The Fertility Diaries: 3 Friends, 3 Paths to Pregnancy
In early November, Jody received some sad news: Her third round of
insemination with medication had failed. "Jenny e-mailed me, saying, 'Did
you get your baby yet? C'mon, tell me!'" Jody recalls. "I had to tell
her no. But the truth is, I had always known that the chances weren't all that
good with intrauterine insemination. You have a fairly small chance of getting
pregnant when you're using that method."
Jody could have done three more cycles of insemination before using another
fertility method, but she and Scott decided to try in vitro fertilization (IVF)
immediately. This more invasive approach has a higher success rate. The type of
treatment she'd receive is known as IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection,
or IVF with ICSI.
Jody: My chances of getting pregnant with in vitro are anywhere
between 45 percent and 65 percent. I like those odds. The drugs you take are
mostly the same, so I'll still be getting all those shots in my butt, which
Scotty will give me. Then they take all the mature eggs out with a laparoscopic
needle and then find the best sperm under a microscope and inject it into the
best eggs. Normally, they'd just mix all the eggs and sperm together, but in
situations like ours, where there's male factor infertility, picking out the
best sperm gives you a better chance of a successful pregnancy. I've been
reading posts in online forums about so many people who have all the same
issues we have — abnormal sperm, a blood clotting disorder — and have gotten
pregnant with IVF. That gives me real hope, and I think the fact that we had
already agreed that IVF would be our next step made it easier when we found out
that the last round of insemination didn't work. I'm comforting myself with the
thought that at least I can have beer and wine this month!
As December arrived and the holidays drew near, Jody would start a round of
fertility medications for IVF. She's lucky to have health insurance that covers
infertility treatments up to a preset annual limit, and with some of that
amount still untouched for the year, the costs of the latest round of drugs
were covered. A few days before Christmas, Jody would meet with her
reproductive endocrinologist — a physician who specializes in reproductive
disorders — and begin her IVF journey.