IUI or IVF with donor sperm? Advice n... - Fertility Network UK

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IUI or IVF with donor sperm? Advice needed please

Pujj
Pujj

Hi all. I’m looking for some advice please. My husband and I are having to use donor sperm but we can’t decide between IUI or a round of IVF. We’ve been through 3 rounds of ICSI using my husbands sperm but we never get past day 3 so we’ve decided to try a donor this time. We have no experience with IUI and I know it works for some, but we think IVF will give us a better chance. Our clinic suggested IUI due to me having regular periods. Financially this is our last shot. We would really appreciate some advice or experiences from you if possible. Thanks x

18 Replies
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DianeArnold
DianeArnoldAdministrator

Hi Pujj. Well first of all, well done for trying ICSI 3 times. that's not so easy as it is. My thoughts are perhaps to try donor insemination perhaps 3 times, then if no joy IVF. If all is OK with you and your Fallopian tubes, D I would be the less invasive of the 2 options. Just wanted to wish you well whichever way you choose to go, and of course for success. Diane

Pujj
Pujj in reply to DianeArnold

Thank you very much. X

I had IUI 6 times (3 natural and 3 medicated) and no luck. IVF still no luck yet but I at least have had a Positive result.

If it’s yours last chance financially IVF gives you the better chance of success and I would be tempted to say go straight to that option.

If time and money is on your side IUI is defo a good option as less invasive on the body but you need to balance that up with the lower chance of success.

Lots of luck on wherever your journey takes you next 🤗💕 xx

Pujj
Pujj in reply to Twiglet2

Thank you. I’m 38 and have no fertility issues, so my clinic think IUI is a good option, but hubby wonders whether we should just go to IVF to see if we can get to a blastocyst. I haven’t read too many success stories about IUI and with my age I think IVF will be better? I’m sorry to read that you haven’t had any success yet, but please don’t think you’re alone. Xxx

Twiglet2
Twiglet2 in reply to Pujj

I was 36 when I had IUI and clinic said the same is m 38 now and undergoing IVF for 2 years (had pre cancerous cells after egg collection so it’s taken me a little while to use my embryos 😊) . A friend of mine also had the 6 IUIs and no joy. She got pregnant on her first IVF though. Another friend was successful after a few IUIs though so it is possible... everyone’s journey is so unique it’s really down to personal choice and what works for you and your husband xx

Pujj
Pujj in reply to Twiglet2

Definitely, I’ve certainly learnt there’s no normal. We keep toying between giving IUI a few attempts and then IVF if it doesn’t work but then I think of the financial strain this will mean and I go back to thinking about IVF straight away! 🤷‍♀️ it’s a proper rollercoaster. Thank you for telling me about your friends. It’s so nice to know that it works for some. Positive stories are quite hard to come by xx

I had 6 iui (3 natural and 3 medicated). I did get pregnant with my first medicated cycle although later had a MC. I am waiting to start my first IVF, I started this journey in Feb 2017 and i feel like I have been on a long journey to get here, I'm 40 in January and my AMH levels have dropped and i know my chances of success are decreasing. In hindsight i think in my circumstances I should have gone straight to IVF. It's a hard decision to make x

Pujj
Pujj in reply to ADC2019

Thank you for your story 😘 We started back in 2015 so I feel your pain, it seems never ending. So sorry to hear about your MC, that must of been tough for you. It’s such a difficult decision to make, and knowing which way to turn next. Wishing you all the best for your first IVF xx

Hi Pujj, thank you for sharing. One thing which is worth considering with donor sperm is that after thawing (if you use frozen samples) the quality isn't always good enough for IUI. This was devasating as I found this out minutes before my IUI despite buying the best quality we could find... I went ahead as it was all set up but I had never heard this could be a risk and apparently it does happen. Needless to say it was a BFN. Also, depending on if you have found your donor yet, there are not a huge number of donors out there to choose from with the right quality for IUI, I would therefore recommend going straight to IVF as not only are the chances better, you will have more choice when picking a donor. It becomes very expensive if buying enough to have IUI treatment. However I realise that IVF is much more invasive for you and your body so it isnt an easy decision. Whatever you decide, I wish you every bit of luck with it all x

Pujj
Pujj in reply to Vivj22

Thank you very much for your story too. The clinic mentioned that it may not be great once thawed but I didn’t realise that it might drop the quality so much. We wondered if IUI might be a waste of time and money with frozen sperm. I imagine there are success stories out there but we are restricted with time and money so we want to give ourselves the best chance. Thank you for sharing your experience, that must of been so frustrating for you. Xx

Twiglet2
Twiglet2 in reply to Vivj22

That’s a great point Viv money wise! We had to buy 6 samples of Sperm for the IUI at a cost of thousands where as one for IVF gave us 6 embryos and 2 transfers so far with 3 still in the freezer So can work out better cost wise for the sperm xx

Vivj22
Vivj22 in reply to Twiglet2

That is great to know one sample had that result, Twiglet. We are just in middle of first cycle of IVF now🤞 x

Twiglet2
Twiglet2 in reply to Vivj22

Oooh good luck to you 🤞🏽I’m mid cycle for using one of our frozen embryos. We’ve had them frozen for 2 years now so they are much younger than me at this point so hoping that’s a good thing 😂 Xx

Pujj
Pujj in reply to Twiglet2

Best of luck to you! Xxx

It is a difficult decision. When we had to make this decision we mainly looked at the success rates. IUI with frozen donor sperm has a very low success rate- although you can have slightly better chances if you use some medication and have more than one follicle. I hate the process of IVF and would much rather have several rounds of IUI however with my age (nearly 38) I'm happy that I didn't waste time. Because we are deemed to be male factor the assumption has always been that I would become pregnant quite easily but the reality is that you need numerous embryo transfers to have a good chance. It turns out I completely confuse my consultants and I even needed ICSI with perfectly healthy donor sperm. The annoying thing is that you can do IUI and be very lucky or do IVF and be very unlucky and never succeed. Something I feel like I'm just gambling. My idea is that when I'm older than 40 and still have had no success with IVF, I will try with IUI as at this age a round IVF has about the same success rate. Good luck with making your decision! Xxx

Pujj
Pujj in reply to IvfStruggler

Thank you for replying. Oh wow, I’d never even thought that I may still need to have ICSI with a donor. Can I ask why your consultants are confused please? Xx

IvfStruggler
IvfStruggler in reply to Pujj

Oh no you probably won't need ICSI- it was really weird what happen to me. I had three rounds all on the same protocol (except for in the last round I asked for a 10.000 HcG trigger shot instead of 5000) The first IVF round went relatively well- I had 9 eggs- 6 fertilised and 2 made it to blastocysts. The second round I had 10 eggs but only 1 fertilised and never made it. There was a weird thing before hand about my clinic rejecting the sperm sample as it didn't meet their standard but then they said it was ok because during the first round it had been the same. I was completely devastated and the clinic couldn't explain what had happened. Both sperm and eggs looked absolutely fine. Because we wanted to continue with the same donor they advised to do 50/50 ICSI and IVF to avoid it happening again (we did buy a slightly more expensive sperm sample) Then the next round I only had 5 eggs so we had to ICSI them all. I was horrified thinking we would be left with nothing but to our surprise all fertilised and all made it to blastocyst. Sadly the fresh embryo of this cycle and the two from the 1st round ended all in early bleeding and we have no idea what causes that. So I keep confusing my consultants. Sorry for the long reply- fertility treatments are so difficult. Xxx

Pujj
Pujj in reply to IvfStruggler

Thank you for explaining, I really appreciate it. This whole journey is so odd, there’s no explanation as to why our bodies do certain things. I’m so sorry that you have had to go through all of this x

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