Posted by: DD | May 6, 2007

no. 434 – IUI 101: Foreword

I was thinking to myself how we’re off on a another ho-hum cycle. More excitement always seems to be generated around IVF, and granted, why shouldn’t there be? There’s anesthesia involved. Valium (beloved valium – how I miss thee…) and the requisite, if not completely unnecessary but always eagerly anticipated, 48 hours bedrest following a transfer. Let us not forget the monetary investment…yikes.

An IUI seems like rather small potatoes in the scheme of things to those of us already in the trenches.

Here’s the thing, though: I play both sides of the blogging fence. I would guess that a majority of you who read are fairly familiar with the process and terms like FSH, IUI, 14dpo, trigger, PIO, and betas are part of your everyday blogging vocabulary. However, there are some of you who have no idea what the frack I’m talking about. I believe once I went through the two failed IVFs, I started taking the whole process for granted.

I think that since this will be either the last or second to last IUI, I don’t want to just glaze over the general process while I detail my overall stress-levels about what the results will be in a month, but actually give a more detailed account of what actually happens in an IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination) cycle. Most of you may find the information rudimentary, but I want to use this time for educational purposes as well.

Shall we begin?

Saturday was CD2 (Cycle Day 2 – the 2nd day of my period). I had to go to my clinic for an ultrasound to make sure my ovaries did not have any cysts which can be exacerbated by the medications. My scan revealed that my ovaries were clear and I was given the go-ahead to begin my injections of FSH (Follicular Stimulating Hormones) at 375IU (International Units) per day.

A few of you asked me about estrogen (E2) supplements as I start this new cycle. I still have a script from my FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer), and I have asked at different visits if I should take them but my RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist), Dr. Blinksalot, doesn’t think it’s necessary. My uterine lining has always been more than adequate. However, Aurelia found a study that has shown that E2 can help plump up the eggs as well (Aurelia – if you have a link to that study, I’ll look it over). I will probably give my clinic a call in the next couple of days to see if it’s OK to take some over the next several days.

Last night I started the injections (after I accidentally wasted 300IU of gonal f – cheap-m*therf*ckin-plungers!). I return to my clinic on Thursday for another scan to count follicles and a blood draw, which is used to accurately measure hormone levels to determine follicular maturity. Until then, I will inject 375IU into my thighs at approximately the same time of the day, every day.

Good times, eh?

There will be a quiz early June. Unfortunately, if I get a BFN (big-fucking-fat-negative), you will all fail regardless of how you answer.



  1. Good luck, DD and Mr. DD. I hope it is a final exam.

  2. We ARE cycle buddies! Good luck all round!

  3. Well, I get Reuters health feed and this crossed my screen:

    And yes, I’m calling my RE in a freakin’ state of rapture…I’m trying to get the original full study result from Fertility and Sterility. But for you, if it’s too late for pre-treatment this cycle, then my RE has been known to add some estrace into his patients cycles if the E2 isn’t rising properly, and the follies aren’t progressing enough. Basically, intravaginal estrace tabs, (half a tab) or add some estrace gel or cream. (Obviously only for poor responders or high FSHers like me, definitely not for the OHSSers)

    Dr.Sher’s site has a protocol listed as well.

    I do find it odd that RE’s are always so willing to add every other damn drug to our bodies, but we are supposed to independantly produce estrogen. And if we don’t, they assume we can’t. Well, why not add it too?

    Ahhh, and of course, my perennial love, baby aspirin, because it increases blood flow to the ovarian and uterine arteries.

    Hope some of this helps!

  4. Good luck! I will keep my fingers crossed that everything sticks.

  5. Thanks for the of-the-moment education, DD. I have some idea of how it all goes from reading the blogs, but I haven’t walked in the moccasins yet.

  6. Well, this was quite informative for me. I don’t envy you all those needles, but I hope it’s all worth it this time.

  7. Fingers crossed!!

    Oh, my doc put me on CortiSlim. I am not kidding. Seems recent research indicates high cortisol levels increase the likelihood of those pesky ovarian cysts.

    Oh, and now that Bethy is almost a year old, we may start trying again. Hence the CortiSlim. ‘Cause I don’t wanna do the rest; I’m getting too old for that.

  8. Thank you for the tutorial, this really is a teaching blog.

    Inject yourself every day? Ouch!

  9. Best of luck! FINGERS CROSSED!

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