Well, it definitely ain’t your grandma’s method of conception, but it’s not nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be. I’ve said before that I want to be a source of information and encouragement to those facing infertility treatments . So in the interest of all that, I’ll tell you about our first IUI.
When the Bravelle finally started working, it worked like gangbusters. My only developing follicle went from 10 mm to 14.5 mm in 3 days, and from 14.5 to 19 mm overnight. At that point, my estradiol number was 406. All of this probably means nothing to you if you’re not in the middle of a gonadotropin cycle, I realize. A follicle is the little fluid-filled cyst that holds a maturing egg prior to ovulation. My clinic likes to see one or two mature eggs at 16-24 mm. Estradiol is the estrogen produced by a developing follicle. My clinic is looking for at least 250 before ovulation. So I was ready to roll six days after finding the right dosage. I was instructed to “trigger” on Wednesday, November 17. I injected 10,000 IU of human chorionic gonadotropin that night, into my stomach. Some doctors will have you or your partner inject this into a muscle like your butt or thigh. Mine prefers that it be subcutaneously injected into the abdomen. Easily done, as I’d had about 42 nights worth of injections to practice. If you’re planning on using “timed intercourse”, this is your night.
The next day was a day of no injections or anything. Just a laid-back Thursday around Baileysland.
Friday, November 19 was IUI Day. We went to the clinic in the morning, and Brian registered for a collection room. The semen were washed to improve motility and sorted to be sure that only the most perfect ones were injected. The actual washing takes about an hour, so we got lunch and milled around the hospital nervously. When the sample was ready at the lab, I tucked it under my arm and we walked down the hall to the doctor’s office. I changed from the waist down and they did the procedure.
I didn’t find the IUI to be nearly as painful as a regular trans-vaginal ultrasound. The speculum is never fun, of course, but that was the worst part. The doctor inserted a tiny catheter into my uterus. I understand this can be painful or sensitive for some women, but it really wasn’t an issue. She inserted 30 million sperm with an 8% perfection. She said 30 million swimmers is a great number for IUI, and that 8% perfection is about as high as they usually see. They have very few men with 9-12% perfection.
After the procedure, which took about 10 minutes, I laid on the table for 20 minutes, and then went home. I opted to take the rest of the day off and lie around. I was quite crampy, but this is totally normal for me during ovulation. I also found that I’m pretty sensitive to the hCG, because I was crampy, nauseous, dizzy, and sore for the next 11 days.
In interest of being informative, our costs broke down like this: $228 for semen collection and sperm washing, and $117 for the IUI. Not nearly as expensive as we had feared. Brian’s sample was tested for anti-sperm antibodies, too, but we haven’t been billed for that. It may have been covered by our insurance.
For this cycle, we had the following costs:
$1572 in office visits
Either @220 or $270 in medications (I lost track)
$345 for IUI
That was a little over $2100, not counting lost income, childcare for the Munchkins, and gas. It was a very long cycle, to be fair. Bear in mind that the cost at your particular doctor’s office may be different, but this should give you some idea if you’re trying to figure out how much this is going to cost you.