Infertility journey so far

Hi all, my husband and I have been trying naturally for a baby for 18 months now with no success. We are in our early thirties. We were referred a fertility clinic in April following blood & sperm tests at the GP surgery.

The original sperm test the GP requested showed a very low count and poor motility. Around this time we went to an open evening at the clinic and there the embryologist told us we would likely need ICSI, which our friends were going through and therefore we were glad to already have an understanding of it. My blood results looked normal so we were fully expecting the consultant to recommend we start this when we saw him. We were dreaming of having a baby around the same time as our friends and had adjusted to the idea we may need some help.

After what seemed forever (issues with admin processing the referral & consultant on holiday) we eventually had our appointment with the consultant in August. He looked at the sperm test done by the clinic and told us it looked normal. When we queried this, he said he hadn't received the GP sperm result but that this test was fine (morphology 2.7% but all other parameters above lower ref point). My husband had started thyroxine in July, due his TSH results from his bloods. We didn't mention this but I think we should have. We also didn't mention that my mother told me she started the menopause at age 35, but she has a tendency to fib so not sure if this is true. I asked her to check her records at the doctors to be sure but she said she didn't go, (but also said a GP had diagnosed her.) The consultant said there were no issues with my bloods but found 'inconsistencies in my womb lining' during the ultrasound, perhaps a fibroid or polyp. He decided to do a lap & dye and hys & d&c himself, which meant referring me to the private hospital where he also works, via my GP (another long winded and frustrating admin process).

We were seen at the private hospital in October for what I thought was a preop appointment but turned out to be to see the consultant again, who asked me to sign consent forms for the op and gave me a couple of leaflets. I asked him about the risks and his words were 'I wish you hadn't asked, in 4000 ops I had a problem just last week'. I didn't ask him to elaborate. During the meeting I took the opportunity to ask what next if he found something and mentioned that our ccg funds 3 full cycles of IVF. He told me matter-of-factly and with a strange smile that he'd just had an email through saying it was just the one cycle now due to funding cuts. I remember just signing the form as I couldn't concentrate on what I was reading after that.

I had my preop appointment a couple of weeks later where I had to take in my self assessment form, have blood taken (to check for anaemia and things, the nurse said) and was asked about allergies. I was told I would receive a letter with my op date in 4-6 weeks time. I was then called back in by the nurse as she'd forgotten to take my bp. She ran me down 2 flights of stairs and took it straight away after.

I waited patiently for another 2 weeks but couldn't cope with the stress of not knowing if I had passed the preop assessment and having no idea of my op date, so I rang the hospital. I spoke to a lovely lady called Pam who reassured me no end and said I'd passed, but the forms hadn't gone to booking yet from preop. She asked them but they said they didn't have them. She booked me a date anyway, around my period as advised, and was so lovely she made me cry! I got my appointment letter the same day!

So now I'm waiting for the op mid December. We're not trying at the moment because if there is a fibroid or polyp, we're concerned about potential issues and were told that I'd need to show a negative pregnancy test on the day if we'd been trying. My thoughts were 'chance would be a fine thing!' but we also just need a break from it all. It's so hard not to get anxious and I'm feeling tearful a lot, it's the waiting I'm struggling with. The irony of being told that female fertility declines after your late 20s but at the same time to be patient because the waiting lists are long!

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  • Hi, my journey has been different to yours as my infertility has been caused by stage 4 endometriosis but, when I read your post it struck me that you are going through the same mental torment that I did. Lots of waiting and endless appointments (some of which werenโ€™t even with the right people which was frustrating). We felt desperate and the waiting and not knowing seemed eternal. The process is slow and to some extent I dealt with it a lot better once I accepted that (which took some time). However, every time I got an appointment I always called to see if I could get anything sooner โ€“ sometimes this worked and sometimes it didnโ€™t but it made me feel like I was doing something. I was 32 when I started getting help (that was after 18 months of ttc with no luck) and I felt like my biological clock was in overdrive but, I was reassured that actually anything <35 yrs is good. I took almost exactly two years for me before I got my first IVF cycle and that was from the very first appointment with my GP but, only a year from the date I was told that the endometriosis has left me infertile. I wish you so much luck.

  • Thank you, it's good to know you're not alone in the process, so frustrating isn't it! It's quite cathartic putting it in writing though, helps you to see how much you actually go through. Good advice re:ringing up, I've done a fair bit of that too but trying not to be too much of a pain in the rear!

    Congratulations on your pregnancy, no wonder you're over the moon! I see your endo was diagnosed during a lap, did you have endo symptoms beforehand?

  • Thank you - I am elated but trying to keep a lid on it as it is very early days still.

    I did have endo symptoms before my diagnosis. I now know that I had all the classic signs (heavy, painful and irregular periods/pain during sex/pain with bowel movements/not being able to fall pregnant) but it was totally overlooked for years by my GP who brushed me off whenever I saw her and complained. Before my lap I did a lot of research and was certain I had it but it was a total shock to be told that the damage it had caused had left me unable to conceive naturally. That was a hard blow to come to terms with.

    The journey hasn't been at all easy and we've had so many ups and downs along the way but getting a BFP on a HPT makes everything so very worth it so stick with it and know that this community will ALWAYS be here to support you when things are tough.

  • Gosh how annoying that your GP ignored you, and rubbish that you've now got damage from the endo. Still, you've got your bfp and fingers crossed it all goes well from here.

    I'm trying not to overthink things but I just want answers now! I have 4 day painful periods in cycles between 25-31 days. Not sure what counts as irregular and heavy though. It'd be nice for once to be given enough info that you don't feel the need to dr Google everything!

  • Oh sounds like you've had a rough time of it-I'm so sorry. You're in the right place for support-everyone on here is amazing ๐Ÿ˜Š And best of all understands!

    Infertility is unbelievably hard.

    We have been trying for over 5 years now-we only discovered the reason for our 'delay' in August (due to many issues with my cycle- several gynaes later=a re referral to a fertility clinic). Our consultant informed me that I have polycystric ovaries-the whole time we had been trying we never stood a chance. A total misdiagnosis from our previous fertilty consultant-I do understand the frustrations in the process. Our new consultant is amazing and we will feel lucky to have found him ๐Ÿ˜ My GP has been pretty good too it helps he's been through it and gets it ๐Ÿ˜ŠI'm on my third cycle of clomid.

    It's positive that the medics know the 'issues' and can resolve them-it's much worse when it's unknown.By resolving these issues you will have the best chance of having your ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป. Who knows when they remove your fibroid/polyp you may naturally just fall ๐Ÿ˜ If you do need IVF you will have better chances with the polyp gone ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

    As for the hospital I'd speak to a nurse over these delays-if you say you are stressed they will help. Have a duty of care. You may even find they find you date quicker!

    All the best with it all. I had a hysterscopy last year -if you've any questions ask me ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

  • Thank you, it's lovely to have found somewhere to talk about these issues. People really don't get it if they haven't been through it!

    Sorry you've had a rough time too, 5 years is such a long time to be waiting. Hope you get your bfp soon, fab they've given you clomid, you hear lots of success stories with that.

  • Hello ladies. I'm new to this (this is my first post) but I've reached new levels of low recently. I'm in my late 20s and my husband and I have been trying to conceive for 18 months. I came off Microgynon having been on it for 6 years, since then I have had one period and it is so incredibly heartbreaking.

    I had a lap and dye 5 weeks ago where they found out that I have polycystic ovaries (so they performed ovarian drilling - yuck) and they also removed "superficial" endo and a benign polyp. I felt so relieved when I got that news because I thought it would kick things off but sadly I have not ovulated or had a period since. I feel like I'm letting everyone down with my body failing and am just an emotional wreck at the moment. I don't know what to do or where to turn. We're due to go back to the hospital at the end of December but I have no idea of what to expect following the ovarian drilling or whether I'm just totally abnormal.

    I swear I will never touch the pill again! My periods were regular before I went on it. And to make matters worse, all of my friends around me are getting pregnant. And really close friends of ours have just announced their news after 2 weeks of trying.

    Apologies for the rant, sometimes it's just helpful as I feel very alone.

  • Hi,

    The post you commented on is my first too. Sorry to hear you've had a long wait, I find the waiting around while others get pregnant hard as well. Can't they give you something to kick start your periods again? I'm worried now that my lap & dye will delay my periods too, didn't know that could happen ๐Ÿ˜•.

  • I'm sure it won't delay your periods if you're already getting them. I think it's more that they thought ovarian drilling would kick start mine to help me ovulate but it just hasn't happened. I'm hoping they might be able to give me some sort of medication next but the ovarian drilling is supposed to be more effective. Pretty disheartening.

    So sorry to hear of your troubles too, it seems like we're in the same boat. It is really hard not to get tearful and emotional. It's all just horrendously unfair. You don't realise how many people are going through it until you visit a site like this.

    I know it's hard but you're still so young - look at people like Geri Halliwell who's having a baby in her 40s!

  • looks like we're on a similar timescale doesn't it. I know I'm young but my mother says she started going through menopause aged 35 so that's a factor in my anxiety, it's not always straight forward is it. Never imagined how hard all of this could be. Keep us updated with how you get on, I'll follow your page

  • Ditto, best of luck to you! And good luck with the lap and dye, hopefully it will help to ease the worry and work out how they can help.

  • Hey Hun I am sorry you are going through all of this. Has your hospital done an AMH blood test? You will be able to tell from that what your egg quality is like xx

  • Thank you, no they only did fsh which was 8. Don't know if they'd do repeat bloods on me. I heard that amh is the more reliable and modern test but that levels can change quite a lot?

  • Yes it can change alot. My hospital done amh blood test before I started ivf. I had to pay for it so just maybe check to see if they can do it. My FSH is also 8 xx

  • Thank you will ask. Fingers crossed for you on your journey x

  • I have polycystric ovaries too- the consultant has prescribed me clomid to take. Clomid can help women who have difficulty ovulating ovulate. My cycle is much better since taking it if you have clear tubes then clomid might be an option to you x

  • Thank you! I have read a lot about Clomid and am hoping that might be the next port of call at my next appointment. The dye showed my tubes are clear so fingers crossed. Thank you! x

  • Hiya, I just thought I would drop you a message to say you are definately not alone in feeling like your failing yourself and family etc. I feel exactly the same and no amount of reassurance that your not a failure helps. I feel very down and also alone as I don't personally no anyone else who has been through this. We have been trying for 3 years now and are going to sign paperwork for IUI to start next week.. seems like such a long and daunting process. If you ever wanted to chat I would be happy to xx

  • It's ironic isn't it. I've just found out that my amh which I thought was 4.8 is now 1.6!! The last time I was tested was 2014 can't believe in that time it went down that fast. If I'd had treatment straight away would have had a much higher chance!! Xx

  • Oh no that's so annoying. How come you've had to wait so long for treatment?

  • Not sure that just seemed to be the length of waiting time we were told cos it was icsi we had to wait slightly longer x

  • Sorry to hear that, hope you're ok x

  • Just wanted to send you a reply with lots of good wishes. Unfortunately these feelings and sense of loss seems to be part of the (in)fertility journey. It''s OK to feel rubbish after hearing baby news and pretending all is fine when it''s not. You're grieving your baby losses and potential future as a parent. Be kind to yourself

  • Hi, thank you for your kind words. It means such a lot to be able to discuss it openly and to help each other through.

    I read your story, it sounds like you've had a really hard time. I'm glad for you that you've found your man and hope you find your way through this together. Keep strong x

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