Describing the full IUI experience
Earlier this week my blogging friend, preconceived notions, asked for “blow by blow details” of what an IUI entails. I’m sure it’s different for everyone but now that I’m on my third IUI I figure I must know a little about it…at least from a patient perspective.
The first IUI we did was ‘natural’, ie. no drugs. I went to the clinic for daily monitoring and they timed the insemination for when they predicted I would ovulate. Daily monitoring is bloodwork to check hormone levels and an ultrasound to measure the follicles that will grow and produce the egg. I start daily monitoring on day 3 of my cycle and then return on day 7, at which point I go in every morning until ovulation.
On insemination day my hubby and I arrive at the clinic for 7am. He goes into the room with the leather chair, sink, and DVDs of all the basic porn genres and…well…does his thing. I get poked with a needle (more bloodwork) and probed with the ultrasound wand. So unfair!
At this point hubby goes off to work or joins me for breakfast. We have to wait about 1.5 hours for the sperm to be rinsed, spun, and prepared.
When we return to the clinic there is usually more waiting. When it’s our turn I get back into the stirrups and the doc shines a very bright light up my business. She opens a little window that goes into the sperm area and orders up my sperm. I tried making a ‘could you super size that’ joke but I think they’ve heard it a few too many times. Once she has the vial I have to check the label and approve it. (A safety measure to make sure they use the correct sperm!). I haven’t seen exactly how she hooks it all up but basically the vial is attached to a catheter which is inserted into my cervix and I guess there’s some sort of plunger so she can push the sperm out of the vial and through the catheter.
Sometimes I barely feel a thing, somtimes a little discomfort, and sometimes I get pretty crampy when the catheter goes in. After the insemination I lay back on the table for 10-15 minutes and think relaxing thoughts.
For IUI #2 and #3 I took Clomid for days 3-8 of my cycle. The Clomid helps the ovaries produce more and sometimes better eggs. In this last cycle I was on a double dose of Clomid. And I also had the HSG shot in these cycles. The shot goes in your hip/butt and it triggers ovulation. It doesn’t hurt getting the shot but for the next couple of days my butt feels kinda bruised.
After the insemination I insert progesterone suppositories twice a day into my business. And then 2 weeks later return to the clinic for a pregnancy test.
And that is how my IUIs have been done! Of course this is a rather clinical description and doesn’t reflect how the hormones affect me. But I’ve written about that before and I’m sure I’ll write about it again if I need to go through another cycle.