Sperm Exposure

(Trying to) Get Back On The Horse

Well, now that I am done moping and raging about the fact that I missed my last cycle I’ve collected myself enough to think about my upcoming cycle. I sent a long-winded message to my RE explaining that I want to stay on letrozole every cycle so that even if I am not making an attempt my cycle won’t get all screwy and be 20 days again. I can’t have that. My RE won’t allow it though. Even though the other RE in the practice had responded to this query in my initial message during the ultrasound snafu and said it was perfectly fine for me to do that. My RE says I can’t because, risks. 😡

She suggested birth control to pause my cycle in order to sync up with my donor’s schedule. The issue with that is I still don’t have a good understanding of what cycle day I’m likely to ovulate because all of the going on and off different medications has changed my cycle. Before I knew that either the 17th or 18th day of my cycle I would ovulate. If I could know that when I use Letrozole I tend to ovulate on a certain cycle day then this would all be so much easier. As it stands I have ovulated on day 12, 15, and 17 so far. I can’t plan anything with that. Even with an ultrasound that gives me and the donor two days of lead time. That’s not enough time for me to arrange flights, hotel and for the donor to adjust his schedule. It feels like chaos.

I don’t know if with a little more time I will be able to learn my cycle even with changing it periodically with birth control pills. If I can then that would be such a relief but my fear is that adding in the birth control will screw up my cycle again. And then I will have to figure out what cycle day I’m likely to ovulate using letrozole and then what cycle day I ovulate when using birth control pills followed by letrozole.

I think my RE is used to the only moving target being the woman’s cycle because the sperm comes in frozen vials that are shipped overnight. So two days of lead time is plenty. But that doesn’t work well when I am a moving target and so is the donor.

It’s got me seriously thinking about pursuing IUI or IVF. But I think if we go that route we will choose sperm from the cryobank. We looked into the process of getting our donor’s sperm processed for a direct donation and it’s a lengthy process and I think will run us about $4000 for all of the testing and other fees. I really like our donor and would love to continue using him but that cost is in addition to the IUI or IVF cost which is obviously substantial.

I work in the public school system. We don’t have that kind of money lying around. I mean we aren’t hurting for anything but our net worth is pretty modest. As it stands if we do IVF I think we will have to get a loan. Which makes me want to cry because we moved here from the bay area which we both loved in order to save money and pay off my large student loan debt. Taking out a loan for IVF does not help us with that goal. Neither does a baby, I know but at least a baby made without IVF wouldn’t put us 10K+ in debt right from the start. It’s just a bigger hole for us to dig out of and I hate that. Especially because neither of us particularly enjoy being here but we are stuck here until the debt is paid.

I’m not ready to make any big moves just yet. I need to find out what the IUI/IVF coverage is from my insurance. I’m expecting none but I figure if they will accept 6 at-home insemination failures as proof of infertility in order to cover some of the costs then it would be worth it to continue until we have met that. If there is no coverage then I think I am ready to move on. I just feel like this isn’t working and I’ll be turning 37 soon so each month my chances are dropping. And quickly. I have above average ovarian reserve for my age but I’ve also got ovarian dysfunction that causes low progesterone. I need a solid, well-researched and scientifically informed plan for the upcoming months. Given that, we will be meeting with our RE to go over our possibilities and talk numbers. Including finances for IUI and IVF.

For my upcoming cycle at the end of the month I want to give the donor another chance. I plotted out the days and figured out a range of potential ovulation dates. I gave him these dates and asked him to keep them in mind when planning upcoming trips. Fortunately, the big trip to China may happen on the very last potential ovulation date so I think I can make the cycle work with the help of a trigger shot this time around. I will discuss this with my RE as well.

After this attempt we will need a new game plan because I will go back to work mid/late August so traveling will be a big challenge. If I need to complete 6 cycles in order to get IUI/IVF coverage we may try more shipped cycles. If not, then it might be go time for IUI/IVF. I’ll have to work through my concerns about cryobank sperm if that’s the case but for now I’m going to cross my fingers that the upcoming cycle works.

 

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