Even though I don’t have an IUI Success Story to call my own, I know an IUI can work. The following story is from a friend who had her rainbow baby on December 25, 2019.
IUI Success Story
So my husband and I had been married for about three months when we talked about things and decided that we wouldn’t mind if we accidentally got pregnant. I was 22 and he was 23. We both had wanted to be parents at a young age and there was a bit of societal pressure to do so. I thought that it would be something that would happen immediately but after getting off of taking the birth control pills my periods stopped and pregnancy tests were never positive.
I figured that maybe it was due to being on birth control and it just needed a couple of months for my body to adjust. (**Myth**Ladies out there reading this…this is a common myth. Birth control doesn’t “take time to get out of your system” otherwise fertility centers wouldn’t use birth control at the beginning of IUI and IVF cycles).
A year after I decided to see a gynecologist and they just said that I needed to loose weight, change my diet and keep trying, that a pregnancy would happen. I tried but I still wasn’t having regular cycles and fat women get pregnant. We decided to try another gynecologist who charged us $500 dollars for just talking to him. I was so young and I never had to advocate for myself. It was a huge waste of time and I wasn’t seeing improvements even though I changed my diet and was more active. Deep down I knew it wasn’t due to my weight but I thought that my gynecologist knew best.
A Year Later…
That year passed and once again nothing happened. I got lots of comments like maybe you’re not supposed to be with your partner and maybe this is a sign that you’re too young to be a parent. It made me angry and jealous to see newlyweds get pregnant immediately and it was hard to not compare my life with theirs. I hated being around other women especially pregnant women. It hurt and it hurt to see them just not struggle the way I did.
Finally my gynecologist suggested doing rounds of Clomid. Clomid made me moody and tired. We tried five rounds with no results. Rounds are based off of your menstrual cycle but my gynecologist not being reproductive endocrinologist didn’t run tests and threw medications at me. I knew that there had to be a bigger reason why we weren’t getting pregnant and that it wasn’t attached to some spiritual/religious aspect. Personally, I don’t believe it works like that. I decided when we moved from Utah to Northern California to make a bigger attempt to get answers and advocate for myself because no one else was going to. (You are your own greatest advocate!)
Referral to a Reproductive Endocrinologist
At the time, my husband was active military and with Tricare insurance, it didn’t cover fertility treatments but they did cover testing. I was 24 and I felt like I had wasted enough time with gynecologists. My primary care doctor finally gave me a referral to see a reproductive endocrinologist. I went to a really nice office in Silicone Valley to see a reproductive endocrinologist who was blunt but ran tests. Finally, we could get answers!
Blood tests were run and my husband gave specimen samples, it took about 6 months, but the reproductive endocrinologist finally let me know that I have PCOS and that my body doesn’t ovulate. My husband’s samples were normal but we would need assistance to conceive a baby because my body could not naturally ovulate on its own. We tried two medicated rounds with Letrozole with no luck.
Utah Fertility Center- Dr. Conway
We then moved back to Utah for my husband to finish school and he was stationed in SLC. I asked some friends if they knew any good reproductive endocrinologists or fertility clinics in the area. Determined, I wanted to try to do another medicated round with Letrozole and then if that didn’t work… try an IUI. I went back to my old job with amazing insurance that had a big enough FSA that I could pay out of pocket for our treatments. I went to Dr. Conway at Utah Fertility Center and she took the test results from my old endocrinologists and monitored me.
The medicated cycle with letrozole and a HSG trigger shot did not work and I was frustrated. I hated being on medications and the emotional roller coaster of thinking maybe I was pregnant and then just getting a big fat negative on the blood test to check. I asked Dr. Conway what the next step was and she said an IUI. An IUI is intrauterine insemination.
It was a painless process and then we scheduled a follow up appointment for two weeks later. I tried not to get my hopes up. I was really tired and I just didn’t want to be emotionally disappointed again.
We had the blood test done and had to wait 48 hours for a phone call from Dr. Conway’s office to get the results. I was at work and missed the first two phone calls from the clinic. I finally gave them a call back close to their closing time and the nurse was super patient with me. My husband was in the same room when I heard on the other line “Maya you’re pregnant”. I responded “whaaat..?! Really?!?”. I was smiling but had tears coming down my face. My husband noticed and pulled me into a hug and the nurse responded “really, congratulations! We’re going to schedule follow up appointments”.
I was so happy but nervous because women with infertility issues are still at risk for miscarrying. I finally was pregnant but we weren’t out of the woods yet. They had me take progesterone suppositories to help maintain hormonal levels and support the pregnancy for about 9 weeks. I had to stop by my fertility clinic every other week to get blood tests and ultrasounds. At 9 weeks we graduated from the fertility clinic and could see an OBGYN.
Tips for an IUI
Make sure your doctor runs all the tests they need to learn how to best help you and your partner.
If you are not feeling comfortable with your Reproductive Endocrinologist, find another one!
Don’t Give up Hope
Sure, maybe an IUI success story isn’t going to be your story like my friend Maya, but it wasn’t for me either. But it’s stories like this that can give us hope. Hope that someday we will have a baby of our very own to love on.
Don’t stop dreaming. Advocate for yourself. Keep trying. Crawl up the mountain that is infertility. I’ll be with you every step of the way.