Anyone else out there doing natural, unmedicated IUI? I am planning one for my next cycle and have so many questions about timing natural IUI with ovulation, whether back to back would make sense (using frozen sperm, which has a shorter life span), whether to use a few vials at once, etc. My doctor seems to be getting tired of my questions and is very nonchalant about the whole thing. They just do the IUI a24 hours after your LH surge, no matter what.
Well, this cycle I had 2 days of positive OPK's, CD 14 and CD 15, but the tests on CD 14 were MUCH lighter. I used one digital (smiley face positive) and one with the lines on both days to back up. If I had only been going by the two lines on the First Response test, then I definitely would not have said it was positive until CD 15, but the digital gave me a positive on CD 14, so I am assuming that to be the first positive detection of the LH surge. CD 15 was definitely my peak LH surge, though, and I did not ovulate until CD 16 (temp rise CD 17, sustained temps after)...so, I am concerned that, if the same thing happens this next cycle, my IUI cycle, then I would go in on the second day of surge, about 24 hrs before ovulation (no way of knowing for sure). If thawed frozen sperm only live for 12 - 24 hours, then I could completely miss the egg. The doctor said that she is "not concerned" and that we would just follow their normal procedure and timing and we could always try back to back IUI if I do not get pregnant sooner rather than later. Well, I am self pay, so I want to make the most of each cycle...she also says that using more than 2 vials will not make a difference...I feel like I would like to do back to back IUI's with 3 vials used each time...I feel like this optimizes my chances and they say it generally doesn't...I don't get that. I would hate to regret not doing it and wonder, wonder, wonder if I missed the egg by doing it too early, etc.
If anyone has any experience with any of this, back to back natural IUI's, lifespan of frozen, thawed sperm, using several vials, or my issue with the OPK's, I would REALLY appreciate any discussion! THANK YOU! Trying to reduce any stress as much as possible!
I don't have any experience with an unmedicated IUI or frozen sperm... but, I have had 5 Clomid/IUIs over two different time periods (with one of the time periods, I conceived my DS on the second cycle). These were unmonitored, meaning that the clinic didn't do any bloodwork or u/s, I was just told to use OPKs. I understand how crazy-making some of this can be-- I, too, was using two kinds of OPK to have the back-up factor (I used ClearBlue, and internet cheapies). They lined up with one another perfectly in terms of results, which I was thankful about. I first started testing once a day, because that is what the clinic recommends (advised me that between 10am and 2pm was best, but whatever time I choose, be consistent). I got my bfp from a cycle in which I only tested once a day. But, I had noticed that in the day or two leading up to my surge, I could see the test line filling in, so I was curious and started testing twice a day in subsequent cycles. So, this one cycle I drove myself almost nuts because what ended up happening was that I had an almost positive for the first test of the day, and then 5 hours later I tested and I got my positive... well, then I didn't know what to do, whether I should act as though I got the positive the first test or just hang tight and see what happened when I was supposed to test at the appropriate time the next day. (I knew I would get a positive again then, because my LH surge hangs around.) Well, I reported that I had a positive from the first test, and then based on that, the IUI was the next day... but it left me wondering if it ended up being too soon. The thing is, even if a person has a textbook presentation of LH surge and OPK usage, most tests say that it predicts ovulation to happen within a 24-48 hour period... even the nurse admitted that the OPKs can be subjective, and I guess I found that I had to just kind of surrender to the process. I mean, our clinic is really good, and so I had to have faith in them and their process... I just kind of made things crazy for myself because I began to test twice. You can only do what you can do, and the rest is up to nature. I haven't a clue what happens when the sperm is frozen, but I can definitely understand that you want to have everything covered as much as you can. About the number of vials, we just had the one vial of my DH's sperm, and it had really good sperm counts. I think our clinic has a minimum of 1 million, or is it 3... ? Anyway, he was WAY over, and I remember feeling like our chances were really good, but then I read that after a certain million, it really doesn't increase the odds of a woman getting pregnant. This helped me a lot, because one month his count went down 20 million from the month before, and I was worried... and then I realized I needed to not worry about it. Poor guy, I had made him feel bad!
I don't know if any of this helps or not... I did post something about the whole timing thing in another thread somewhere a couple of months ago, and I received some helpful responses when it came to the OPKs and stuff. Maybe you might want to read those... I hope you get some other responses soon, so you can get to a place where you are feeling more at peace with the process.