Endometriosis UK
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Infertile at 40

Hello everyone. My story is a bit unusual as I didn't know I had Endo until I was about 37 when I spent a night in a & e with severe abdominal pain. I am lucky enough to live near the manchester royal infirmary which has specialist endometriosis consultants so I was quickly diagnosed and booked in for a laparoscopy. The operation itself, though long and complicated (took 8 hours) went well and I recovered well and was back in work after four weeks.

Prior to the op we had been trying for a baby and I never in a million years thought we wouldn't succeed. It was just something I knew would happen to me at some point in my life.

I had a test this week, however, that shows I have no eggs left at all. Zero. No chance of conceiving even through Ivf. We are very, very sad about this. it feels so final, so brutal. I am reeling from. The fact that I have a condition that is so cruel it has left me infertile.

What now??

3 Replies

Your story is almost identical to mine. In many ways we are very lucky that we haven't had the terrible pain of endometriosis throughout our 20s & 30s but this is a terrible price to pay for not knowing.

I would recommend counselling if you're not having any already. It really helped me as I knew I had a designated talking time and then was able to maintain the facade of normality. This is a particular type of grief and I think it takes time. There is an organisation called Gateway Women which supports women like us, who didn't intend not to be childless but are .

Most of all, be kind to yourself. The beginning feels like any small steps are just 'moving deck chairs around on the Titanic' but it's not the end although I bet it feels like it. Xx


Hi there

This could be me writing your post. So similar situations. I was diagnosed at 38 after suffering for years with horrific periods but as I had no other endometriosis symptoms I was never tested for it. Married late at 36. Started trying for a baby around 37, got fobbed off by rubbish GPs saying I hadn't been trying long enough or you have IBS! I believe when a woman is 35 and over and is not getting pregnant and complaining about heavy painful periods or other endom symptoms, they should be sent immediately for tests. As everyone knows fertility declines rapidly after 35 so I feel we are in the hands of our GPs and sometimes powerless to do anything. It took me breaking down with a different GP to be finally sent for tests and a lap. I was riddled with Endom and it had totally wrecked my fertility

Anyway....sorry rant over. I saw a fertility specialist after two ops who recommended that I have IVF using donor eggs for a much better success rate. He said you may produce a few eggs through the stimulation part, but he doubted the quality would be good. I had a very low egg count and because cost was an issue for us he recommended a donor egg.

It was a huge blow initially. I like you, had always assumed I would have my own family. I literally fell apart. Then I did some research and did come to terms with using a donor. I would carry the baby, give birth, breast feed and I would be his or her mum for the rest of our lives. It does take some thinking about but go on you tube and watch some clips. Just search donor babies or donor eggs.

We chose a clinic in Spain as they had good success rates, the laws are different there too. It's totally anonymous (in the UK at 18 the child can contact the HFEA for details on their genetic "mum" and possible contact, which is not a huge thing but again a choice thing) in Europe clinics can also can guarantee a good physical match as they have a wealth of donors of all different nationalities. The clinic we spoke to here said it would just be basic hair and eye colour that would be matched and the waiting list was long. Whereas we could start straight away in Spain. I was 41 by this time so as you can imagine I was keen to get started

Now the bad bit. But please don't think about this too much. It CAN work and there's lots of evidence and stats to prove having a donor egg can be successful. My first transfer did work but sadly I did miscarry at 6.5 weeks. My most recent transfer didn't implant and I got a negative pregnancy test. We still have two frozen embryos in culture so we will consider maybe one more attempt.

I wanted to tell you all the details and I'm sure you're in a spin at the moment. It's a massive blow and I really do get it. I just don't know either how to deal with potentially not being a mum. But I wanted to tell you about the donor egg option in case you did want a stab at achieving yr dream. Maybe it's been suggested to you and you have ruled it out. But don't be put off by my story as I said there's loads of success stories out there. Worth reading about anyway

If you want details on the actual treatment, costs etc then private message me. Here any time you want to rant or ask anything. I don't even know if we can afford another attempt yet, so I may have to consider a future with no children something which is too hard to contemplate currently. I haven't even thought about adoption yet as hubby seems set against it

Take care. And message any time



I didn't want to read and run. I'm sorry I don't have a lot of thoughts. I'm so sorry to hear your story. Endometriosis is a cruel cruel disease. Have you considered having an egg donor? If you do have IVf through a donor I would recommend you have any endo attended to by excision surgery to improve your chances. Never say never...accept but always hope xxx


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