Genetically incompatible

Hi Ladies, at our follow up appointment from our 2nd and final ICSI cycle, I was told that my husband and I must be genetically incompatible. She said this was because I was 34, had a thick enough lining but our embryo quality was poor on both cycles (terrible on 2nd). Has anyone else been told this? It was a bit of a kick in the teeth as she also told me how fortunate I was to have a good marriage and I should just be thankful for that. I can't get the word incompatible out if my head. Was it really necessary? Why couldn't she have left me in blind ignorance? I had already told her we weren't doing any more so in that sense it was irrelevant. I didn't push for answers. I said we accepted that it must be down to poor embryo quality and that we're preparing to go through life without children.

Top that off with when I finally confided in my family that we've been through ivf but it hasn't worked so unfortunately we will be childless, my sister said well maybe it's a positive as you could have ended up with a baby with problems and that would be worse. She also said, well at least you and your husband are strong so that's good. It would be worse if you ended up divorced.

My mum said well I had been hoping and praying but I'll just stop now and won't mention it ever again. You can just adopt then. There are lots of children in the world who need homes. I explained that adoption is a solution for the poor children who suffer neglect and or abuse or the poor parents who can't manage parenthood but it is not a solution to infertility. I also pointed out that it's not our responsibility as infertiles to adopt these children. In fact anyone could share that responsibility. She got all huffy and made me feel I was selfish. I explained that we were still grieving and that grief takes time and we need to give ourselves time.

I'm a bit confused as to why people don't say. "Oh I'm so sorry to hear that. I can't imagine how hard it is for you. I can't make things better but if you'd like to talk, I'm here."

I now regret telling/talking to anyone apart from you girls about it. It was better when my hubby and I just knew.

I just wondered if anyone else has been told they're genetically incompatible and if so what did you do with that news.

Thanks, xxx

27 Replies

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  • I don't even know where to start with this - I am so so sorry you've had such a terrible consultant.

    She absolutely did not need to say that. She is talking utter crap. If you were incompatible genetically, you wouldn't be married and would ever have been attracted to eachother.

    I honestly don't thing there is such a thing anyway.. is she a scientist or a witch Dr? Seriously, you need to complain.. If and when, you have the energy or will to do so.

    She is just being lazy. Must be easy for her to throw such lame reasons for IVF failure, rather than take the time to offer you any words of comfort.

    Very sorry your family responded that way too. My gosh, I too have had many clangers from people and wished I'd never told them (inc family)..

    The adoption point is a particularly shit response. But I think people really just don't understand and I think they think it helps. It does not. At all.

    Take some time to wrap yourself up with the love of your hubby. Conversations with others, who have not been through this, are just too difficult and best avoided, in my experience.

    Thinking of you xx

  • Thank you. Yes we're doing just that. We just want to have fun. We want to go out and have a drink and not feel guilty about it. We want to not plan around certain days, weeks and months. We want to be spontaneous so we're at the Natural History Museum today. We like the photography exhibition. Thank you for your thoughts. I wish I posted two weeks ago when we got that diagnosis. I wouldn't have wasted headspace worrying about our compatibility. xxx

  • Get a second opinion. This description is a cop out. Is there even a medical condition called "genetic incompatibility". My husband and I had poor embryos on two rounds (though better with a change of drugs for me on the second round, as we got more eggs) so we had additional (expensive) blood tests. Karotyping showed my husband has a chromosome abnormality, and we are now in the system to see a geneticist. There are potentially wider implications for others in his family (we don't know yet) who will try for children in the future. Even without the blood tests, my clinic did not give up. They said we could use a different culture medium for the embryos, and also recommended an additional supplement for my husband. We also could have had a sperm DNA fragmentation test to find out more answers. I'm really cross for you that your consultant has given up in this way. PM me if you would like to know more.

  • Ps once diagnosed with a genetic condition, there's a whole other pot of NHS money for icsi which we are hoping to access, so if you can scrape together the money for a blood test you might then be eligible for more funded icsi.

  • Wow! That's amazing! I didn't know that. Thank you. I think we'll try to just have fun for a bit. On a day out in London today. Then maybe we'll think of what we want to do. I hope you get access to that money. You certainly deserve to. xxx

  • Ps again, I just read back on your posts and your first round wasn't that terrible... I remember we had this discussion about the meaning of 'satisfactory'. Producing a blastocyst is not terrible. I am so so mad at your consultant right now. I think she is talking out of her a*se!!!!

  • Well that was another thing I was frustrated about. She said I'd had a poor first round so then I was confused as I had queried it and they'd said it was satisfactory which meant good. I think the issue is that we never saw the same consultant twice. x

  • Big hug. Enjoy the photography exhibition and try not to buy too many postcards in the shop afterwards... both times I've been I just couldn't resist those beautiful cards with the photos on!!!

  • Im actually really angry reading how you've been treated! What a horrible, nasty, insensitve Dr!! Unless you have had karyotyping done and there is a problem then she cant possible know that you are genetically incompatible and even if you do have genetic issues that is not very professional to say something like that, what a t**t! Perhaps get a copy of your notes and see what they've actually said. It may be that your eggs are not of great quality (even although you're young) or there is a sperm issue, or a different approach with different drugs could help. Our embryos were not great quality but as they started falling away around day 3ish they said it was egg quality and have now opted for DE but I think I would have wanted to knock the Dr out had I been told that!

    Nobody understands the whole infertility struggle unless you've been there but there are some incredibly insensitive people out there including family and friends that have clearly not thought about what they have said before they speak. It makes it all the harder to not feel supported but good for you for pointing out a wreckless comment, its not an easy thing to do! Sending you a big hug!xx

  • This adds weight to what all the posters above have said about 'genetic incompatibility' being a myth.

  • You've replied to me so I'll tag _MrsC so she can have a read!xx

  • Well done, I have not idea how to tag people!!!

  • Well just so you know in case you want to, just type the @ sign followed directly with the person's username (it even gives suggestions a the bottom of your post) and they get a notification to say you've been mentioned like this Lizzielizzielizzie. Xx

  • Clever! Thanks @cinderella5!

  • Did that work?

  • Yep, nailed it!!xx

  • Firstly, I am so sorry that you're going through this and are not getting the support you deserve. I really think it's lack of knowledge and understanding but I would have hoped your sister and mum would have been more sensitive. If it helps a bit, my own mum didn't even acknowledge what we were going through and it really upset me, but recently she admitted that she felt she "never said the right thing". I told her she didn't need to say anything, just be there.

    With regards to the consultant's comment, I was told by the nurse that some couples are "just incompatible" but that this isn't known until couples get to IVF stage and they put the sperm and egg together. Xx

  • What utter rubbish...seriously?? I was extremely annoyed on your behalf reading this...who the hell does this doctor think she is with that patronising attitude!

    As for the other 'helpful' comments, no one seems to know that common decency and compassion are all people faced with infertility challenges are looking for. You would NEVER say to a parent whose child had died: "At least you've got each other' or 'You could adopt another child', why do people think it is alright to express these ideas to couples who already have enough struggles!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrr....

    SO sorry Mrs day, people will hopefully be kinder xx

  • Oh my god I cannot believe the person at the clinic said about being fortunate you've got a good marriage?! What on earth. You can't get your head around people's comments can you.

    I'm so so sorry things haven't worked out. Xxx

  • Out of interest, was this consultant/clinic in London?

  • Oh my days. I am was shaking my head throughout your post. I'm so sorry that you have been treated so insensitively. Appalling. I'm cross for you. 😡 I'm sorry, I have no words of wisdom but I can empathise as some incredibly stupid and insensitive things have been said to both myself and my husband throughout our 6/7 years trying to start our family.

    As far as the insensitive comments from your family, again I'm so sorry that after you had the courage to discuss something so intimate that you didn't get the response or support that you need. Sadly I honestly believe that people struggle to conceive (want for a word) what an emotional, physical and financial toll it has on you and your partners unless they have experienced it for themselves. But I want to say a firm well done for standing your ground and being articulate enough to explain your grief and views around adoption!

    I hope that you can take the time to chat through with someone you can trust, whether it be friend, partner or professional xxxxx Gentle gentle hugs to you and your partner xxxxxxx

  • I agree with all the comments above and I hope, when you are ready, you are able to explore second opinions. Have a lovely time with your husband in the meantime xxx

  • Sorry to hear you had to go through such a horribly upsetting experience - I agree with the posts above, totally unnecessary. Enjoy some quality time with your husband doing exactly what you want, when you want. Thinking of you. X

  • Hello and really sorry for you having to hear all that...

    I know the family probably was trying to help but simply they don't know how it feels and how to do It. I also told some of my family and at the beginning It was frustrating but I think they are starting to understand better.

    Regarding the "genetically incompatible" diagnosis, I am a scientist (not in fertility but in genetics and cell biology) and I can tell you that's bullshit. It sounds like what a doctor 40 years ago would say when he/she doesn't have f***ing idea of what's going on (sorry for the language but it's well justified!). Genetically, what can be happening is that one of you has some genetic alteration, mainly chromosomal alteration, or that both of you are carriers of a mutation in the same gene. The first is individual (the person affected would have It doesn't matter with what person is he/she trying to conceive). The second, ok, It would be because of the combination of the two, but It would only affect a certain percentage of your embryos/children and you could still conceive! so still you wouldn't be incompatible!!!

    When they say things such as unexplained or incompatible, is just the way the have to hide their ignorance.

    All the best and hope you enjoy this needed time with your husband xxx

  • That's interesting. Thanks for sharing x

  • Hi,

    So sad. Your consultant is very insensitive. What you told your mum is so true. Adoption is no solution for us. Do not give up yet. Take sometime to heal emotionally. I know you are stronger than this. You can take advantage of NHS money for ICSI. In places like Ukraine, IVF/ICSI is more advanced and I believe there's a solution for you. Just take heart.


  • Just saw this two months later! I have also been told that my husband and I might be genetically incompatible. It just seems incomprehensible to me and I can't get my head around it....

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