Fertility Network UK
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Hello all, I've spent the last couple of years browsing online forums and support groups and have finally taken the plunge to sign up myself. I have been open with my friends and family about the hell of infertility but as much as they try and as lovely as they are being, it's impossible for most of them to understand. I suppose I'm here to talk about it with people that understand the daily grief and stress and anxiety of it all. It has taken over my life for 2 years and the last 6 months in particular have been so hard and really destroyed my mental health and enjoyment of life.

We're finally at the end of more than a year of tests and investigations and it seems that I have endo and blocked tubes and my partner has low morphology of sperm. I am finding my diagnosis really hard to accept and come to terms with. I have always taken responsibility for my sexual health and tested negative for chlamydia so I didn't ever think there could be anything wrong with my tubes.

We should be starting ivf soon which I'm feeling quite anxious about so I'm here in the hope that being able to share it might help along this shitty road of infertility. I had no idea how painful it could be and have been shocked at the lack of support and understanding from doctors and others. There is so little awareness of it all.

I think you are all amazing and I hope to be able to support some of you along this journey too.

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welcome to the forum - as you know there are lots of inspiring & strong ladies (and men) here to support each other.

i think we can all empathise with what you've said - the ivf journey can be a lonely one, especially when friends & family seem to get pregnant so easily. it's great you've joined us to chat 😘

like you, unexplained infertility took its toll on my mental health - i tried all sorts to try to help me accept it - acunpuncture, yoga, hypnosis, counselling. eventually i saw my GP & have been on a low dose antidepressant since october which has definitely helped.

have you considered speaking to your GP - even just to be referred for some counselling?

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Thank you noodles - it's sounds a bit naff but it really does help to know I'm not alone.

I'm sorry to hear you've had a hard time too. I have gone to my GP a couple of times, I'm always crying and struggling to talk. She won't prescribe antidepressants as she says they aren't suitable for ttc or something. She has given me betablockers for anxiety attacks. She also hasn't put me on waiting list for counselling. I think because we've been referred for IVF my GP thinks her job is done. We do get counselling through the ivf clinic (but only get 3 sessions per cycle - not enough for when I'm feeling so desperate all the time).

I have tried acupuncture but I didn't really like it. Am looking into reflexology. Did you try that?

I'm glad that you're GP has been helpful, and it's great that you've been proactively trying complimentary therapies. Sometimes I find getting the energy to do anything is really tough.

I would like to try mindfulness or meditation but can't find a decent podcast (I find it difficult to listen to anything too cheesy!) Have you found anything good?

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ohhh i really feel for you, so much of what you say sounds just like me. it's a shame your GP hasn't been supportive - i've had mixed experiences at my practice - it's such a lottery.

i ended up paying for counselling myself, but didn't feel it particularly effective.

i think it's probably a bit of trial & error figuring out what works for you. i was in total denial about our situation & just desperately wanted to be like everyone else. it's a really testing process.

thoroughly recommend the IVF belief CD by helen mcpherson (bought on amazon for about £15 & downloaded to my phone) it's a guided meditation & i really believe it got me through my last cycle & has been even more effective in helping me relax for this round (i had frozen transfer on monday) i listen to it a couple of times a day & feel so much more chilled for it.

i also just got the buddhify mindfulness app recently which is £5 but well worth it, especially if you have difficulty finding time for mindfulness.

you are not alone & please use the forum to ask questions or just have a good old rant. we are all behind you.

sending positive vibes

✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨

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Oooh thanks - I've just ordered that cd now. The reviews do sound good. It's so good to be able to get advice and support. Can I ask about the frozen transfer - does that mean you had them frozen from a previous cycle? Is that fairly standard? Does it save on money? Don't worry if you don't want to answer. I'm trying to get my head around it all!

Positive vibes right back at ya! Thinking of you.

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Hi krw345 and welcome! I am meant to be working right now so just a short message. Infertility is really tough. Most of my friends know too but try as they might they don't "get" it at all. It is nice to have a support network here.

Your GP sounds terrible! Have you looked into whether there is a self-referring counselling service in your borough you could use? For example, in Islington and Camden there is iCope which is a psychological and well being service who offer counselling (on the NHS) and to whom you can self-refer. Waitlists aren't short, but then infertility isn't a short-lived problem. It may be worth looking into. X

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Thanks I will take a look!

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ahhhh great you ordered the cd, i really hope you like it & it gives you some respite from your monkey mind 🐒 my thoughts are my worst enemy!

ask away - i'm happy to answer anything. my first cycle was fresh which meant my eggs were collected on a monday & left to fertilise through the week. i had 1 5 day blastocyst transferred on the saturday, but unfortunately that round wasn't successful. luckily i had 6 good quality blastocysts frozen so i didn't have to have ovaries stimulated this time.

i'm very lucky & get 1 fresh & 1 frozen cycle free in my primary care trust, so i had 2 thawed on monday & transferred in the afternoon. my hospital add 2 days to 2ww, so i'm due to test on 19, but there's no way i'll last til then!

hope i haven't bombarded you with terminology. i hadn't a clue about any of this until i started treatment in january.

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Oh I see. Thank you for explaining it. When I read it in books I find it really hard to understand.

I'm so sorry your first cycle wasn't successful. Can I ask why you only had one egg transferred last time? Are you allowed you ask to have two transferred if there are two good ones?

I think we only get one cycle on NHS in our area but it's good to know we could freeze some to save on the meds stage. If needed. I'm so angry and disgusted at the ivf postcode lottery - I had read the NICE guidelines so misunderstood that everyone was entitled to 3 cycles. Horrible finding out the reality.

I'll be thinking about you on the 19th... and until then! Xx

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Hello and welcome, you have certainly come to the right place..the ladies on here are so lovely and really get it.

I also have endo so I know how awful that can be, even more so when it causes infertility 😔 and like yourself I have a good support network and some lovely people in my life but even though they know what we've been through as we've been very honest, they still struggle to completely understand as they haven't been through it themselves and we still sometimes get (unintentional) upsetting comments and actions.

Feel free to ask anything as (unfortunately!) most have us have a lot of experience of ivf, and you can definitely be honest here too, it's been a godsend for me to say things here that I wouldn't to someone close (except my hubby) as I know everyone understands and has often felt the same.

Lots of luck to you xx

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Thank you Georgina. It does feel good to be on here and finding so much support and love - it's like a whole new world!

It makes me a feel a bit more safe in a time of so many scary unknowns. I'm sure I'll have a ton of questions over the next few months.

I need to look into endo more as I'm still not totally clear what it is and what I can do about it. They have found it on my left ovary and in POD (never even knew that was a thing!) so I don't know whether I'll have to have another op to have it removed before we start IVF. I hope not as I really can't bear anymore waiting.

Thanks for your kind words xx

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POD is pouch of Douglas- I know coz I goggled it when I read my discharge notes from my laparoscopy! The pouch of Douglas is between your uterus and rectum. xoxo

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You're very welcome Hun, if you ever want to ask anything feel free. I'm no endo expert but I was diagnosed in 2013 so I know more than I did..I remember saying 'the pouch of what'?!! I have it there too, amongst many other places. It sucks. Have you already had one laparoscopy and if so how long ago? You might not need another if you have, hopefully not 🙏🏻 xx

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I had a laparoscopy last week but it was only diagnostic so they didn't remove or sort anything as far as I understand. I've got my follow up with consultation in a couple of weeks so will find out then. Do you know if you have to wait to start ivf after a laparoscopy? To let things heal etc?

Thank you! Xx

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Hi krw345. Just wanted to say "hi" and wish you well with your treatment when you start - and of course for success. I'm sure you will receive loads of support from all the others here as you go along. Thinking of you. Diane

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Just thought that I'd say hi and welcome 😘

I'm sorry you're having a difficult time. Infertility is the most hardest thing I've ever had to face in my life. I think we all feel robbed of being us by this cruel condition. Its heart breaking and soul destroying at times.

I know your diagnosis must have done as a huge shock and it must been tough taking it all in. But it's good that the medics have found why you haven't conceived yet and there is a treatment that will give you both a better chance of having your baby ( I know it's never anyone's first choice way of having a baby and it can feel daunting)

I had unexplained infertility for 5 years and 10 months- finally last month I had a laparoscopy which my Fertility consultant found and removed endometriosis from my pouch of Douglas. For us it was a relief to know what was causing our infertility and has stopped me from blaming myself. My tubes are clear and ovaries normal but I do have low amh levels ( it was only 5 and that was 3 years ago times- that's amh a 40 year old lady should have and I was 32 😑) I'm not sure of my endo grading. We are seeing our fertility consultant 3 weeks tomorrow to discuss the way forward and I'm worried that if my endo was bad he might say straight to IVF ( I'd like to try for a few months now endo has been treated) but I guess I'll have wait and see and trust his medical opinion -he is a very good consultant. So I can relate to feeling nervous about IVF.

Lots of lovely ladies here will be able to give you some good advice on IVF treatment.

As much as friends and family try to understand it is impossible unless you have been in this situation- I don't talk much about it-sometimes I'll update my mum what the next plan is but other than that I talk to my husband and when he's had enough I come on here haha! Its great and helpful to be able to express yourself here without fear or judgement! Or worrying that they might be worried about you. Its so difficult.

Anyway I want to wish you well and hope that your IVF is successful. xoxo

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Thanks Jess. It's so amazing to be able to tap into this incredible support network.

I'm not sure whether I'll have to have the endo removed - the doc told me when I was coming round from the op but I think he said it wasn't that severe. But perhaps it will get worse if left? He seemed is to suggest we'd go straight to IVF now. It's all so overwhelming isn't it. I can't seem to find the results from my AMH test. It's so frustrating how our consultant seems to drop feed us info. I have so many questions but when we're there I get upset and find it hard to ask questions.

Sending you lots of luck and positivity! Xx

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I posted for the 1st time yesterday, after reading lots of forums for years also. We are different in so far as no-one knows what we are going through. Not my choice so that is very difficult for me. We have our pre treatment appointment soon & then we are going to share with our families, once we have more to tell them. I am so very glad to be able to read other people's stories as I don't feel so alone. Hopefully you'll feel better too being able to talk to others going through the same. It's good to be able to support each other! :) xx

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It's amazing isn't it - being able to tap into a new world of people that understand after so long of feeling so isolated. Does your partner not want you to talk to people about it? Mine was reluctant at first, but actually since I have he says he has found it much better. We had a session of counselling together at the fertility clinic which was really useful. Do you think your partner would consider that?

Lots of good thought to you! Xx

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It really is so comforting to have this support! Yip partner doesn't want to tell others until we have more info to give them which I get, but not how I usually work! It's been a tough year since we found out the cause of our infertility. We have had some positive news recently so things have been much better & he is talking more about things with me (so that's a start!) & has agreed to tell the family after the next appointment (I'll not be taking no now!) I have been thinking of counselling for a while now, might look into it now that we are about to start our treatment. Xx

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Oh that's good. It's always good to have a plan. I think all clinics have to offer you counselling alongside your treatment (one session before you start and then 3 during the treatment) so check with your clinic. I really hope everything works out for you xx

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Interesting info about the counselling, thank you! I hope everything works out for you too :) xx

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Just starting the IVF journey myself, can't even to imagine the roller coaster of emotions that will come with it. But rest assured we're all going through them!

Your diagnoses is just the start! You're being offered treatment, there's hope and options for you and your partner! Good luck! We're all behind you 😊

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Thank you!

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Hi, I think I am fairly similar to your story. I have endometriosis and unexplained infertility with blocked tubes. I had long protocol and icsi, which you may probably have if your partner has sperm issues. We had first cycle back in September/October and none made it to freeze. Just in middle of my injections on our 2nd go. Hope all goes well, you will get lots of support on here, it's a great help to me. I don't post much, but I'm always reading stuff! Good luck 🍀x

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Thank you and best of luck! Xx

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Welcome to the forum. You'll find lots of support xx

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Which is your treatment?

I suppose ICSI (in case of husband) and what doc said about your endo?

P.S.: In any case I wish you best of luck.

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Hi Alice, we don't know yet but originally our consultant suggested it would be standard ivf I think. We have our next session next week so should know then. I hope I don't need to have another op. Xx

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Hello 👋 and welcome to the group. You have come to the right place xx

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