IUI vs ICI

So, thinking of kicking it up a notice when we hop back on the horse. I’m emailing/calling around for pricing for IUI. I don’t know why but the number 3 is sticking in my head, like it’ll work by try number 3 or not at all. It’s a weird thought, since we’ve already had two tries and met with no success (I didn’t even do that well at symptom bingo either time). I’m not sure if the timing was too early on the first try (seems likely) and too late on the last try (technically possible but not that likely) or if it was just random bad luck. Oh well. 

Monday’s going to be my first day at the new job. I can’t wait. 

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About DeCaf

Just a code monkey.
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20 Responses to IUI vs ICI

  1. Becca says:

    I thought for sure it was only going to take 3-4 tries, but it didn’t work until try 7. We had bought 8 months worth of sperm in advance b/c we got a deal that gave us free storage for a year, so we committed to doing those 8 tries, which helped us keep going. Plus I’m super cheap and there was no way I was paying out of pocket for fertility expenses when I wasn’t convinced I had fertility issues. Being stubborn helped us get pregnant the way we wanted to I suppose, but I realize that is not everyone’s journey. If you get fertility coverage on your health insurance, that’s a whole different ball game and definitely worth checking out.

    • DeCaf says:

      You did ICI at home?
      I need to find out if the new insurance will have fertility coverage or if I should COBRA my old insurance, which at least has testing covered.

      • Yep, we did it completely DIY, no doctors or testing involved. My OB was very encouraging of us trying this way vs going to see an RE. When I called and got the price estimate from the fertility clinic monopoly in my state I couldn’t wrap my head around shelling out $6,000 for testing and one insemination and an additional $3,000+ for each try. The try that worked we did two inseminations, I think that really helped, but also I think it just took time. Our timing was never horribly off, it just can take a bit of time to get pregnant.

        • DeCaf says:

          I’ve gotten some of the basic testing done a RE would want already (CMV, std panel, etc). This is part of why I feel anxious about choosing to continue my coverage through COBRA or not, my current insurance from the old job covers 75% of testing expenses. I’m not sure what I’d need to do to qualify to use that.

  2. They say a fertile heterosexual couple can take anywhere between 4-6 months with regular timed intercourse. With IUI your 10% chance each month goes up to 20%. Hope that helps. Plus with IUI you can get ultrasound monitoring to get timing down better.

    • DeCaf says:

      The cycle monitoring is really outside our budget at the one place that gave me broken-down quotes (it adds like an extra 600-something). If it comes to that, it’d be cheaper just to do the opk/charting tries more times or do cycles with two inseminations.

      Your advice helps. I’m just too impatient, I need to remind myself I’ll have a happier pregnancy if we can get there debt-free. Money and I have an odd relationship (which maybe I’ll make a post about someday). Taking on debt isn’t something I’m willing to do at this time.

      • I understand the debt issue. I felt that way at first too. I guess I just realized, for our situation, we didn’t have any other options. I’m sorry monitoring would cost you so much. Maybe with your next employer your coverage can help out. I think doing back to back insems at home is a great idea.

  3. jennandm says:

    I’m a bit of a control freak so I preferred IUI with monitoring. Gave us the best chances! Plus your re will take all your blood first to rule out anything that might be preventing you for becoming pregnant. Peace of mind too really.

    • DeCaf says:

      I’m a bit of a control freak, but I’m also very cheap. I think I’m going to try a couple more cycles then get testing. Maybe time it so I can use next year’s tax refund for it.

  4. X says:

    We did IUI the first time around because I thought it might help avoid some strain on us if we had someone else leading the way and telling us how to time, etc. Those cycles were monitored, though we used OPKs to determine timing (rather than trigger shots). It took three tries, though I think we mistimed the first try (but I’m equally convinced something happened that cycle, so who knows?). This time around, we were paying pretty much for the IUI – after some initial standard bloodwork, we used opks with no monitoring and went in the day after the surge. I felt much more confident because I had my charts from the first time and several charts leading up to the second time and I could pretty easily see my cycles at that point. Since donor sperm is super expensive, I did like that our odds improved with IUI over ICI, but I agree with other commenters that really, sometimes it just takes time.

    • DeCaf says:

      Donor sperm is expensive, but it looks like it’s the same price as cycle monitoring at the one place I’ve gotten quotes from.
      I think I’m just going to give ICIs a couple more tries.

  5. B says:

    Congrats on starting the new job. We tried ICI at home 3 times before heading to the OB for a referral to an RE. Once we got to the RE, we found that due to my wife’s PCOS she wasn’t ovulating. He had us go on a lower-carb diet, she lost 20ish pounds, and we had our 1st IUI with the RE within a month of our 1st visit. We had that BFN and due to my wife developing cysts on her ovaries from the Clomid we had to wait two months for them to go away on their own (she didn’t want to take BCPs to make them shrink quicker bc she doesn’t like using medication if she can help it). We did our 2nd IUI and got pregnant that cycle. It was worth it for us to switch to the RE (even though it was so expensive!) since there were underlying issues and we could have tried at home forever and never gotten pregnant and instead wasted more time/money on failed ICIs. When its my turn, we are just going straight to the RE, especially since I already know I have issues with my cycle. It really depends on what you are most comfortable with, but at the very least I’d advise going through some of the testing to rule anything crazy out. 🙂

    • DeCaf says:

      If you don’t mind my asking, did your wife have positive OPKs and/or thermal shifts every cycle? Or did you not know she wasn’t actually ovulating until you went in to the RE?

      • B says:

        Yes she got a positive OPK every time we tried at home, we even did the digital one with the smiley face LOL Our OB did an ultrasound the cycle before we started TTC at home and said everything looked good and it even appeared that my wife was about to ovulate at the time of the ultrasound. After three failed ICIs we went to the RE, he ran blood work at different phases of her cycle, and determined that while she was growing follicles like clockwork, they weren’t getting the signal to release the eggs. So when we did our IUIs she got the 5 days of Clomid 100mg and then we had an ultrasound with the RE to make sure follicles looked good (and that there weren’t too many!) and did the Ovidrel trigger shot 24 hours before insemination. On the first IUI attempt she thinks we triggered and then waited too long after to do the insemination (he had us wait 36 hours) so on the 2nd IUI we asked to come in 24 hours after the trigger and it worked like a charm. 🙂 Hope this helps! If you have any more questions feel free to ask!

  6. Molly says:

    I hope your first day is fantastic! TTC-wise, I have nothing to offer except my understanding of how hard it is to make some of these decisions. In the end, you just have to go with what feels right for you.

  7. Lindsay says:

    I did 4 home insems with one donor who turned out to be infertile, and another 4 home insem cycles/months with another fertile donor. Two tries is almost “nothing” when it comes to TTC at home, when the sperm is free. That said, I know you’re paying a pretty penny for sperm, so I might be inclined to do the IUIs.

    • DeCaf says:

      Sperm is expensive. After looking at the cycle monitoring, it’s not 1/2 the cost of a monitored IUI cycle at all. It may make more sense to have more cheap tries. My timing may not be 100% perfect, but it’s within the theoretically acceptable limits based on what I’ve read about how long sperm lives. If it takes us twice as many tries doing it at home, vs IUI, it’d be cheaper. Also, it’s within our budget to try every month that way. IUI isn’t unless we either don’t do monitored and somehow convince the bank that they don’t need to rewash the sperm (which it looks like they insist on doing).

  8. turtleflower says:

    I read that (if you can afford it) doing two inseminations 18 to 24 hours apart has much better chances than with one, though I don’t know the statistics. It was recommended that doing two insems every other month was better than doing one each time. The stats I read on ICI vs IUI with frozen sperm is a 4-10% probability vs 8-18% probability of pregnancy.

  9. We used a known donor and after almost two years we are due in October. We tried unsuccessfully for a year before our OB could work with us. It was frustrating and heartbreaking. At Max there is a 20% success each try. As much as that reality sucks. Also an average straight couple takes up to a year to conceive. Keep your chin up and the expense is worth it.

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