Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Onward and upward

So no break after all. I had a confusing discussion with my husband last night. Here are some of the points he made:

1. How can we, in the year 2009, be diagnosed with unexplained infertility? He can't believe that there is such a thing, with all the advanced technology there is today. Aren't there more tests we can do to discover what the problem is? How can the field of assisted reproduction be so vague and badly understood?

2. Since we have been diagnosed with unexplained fertility, what is the point of continuing to do IUIs? According to him, it's like making up a solution to a problem about which you know nothing, and then crossing your fingers and hoping it works. Are the doctors just trying to make money off of us by having us to one IUI after another?

3. What is the point of taking a break? We already know it won't get us anywhere (even if we don't know why).

4. Why do I think it's worth it to keep trying? He's ok with me saying I want to do another IUI, but he doesn't understand why I think it will work. I had told him when we first got started that typically if a treatment is going to work, it will work in the first three tries. I think since we didn't have an IUI on cycle #2, and we had a poor response (one follicle) on cycle #3, this time we might have a better chance with a higher dose of meds and an IUI.

5. What will we do if this doesn't work again?

All of this is a little ironic because he tends to not like to worry about the future until we have to. I.e., don't worry about being infertile until we know we are, then don't worry about IVF until IUI has failed, etc. No planning ahead whatsoever, but now that we're in this place, there's so much I wish we had discussed. I've taken it upon myself to research and study and read blogs and stories from other people and I feel like I understand our situation, so he relies on me to inform him, but he questions me as if I am somehow responsible for all of these ideas and treatment plans.

Can you tell I'm frustrated?

So anyway, AF arrived last night and I'm calling the RE today for a new cycle. Hopefully at the ultrasound I can ask what she recommends if this fails. Hopefully my husband will come along and ask his own questions, too.

Hopefully this works so that I'm not just postponing the inevitable until next month!


  1. I firmly believe that reproductive science as an art and unfortunately, in many cases "unspecified" just means that they haven't figured it out yet. In some cases, they find specific issues when they try to fert. an egg, for example.

    However, as a fellow "unspecified" I understand how frustrating it is. All you can do is find a doctor you trust, and follow their advice...

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about your BFN and how frustrated you feel right now. It's so difficult to know where to go next. I've asked myself so many of the same questions you have, and especially "What will we do if this doesn't work again?" It's scary. Just when I think I've got my feelings under control, something breaks it all down again, but I guess I'm too stubborn to let go just yet! Anyways, we're all with you here in the blog world, sending as many positive vibes to get you through this difficult time.

  3. I realize that I am new here and probably not familiar with your diagnosis (or lack thereof). But, have you spoken with your RE about the possibility of doing IUI with injectibles??? Maybe B2B IUIs??
    Sorry this is such a tough road. I hate it too!!

  4. I'm totally in the same boat as you are. I know that my RE's feeling was that there was no reason IUI *shouldn't* work for us, since there didn't seem to be any specific problem that was causing the IF. But it didn't. So now we move on to IVF.

    I also know that, in my case, we had to do a certain number of IUI cycles (as "unexplained IF") in order to be approved by insurance for IVF.

    Here are the tests we did- maybe it's helpful to compare?

    Blood tests for me- hormone levels etc.
    Blood test for him
    SA for him (actually, eventually 2)
    baseline u/s for me
    endometrial biopsy for me
    HSG for me
    SDFA for him (checking for fragmentation of the DNA in the sperm)

  5. This is such a tough thing. However I think it's kind of like the idea that doctors "practice" treating people. With many things there isn't much of a clear path or reason why. It's all a work in progress and they learn more all the time. I hope that whatever path you both take it's successful and soon.

  6. My husband has had many of the same thoughts and questions as your husband. I understand (and share) many of his (and your) frustrations. Having a diagnosis of "unexplained" infertility is incredibly frustrating.

    For what it's worth, I don't think medical science IS very advanced in this particular area. Given that the majority of people conceive their children without difficulty or assistance, I don't think that this has traditionally been an intensively studied area of medicine.

    Thirty years ago, if a couple couldn't conceive, that was usually just an accepted fact of life. Nearly all of the treatments for IF are comparatively new.

    Given the short time that doctors have been truly addressing IF, it makes sense that there is a lot that isn't known about how to diagnose and "fix" what is wrong.

  7. I'm glad you two talked. I wish I had the answers for you though. I'm sending you a HUGE hug!

  8. SunFlowerChilde: I can completely relate to you. I was devastated after my 2nd failed IUI and wasn't sure how I was going to proceed further... right now I am on meds for the 3rd IUI... however, my mind is already pre-occupied thinking about IVF (with all the associated ifs and buts)! I feel like I am doing the 3rd IUI just because I can do it (since its insurance paid... and I guess thinking rationally, I would rather have a baby with less medications and medical procedures - relatively more naturally if I can control it). My DH is just like you described yours to be. He won't look into things unless it comes crashing down on him. So here I am doing all the research and puking all the info to him. Though I am glad he understands and we are on the same page! Good Luck! {Hugs}

  9. I can't understand the unexplained infertility, but I can understand the role of researcher/translator. It's exhausting.

    Sending positive vibes to you for the next round. And drag that guy of yours to the dr so that he can ask some questions!!

  10. With everything IF related, there is always some element of chance. Sometimes the percentages are on your side, sometimes they're not. Sometimes even when you think the odds are good, it still doesn't work out. This is like an experiment for you guys in your risk aversion. Some people would gamble lots of money on worse odds than your third IUI would be.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!