Last week, our third IUI sadly failed.
As mentioned previously, E felt like she might want to try more IUI cycles, whereas due to the low success rate, I felt that IVF was a better option, but I felt it wasn’t my place to tell her to GO IVF as it was her not me undergoing these procedures and injections. But also as a doctor, I know the odds for IUI being successful are lower than IVF.
Based on a recommendation, we booked a private appointment with a fertility specialist who also works at the unit where the IUI was done, but felt this alternative doctor would be best because:
1) the doctor’s primary specialty is fertility only
2) the doctor has a small nursing team
3) the doctor is a woman
The new fertility specialist, Dr A was very friendly and thorough. She’d managed to get hold of E’s records and proceeded to go through the last 3 years of our fertility story. She scanned E and discussed the treatment so far.
She confirmed what I already thought which was IUI tended to have a low success rate, but also interestingly Dr A said IUI was more stressful than IVF because of the uncertainty of success and the cause of failure. Of course IUI works for some people, but for us it hasn’t worked.
Dr A also happened to have a special interest in male infertility and for the first time in 3 years a doctor enquired about my infertility. As I explained my situation, I felt myself welling up but didn’t cry. E noticed me welling up. Dr A even offered to examine my testicles to check whether a new sperm retrieval process might be a potential for me. But the reality is that this new process ‘Testeese’ (sic) which is done in USA and not available in the UK is very experimental and I am resigned to the fact that I have zero sperm.
The plan is to move onto IVF. E needs some bloods updating. We need to speak with the donor sperm co-ordinator to get more sperm and then see Dr A again in a follow up clinic early next cycle to discuss IVF.
If we’re lucky, we could possibly get an IVF cycle in before the end of the year.
So overall today’s experience was just what we needed. A knowledgeable, supportive and pragmatic new fertility specialist who will hopefully continue our fertility journey and possibly/ maybe help us achieve our goal.