Josie and Kevin fell in love and were married after Josie’s 30th birthday. Shortly after they were married, Josie stopped taking her birth control and four years later Josie still wasn’t pregnant. “To be honest I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t conceive right away. I have known since I was 19 that I probably would need fertility treatment,” explains Josie.
Medical History Affects Josie’s Fertility
Fertility is something that most women don’t consider until they have a reason, however, Josie was not like most women. In 1991, at 19, Josie was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease called dermatomysitis, a muscle disease that frequently causes weakness in the muscles. There is no cure for dermatomysitis but it can be controlled and some patients will experience remission with the use of medication. Josie’s physician had mentioned that the treatment could possibly affect her fertility. For over six years, Josie took her medication and ultimately found herself in remission, but never really knew if her fertility had been affected.
“A few years later, I met Kevin and we were so excited to be married and start having a family.” After several years of trying to conceive on her own, Josie scheduled an appointment with her OBGYN to talk about why she wasn’t getting pregnant. “After two rounds of clomid with my OBGYN I knew I needed to move on, I could feel my window closing. I contacted my insurance provider where I learned about Shady Grove Fertility and Dr. Browne. I called immediately and scheduled my first appointment,” says Josie.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) Is a Viable Option
“Prior to our consultation, Kevin and I talked about having to move forward with IVF and we were prepared to do what was needed to have our family.” Josie and Kevin met with Dr. Browne in Shady Grove Fertility’s Fair Oaks office, and told her that they were ready to move forward with IVF. They were surprised by Dr. Browne’s response, “I remember Dr. Browne’s reaction as I explained this to her, she told us ‘you don’t need to jump into IVF why don’t we start with a lower tech option,intrauterine insemination (IUI).’ I was surprised I had never heard of an IUI, on the news they always talk about IVF so I thought that would be our only option. We never considered that other options might exist for us.” But there was in fact another option, IUI is a low tech treatment where medication can help to develop a single egg and upon ovulation sperm is placed directly into the uterus by a physician at our office.
Kevin and Josie discussed their new option and decided to move forward with IUI treatment. “It made sense for us. The treatment was less invasive and more affordable than IVF.” Josie and Kevin started their first IUI cycle shortly after their initial consultation. They were not immediately successful with IUI. Josie’s physician explained that their chance of success per cycle would be around 15-20%. After 3 cycles with clomid and gonadotropins, aninjectable hormone that promotes the growth of 2-4 eggs, Dr. Browne suggested trying three more rounds of IUI replacing the clomid with an all injectable medication regiment. “We were willing try again but understood that if we were not successful after 3 more rounds we would need to move to a more aggressive treatment like IVF.”
Two cycles later Josie got the call she had been waiting over a year to receive. “I got so used to the same follow-up call after my beta test, my nurse would tell me ‘it didn’t take this time, I am sorry but you are not pregnant.’ We would talk about what to do from here but this time it was different, instead of telling me I wasn’t pregnant, she was so happy to be telling me I pregnant!” Josie and Kevin were beside themselves. Nine months later Josie and Kevin had a healthy baby boy. “We feel so blessed to have the family we have always dreamed about.”