Advice please, Ladies.

I’d really like to hear your experiences and thoughts on the following:

  • IUI
  • IVF

I’d like to know how painful it is, what to expect and how some of you balanced it with working. Also any challenges you faced with work.

I’m at a fork road and I’m wondering whether I should be working while I go through this. How much rest my body would need and how I could give myself the best possible chance.

So PLEASE share your stories.

Thank you ❀

P.s If you’d prefer to share in private, please do email me: fertilitydoll AT

I opened Pandora's box and infertility entered my life.

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23 comments on “Advice please, Ladies.
  1. ecutri says:

    I’ve never had experience with IUI but I did 2 rounds of IVF in the last 6 months. I worked through both of them and it wasn’t really that difficult since I was completely open about it with my boss on needing time (early am) every other day for appointments and expecting 2 days off for the retrieval/transfer but not knowing the exact days. If you have an understanding boss it isn’t difficult at all. I wasn’t in a lot of pain, it was more just swollen and uncomfortable than anything but I coped pretty well. It is always nice to have work as a distraction, too, so you are not constantly stressing yourself out wondering if everything is ok.

    Good luck to you!

    • Thanks so much for sharing. I think I’m nervous about asking for the time off because I’m quite new to my job. I’m also rubbish at managing work stress – I take things on and crash. I think those of you who are/have worked and gone through this all are amazing. It’s not easy.

  2. hopingonhope says:

    Words from a 2 Two time IUI champion πŸ™‚

    Is not bad, is as uncomfortable as a pap smear. In my case it was bad because my cervix has a mind of its own. I had 2 back to back IUI’s after the trigger shot. If you produce a decent quality egg and the swimmers are good, IUI has a very very high rate of success(provided done within 24-48) hours of trigger shot (that is if you do two back to back).

    I usually rest the day of the IUI (purely because I never get any days off from work and this is an easy excuse).
    I try to take it easy for 2 weeks in hope of not straining my body and allow implantation and try to not get too stressed out with work.
    When people say relax, I know why they say it, honestly stress at work and stress with TTC is an impossible combination.

    • I am so clueless – do you take a trigger shot even if you’re ovulating by yourself? I want to be able to take a couple of days off each month. I keep reading differing views on how painful it is.

      I think what worries me most is work stress. We only get so many chances at this that it seems futile to push on with work if it’s a cause of stress. However, I did spend some time not working and that in turn drove me insane because I was waiting for something that just wouldn’t appear.

      • hopingonhope says:

        Yes, you take the trigger shot yourself. Usually my RE asks me to take the trigger shot even if I ovulate on my own because we are generating multiple eggs and the body can only do so much on its own. The trigger shot makes sure the egg is out of the follicle.
        If you have done a pap smear, that’s how much it will hurt. IVF’s egg retrieval are supposed to be painful (heard so), but not IUI.

        Take time off work, I am speaking from personal experience. Now that I am not TTC, I can see how stressed out I am with work. Every minute I am on office email even late at nights. There are production outages and all that causes me stress, so to top that work stress, you have excess hormones running around in you.
        See we have no control over the outcome, it may/ may not work, look at me, both my IUI’s were successes, but I have no baby to show.
        You are not waiting for your conception/ miracle baby after an IUI, you are just giving your body some rest and pampering yourself. Its just 2 days, solve crossword puzzles or get on the mensa site if you need mental stimulation.

      • You’re all giving me a lot of hope that I can manage this with work. Thank you. I will take off the days like you suggested – I think I’m going to be honest with my bosses. If they get funny with me, I’ll leave. We only get so many chances at this.

        I’m really sorry that you’re having to go through pregnancy losses. I feel so sad when I encounter women like you who deserve to be mothers, who have so much to give, who have waited so long and yet are having your dreams snatched from you.

        To be honest, I know Clomid and drugs work for many but I’m petrified that it’ll be too much for my body.

  3. I’ve done one round of IVF and worked pretty much right through it. I didn’t tell anyone at work what we were going through. I wasn’t affected by the drugs too much (no vicious mood swings) so managed to carry on as normal. The first couple of injections were a bit rough, but you get used to it so quickly they become like nothing. A few bruises on the tummy and that’s all.

    I told the boss I had a specialist appointment when I had one of my ultrasounds during work hours, and then said that it looked like I needed some emergency keyhole surgery. That set everything up for egg retrieval day. (All a bit cloak and dagger really!)

    My egg retrieval was really quite painful. I have a history of not responding very well to anaesthetic though – and I had to ask for more during the procedure.

    I went to work the day after my egg retrieval and boy, was that a mistake. I was in a lot of pain, very very tender. Ended up leaving half way through the day and heading straight for the couch. But was back at work the day after – so the pain was pretty shortlived.

    The embryo transfer was about the same level of discomfort as a pap smear – but oh so magical to know you leave there with a little bundle of hope in your belly.

    It’s all very clinical, it’s not the romantic way we dream of having a baby… but for some of us there’s no other option. There’s nothing to be afraid of. The Doctors and Nurses are generally fantastic – so supportive and really put you at ease.

    Good luck for whatever path you choose xx

    • You know I thought that when I first looked at my empty womb on the screen – “How clinical is this? People usually see their baby at this point.” But then even the small things like seeing the lining and the egg became magical. I was left in awe that my body was producing these things – I mean I know it’s just the human body and it’s supposed to do these things .. but watching it for the first time was amazing. It became real. I felt a bit more connected to me.

      I said it on the post above but you and other women who are juggling work with this amaze me. Thank you for sharing your story – it really does help me to work out what I should do and expect.

      • I know exactly what you mean. Through our last IVF treatment, and the short time I was pregnant I felt so powerful. My body was amazing – look at what it can do! I can’t even express how magical it was to see that little heartbeat at week 7, I am woman – hear me roar!!

        I get so caught up in the negatives of our situation, I forget those magical little moments. And maybe this time we’ll have a keeper. Those moments make it worth the cold, clinical trials we have to go through. Just got to keep our eyes on the prize.

        As you can tell from the responses so far, everyone’s experience is different. You’ve just got to do what’s best for you and your situation. Nothing wrong with a bit of research though πŸ™‚


  4. Im in trial number one having the pick up tomorow and i must say, im glad to be at home. I was working with the other trials and it was just to hard to combinate. I havent really been sick, besides being a bit hormonal, but i have had many many many doctor appointments and blood tests and it was just to inconvenient for me and work. Now we decided that i should stay at home and i am less stressed out. Hoping that it will work this time.

    Good luck!

  5. knalani says:

    I was able to do IUI while working and without telling anyone, but I’m blessed with a flexible job (college professor) and my clinic is 10 minutes from work, so it was easy to slip away for an hour here and there. I’m doing IVF over the summer, when work is even more flexible…

    I definitely appreciate the distraction that work offers. If I weren’t working I’d be thinking about infertility 24-7.

    All that said, I know that everyone is different and that not everyone has such a flexible work schedule.

    Kudos to you for giving it careful consideration before jumping in! And best of luck to you!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by and for the luck. A few friends have told me to go part-time, that it’s the right solution for this.

      Did you find IUI painful? Did you rest after or were you working?

      • knalani says:

        It wasn’t painful at all for me. About the same level of discomfort as a Pap smear. The insemination ended up being on a Saturday so I didn’t miss work, but I don’t think it would have been a problem to go back to work if it had been a week day.

        One consideration is that hubby has to make his ‘deposit’ shortly before insemination. In our case he did it just before we left the house, and kept it warm in his pocket while driving to the clinic… If he had been working that day, I probably would’ve had to drive to his work to get fresh deposit from him.

      • You know I didn’t even think of the deposit aspect of it! I’ll pass that onto Mr Husband.

        Reading various forums, it seems that most women find it painful when they’re taking clomid or another drug.

      • knalani says:

        I was taking megadoses of menopur (300-375 IU), but I’ve been told I have a ‘quiet uterus’ (hardly any menstrual cramps and my HSG was painless), so I may not be the most representative example.

  6. elaaisa says:

    I’ve done both IVF and IUI. I would say to leave IVF for later if you can. It is more complicated, the injections are much heavier, it is psychologically more intense, physically more painful, etc.

    In terms of work, I worked through both IUI and IVF except the days I had to be at the clinic (that is a half day for IUI and a few days for IVF). Because I personally have bad or heavy reactions to the injections, I had to stay at home a lot more with IVF. Also, because the hormones are heavier, it is harder to go to work during IVF. It is not the case for everyone but towards the end and before the trigger shot, I am bloated and exhausted so even if I come to work I struggle a lot.

    I don’t mean to scare you, I am very thankful for the existence of IVF. But I think even any doctor would recommend to start with IUI unless you have a specific problem.

    Best of luck!

  7. redbluebird says:

    I just did my first IUI. Unfortunately, it didn’t work despite good swimmers and a good response to the Clomid (I used a trigger too). But that was just my first try. Anyway, it was completely pain-free, even less uncomfortable than a pap smear for me. I was worried because the HSG was incredibly painful for me when they passed the catheter through my cervix, but this was nothing like that.
    I have a flexible enough job that I can find times to run to appointments without necessarily telling people where I am (or I just say “a doctor’s appointment). I worked the day of the IUI, but if I didn’t have a flexible job, I would have taken the day off. My blood lab is open long hours, so I can always go before or after work if blood tests are involved.
    I haven’t done IVF, but from what I hear, I’d take two days off for the egg retrieval (the day of and the day after). And probably the day of transfer, so you can relax.
    Is you doctor having you choose between these options? I’ve never seen a RE recommend IVF without trying IUI first, unless there’s an identified problem (tubes, eggs, etc.)

    • I am praying for your next round and I hope you’re feeling a little better after your last blog post. Come on swimmers and egg!

      I have to do IUI first but with only 7 medicated cycles free and a notice period of 3 months at work, I’m having to work out what will be best. I’m torn between pushing on and working or leaving now while I have a 1 month notice period. I am the most indecisive person I know, so I’m yoyo-ing between what to do.

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A potent spell. All women alike
Fight fiercely for a child.

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