The Big Decision
Today was our long awaited fertility clinic followup. If it isn't abundantly clear by now, we did not get pregnant naturally following the Sudafed protocol. It was finally time to make our decision.
Our specialist laid out our options: IUI and IVF.
IUI means intrauterine insemination. This where they take a sperm sample and insert it inside the uterus and hope they meet an egg and make a baby. Without medication, there's about a 10-15% chance of success each time, and when medicated, there's a 15-20% chance. There are increased chances of multiples when medicated as well. It's the less expensive of the two options.
IVF is where they induce ovulation and remove the eggs from my body. They then take a sperm sample and produce embryos. They then implant some embryos and hopefully one of them takes hold. At my age, there's about a 30% chance of success. However, it costs about 15 times more than IUI.
We decided that we're going to try medicated IUI. The doctor prescribed a medication called Letrozole which was, oddly enough developed to slow the progression of breast cancer. It does this by reducing the amount of estrogen the body produces.
Now, I don't quite understand how this all works, and the internet surprisingly does not explain it to my satisfaction. I may be asking too much from the internet. From what I know, when a woman goes through menopause, she begins to produce more eggs for every menstrual cycle. The hope of putting me on Letrozole is to induce what is known as superovulation where I produce three or four eggs instead of one or two.
That's why this method increases the chance of multiples -- if I have four eggs, there's a chance of four embryos. However, that's a pretty small chance.
From what I can tell, there's a 15-20% of pregnancy, and when pregnancy occurs, there's about a 25% chance of twins (for reference, 10% of naturally occurring pregnancies results in twins). And the chance of higher rate multiples (triplets or more) is less than 1%.
And we figure that, if we end up there, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
For now, I have a prescription for Letrozole and instructions to begin taking it on Day 3 of my next menstrual cycle (CD3). I take it for 7 days then stop. Then from what I can tell, that causes a surge of estrogen which causes multiple egg follicles to develop.
So, until then, it's just more waiting. I wish I was better at waiting.