if you only had six vials... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 12-05-2009, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry in advance if this get long!

I have an interesting situation... I have two children (6 & 8) who were conceived by my ex using donor sperm. I am in a new relationship (legally married- yay!) and we are wanting to add to our family. Originally, I was under the impression that my children's donor was no longer available (long since retired CCB donor... and none of the families on the sibling registry say they have any extra vials available). However, on a whim, I called CCB and learned that they have the 6 last vials available (for parents of children already conceived by this donor... and they consider me a parent though I wasn't the birth mother). So... I really would love to use the same donor.

With these 6 vials (all IUI) costing $490 EACH (not including shipping), I am wondering what sage advice you may have to increase my chances of conception (and, subsequently, make using these vials less of a financial gamble). I know there are no guarantees, but I would appreciate any advice from people who've been successful with at-home inseminations with donor sperm.

Also, how many vials would you use per month... 1 or 2?

We've TTC a few times before with donor sperm, spaced sporatically over the past year (before we learned these vials were available). All times were BFN. I had an HSG and everything was "normal". I had mildly high TSH (3.55) and am now on hypothyroid meds (and assume everything is going good, but need to get re-checked within the next month or so). In the past, I've tried soy (before I learned that I had mild hypothyroidism), and clomid (unprescribed and prescribed, but unmonitored). I haven't consistently temped in the past because, well, it drives me crazy and I am lazy. I do have luck with OPKs. Also, all of our past TTC attempts were at home, some were IUI (though, when I think about it, they probably weren't true IUI, but more like ICI).

My insurance won't pay for fertility treatments, but will pay for fertility "testing/diagnosis". Oh, and honestly, after paying for this sperm, there will be little (if any) out of pocket medical fees that we can afford.

Thanks for your help.
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#2 of 8 Old 12-05-2009, 02:05 AM
 
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I guess I'd say just go for it and see if it happens, but be okay with it not happening and getting to use a different donor. It sounds like a complicated but lovely and weird and scary and exciting situation...
what a whirlwind!

IUIs at home, 1 vial per month???

K, H, and baby E (who is now three!!!)
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#3 of 8 Old 12-05-2009, 03:00 AM
 
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I'm sort of in the same boat as you, though not really. We purchased 6 vials of our son's donor at the beginning of this year so that we'd be able to try for a bio-sibling. Right now we're charting and will probably be TTCing towards the end of next month. : I've checked the site recently and the donor is currently not available. I'm scared to contact them for fear that these are the only samples we'll be able to get. I think I would feel more comfortable with 8 samples.

My advice would be to of course buy the samples! We're going back and forth about 1 or two vials per time. I think we came to the compromise that we'd use 1 sample for two months at around 32 hours and then if that didn't work, do two samples for the next two tries. At least that way we'd have one extra month to try if more samples are not available. Even if samples are available, ours cost I think $610 per try now. Crazy! We're doing at home IUI's. We were successful using 2 samples spaced 24 and 32 hours post a positive OPK when I got pregnant with our son.

what I would say is to get a consistent routine down now. I know when we TTCed our son, I thought I'd try some 'potion' for one cycle and instead of lengthening my luteal phase, it shortened it. I tried to get healthier by exercising more, and it made me lose weight and my cycles went from 28 days to 34 or more. So if you're going to add herbs or supplements or change anything abut your diet, medications or exercise, I would definitely try to consistently do whatever you're planning on doing for at least a few months with diligent charting.

OPK's work well for me too, but so does 'cervix gazing'. We're trying to not waste any samples by making sure that everything is lining up properly before we even start again. Right now I'm charting temps right around ovulation and once the OPK starts getting a little bit more positive, my partner's checking things out up there as far as cervical position and how the CM looks.

I guess my best advice is to try not to jump the gun before you know your body completely. Has your luteal phase been pretty steady? I know sometimes the thyroid can make things a little goofy, so if possible you might want to have that rechecked before you start.

I wish you luck on your journey. How great that you're being given this opportunity with a retired donor!

Loving partner to smartycat  ribbonrainbow.gif  . Enjoying life with our DS's- 4/5/09 and 10/29/10 love.gif!  Moms to three dogs and four cats.
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#4 of 8 Old 12-05-2009, 08:07 PM
 
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Last fall we decided to ttc after previously having thought that we were done making babies (and selling our remaining 6 vials of sperm). We managed to obtain ONE last vial of our donor's sperm (we already had three kids from this donor). Since we only had one chance, we wanted to use it wisely, but we also weren't willing to be extreme (i.e. going straight to IVF), and weren't interested in fertility drugs that increase the chance of multiples (since we already have a set of twins (thank you, clomid!), and really prefer that babies join our family one at a time). We ended up doing ultrasound monitoring in conjunction with using an HCG trigger shot and one, well-timed IUI (36 hours post trigger). And we were successful (). For us, it was helpful to know that dw's lining was great and that the follicle looked great, and that our timing was right-on. We just took some of the guess-work out of the equation.

Are your specimens washed or not? You can only do IUI with washed sperm, and you probably SHOULD do IUI with washed sperm (though it *can* be used for ICI or IVI as well). Also, if you don't mind my asking, how old are you? Age can definitely be a factor, and it might make sense to be more aggressive with treatment if you are over the age of 35.

Congrats on finding the extra vials of sperm, and good luck!

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#5 of 8 Old 12-06-2009, 12:41 AM
 
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I say definitely go for it and buy the sperm!

My partner and I did IUIs at home and we found that the absolute best thing to feel confident that we were inseminating at the right time, was doing twice daily visual cervical checks (with a speculum to see the os opening). It was so cool to see how her cervix changed over the course of the month, and it helped us feel a lot more confident in our timing as well. It is a gigantic pain to do. But we both felt like in the end it was totally worth it.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide.

-boo

Happy midwife (CNM) married to my lovely wife J, proud mamas to our sweet boy (6/10) and newly pregnant!
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#6 of 8 Old 12-06-2009, 11:52 AM
 
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if you are familiar with brill's book, then you know she tells people not do only 1 iui a month and consider 2 or even 3 a month to optimize your chances or at least 1 iui and 1 ici (which isn't an option for you). this might seem like a waste given your limited supply, but actually you are increasing your odds but doubling the sperm coverage instead of having to be so precise with your timing over more months.

cervix watching was an important part for us because it gave us so much information to go on in deciding on the proper timing. we were able to see how long my cervix stayed open before ovulating based on months of watching and then anticipate the proper timing for the iuis which we put as close to ovulation but on either end of it. we got pregnant on our 3rd try but was only our 1st month of 2 iuis. we had done 2 icis at home on 1st try and 1 ici and 1 iui on 2nd try. i am convinced that the 2 iuis were what did the trick.

good luck!

Me, DW , and DS born 7/6/10
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#7 of 8 Old 12-06-2009, 12:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjnoho View Post
if you are familiar with brill's book, then you know she tells people not do only 1 iui a month and consider 2 or even 3 a month to optimize your chances or at least 1 iui and 1 ici (which isn't an option for you). this might seem like a waste given your limited supply, but actually you are increasing your odds but doubling the sperm coverage instead of having to be so precise with your timing over more months.

cervix watching was an important part for us because it gave us so much information to go on in deciding on the proper timing. we were able to see how long my cervix stayed open before ovulating based on months of watching and then anticipate the proper timing for the iuis which we put as close to ovulation but on either end of it. we got pregnant on our 3rd try but was only our 1st month of 2 iuis. we had done 2 icis at home on 1st try and 1 ici and 1 iui on 2nd try. i am convinced that the 2 iuis were what did the trick.

good luck!
I agree completely. In the absence of a trigger shot, 2 IUIs is the best bet (and that's what we did for our first two pregnancies with amazing success). But with a trigger shot, 1 IUI is plenty. Financially, if you're paying out of pocket for EVERYTHING, 2 IUIs is probably slightly cheaper than 1 IUI with u/s and trigger shot. But you go through sperm at a faster rate. So if conservation is your top priority (aside from getting pregnant), then you may choose to spend a tiny bit more and do one monitored IUI each cycle. Are you hoping to save any of these six vials for a fourth pregnancy?

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#8 of 8 Old 12-06-2009, 02:56 PM
 
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ugh, it's tough when you don't have the funds to go all out. with us, dp had one messed up try with the clinic that we fired, and then 2 with the re - the second one worked. we think the trigger shot on the try we got our bfp on was the reason it worked. we were also working with limited tries, so let me tell you that it is VERY nerve wracking!! good luck!

g

my family - dp d heartbeat.gif, ds b biggrinbounce.gif (4), ds f thumbsuck.gif (2), dd a baby.gif (jan '12), ddog m dog2.gif
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