Another BFN & Next Steps

So another cycle has passed and we are still no closer to a little one. This past cycle, we did a lot of new things: progesterone suppositories, femara, estrace, and a trigger shot. We had a lot of hope and the BFN stung. We got our hopes up with all the new progesterone/pregnancy symptoms. And worse of all, we continued to get very faint lines up to 14dpo but the beta blood test confirmed we were out. We both felt defeated and it led to some serious conversations about next steps. We decided that if this cycle doesn’t work, we may step away from our RE and fertility clinic and try at home with a known donor.

We still want to believe that this next cycle will work but we needed to start thinking about alternatives. I reached out to the RE and let them know that after this cycle, we would like to take a break. In that same vane, we asked if we could do anything more to help our chances. They first came back and said we could do gonadotropins (Follistim) injectables but the cost was significantly more. We typically pay about $2,000 USD for a medicated cycle and with injectables it would be more like $4-5,000 depending on how I respond to the medicine and how long I would need them. We didn’t feel comfortable spending that much on one cycle. At the end of the day, all the costs are still gamble in hopes of a baby. If our odds drastically increased with the cost, we may have considered it but I responded well to Femara (2 follicles) so we declined injectables.

This cycle, we are going to do a lot of the same things as last cycle except more estrace and earlier to thicken my lining and we plan to do two back to back IUIs. Our clinic stopped recommending 2 IUIs per cycle at some point after Lyn got pregnant with back to back IUIs because they said the pregnancy rates didn’t outweigh the additional cost. But they agreed to our request. Outside of the medical world, I am still drinking pomegranate juice, drinking raspberry leaf tea, eating sweet potatoes and trying to go out for walks more. I did decide to take a break from acupuncture because it wasn’t my favorite thing during the week and it didn’t seem to work with my first three cycles.

While this doesn’t sound like the happiest of blog posts, we do have some exciting things coming up. On September 30th, Lyn’s brother and wife gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and shortly thereafter, we booked tickets to see them in London this December. We are very excited to meet their new little one! And if we get pregnant this cycle, we can tell them that we are expecting during that visit and take a couple pregnancy announcement photos over there.

Questions:

  • Any success with back to back IUIs?
  • Any success with known donor (especially after BFNs with frozen/thaw sperm)?
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22 thoughts on “Another BFN & Next Steps

  1. We’re using a known donor (as you know), for a huge array of reasons, and it does seem to be a far less stressful approach to what you’ve been doing. We are facing our own issues with the process at the moment (it’s looking an awful lot like C has a semen allergy, which sucks majorly), but if you have someone happy to come on board, we’d recommend it. We’re not sure how the legal side works in the US (over here, because we’re married, we’d both be the legal parents, and not our donor), but it’s probably worth checking that out very thoroughly before you start, so you know what you’re getting yourself into. DEFINITELY get your donor thoroughly STD-screened before you start! We’re using Mosie Baby insemination syringes (https://www.mosiebaby.com/) and think they are really good. Get in touch if you want to chat more. Our blog is woefully behind on what’s been going on for us, mainly because it’s all been rather miserable.

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    • Thanks for all the info! Thankfully, our known donor has done a lot of testing for another lesbian couple he has helped out. So, in addition to STD testing and we know he is not a carrier for any genetic disorders. We will definitely look into those syringes. I may have more questions once we start digging into this. I am planning on saving some of this research for the TWW (to keep my mind busy) 😊 Thank you!

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  2. We tried a known donor first for about 6 cycles and I never had any luck. Then we went to IUIs. We never tried back-to-back IUIs because the doctor didn’t seem to think they would be any more successful than just one (I know there is data that cuts both ways on this). My second medicated (third overall) IUI worked. Second pregnancy it was my third medicated cycle that worked.

    Hang in there. Just remember that this is a challenge of repetition. Every cycle I felt like I needed to do something new or different to “fix” whatever I thought didn’t work the last time (timing, lining, number of follicles, vial quality, etc. etc. etc). Ultimately, it just comes down to hitting the right egg with the right sperm on the right cycle. It will come, you just have to keep plugging away.

    You were totally right to turn down injectibles if you’re responding well to femara. Injectibles might make more eggs, but the overall quality is not as high.

    If you get to this point, consider IVF through CNY Fertility in central New York. It’s very affordable, and though it requires some travel (usually), it’s still less expensive than a lot of the big name clinics charge.

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    • That’s good to know about the injectables. I didn’t know that. I’m hoping this cycle works. It’s been a tough year with so many obstacles. We know it’ll be worth it in the end but at this point, the cost is becoming daunting. I haven’t heard of that fertility clinic in NY. I will definitely check it out. Thank you! 💛

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      • We always regret not skipping to IVF at CNY sooner. We spent sooooo much money the year that we were trying to get my wife pregnant (7 cycles – 3 natural and 4 medicated). We would have saved money by changing to IVF MUCH sooner.

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      • We try not to think about it but it’s hard. I do often regret doing unmedicated cycles at all. I assumed with my young age, I wouldn’t have any issues. We are hoping that doing inseminations with a known donor will get us to the finish line. Otherwise, we’ll be in the same boat wishing we had done IVF.

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      • Yes, we both regret my wife’s 3 unmedicated cycles, mostly because it used up 3 vials of our donor’s semen, and we ultimately ran out. But, we all have to keep looking forward and knowing that the right thing will come to be. When you look at your child, regret will vanish, because those missteps got you to that new baby.

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      • Luckily, we still have three more vials, if we need them. Our donor is still donating but we don’t plan to order any more. If we go back to the RE and need more donor sperm, we will look for another donor. Hopefully, we won’t need that though. I am really hoping that this known donor plan works out and we’ll be having a baby in 2019 ❤

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  3. I’m sorry about the BFN 😦
    I used a known donor with at home AI and I’d be happy to share all the info I have IF this next cycle doesn’t work out. But you might not need any info on trying a new method!! Fingers crossed!
    (For the record, I loved using a known donor because I was able to try at least 3 times right around ovulation. LOTS of fresh sperm all up in there… made for really good odds. And for us, it was completely free minus the accessories (like sperm-friendly lube and syringes). Our at home AI worked on the third cycle.)

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    • I’m hoping I won’t need any of the knowledge either but I want to be ready just in case 🙂 I think using a known donor will be a bit less stressful because we won’t have all the appointments and for us, it would be very close to free. We are very thankful that our donor just wants to help us start a family. We would also want to do multiple inseminations near ovulation. I’ll probably be back with more questions once I start my research during the TWW. Thank you!

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    • Wow! I may have to take a peak at that. I was trying to save IVF and known donor research until the TWW but we live in GA so now I’m even more interested. 🙂 Thank you for the heads up!

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  4. I’m so sorry for your set back 😦 I’ll be praying for that beautiful, happy announcement for you both. You’ve worked so hard for this, you deserve that happiness.

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  5. I think home insemination is a great idea, have you heard of “STORK OTC” its a home insemination kit.. you can get them at target bit i think they’re cheaper on amazon of you get a 2 pack

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  6. I don’t have advice as we went straight to IVF (though if you ever have questions about that, we’d be happy to help!) but I know this is such a stressful process and I’m sorry for your BFN. Hope you get your positive before your trip to London (announcement pictures overseas sounds amazing…there are probably so many awesome spots to take photos!)

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  7. So sorry for your setback! We’re using a frozen supply of known donor sperm bc he lives on the other side of the country from us, but we did do an at home try when we flew him out to freeze all his samples. All we did was order sterile cups and needle less syringes from amazon. Outside of the awkwardness of the hand off, it was great! We were able to do a whole bunch of inseminations all around my fertile week and ovulation. Ultimately it didn’t work, so we moved on to the IUI with his frozen supply at the clinic. If he lived closer to us, that would definitely be the route we would take. So so much cheaper!!

    Will you still do the femara and progesterone if you do the home inseminations?

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    • Thanks for sharing! We are excited to start this cheaper option and we are really hoping it will work. Most recently, my wife and I decided to change carriers (again) so I am going to take a break and she will try again. We do have some left over femara so we debated doing it for one cycle but not progesterone. Lyn (my wife) never needed it and that is not a prescription I would consider doing without a doctor involved. With at home inseminations, we don’t plan on leaning on our RE in any way. If anything, we may reach out to our OB/GYN, if needed.

      I did just post a new blog post “Another New Plan” where I do share more details on the at home insemination, if you are interested. We’ve done a lot of research in a short period of time and it has been fascinating.

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