After our first miscarriage in October 2015, we decided to take a break. Our decision was based mostly on needing to heal but also because I was starting a new job in January 2016. I didn’t know what infertility treatments, if any, would be covered and if we could stay at our clinic. The previous Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) was only partially covered and, at the time, the $800 we spent on medications and procedures seemed like a tremendous amount (once again, little did we know what the future would bring).
Shortly after starting at the new hospital, I called HR to ask about benefits for infertility treatments. I was flabbergasted that IUI’s were fully covered except for a $5 copay for each visit and $5-10 per prescription. I remember asking the lady over and over “So just to clarify, _____ is covered?” and she kept saying except for the $5 copay, yes. I actually requested a full copy of the medical benefits be mailed to me so I could see it in writing (it was true!). Needless to say, we were thrilled that we would be spending so little and since we got pregnant so “easily” with our very first treatment, we were certain it would happen again soon.
The company I work for has its own infertility department so, unfortunately, we had to change clinics. We were somewhat bummed at having to start all over with a new doctor but considering the cost savings, we got over the disappointment fairly quickly.
I called the new clinic to see what I needed to do to be seen by them and they said a call by me was all they needed to get the ball rolling. Easy enough. Although I sent them my records from the previous clinic, they wanted to run their own tests. So, once again, Andrew and I had labs drawn, he had another sperm analysis and I had to have a hysterosalpingogram (HSG).
For the most part, the labs came back ok. The doctor stated that the sperm analysis was “stellar” which is weird because the doctor at the previous clinic used the same adjective. The only abnormal result was my fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C. And by abnormal, I mean not by normal people who are not trying to get pregnant standards but by the very strict guidelines this clinic has for their patients. The nurse said I would have to be seen by the perinatology diabetic clinic. (I’ll explain more about why they are so strict and my experience with the diabetic clinic in future posts.)
The HSG was terrible. First, they didn’t allow Andrew to come into the room with me because of the radiation exposure – and I know I am a big girl but he has a way of making bad experience more tolerable. Then, the pain made me lightheaded and dizzy. The doctor performing the HSG said that she was a seeing a blockage in my left fallopian tube and I would most likely have to use in vitro fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant. (I haven’t mentioned this, yet, but I only have one ovary. My right ovary was removed when I was 14 years old which only slightly reduced my chances of getting pregnant.)
When I spoke with the infertility doctor about my HSG results, he felt like results were inaccurate. Since I had just gotten pregnant the year before, he said the cramping of my uterus was likely causing the image to look like I had a blockage in the fallopian tube. With that settled, he recommended we continue with assisted cycles using natural intercourse or IUI.
I don’t blame anyone for continuing to think IUI’s would work for us but (spoiler alert!) they didn’t. Hindsight is 20/20 and I still don’t believe I had a blocked fallopian tube; however, looking back, I wish we had not wasted so much time thinking the IUI’s would lead to another pregnancy just because the first one did. After all, I was already considered to be advanced maternal age (that stings every time!) and Andrew is no spring chicken (sorry hun, love you!).