My hopes were had been pretty high for the IUI #1. I was so excited to get started with the process and have our first IUI, but once the first one was unsuccessful, that excitement had worn off. I had really been excited to have had four 16 mm follicles on CD 10, and I’d felt that my chances to get pregnant were pretty good.
However, I spent some time analyzing the things that may have gone wrong:
- I had hoped for my follicles to have reached 20mm or larger by CD10, or at least by my trigger. I had read and learned from several sources that having follicles 18mm+ and particularly within the 20-28mm range can increase your chances of success greatly, so I really wanted that extra boost. I am hoping that I’d get 2+ follicles at 18+mm or above for our second IUI, because immature follicles just have a far greater chance of not being viable for fertilization and pregnancy.
- When I’d taken the Pregnyl trigger shot on Wednesday January 25th late evening, according to my BBT temping, my temperature spiked .4 degrees overnight when I took it Thursday early morning. Therefore, it’s most likely that I ovulated within 8-12 hours after the trigger, I do not believe my doctor predicted I’d respond so well, as he’d told me most people’s LH “gradually surge” and they ovulate a full 24-36 hours after the trigger shot. I believe having the IUI on Friday was a little-too-late, as possibly, the egg had moved along in the Fallopian tube by that point and was disintegrating. I should have been more assertive. I should have called the office and requested to do the IUI Thursday 1/26 morning, instead of the original scheduled date of Friday 1/27, which is when I did it. I think my real fertile window was Thursday. Lesson learned.
- When my hubby and I had made love, we did so the evening of the trigger, then each night after. Friday 1/27, when he gave his sperm sample for the IUI, he had only 12 hours of “rest” for his sperm, since we’d made love the evening before. Therefore, he hadn’t had adequate time to “re-juice” to make the solid amount of sperm his body is typical of making. For example, when we’d had his Semen Analysis done (SA) back in December 2016, his sperm had GREAT stats: 207 million, 85% motility, 75% speed. But, on the IUI day, his sample was 20 million with 45% motility). Lesson learned: Make sure we Baby Dance (make love) ONLY in the mornings, before he goes to work. That way, his body always has a full 24 hours to “remake” new sperm/semen each day.
For this cycle, our doctor kept me on the same medications as IUI #1 Cycle. However he changed things up just a bit. This cycle, he is having me do the Follistim injections on CD’s 3-6, 8 and 10, which has 1 day extra in there. The Femera is staying the same at 5 mg per day for 5 days, from CD 3-CD 7.
I added a few supplements to my repertoire. I’d heard good things about these from the ladies on one of my favorite forums, as well as cited and sourced in reputable books on fertility I had read. Here’s what I added:
Soya Isoflavones: CD 5-9, I took 80 mg each day, once a day at breakfast. Soya Isoflavones is known to naturally increase oestrogen.
Soya Isoflavones work by tricking your body into thinking it’s low on oestrogen. Your body then kick starts production of FSH followed by LH which are both necessary to release healthy eggs during ovulation. FSH is released at the start of your cycle. It stimulates the grown of an immature egg into a fully matured egg. When the egg has matured, your body then releases a surge of LH . LH is the hormone that tells the ovary to release the egg.
There are different protocols you can do the Soya Isoflavones: CD 1-5, 2-6, 3-7, 4-8 or 5-9. I chose the CD 5-9 route for this reason: I don’t have a problem creating a bunch of follicles. I typically make 4-6. I DO, however, have trouble getting them nice and BIG. Doing it from CD 5-9 helps make 1-3 very mature strong egg, from the ones you already produced on your own. Ovulation will either happen when it usually, or a few days later, but your egg will be of great quality.
Baby Aspirin: CD 1-Ovulation. I took 1 pill (81 mg) once a day, at breakfast. A small amount of aspirin helps increase blood flow throughout the body.
Folate: I took 1 pill of 800 mcg at breakfast each day. Be sure you purchase a Folate that comes as Metafolin. This is a form of Folate that has already been broken down. Your body has to break-down the folic acid and some people have a harder time doing that. This brand is a great form. Folate/Folic Acid helps your baby as it develops. It’s supposed to prevent neurological defects in the womb.
Vitex: 1 pill of 400 mg at breakfast taken only 2 days before ovulation.
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According to this site, Chasteberry or vitex (vitex agnus-castus) is a fertility-promoting herb with a long, safe history of human use. Vitex or chasteberry is not a hormone; however, vitex works by acting on the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which in turn secrete hormones or send signals to other parts of the body to trigger the production of reproductive hormones. Vitex has been shown to help increase the level of luteinizing hormone (or LH) while gently suppressing the secretion of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). In effect, vitex stimulates the hormones involved in ovulation and assists in restoring overall hormonal balance. More specifically, vitex is effective in regulating pituitary gland function and in normalizing the balance of progesterone to estrogen levels. Vitex is particularly supportive in maintaining progesterone levels during the “luteal phase”, or second half, of a woman’s cycle.
For this cycle, I changed the type of LH and hCG strips I used. It’s not that I didn’t like the other brand, but rather, I’d heard very good reviews about the Wondflo brand. I wanted to ensure that I was going to use the most accurate testers as possible. I bought a 2-in-1 package: “Wondfo Combo 50 LH Ovulation & 20 HCG Pregnancy Test Strips” on Amazon.com.
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Because I so deeply desire to get pregnant, I figured I would do ALL I could to increase my chances. Thus, another thing I used were Softcups this cycle. I’d learned about these from a online fertility forum/board.
Several women had mentioned how they’d believed these helped them get pregnant. Basically, a Softcups are primarily used to hold menstrual flow/blood, then to be emptied. But for women TTC, these cups can hold sperm inside the vagina to give them a better chance of swimming up into the Fallopian tubes and to the egg. Some women tend to “leak” more. Although I’m not sure, I figured I might be one of those. Therefore, I wanted to “hold in” all the sperm I could after lovemaking. So, I applied/inputted one Softcup after each Baby Dancing session, and left it in for about 12 hours. I bought these on Amazon.com here.
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**Today is CD 10 for me. This morning (Monday 2/20) I will have a follicle check ultrasound performed at my doctor’s to see the sizes of my follicles. I am hoping and praying that I have 3-5 BIG follicles…18 mm or larger!
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*Next: IUI #3…