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Queer Trying to Conceive

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we're ready to start [Jun. 5th, 2010|10:42 pm]
Queer Trying to Conceive

queer_ttc

[charcoaleyes78]
We've come to the point emotionally and financially where we are ready to start TTC.  I went to the dr. this week.  She reviewed my temp charts and said everything looked healthy.  I did get some blood work done to see if I needed any immunizations or had any other issues before we started.  But, there is no reason to believe that I'll have any problems.  I don't have the best fertile mucus.  Some months I have it, other months I don't.

I think we are going to get frozen spermies from the Midwest bank.  They have good prices and seem to have good results.

We had been planning on trying at home for a while.  But, the Dr. suggested that we get IUI b/c there is a much better chance of getting pregnant from an IUI than an at home insem.  Now, we are trying to do figure out what we want to do.  We want to be pregnant as soon as possible, and if that means spending a little more money to get it done more quickly we are willing to do that.

So, are IUIs really that much better?  I think the price difference is about $200 between 1 IUI and 2 vials of sperm for at home. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ffantastik
2010-06-06 12:05 pm (UTC)
I'm not pregnant yet, for a variety of reasons, but i've been doing this for a while. And my advice would be, yes, IUI and with as much sperm as you can afford.
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[User Picture]From: charcoaleyes78
2010-06-06 03:33 pm (UTC)
can they do 1 iui with 2 vials of sperm? Why don't they talk about this anywhere?
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[User Picture]From: ffantastik
2010-06-06 03:47 pm (UTC)
Yes, they should be able to - as long as its the same donor, of course. You can ask your doctor, the clinic we were working with encouraged this.

If you want to talk more, you can email me at ryndigoyen at Gmail.
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[User Picture]From: sandokai
2010-06-06 12:39 pm (UTC)
I think the statistics for IUIs are a lot higher (like 5-10% for at home, and 8-16% for IUIs)

We're doing it at home anyway for 6 months because it's more romantic/spiritual and the kind of process we'd rather take even though statistically it would take longer.

If you do it at home I'd love to be added (if you might reflect upon it-- I guess it's pretty personal!) . I don't know anyone else considering doing it at home...

Do you have the book by Stephanie Brill on lesbian conception? I read it yesterday-- it's great on all laying out the considerations for all possible options.
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[User Picture]From: charcoaleyes78
2010-06-06 03:36 pm (UTC)
I do have the stephanie brill book. I've read it a few times. Now, it's waiting for J to read.
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[User Picture]From: charcoaleyes78
2010-06-06 03:37 pm (UTC)
It looks like we are starting to lean more towards IUIs. But, we'll see. Would you like to be added anyway? I'm always game for more LJ friends.
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[User Picture]From: sandokai
2010-06-06 04:42 pm (UTC)
Sure, I added you.

Is girlyman in your interests the band? We go to all of their regional concerts. They rock!
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[User Picture]From: charcoaleyes78
2010-06-06 09:17 pm (UTC)
yup. we love them
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[User Picture]From: one4theroad
2010-06-06 08:02 pm (UTC)
Most straight people don't have to go to the doctor to get pregnant, and most lesbian people don't have to, either. We aren't any less fertile than straight women.
I don't know what the exact stats are, but I have heard that fertility clinics and doctors who do inseminations often greatly exaggerate their success rates.
I got pregnant on my first cycle with DIY insemination using an Instead cup.
The only difference between that technique and IUI would be that IUI would get the sperm a couple millimeters closer to the egg. To me, that's not worth a couple hundred dollars unless there are other medical reasons for needing it done.
Plus, the process of the sperm swimming toward the egg, which is a very perilous journey for the sperm during which the majority of them die, is meant to "weed out" the weaker, less vigorous swimmers. That's a function of natural selection that I don't really want to mess with unless it's necessary.
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[User Picture]From: sandokai
2010-06-06 09:59 pm (UTC)
But-- frozen sperm doesn't live as long (compared to if a woman sleeps with a man or uses the fresh stuff). I think that part makes it harder...you have to get the timing more accurate. Maybe that part worries people and makes it harder for lesbians to get pregnant if they don't have an in-person donor. Also, I believe with the IUI the quality of your CM isn't so crucial.

I'm doing it at home anyway because I don't want to make it a medical system thing unless I have to, but I certainly don't expect it to work the first month...

I do sometimes wonder if the clinics have a financial investment though. They don't want you to run out of money before getting pregnant and then to blame them on their sperm quality. So they'd rather you get pregnant faster, so they push the IUI's. Plus, they get $200 more a month if you buy the sperm for IUI use. But then I really just don't trust them much at all.

Edited at 2010-06-06 10:00 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: rexlezard
2010-06-07 12:48 am (UTC)
Sure, the clinics have a financial investment. The drug companies have even more of an investment.

However, the HUGE investment for the clinics is in their statistics.

They want you to conceive one or two healthy babies that you carry to term and they want you to do that as quickly as possible.

They don't want you to have triplets or higher, that's not good for their stats. They don't want you to drop out without getting pregnant, nor do they want you to log too many cycles. This is why some clinics are highly selective.

If it was all about remuneration, they would not be motivated to get people pregnant quickly, nor would they be as selective as they are, in general. There are lots of exceptions, but many clinics will turn you down if you've had "too many" failed cycles elsewhere, if you have certain diseases, or if you are too fat, or your CD 3 hormone levels are considered untreatable.

I've been seen at three fertility clinics over the past three years, I conceived via IVF, and one clinic refused me treatment, in spite of the fact I had lots of money for IVF (insurance covers IVF where I live, so it's not my money).
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[User Picture]From: sandokai
2010-06-07 01:23 am (UTC)

Ridic. Why don't they just have you sign a waiver saying you want to retain rights to not follow all of their advice (or somesuch) and therefore are exempt from their statistics? Because I am sure there are plenty of people who don't want to follow all of their advice but would rather pick-and-choose from options and start off less interventionist.

I don't understand why they're putting fertile/ovulating people on clomid to help time an insemination. That doesn't seem to be prioritizing people's natural health. I don't know what to think about these places, but they sound kind of sketchy.

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[User Picture]From: one4theroad
2010-06-07 03:12 am (UTC)
True. I didn't use frozen sperm. We found a donor who lives two hours away.
And I know I was very lucky to have conceived so quickly, especially since I have very irregular cycles. OPK's were a godsend.
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[User Picture]From: rexlezard
2010-06-07 12:43 am (UTC)
Right, but this isn't about sexual orientation.

Using frozen sperm means you're using about 1/5th of an ejaculate, and it's typical to do it only once or twice a month, compared to someone who is having sex to conceive who may be getting about 15 times as much sperm at the right time. In addition, many of the sperm are killed by the freeze/thaw process - it could be that those are the sperm that would have been weeded out anyway, but there's no reason to think that surviving the acidity of the vagina and getting through the cervix is at all similar to surviving being frozen and thawed.

It's great that you got pregnant the first time, but it's absolutely not typical.

IUI has a higher chance of success, IUI with timing via ultrasound, bloodwork and trigger shot is your best bet. Even with all that, it takes many people 6 months or more to conceive, and you may find out about fertility issues you never knew you had.

Personally, I did 6 clinic cycles, three with Clomid, 1 unmedicated, 1 cancelled, 1 with gonal-F, 1 frozen cycle at home, a dozen or more fresh cycles with a known donor, and 1 (finally successful!) IVF over the course of about three years. All that, and no known fertility issue. My official diagnosis is "unexplained infertility." Oh, and my donors have all had great sperm, so it's not them.

Good luck!
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[User Picture]From: sandokai
2010-06-07 01:24 am (UTC)
I don't understand why they are putting fertile/ovulating people on clomid since the drug doesn't sound all that safe. What's that about?
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[User Picture]From: one4theroad
2010-06-07 03:18 am (UTC)
This entire community is about sexual orientation, hence its name.
But also, being lesbian doesn't mean you have to use frozen sperm, either, so I wasn't necessarily taking the frozen/fresh issue into consideration. I know frozen sperm is usually easier (though not necessarily cheaper) to obtain, but it's not the only option.
I used fresh sperm, and even still, I know my situation was very atypical. I just used it as an example because it seems like so many lesbians seem to run straight to the doctor to get pregnant and I was merely commenting on our tendency to interject traditional western medicine into parts of our lives that may not be necessary w/o trying more natural methods first.
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[User Picture]From: charcoaleyes78
2010-06-06 11:13 pm (UTC)
that's where our conundrum is. the dr who suggested IUI doesn't do them and isn't associated with a clinic that does them. She just said they have better success rates so it might be worth checking into. We're using frozen sperm, so I want to give them help on their journey. If it turns out that help isn't worth it to us, we'll do it at home. We're just trying to figure out what we want. I would love to be able to inseminate and get pregnant the first time.
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[User Picture]From: sandokai
2010-06-07 01:26 am (UTC)
Ask the local midwives if they do it or know someone who does. (See if you have any local birthing clinics or other widwifery services). They like to help people so might at least ask around...

My midwife didn't think the OB she worked with did IUIs, for instance, but it turns out he does. He just hasn't had anyone in 2 or 3 years ask him to... (it's not a very lesbian town apparently!)
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