I woke up this morning feeling fine. Tired at 0530, but no aches or pains. My husband collected his specimen and then kept it warm between his legs on our drive up to the city. We had to drop it off at 0700 to be spun, cleaned and consolidated into the most healthy, best swimmers. They were thankfully able to obtain a 9 million/ml concentration. Greater than 5 million is needed for Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). 10 million is ideal and 20-30 million provides the highest rate of success. However, if we were at the 20-30 million count, we would not need IUI. The sample was just short of 10, but the doctor was positive about our chances.
At 0825 we entered a waiting room filled with other couples. I was surprised to see so many people receiving fertility treatments on the same day. I guess I did not realize there are many people out there struggling with infertility issues as well. For some reason I had it in my mind we would be the sole couple waiting for our procedure. On one hand it comforted me to know that I was not alone in this endeavor, but on the other hand it made me contemplate the reason as to why so many of us have fertility issues.
At 0845 we were finally called back. The procedure began easily enough. It is a standard speculum exam and then the doctor takes a syringe filled with semen and attaches a long catheter tube to the end.
This is then inserted into the external os of the cervix, through the internal os and then into the uterus itself. All guided by ultrasound (US).
Upon initiation of the IUI, there seemed to be two problems. My uterus was anteflexed and my bladder was not full enough. After about 10 minutes of not being able to get the catheter to bend to a 120 degree angle, I was given a reprieve to drink more water. 15 minutes later, the physician returned, viewed my bladder via US and determined it was fuller and had thus helped to straighten out the curve in my uterus. This time they used a similar tubbing as the one above, but longer and more bendy - one that is typically used with IVF - and with a full bladder and a bendy catheter, the doctor was able to enter my uterus and inject 9 million happy and healthy sperm.
Overall, the procedure went well. It was painful (think menstrual cramps) on the first attempt, but upon the second attempt, with the right equipment, it all went swimmingly. There was less pressure, no cramping and it was very quick on the second attempt. We even got to watch the semen inject into the uterus via ultrasound. It was exciting to witness the possibility. Now it is all up to chance. Here's hoping one of those swimmers makes it to one of the eggs released and that he has the fortitude then to burrow into the egg and make it inside.
Now on to celebrate a day of love. Happy Valentine's Day!