research on success rates etc

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