Friday, 29 January 2010

IUI#3 CD12

I do love having my cycles monitored. I love graphs and tracking my numbers and knowing exactly what is happening. I like knowing what my ovaries are up to and how everything is progressing.

However, our clinic is not very empowering in that respect. They never tell me my hormone levels, and I have to quickly memories my ultrasound numbers as they appear on the screen. Today I asked the midwife what the procedure is, if we decide to move onto IVF. Her response was "you do not decide to move onto IVF, the professor will decide." She went on the explain that for IVF to be covered by the Belgian health care system, patients generally must try three IUIs first.

We are lucky to live in one of the few countries that provides six cycles of IVF to most residents. It pays for this cost by mandating that many of these must be single embryo transfers, which decreases the number of multiples born, and thus lowers the higher costs associated with multiples. The savings made on decreased newborn intensive care usage pays for the cost of providing IVF.

IVF coverage in Belgium:

ageIVF 1 to 2IVF 3 to 6
Less than 36 yearssingle embryo transfertwo embryo transfer
36 to 39 yearstwo embryo transferthree embryo transfer
More than 39 yearsthree embryo transferthree embryo transfer

As for me, my dominant left follicle is still only at 13 mm, and my lining is still only 5.3 mm. Moving very slowly this time around. I'm guessing the IUI might be on Wednesday? We shall see.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

IUI#3 CD10

I was randomised to clomid this cycle (clomiphene citrate CD3 to CD7, estrogen CD8 to CD12), and as I had some at home that meant that I didn't have to go into the clinic until today. The midwife who was taking my blood looked so young that I was worried that she would be incompetent. I think however the problem was that I am getting old, because she was fabulous. In fact, she coaxed out so much of my blood that I didn't realise that I was continuing to leave little drops of the stuff over the chair and floor of the waiting room. I was so embarrassed to have to get one of the midwives to clean it up for me. Still, better that than leaving human blood around the place.

My follicles seem to be ripening more slowly this time around. Last CD10 with clomid my dominant follicle was at 16 mm, but this time around it is only 11.7 mm. This is great, because I need time for my endometrial lining to thicken up. My lining is only 3.7 mm, the thinnest it has ever been at CD10 - it's gone from 7.6 mm (IUI#1 Menopur) to 4.8 mm (IUI#2 Clomid) to 3.7 mm (IUI#3 Clomid). I have been reading through the literature, and it really needs to be at least 7 mm on the day of the HCG trigger for a good chance of success.

The good news is that the dominant follicle is on my left ovary with the good tube. I should know more when I hear from the midwife this afternoon, but my guess is that I will have another scan in two days (CD12) and that the IUI will be on Monday (CD15).

Monday, 18 January 2010


New year, new IUI cycle. After a lovely vacation and break, it will soon be time to get back on the Assisted Reproductive Technology horse. Yes, I am still involved in the clinical trial, and yes, we have two more IUIs planned before we move on. The plan is:

February: IUI #3
March: IUI #4
April: Break and vacation
May/June: IVF #1
July: Break
August/September: FET/IVF#2

By this time, the theoretical success rate will be over 50%, and hopefully we will be part of that proportion.

Otherwise, we are just taking things month by month. We do not make any long term plans that we would have to change in the event of pregnancy. I try to schedule as many meetings at work in the afternoon, just in case I have to spend the morning at the fertility clinic. My calendar is divided into 28-day increments. I take my daily pre-natal tablet, as I have been doing for the past two years.

As long my husband and I have each other, we will be okay. For the moment, I am his baby and he takes care of me. He makes sure that I am taking care of myself, and that I have plenty of indulgences.

Monday, 4 January 2010

2009 and 2010

Well, our second IUI did not result in a pregnancy. Even though 2009 we may not have succeeded in getting pregnant in 2009, it was still a wonderful year. In my opinion it is much harder to find the perfect spouse than the perfect baby. As long as I have my husband by my side, I am content to wait for a bit longer to expand our family.

Last year we got the ball rolling, started our journey into assisted reproductive technology. We are now in the system, and hopefully a series of injections and probes this year will finally flip the odds in our favour.