I thought for sure this IUI would be it. But to be honest, I think that for each one and every time CD1 (Cycle Day 1) shows up it is just as heartbreaking.
We just found out IUI number 3 was yet again, unsuccessful. This was our third one, but fourth attempt; we had one cancelled prior to this one after an odd and frustrating ultrasound. You can read about that here.
IUI 3 we implemented a new protocol. This was our first IUI cycle where we increased my Letrozole dosage and added in AT-HOME injections including Gonal-F 75iu and Ovidril (trigger shot). This was quite terrifying and brought lots of anxiety.
I took 5mg of Letrozole, two tablets a day for CD3-7 as opposed to the 2.5 mg, one tablet a day for CD3-7, I have been taking for the better part of the last year. I have regularly been affected by insane, crushing migraines as a side effect of the Letrozole. This time around, I was freed from the headaches (hallelujah!) which was replaced with nausea (hallelujah🙄) that visited daily mid-day.
On CD9, I had my first at home injection experience. We had family visiting our home for my husbands graduation from his Masters program and I was nervous as hell. I chickened our and backed away from my husband numerous times, flapped my arms in terror more than once, and might have said “I want my mom” out loud at one point. (Shamelessly a momma’s girl). Eventually, I allowed my husband to stab me with a needle – SO WEIRD – and I did not even feel the tiny needle break or enter the skin but the Gonal-F burned like crazy going in. I experienced random burning for an hour or two after the injection when I would twist or bend over but other than that I didn’t notice any side effects or soreness after the shot. I totally forgot to ice the injection site prior to the shot, which I will try to remember next time (yes, next time) to hopefully help with the burning sensation.
Follicle check ultrasound was routinely on CD12, which revealed a positive-ish response to the medication. The nurse told me I “responded ok in terms of the medication” like maybe they were hoping for something more. I never ask questions during these appointments because I never know what to ask. I had one 17mm follicle on the right and a 12mm, the nurse said it was unlikely the 12mm would grow much more. On my left side, the blocked side, I had a 17mm follicle and a 13mm, which she said the 13mm was a possibility. She had us wait a few days to trigger, as she said recent research is showing higher rates of success when giving the follicles a few extra days to grow to 20mm or above.
We triggered. We waited the excruciating two week. Saturday prior to test day I noticed weird pulling and cramps in my lower abdomen/pelvic area which I tried not to overthink but did anyways (can you relate?) and hoped that this was a positive sign. Sunday, I had some of the same but not as noticeable. Monday the spotting came and Tuesday CD1 arrived. I did not even have a chance to test on test day.
IUI 3 is officially unsuccessful.
I am just so heartbroken. I am crying the tears, stressing over and over that I didn’t know if I can keep doing this, had myself a day of raging grumpiness, and am sitting here present with all the crazy emotions that come with a failed treatment and start of a new cycle. But just like every other time, I’m picking myself back up to give it another go.
My doctor only recommends 2-4 IUI’s before moving on to other options. We payed for one and two out of pocket. Our new insurance covers 3 IUI’s though so the one that just failed was covered by insurance and we will try the last two covered, because might as well if they are covered, right?
I messaged my nurse to see if we had enough time to start IVF before the school year starts at the end of August but it would be cutting it way too close if anything were to be pushed back for any reason so we will save that option for next summer if need be.
For the time being, I will start a new round of Letrozole today (CD3), administer a self-injection of Gonal-F 75iu again on CD9, with a CD13 ultrasound check this time which will hopefully be followed by Ovidrel (trigger shot). Will IUI 4 be our turn? It sure would be amazing if an IUI miracle happened and we didn’t have to head to the IVF stop.
Wish us luck, say a prayer, send good juju, whatever form of positivity or luck you believe in – we will take it.
I couldn’t do this with out this tribe around me.
You are warriors.