Of all the other things that are easier for fertiles, I think included on that list is that they do not have intimate knowledge about their own gametes. Their BFPs arrive without knowing how many follicles of what size were present. They probably don't even know which ovary released the ovum. No one knows the sperm count or the other fun stats, such as motility or progression. It's one more measure of the awkwardness of fertility treatment. There's nothing like knowing exactly what each of you are bringing to the table.
Although, maybe there's a lesson to be learned from the naivete of fertiles. I decided that I would not be too fussed over the details going into our first IUI. I've read plenty of stories on fertility forums and other blogs and I've seen couples get BFPs with few follicles and low sperm counts and women with multiple follicles and a billion post wash sperm come up empty. There are so many variable and other factors at play, it's comparing apples and oranges. They are only numbers and they don't necessarily mean anything.
Well, in the interest of disclosure, here are our numbers. I went in for monitoring on CD 11 and had a lead follicle on my right ovary measuring 18.1 x 16.4 mm, with a smaller one at 11 mm present. There was nothing on the left ovary. I was instructed to trigger the next night and return three days later for IUI. I claimed to need dental X-rays as my reason for leaving the office for an hour. It's the benefit to having bad teeth, I have a convenient cover story; but the irony is that I've been neglecting my dental health and I'm overdue for my cleaning. I could say it felt weird to be leaving work in order to try to get knocked up; but once during our TI days, Husband was departing for a trip in the evening, so I went home during the lunch hour for some afternoon delight, which was probably some of the most fun we've had while TTC. I had my moment of needing to get over the fact that this wasn't exactly as I ever imagined this process would be.
Husband's total count was 12 million, which was his lowest to date. His first post Clomid wank test showed his count to be 17 million, so we were factoring that if we lost half in the wash process, we'd have 8.5 million, which would be within the 5-10 million ideal for IUI range. Unfortunately, his post wash count was 4 million, with motility at 61%. Just poor timing to have a bad sperm day.
I know that even if we were in ideal territory, the success rates with IUI are still fairly low. Some statistics note that it's not more effective than correctly timed intercourse; but it does help eliminate the potenital for user errors, which in our case, is not an insignificant factor. We struggled with timing and performance issues as well as an accidential withdrawal method. No matter how long I rest with my yoga mat propped under my hips, there are still issues with 'spillage'. So we probably end up with less than 4 million left to our own devices.
I went back to the office as I had a few term patients left on my morning schedule. I've never really been bothered by the fact that my job forces me to interact with pregnant women all day long, but for some reason I was a bit affected after my IUI. I remember in my pre-TTC days, I would see patients at the end of their pregnancies who were huge, stretch marked and uncomfortable, and would think, 'I'm so thankful I'm not pregnant!' When I accepted that I was ready to have a baby, I would haughtily think, 'I'm not going to look like that when I'm pregnant'. Today as I went from room to room and saw the excitement in my patients' eyes as they anticipate the arrival of their babies, there was a resounding thought confronting me; I'm not going to look like that -full stop. Not from this IUI cycle anyway.