Fertility Network UK
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Just wanted to say hi - have just joined and looking forward to some support and meeting people in a similar situation.

I am 37, married and it seems unable to have children. No obvious reasons found, but have been suggested IVF. Unfortunately we a) can't afford it as not covered in NHS and b) more importantly my husband has never been keen on having kids so as we can't have them naturally he does not want to go down the treatment route.

I cry a lot at the moment, either that or am very angry at everything. I still refuse to accept that it is real and am secretly hoping that I still may conceive - I figure I have a few years left that it might happen naturally.

Anyway I still have problems talking about it so this is a first step for me.

Thanks for reading.


12 Replies

Hi Maggie,

That sounds like a very difficult situation if your partner is not currently willing to seek IVF. The nhs require you to try for at least 2 years naturally but you can usually claim you have been trying for that long and get referred by your doctor right away, for tests. I was 37 when I went on the waiting list and after two years wait have just had one funded cycle at age of 39. If you are under 40 you can get two cycles in my area. It seems to vary where you live.

How long have you been trying for, if you don't mind me asking? There are things that you can try to naturally boost chances, use ovulation sticks for instance, acupuncture can help too. If you have a diagnosis of unexplained infertility it's really difficult to know how to proceed. Get as many tests as you can to determine if there is a health issue. Even if he is unwilling to do IVF hopefully he would agree to get sperm analysis so you know if there is a problem there. Not knowing why is harder than being informed.

It is a big issue for couples, there are counsellors who specialise in this area. Maybe you could get some clarity by speaking to a counsellor just for yourself initially. In my experience this issue will not go away and is likely to get more urgent as you get older. I certainly found that, while waiting for the two years to get the treatment.

Wishing you all the best with the process.



Also it occurred to me that as it tends to be us women who do all the research on IVF and fertility, that our partners don't fully comprehend what is involved until well into the physical process.

I don't know how open your partner would be, but I started giving mine handouts to read about the ICSI and IVF process. I tried to get him to read a book aimed at men, but he didn't read it until much further down the line. I've been really lucky with my DH as he is very supportive and has the fertility issue to begin with, so he has been fully behind IVF from the start.

I'm sure he will notice how upset the issue has made you, so hopefully you can have an open discussion about it.


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Hi smallcat

Thank you. We have been trying for about 4 years now. I have been to a fertility clinic on NHS but they could find no real reason why I haven't conceived. The process took so long (as on NHS) then to have no real answer is hard to deal with.

My husband has had a sperm check and that was all fine.

I was told that in the area I live Funding is only available to under 35's - typical. It's when you get older you need it more!

The children issue has always been there between myself and my husband. We nearly didn't get married (7 years ago) because of it but he figured he would come around and we love each other.

To be totally honest I think he is relieved that we can't conceive.

I also quit my well paid job at the end of last year as it was all too much and I thought I wanted to set up my own pet services business. I did that and although it's ok, I don't really see other people anymore so I get lonely and have lots of time to think. It also means I have very little money so I know even if I approached my husband about IVF he would say no, and especially not while I have such a low income. We are both self employed so it's not ideal.

Anyway that turned into a rant, sorry. Thank you for your reply, it's so nice to chat with people who understand.

I'm so fed up of feeling like this - I have all the why me, what have I done wrong, why do some people who don't deserve it have babies etc. Sometimes I even have to turn off the TV if a baby on there.

Thanks again, Maggie


Really sorry to hear you're feeling low at the moment.

My hubby said for many years he didn't want children, despite being adored by younger family members and other people's kids. We got together very young so never had the baby conversation. I also assumed that it would happen at some stage as he'd come round. I raised it with him several times but he always said he wasn't sure. When younger friends of his got pregnant I said I was happy for them but would it ever happen for us and that I needed him to think about it seriously. He decided that he did want children but by that time I was 37, biological clock started ticking big time when I turned 35. We managed to get pregnant twice naturally but both pregnancies ended in miscarriage.

After private tests last summer we were told there were major issues with sperm, however more recent sperm tests have been better than required. So they now think it's my age (42). We've had to pay for 2 cycles of ICSI, as the NHS cut off age in our area is 39, and are shortly going to do a third round.

I've been through the angry and crying stages, every so often things spark these feelings off again.

Talking about it can be difficult, I don't think my hubby realised how unhappy I was until he came with me to the GP and it all came pouring out. If you don't feel you can talk to hubby could you write him a letter/email or would he be willing to go to see a counsellor? Have you got a good friend you could talk to?



Thank you for your message. I'm sorry to hear about the miscarriages and I really hope this time the treatment works for you.

I do have a friend to talk to but I think she must get bored of it all. I suggested counselling for us but he isn't keen. It seems his point of view is that all he needs is me so he can't understand why I need something else (child). He has no paternal instincts it seems.

He has recently said if I want to go through IVF I have to get a full time well paid job first or he won't even consider it - he said he knows it's the only thing that will make me happy. I really wish he could understand but we've been going through the same conversation since we got together over 10 years ago so I don't think he will. We just don't have the same opinion on the subject.

He knows how unhappy I am - which is why he has agreed that it might be a possibility. But I've always been torn too between thinking should I even have children (or try at least) if he really doesn't want them? It seems in our situation someone wins and someone loses.

Anyway thank you again and good luck x


Hello Maggie,

I am sorry to hear you've having such a difficult time. When trying to conceive doesn't go as planned it can be very stressful - in fact probably one of the most difficult things any woman can have to deal with - but you seem to be coping with it alone which will make it even harder.

I agree with the other girls that your feelings won't just disappear so I would definitely recommend counselling. Preferably with your husband but you may also find it helpful to go alone if he doesn't want to attend. I had some counselling sessions last year. It really helped me to work through and process my feelings. I was in a terrible place before I started going and it made an enormous difference to my well being.

To help my hubby understand what I was going through I bought him a book called What He Can Expect When She's Not Expecting. It's directed specifically towards men and really made a difference to us.

This forum is a great place to air your worries and frustrations and to get advice from people who understand what you're going through.

Take care of yourself x

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Thank you. I'm so happy to hear that counselling helped you - I am currently starting to look for a counsellor.

I will definitely look for the book - I just hope he will read it.

Thanks again x


Hi! Maggie, I do undertand your situation. Me too is 37 years old and have fertility issues although the doctor says there is not any reason for it not happening naturally or ivf. My husband on the other hand got kids with his previous wife and he did not really wanted to have anymore kids due to personal issues. however after two years of discussion and yes! argument, he decide that he wanted to support me. Due to having my right tube removed both private and the NHS doctors believed that IVF was the best route for me. However we decided to go private, since then we had 2 failed IVF cycles. It was very expensive but I had no regret and will like to try for a third time but this time it have been a job getting my husband on board. We had to do a few test to investigate to see if there is an immunes issue which cost us a few hundreds pounds he was not too happy like he was before. Am feeling like though I has to choose between him or trying to have a baby. I do know that he cares dearly for me but is just stress over the pressure of going through this ivf journey and the expense. I also feel quite sad and angry with the world ever so often and will sometimes cry for no reason. I am not ready to accept it either and hoping and praying that my husband will get back on board. it makes so much easier when you have their full support he was my rock for my last two cycles. Don't give yet, don't push him too much, wait till an appropriate time to bring the conversation up like when you out having a lovely meal or a special occasion. Since you might be going private, think about the ways how you both raised the money for it without causing too much stress. Share with him how you feel as a woman not being able to give yourself a fighting chance. Even if it don't work, at least you can live with yourself you had tried. I also told him that I will only want to try three time so he will have a little control. At the moment I am not nagging him, I am focusing on working so I can save up for last cycle. Also trying to enjoy life as much as I can. Who knows by next year we both might be expecting, you never know where the future can take you. Keeping my fingers cross for us both. You are not alone. Hope xx


Hi, thank you for your message.

I'm sorry you are also going through this - it's hard when your husband doesn't want kids and doesn't understand how you feel about it.

As he didn't want kids anyway I originally said if we couldn't have children naturally then we wouldn't be having them. I really didn't think I wouldn't be able to have them - so when I mentioned having treatment after we were recommended it that caused a huge argument.

He feels that he always gives in to me and this time he didn't want to.

He has now said that he thinks it's the only thing that will make me happy so he would consider it but only if I get a full time well paid job first. However I worry about whether it's even right to have a child (or try) if he really doesn't want to. It's been the one constant issue between us in our marriage - sometimes I just wish he wanted children as much as I do (or even at all) but he says all he wants is me and thinks that all I should want is him. He really doesn't understand that it's not that at all.

Good luck I really hope it works for you xx


Sorry to but on on your thread! One of the things I worked through with my counsellor was this idea that my husband thought he should be enough for me. The two things are not the same. You love your husband and wanting to have a baby with him is an extension of that. It's not either him or a baby it's both!

It's also not a case of giving in to you! Thats what happens when one of you wants a take away pizza on a Saturday night the other wants a Chinese. Not being able to have a child naturally is a huge loss, it's traumatic and something which has to be grieved and that's how your counsellor will understand and approach it.

There are lots of great counsellors out there. Find someone you get a good rapport with and don't be afraid to try someone new of the first person isn't helping.

The book I suggested is available on amazon. Although my hubby does want to have children it really helped him understand where I was coming from (he really didn't before). Afterwards he actually apologised for not supporting me enough in the process. I honestly didn't think my hubby would read the book either but the fact it was written by a man really seemed to help!

Good luck x

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Yeah! I feel your pain because I am in a similar situation. I have been asking myself the same question, is it worth bringing a child In this situation. The only difference is he has kids, when we have his kids over I look after them like my own. Even though it difficult when i look at him with them he is so good with them. So things may fall into place as long as it happens. He is only considering it because he loves me and does not want me to leave, but it should not be that way. The fact that we had 2 failed ivf cycles that makes things even harder. But you never know what the future hold. I am presently living one day at a time. You take care, best of luck.


Hi Maggie,

I agree with all the points raised by the girls. So important, if it wasn't important you wouldn't be feeling so upset and frustrated by it. You are still only 37 and do have time to give pregnancy your best shot.

If say for example, you got to have a funded cycle via nhs, and that resulted in either a pregnancy or you got the remaining embryos frozen for use. That would mean you had frozen embryos from you at age 37/38, which gives you higher chance than waiting until you are older.

If there was a chance at nhs funding before you are 40 then I would seriously consider moving house to the nearest area which does this. It might only be down the road in the next town. Maybe that sounds too much but it is very possible to achieve if you wanted it.

The real issue is having the backing of your husband, four years is a long time to go through these tests and ttc. It must be affecting the whole relationship if you both want different things. I know it's hard to keep discussing the same thing but until this is resolved between you then it's like a vicious circle. Surely better to get it resolved now than to continue to resent yr DH for denying you a chance at pregnancy, that could hang over your relationship for the rest of your lives together.

Sorry if this sounds too harsh, but really want you to do the best you can for your life and have no regrets in 5 years time. Counselling could really help clarify your options at this point in time.

As everyone has said, this forum is a good place to talk it out and get information too. Best wishes for the next part of your process, take care. Be kind to yourself. xxx

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