Information regarding IUI success rates. Pregnancy rates can and do range from as low as 8% to as high as 28% depending on multiple factors. Our clinic’s pregnancy rate is approximately 25% for IUIs, which isn’t available by the CDC. The higher rate for our clinic is more than likely due to the fact they probably do not see the kinds of difficult cases of infertility that clinics from large cosmopolitan areas do, which can skew the numbers negatively.
Nationwide, the average success rate for IUIs is probably closer to 10-15%.
Some other numbers? Our clinic’s success rate for Donor Eggs was 55.6 (live births) in 2004….however, there were only 45 procedures with fresh embryos performed. Comparitively, I found another clinic that did 202 procedures with an over 80% success rate and yet another that only had 11% success with their 18 procedures.
My apologies if I gave the impression that IUIs have a high chance of success. The percentage is based specifically on our clinic’s numbers.
This past Tuesday, Mr. DD and I got into a lengthy and unfortunately – heated – discussion about what might possible happen with our scheduled consult with the RE.
I hate those discussions. They usually start when I have fluffed my pillows and pulled the covers under my chin after a long day. This one was no different.
It started innocently enough, "What do you think Dr. Blinksalot will say?" he asked.
An hour and a half later I was switching off the light with tears drying on my cheeks and the blood vessel on my left temple engorged and throbbing.
Yesterday’s appointment has resuscitated the hope that was partially dashed that night.
I don’t want to be hopeful again. It always seems to end badly.
We arrived at our appointment a half hour early, so Mr. DD walked into the clinic already on a defensive note. "Great, we’ll be sitting there for 45 minutes since doctors always run late. I’ve been sitting for 2 hours already…grumble, grumble, bitch, bitch."
Dr. Blinksalot happened to be in the reception area and greeted us happily. I found some magazines we both could look at and settled into the hard waiting room chairs.
"You two can come on back."
We looked up from the magazine covers, since we didn’t even get them opened, looked to see who she was talking to but we were the only ones there, and then looked at each other in surprise.
Dr. Blinksalot led us into her office and again settled into some chairs. Our file lay in front of her, thick with nearly two years of information, test results and op-notes.
It was awkward at first since neither Mr. DD or myself knew what we wanted to do, or even what we could do, at this point. We explained that we both felt we were sitting at down at the slots and pulling the lever over and over again. Getting close (with chemical and failing pregnancies) had the affect of both encouraging and discouraging us. I felt if we kept pulling that lever that eventually we would hit the jackpot. He felt that we were draining our sanity into a no-win situation.
We also talked about surrogacy and donated embryos. The former was not something she felt we needed to pursue since my labs and lining always looked good. She told Mr. DD what I had been telling all along and that is it’s not my uterus that’s ever been the problem. We also learned something interesting about the law when it comes to surrogacy in the State of Nebraska (which actually may not be different across the nation), and that is the woman who bears the child is listed as the mother on the birth certificate, even if the embryo has no biological link to her. The parents then must adopt their own baby after the birth. I was somewhat shocked as I had never bothered researching the legalities. The information pretty much sealed the deal against the option for both of us. For those of you who are or have considered surrogacy is this law unusual or par for the course?
As for the donated embryos, she suggested we pursue only with caution, and admitted it was not something their clinic was prepared to handle.
Then we discussed what she personally thought we should do. Since a stimulated IUI’s chance for producing a pregnancy is 25% (the same odds for a couple in their mid-20’s who have no fertility issues), she thinks we should try one or two more cycles. I made sure to clarify with Mr. DD that no, she is not giving him permission to have sex with a 25 year old.
If that does not work, she would then recommend to us to move to donor egg, a treatment option I had hoped to avoid only because of it’s higher cost. Their program is rather basic: they would match a donor to us and another couple. The donor would go through stims and the two couples would be on medication to coordinate all three cycles. Each couple is promised a minimum of 4 eggs. Any less than that, they go again at no charge. She said to expect to be on their waiting list for up to six months. They do not advertise for donors, but it’s a program that recruits by word-of-mouth only (so if there are any women out there who are of a healthy nature, already have had normal children and are under the age of 35 and live in either of the two larger cities in Nebraska – please consider becoming an egg donor).
Obviously any decision we make is ours alone, but with one caveat: she advises that we don’t delay too long in making our decision. As many of us know, our ovaries age in dog years, and as for Mr. DD and I taking six months off? It’s really not recommended in our case.
On the drive back home, we had plenty of time to think about what she said. Mr. DD admitted that he was glad he went. Even though Dr. Blinksalot pretty much repeated what I had been telling all along, he was put at ease hearing it straight from her, especially when she told us that their goal is not to provide treatment to their patients, but to get them a baby, even if that entails informing a patient that ART will not be the means to that end.
So we have come to a mutual agreement. There will not be one more treatment.
Instead, we will follow her suggestion and that is up to two more IUIs, and if they fail, we will try DE.
The time-frame? Well, since yesterday was CD1, which followed a 14 day luteal phase in a 28 day cycle (oh, the irony), we will probably start in exactly one month. The vacation in June is still a go, no matter what.
What have we got to lose? (I say cautiously, yet hopefully…)