Posted by: DD | April 6, 2007

no. 415 – Tickets, Please

Information regarding IUI success rates. Pregnancy rates can and do range from as low as 8% to as high as 28% depending on multiple factors. Our clinic’s pregnancy rate is approximately 25% for IUIs, which isn’t available by the CDC. The higher rate for our clinic is more than likely due to the fact they probably do not see the kinds of difficult cases of infertility that clinics from large cosmopolitan areas do, which can skew the numbers negatively.

Nationwide, the average success rate for IUIs is probably closer to 10-15%.

Some other numbers? Our clinic’s success rate for Donor Eggs was 55.6 (live births) in 2004….however, there were only 45 procedures with fresh embryos performed. Comparitively, I found another clinic that did 202 procedures with an over 80% success rate and yet another that only had 11% success with their 18 procedures.

My apologies if I gave the impression that IUIs have a high chance of success. The percentage is based specifically on our clinic’s numbers.

*************************

This past Tuesday, Mr. DD and I got into a lengthy and unfortunately – heated – discussion about what might possible happen with our scheduled consult with the RE.

I hate those discussions. They usually start when I have fluffed my pillows and pulled the covers under my chin after a long day. This one was no different.

It started innocently enough, "What do you think Dr. Blinksalot will say?" he asked.

An hour and a half later I was switching off the light with tears drying on my cheeks and the blood vessel on my left temple engorged and throbbing.

Yesterday’s appointment has resuscitated the hope that was partially dashed that night.

Damn!

I don’t want to be hopeful again. It always seems to end badly.

We arrived at our appointment a half hour early, so Mr. DD walked into the clinic already on a defensive note. "Great, we’ll be sitting there for 45 minutes since doctors always run late. I’ve been sitting for 2 hours already…grumble, grumble, bitch, bitch."

Dr. Blinksalot happened to be in the reception area and greeted us happily. I found some magazines we both could look at and settled into the hard waiting room chairs.

"You two can come on back."

We looked up from the magazine covers, since we didn’t even get them opened, looked to see who she was talking to but we were the only ones there, and then looked at each other in surprise.

Dr. Blinksalot led us into her office and again settled into some chairs. Our file lay in front of her, thick with nearly two years of information, test results and op-notes.

It was awkward at first since neither Mr. DD or myself knew what we wanted to do, or even what we could do, at this point. We explained that we both felt we were sitting at down at the slots and pulling the lever over and over again. Getting close (with chemical and failing pregnancies) had the affect of both encouraging and discouraging us. I felt if we kept pulling that lever that eventually we would hit the jackpot. He felt that we were draining our sanity into a no-win situation.

We also talked about surrogacy and donated embryos. The former was not something she felt we needed to pursue since my labs and lining always looked good. She told Mr. DD what I had been telling all along and that is it’s not my uterus that’s ever been the problem. We also learned something interesting about the law when it comes to surrogacy in the State of Nebraska (which actually may not be different across the nation), and that is the woman who bears the child is listed as the mother on the birth certificate, even if the embryo has no biological link to her. The parents then must adopt their own baby after the birth. I was somewhat shocked as I had never bothered researching the legalities. The information pretty much sealed the deal against the option for both of us. For those of you who are or have considered surrogacy is this law unusual or par for the course?

As for the donated embryos, she suggested we pursue only with caution, and admitted it was not something their clinic was prepared to handle.

Then we discussed what she personally thought we should do. Since a stimulated IUI’s chance for producing a pregnancy is 25% (the same odds for a couple in their mid-20’s who have no fertility issues), she thinks we should try one or two more cycles. I made sure to clarify with Mr. DD that no, she is not giving him permission to have sex with a 25 year old.

If that does not work, she would then recommend to us to move to donor egg, a treatment option I had hoped to avoid only because of it’s higher cost. Their program is rather basic: they would match a donor to us and another couple. The donor would go through stims and the two couples would be on medication to coordinate all three cycles. Each couple is promised a minimum of 4 eggs. Any less than that, they go again at no charge. She said to expect to be on their waiting list for up to six months. They do not advertise for donors, but it’s a program that recruits by word-of-mouth only (so if there are any women out there who are of a healthy nature, already have had normal children and are under the age of 35 and live in either of the two larger cities in Nebraska – please consider becoming an egg donor).

Obviously any decision we make is ours alone, but with one caveat: she advises that we don’t delay too long in making our decision. As many of us know, our ovaries age in dog years, and as for Mr. DD and I taking six months off? It’s really not recommended in our case.

On the drive back home, we had plenty of time to think about what she said. Mr. DD admitted that he was glad he went. Even though Dr. Blinksalot pretty much repeated what I had been telling all along, he was put at ease hearing it straight from her, especially when she told us that their goal is not to provide treatment to their patients, but to get them a baby, even if that entails informing a patient that ART will not be the means to that end.

So we have come to a mutual agreement. There will not be one more treatment.

Instead, we will follow her suggestion and that is up to two more IUIs, and if they fail, we will try DE.

The time-frame? Well, since yesterday was CD1, which followed a 14 day luteal phase in a 28 day cycle (oh, the irony), we will probably start in exactly one month. The vacation in June is still a go, no matter what.

What have we got to lose? (I say cautiously, yet hopefully…)

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Responses

  1. what a difficult place to be in–constant tempered optimism followed by… oy.

    i wish i was young and firm, but my eggs are old unfortunately.

    hanging in there with you DD. (((best of luck)))

  2. How wonderful to have agreed on a plan. I truly hope this works for you!

  3. It’s so good that he went with you. Obviously it made a difference hearing it from a doctor instead of you repeating yourself for the umteenth time. Good luck. I hope this time is different.

  4. I think this is great news DD. I always think that a failed IUI is not a good indication of fertility (unless you’ve had 6 million of them) as the probability of success on any one cycle is not that high (more likely to fail than not).
    But, with two more, the probability that both would fail is around 50% (so a pregnancy is also around the same probability based on your Drs stats) and it seems like that is certainly worth taking the risk (at least to me). And then there is always the back-up plan as well (donor eggs)
    What is it with our husbands? It’s like they don’t believe our degrees from google U are real. Congratulations on getting Mr. DD to the appointment and congrats to Mr. DD for going and being behind the big plan.
    DinoD

  5. I am so happy that the two of you have come to a mutual decision. That is just fantastic! I wish you all the best.

    I am appalled about the surrogacy law. That is so scary and risky sounding, that a couple who uses their own sperm and egg to create a child and have someone else carry the baby, that the surrogate could potentially get to keep said child? Unless I’m misunderstanding something, that is frightening.

  6. ON THE SAME PAGE!

    Yeah Blinksalot! I knew the third party would make a big difference – and him being in attendance.

    Okay, you refer back to this post often as a reference for your positive state. I hope you don’t really need to, but it is a little emotional insurance for you.

    I am relieved for you both.

  7. I think that this is good news – especially that you are both on board with it. However, I have a question. Can you get on the DE list WHILE pursuing the IUI? Just saying…..I like to cover my bets 😉

  8. I am in awe of your strength. And so happy that you and Mr. DD are in agreement on what comes next. Just having a plan is comforting.

  9. I’m replied in some emails to a couple of you, but I’ve been having some problems with my Yahoo account…

    Anyway.

    Dooneybug – That’s how I understand the law as well and yes, it is very frightening.

    Suz – I did ask if we could get on the waiting list now, and she said no. They want to make sure that we are done with other avenues before signing up for it since it can skew how they match up and time donors.

  10. You have a plan. A plan is a beautiful thing.

  11. It’s great to have a plan. I hope this is it for you.

  12. I have everything that I can cross, crossed for you! Sounds like an excellent plan and I am so glad the Mr. went and heard everything from the doc.

  13. I have everything that I can cross, crossed for you! Sounds like an excellent plan and I am so glad the Mr. went and heard everything from the doc.

  14. I have everything that I can cross, crossed for you! Sounds like an excellent plan and I am so glad the Mr. went and heard everything from the doc.

  15. I have everything that I can cross, crossed for you! Sounds like an excellent plan and I am so glad the Mr. went and heard everything from the doc.

  16. DD, I hope having a plan that you all feel comfortable with will help you move forward towards your goal.

  17. That sounds like a very reasonable plan. I admit, I am extremely biased but I think the clinic’s egg donor program rocks. They told us to expect to wait 6 months but it was more like 4. Plus, I liked the fact that they only take donors who have had a child – so you have some idea that the eggs are somewhat productive. I hope Plan A works but if you have to go to DE I think it’s a great place to do it.

  18. At least you’re both holding hands when you take another big step.

    Good luck.

  19. I’m happy for you, that you have a plan. Now you can get on with it, and you know you’re both on the same page.

    I’d like to respectfully suggest that you write down what you heard from the doctor and have your DH read it and agree that that is what he also got out of it. My DH has a very selective memory and often hears exactly the opposite of what my doctors say. Maybe your DH is more reasonable that this but there’s my ‘assvice’.

  20. Wow- great that you are on the same page and that moving forward is a go. Question- isn’t there an MFI issue as well? What did she say about that?

  21. The law is the same here on the East coast — the woman giving birth is considered the legal mother. Good for someone doing donor egg, but not for surrogacy. Good luck!

  22. I’m happy for you because YOU sound happy for you!! Now you know where you are going and the path is clear!
    Hope!
    Karen

  23. I don’t know if you’ve thought anymore about the Early Path link I sent you, but it could give you some more reassurance as far as your miscarriage risk. Hope it goes well…

  24. Hope is tough. You want her around because, hey, life is better living with hope. But you also hate the high she gives you, because it makes the low that much lower. Now that I think about it, she’s kinda like coke/alcohol/pick your drug of choice. And she’s just as addicting. But sometimes giving in to the addiction is the right thing. And that time is now.

    I’m glad you have hope. And Mr. DD has hope. And you have a plan. You can’t go wrong with hope and a plan. Best of luck, my friend.

  25. Good luck with it all and Happy Easter.

  26. good good good. I am glad he went and heard with his own ears everything teh doctor said.

    Prayers.

  27. Dear DD, that sounds great. I am so glad you and Mr. DD are agreeing on a way forward. It sounds like a good one to me. And I like Dr. Blinksalot a lot.

  28. I’d give you my eggs if I were ummm….. closer to 35, but that ship has sailed. And closer to Nebraska.

    I’m so glad you have a plan.

  29. Oh how I wish I had some ripe and fluffy eggs to give you. I AM glad though that Dr. B.A.L. was able to tell DD THE SAME THING YOU HAVE BEEN SAYING but in such a way, (you know, with a desk between them and wearing a white lab coat) that he got it. I sometimes felt like I was the one leading the conversation at my RE’s office as Big D and the doc yucked it up over stupid jokes and baseball scores. Too bad we need these guys;)

  30. Annoying that he had to hear it from the doctor, but there you go, I guess that’s the way of things.

    Just one thing, where does your doc get 25% from? Because I was told, back when I was 37, that our chances with a stimulated IUI were about 14 or 15% – not that much higher than tring naturally if there was nothing wrong with us. 25% would be about the chance for an IVF cycle at this stage, surely? Or is your clinic just super good at IUIs?

  31. I had no idea about the surrogacy laws. I’ll have to see what it is here. Scary stuff.

    I’m glad you have a game plan. It must feel good to at least know where you’re going from here.

  32. So I looked at the Virginia statute. Apparently you can get a court order based on a surrogacy contract ahead of time stating who the parents of any resulting child will be. Otherwise, the gestational mother is considered the mother.

  33. I think it sounds like a super plan! Right with you there 🙂 X Artblog

  34. I’m glad that Mr. DD went with you and got the same information.

    Good luck with the IUI’s.

    If you have questions about donor egg, feel free to ask me. I didn’t do DE in Nebraska, but in MN.

    If I could donate eggs to you I would. But you wouldn’t want my 43 year old eggs.

  35. I hope this works for you, and that you’re feeling more on the same page with Mr DD than you had been. It sounds like Dr Blinksalot helped with that process. I’m excited for you both.

    BTW, what are your travel dates in June? You can e-mail me.

  36. wow..i can really relate to the fears around letting yourself feel hope….but you you i’m always amazed when i get a negative beta and realize how much hope i still had…i can also relate to the not taking 6 months off thing…we are in the same boat…i’m glad you can move forward and have the finances to do it (we will be taking a forced break…blech)…wishing you only the best and holding out hope for you…
    peace
    shlomit

  37. It’s a beautiful thing when you have a plan. It’s onward and upward. I’m glad you both are on the same page.

  38. Making a decision is so much nicer than living in limbo land. Glad you and Mr. DD are seeing eye to eye.

  39. Yay for a very reasonable plan. Double yay for being on the same page.

    I’m with thalia and am surprised at the 25% quoted for iui. I was always told it was more like 15% max.

    Regardless I hope your plan is a smashing success.

  40. I’m glad to hear that you are on the same page. I hope all goes well. I completely understand the feeling that hope isn’t a good thing.

  41. Good luck to you. Am glad you are in agreement about the plan. You’ll all be in my thoughts and prayers.

  42. I’m glad your husband went with you and is on the same page.

    My fingers are crossed for you.

  43. I really wish you the best.

  44. It must feel good to at least have your feet set on a path. I’ll be wishing you the best for these next two IUIs.
    (and I’m slightly jealous of your perfect luteal phases)


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