That would be intrauterine insemination at a doctor’s office vs. do-it-yourself intravaginal insemination at home with a needle-less syringe.
Cons of IUI:
1. I had to drive to Manhattan after the most stressful day of the school year to avoid carrying a liquid nitrogen tank of sperm on the F train. If I had taken the train, I would have laughed the whole way. Which, it turns out, would have been preferable to cursing the whole way. (Next time, should there be a next time, Dr. Mug will have filled out the form to have the babyjuice delivered right to his office, so I won’t face this particular problem again.)
2. I had to wait for other people to go before me. At home I’m always first in line. In the waiting room, I swore I felt a slight cramp and was pretty sure I was ovulating on the spot. This was, of course, all in my head.
3. Slight cramping. Just slight. But get THIS — I asked Dr. Mug if I should take and Advil if I had bad cramps. He said absolutely not because studies have shown that something in Advil inhibits ovulation! WTF? I did not know this. Did you know this?
4. Ugly fluorescent lighting, not-as-comfortable-as-my-own-bed doctor’s bed and four people in the room. Nothing beats doing it at home in your own bed with candle-light, music and a little romance. Well, at least we got to hold hands… kind of awkwardly, backwards around the ultrasound machine.
5. I had to assure the doctor and several techs that it was the correct sperm around twenty times. At my house we know which sperm is which. At one point I said, “I don’t really care which sperm it is, as long as it works.” To which my honey responded that someone else might actually care. A lot.
6. The speculum. Yeesh.
7. After the insem, I had to drive back home. But only after buying an iced green tea latte at Starsucks. I am Starsucks illiterate, as there are plenty of wonderful privately-owned coffee shops in my neighborhood. When I kept standing at the counter waiting for my tea, and I told the barrista as much, everyone behind me looked at me like I was an alien, because I didn’t know about the secret food drop-off place. Which is why I choose to remain Starsucks illiterate. Anyway, I didn’t like having to drive home after the insem, since I normally just go to sleep afterwards.
Pros of IUI:
1. High tech! They had a groovy sperm de-froster that was way cooler than my travel mug and meat thermometer. I got to see the spermy guys inside my body. They looked like a superhighway. Apparently, there were 13 million of them. Which we knew were active, because the doctor looked at them swimming under a microscope. I also got to know for damn sure that I had not-yet ovulated, but was just about to do so, because my follicle was 23 mm long. According to Co’s comment, that’s just about as long as they get right before they pop.
2. It was cheaper. Who knew? My insurance covers so much, that all I had to pay for was the babyjuice. Dr. Mug told me to only order one vial, so it was $615 with delivery, rather than the usual two ICI vials for $850. (Though, honestly, what I’m missing in sperm costs, I’ve probably made up for in co-payments.) The IUI vial was a bit more pricey than ICI, but I hope I’m getting more bang for the buck. Let’s see, $615 divided by 13 million… that’s 0.00005 bucks per sperm. Not bad, I guess.
2. Doctor jokes. Actually, he stole this one from a patient, who he thinks was a lesbian comedienne. (Could it have been Judy Gold?) He said that when he showed her the vial to make sure it was the right donor, she replied, “Hmmm, I thought he’d be taller.”
3. Nobody had to touch the sperm. I mean, yeah, deep inside my reproductive system I touched it. But I didn’t need to smell it, or wash it off of anything.
4. Secret messages. My TTC neighbor had been there that morning for an ultrasound, so she told Dr. Mug to tell my egg to run like Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Jackie Joyner-Kersee egg + Mark Spitz sperm = Cakie’s little sibling. Dr. Mug jokes that if we get two more patients from our building, he’ll do ultrasound house-calls.
5. A healthy dose of reality in the form of statistics. After he finished, Dr. Mug said, “Don’t get too hung up on any one cycle. Couples using fresh sperm only have up to a 20% chance to get pregnant each insemination. With frozen sperm it is slightly less (I think it is up to 17%? Co? I know you know it.) So don’t let it all bank on this one try.” True. True. And good for all of us to hear. However, this is my 7th try, so if my odds are 2 in 10, doesn’t that mean I’m about to roll my number?
Sorry for the delay in the post. I basically passed out when I got home. Actually, I watched a good, but difficult-to-watch DVD. Then I passed out. Now my job is to not start thinking that every little twinge in my body is a sign of pregnancy. My job is to not give myself psychosomatic symptoms. Luckily, week one of my 2WW (that’s two-week wait, Mom) will be in South Carolina with my in-laws. There, I’ll be too concerned with my over-stuffed belly to worry about my uterus.