Let’s try IUI, the doctor said. I was on facetime with my husband. It was during COVID
he was not allowed to come to any appointments. I was nervous we would not
conceive this child naturally, but we wanted a child. I asked the doctor what I could
The doctor prescribed me Clomid for our 1st IUI. This drug is common with IUI. My
OBGYN gave me strict instructions on when to take the Clomid. I took it from day five
through day nine and took it each evening before bed. Some doctors may have you
start it on day three. Side effects are common, so I chose to take it at night. I did have
headaches, and I did feel loopy.
For my 2nd and 3rd, IUI Letrozole was prescribed to me. This medicine was worse
than Clomid with side effects for me. I got severe headaches, I was dizzy, and I
spotted. I needed to take this medicine on days 5-9 of my cycle, just like Clomid.
Clomid works by tricking your brain into thinking your estrogen levels are low. Fertility
clinics will monitor your follicles and see how many are growing. I did not go to a
fertility clinic for my IUI, and I did it at my OBGYN office. My OBGYN did not monitor
my follicles through an ultrasound. I had to start my ovulation predictor kit on day 10
of my cycle and wait for it to turn positive.
Letrozole works by suppressing estrogen production and releasing more eggs for
women who do not ovulate on their own. In hindsight, I wish I had done more
research. I was ovulating, and my cycle was on time each month. I do not believe I
should have been on this medicine. My estrogen levels were “normal” but Lower. This
medicine, I do not think, helped me at all.
Ovulation Predictor Kit
I used Clearblue Advanced digital ovulation tests. My doctor recommended these,
and they were easy to read. After I finished my medicine, either Clomid or Letrozole, I
began my ovulation predictor kit. The nurse wanted me to do this each morning. I did
it at night also so I wouldn’t miss my positive surge. Once I got the solid smiley face, I
immediately called the doctor. The nurses have 48 hours to get you into the office for
your intrauterine insemination.
Making your appointment
Calling the office always takes so long to get ahold of someone. Once they transfer
you to a nurse, you begin scheduling. If you would like this to go faster, ask for the
nurse’s extension and write it down! The nurses will become your best friend, and
having their extension is a lifesaver. The nurses would fit you in wherever they could.
I never knew what doctor I saw until I got there, but I trusted the office and what they
Preparing the Sperm
Once you scheduled your appointment, the nurse instructed us to bring in my
husband’s sperm sample 1 hour before my appointment. They had to spin the sperm
and clean it to ensure the best ones would be ready. My husband always brought this
in because I couldn’t keep missing work and then go in for the actual procedure,
which also took time. Tom always hated bringing this in, as most guys I feel like
would, but this was just one step closer to having a baby.
The Women’s appointment
I would walk into the office and check in. They always made me wait so long or so it
felt like that. The nurse called me back to the room. The nurse took my weight, pulse,
and blood pressure. The nurse would give me a gown, and I undressed from the
waist down and waited for the doctor. This was another time when I felt like I was
waiting forever and thinking if the sperm would still be good.
The doctor finally came in. They always explained the whole process no matter what
doctor I would get. Since you have to go off your cycle at my doctor’s office, you could
contact any doctor when they can fit you in.
The doctor would talk me through the whole thing. They would open you up (like a
pap smear), then take the sperm in the catheter and slowly shoot the sperm up. It
wouldn’t take long, but they do it slowly to ensure all the sperm gets up into your
The doctor leaves, and you lay there for 15-20 minutes. I do believe this depends on
the office and the doctor. During one of my IUI’s, they wanted me to lay there for 30
minutes to ensure the sperm swam up.
The procedure does not hurt, just a little uncomfortable like a pap smear. Spotting
and cramping are symptoms you can get after an IUI. I did always get these. I would
wear a pad, and the cramping was never wrong for me; I just went on with my day.
The waiting game
Now you wait… we were also allowed to have intercourse as much as we wanted. My
doctor did recommend having it the day of the IUI and the day after for a better
Waiting was hard for me; I was always so emotional. I wanted it to work so I could
have a little one. Whenever I went to the bathroom, I would stress that my period
would come. Unfortunately, my period always came, and we never conceived with IUI
What I learned from this experience
I am not a doctor, but what I learned from my three IUI’s should have gone to the
fertility clinic. They have more knowledge and would have put me on a different
medicine. Suppose you contemplate staying with your OBGYN or going to a fertility
clinic for IUI. In that case, I recommend going to a fertility clinic and having more
resources as this is their job.
I learned a lot from this experience, and I am forever grateful.
We did three IUI’s none of them worked. We tried different medications none of them
worked. Our insurance covers six IUI’s, but that is three more months of wondering, will it
work, how will I feel after the medicine, will we ever be able to have a child, how long will
this take, and so Tom and I decided we wanted to move on to IVF. We knew we wanted a
child; we prepared for what financially that would mean for us; we prayed our insurance
would cover some of it.
Getting the referral
Since it was COVID, I had to attend this appointment myself to move on to IVF. I went
to my OBGYN, and he gave us three fertility clinic options. One of the fertility clinics I
said no to right away was where Tom had to get his sperm analysis done, and it was the
worst experience. The other two places were near us, and I heard good things about both.
Tom and I chose Shady Grove Infertility because the hours worked well with my schedule,
and my doctor recommended another doctor at the practice, and so did a friend of mine.
Shady Grove, it was, and we got our referral paperwork. My OBGYN sent the referral to
the office, and I needed to call to make an appointment. From here on out, I was done
with my OBGYN office, well, for now, that is.
It took three weeks to get an appointment. I wanted the appointment now, and I was just
tired of waiting. Then I came to find out it was a zoom meeting. I was so tired of the zoom
meetings, but Tom could hear our options and ask the questions, which made me happy.
My OBGYN sent over all of my records as well as Tom’s. Our infertility doctor went
through a lot of helpful information. He made me feel better because I blamed myself for
why we couldn’t get pregnant. The doctor mentioned that school teaches us it is easy to get
pregnant. He told us they are liars and that it is hard to get pregnant. I felt much better, and
it made me look at this differently.
The doctor went over a ton of information. He had all these slides so that we could take
pictures of everything. It was overwhelming, and I wish I had a list of questions to ask. All
the information we were receiving was emotionally draining.
From the meeting with the doctor, he said we would hear from our nurse to set up a time
to get more blood work and come in and look at my follicles. We were able to order all my
medicine after meeting with the nurse. I was getting excited, but I still cried a lot. All we
wanted was a child. We were hopeful, but the process and money gave me anxiety even
though we had been preparing for this.
And so we start IVF..