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Infertility & Reproduction Health Center

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The Fertility Diaries: 3 Friends, 3 Paths to Pregnancy

Another Disappointment

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.

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