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Fertility Network UK
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Advice needed....1st post

After a little advice....this is my first post so bear with me. So we started out ivf journey last week with my 1st appointment unfortunately my partner couldn’t make it to the appointment due to work commitments even though we had the appointment 12 weeks ago (but that’s another issue) the consultant discussed our issues being that my partner already knows he has low sperm count with poor mobility and morphology and he also has dna fragmentation. He has already been through ivf with his ex wife which was unsuccessful and ultimately led to them separating. So you can understand why this is a sensitive journey we are already on, when I met him I knew the situation but didn’t think it would have been an issue coming out of a 13 year relationship it was the last thing that was on my mind. Fast forward time and like any female in her early 30’s she can hear the clock ticking and that maternal instinct getting stronger so I approached the subject, as you can imagine it did not go down well and all sorts of conversations were had an ultimatums were made. But it was agreed that I would go and see my gp just so I can get an idea if everything is even ok with me, not expecting much help from the gp due to him already being through ivf before, I was referred straight away! This was a shock and also put me in a difficult position with him as he’s not ready to go down this route again. But I could not turn down the help I was being given. So 3 months on, not approaching the subject at all we arrive in October he goes along and gives a sperm sample and then the appointment is the following week to get the results, he then can’t go due to work commitments so I turn up to the clinic on my own. Already frustrated and embarrassed I have me appointment they didn’t seem to concerned that he was not there and we discussed his history, my history and I had some tests and said basically from his results the options would be icsi or sperm donor. To be honest this is what I expected that it would be sperm donor as I understand the quality of his sperm is so low hence the failed treatments in the past and we had discussed before that this would be the route he would prefer. But then the consultant has advised that we could do hormone tests and be referred to an andrologist, I explained this to him and now he is open to this idea which has confused me further. So we go back in January for our next appointment together, I have made sure that he has it booked off work. So the advise that I am after is slightly different, unfortunately 5 years ago I had breast enlargement and 2 years after I got capsular contracture so I need to get them replaced. I had 5 years to do with the aftercare package that expires this year, I started the process back in February and I am yet the get a date for surgery. The clinic now want me to see the surgeon next week, I was hoping to get them done in December so that I could start the ivf process without any concerns. But it doesn’t look that simple, I don’t know what to do should I continue to see when my revision surgery is likely to be which might delay me starting ivf or should I take the opportunity that I have with tests starting in January for him which may take months and miss the opportunity of getting my revision surgery done? I can’t talk to anyone about this not even my partner I feel extremely alone and frustrated and confused and I just don’t know what to do for the best? Any advice would be welcomed

9 Replies

Personally I’d get the surgery over and done with.

Why can you not talk to your partner about it? xx


Thank you for replying. I can’t talk to him about it as he isn’t even decided if he wants to go down the ivf route again because of his past, as you can imagine it broke his relationship up and I think he fears the same will happen again. If I asked his opinion he will say get the surgery done because ultimately that will delay any ivf treatment so it postpones having to deal with it. I just don’t want the clinic to give any reason that we can’t go through with it as i feel so lucky that the nhs are even potentially going to fund the ivf.

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I think I’d still get the surgery done in order to get it out of the way sooner rather than later, I’m assuming if you don’t get it done within the 5 years you’re going to have to pay for it yourself? I’m sorry I don’t know anything about the subject so I’m guessing that it’s medically important that it’s sorted?

I thought in your op that you meant he’d come round to the idea of pursuing ivf again. I can understand why it must be difficult for him to revisit but this was always going to be the situation if he started a new relationship with someone who wanted children.

To be honest you need to talk about it together, it’s a huge step and if he’s not 100% decided that it’s the right thing for him then it will just bring added heartache to an already extremely challenging situation. I feel for you, it must be so difficult for you to cope with all this, try and talk to him and find out exactly what he feels about the situation you are both in, maybe you can get some joint counselling?

Thinking of you xxx


Yes that’s correct if I don’t get it done in the 5 years I would have to pay, it all just feels like all the timings have come at the wrong time to be honest. I’m being optimistic and thinking what’s the point of having them done again when hopefully I will get pregnant and they will change through that process, I wish I didn’t have to get it done and regret getting them done in the first place but I was young and silly. I am annoyed at him for not coming to the first appointment cos I think we could have addressed a lot there in terms of is there any point going through further tests for you, did they not try all this the first time. I know it’s been 7 years since he started it so things could have changed medically but we would have started the process. Now I have to wait again till January and the operation would have just had to be on hold but now there’s time in between I just feel a bit In limbo. We try to talk to each other about it and he has agreed to explore more and see what the options are in January which is good, I suppose I am just sick of waiting for this operation and now the timings that it has fell on. It’s stessful enough having to deal with the op never mind going through ivf which sometimes feels on my own. I havnt told anyone else about the ivf as everyone close seems to have an opinion on it. We have 2 friends which have just been through the process one had a baby last month and the other is due next year so I’m being negative and thinking what are the odds for us!


Get your surgery done first you need to be relaxed when doing IVF treatment best of luck and please try and talk to your partner for support you both need support at this difficult time I know I had IVF and it failed as my eggs were too small being childless is hard to cope with and still is even when you can accept it has not worked it is still painful not being part of a loving family


I’m so sorry to hear about your journey, and I know my partner is trying to protect me by not going down this route but it’s just something I have to do I think I would rather regret doing it than not trying. I think I am going to go with you advice I have an appointment next Wednesday to discuss my revision surgery and just take it from there and see how the dates concide with ivf.


Welcome to the forum, sure u will find it very supportive here

I would def get surgery done under the warrrnty things first x


It is understandable that he has anxiety about going down the IVF route again and no doubt he fears losing you and what you have right now. He may feel guilt or even shame when he knows that his body is the reason that the treatment is required as it is a lot for the woman to go through (injections, internal scans, egg collection - not easy) while the man merely needs to make a 'deposit'. However, continuing to avoid the issue could ultimately mean that you end up falling out with each other, just as he fears! This is such a sensitive area especially with his previous history that I would suggest that you seek out a fertility/ relationship counsellor to support you and help you communicate. Your clinic may recommend one or you can look for one who is BACP accredited. I am sorry that it is so challenging for you.

You are probably aware that as time goes on, your chances of success decrease and there is no guarantee even if you were to do ICSI tomorrow. I am not simply being alarmist. A quick search will let you know what your chances of IVF/ ICSI success are at your age. Usually, there is more chance of a failed treatment than a success (per treatment) and you'll need to bear that in mind.

A sperm donor may help you succeed (again no guarantee), but both of you need to be on board with this fully. I used an egg donor, but it is different for the woman since we grow the baby, give birth and can breastfeed, thus (hopefully!) creating a strong bond. You may wish to contact the Donor Conception Network as speaking to others who have been through the same thing really does normalise it and reassure you that any donor child really will feel like his.

There is also a financial burden that needs to be considered though check your area for what is allowable on the NHS as it varies from one area to the next.

One final thing to consider: hopefully you are fertile..... but there is a tiny chance that you are not. Beginning tests/ examinations to explore this sooner rather than later is worth doing, though it only gives a very broad idea about whether you are in good shape.

If you are determine to become parents together, you will find a way. I wish you luck and hope that you find a way to communicate with one another in a heartfelt way.

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Thank you for replying, that was my intention of going to my gp to just check everything is ok with me, I would hate to destroy our relationship and ultimately find out that I can’t conceive anyway. This was why I was then shocked she referred us straight away probably before we had really discussed it and now we have been thrown into it I just feel we should go along with the process and see what happens. I’m a great believer in what will be will be and everything happens for a reason. My initial tests the consultant did not seem concerned but waiting for my blood tests on my amh which we will get at our next appointment in January. I think your idea of counselling is a really good one as I think it will help him open up an someone outside the two of us will be able to see each other’s side because as present we are both very stubborn and set in our ways. Also recommending contacting the donor network is a great idea and seeing how other couples have dealt with this.

Thank you for your advise and I hope whatever stage you are on on your journey I wish you the best of luck xx


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