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Fertility Network UK
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Coping with infertility

Hello there! This is my first post. I’m 34, with one round of failed ivf/icsi behind me. I was previously unexplained but I’ve just had very poor AMH result through (2.5) and feel as though our chances are now greatly diminished.

I’m lucky in that my partner and I have always been excited about adoption but I’m also very sad about not being able to have a biological child. I just wondered what others have tried and tested as short or long term coping mechanisms or ways towards acceptance? For those who have had counselling did you learn any specific techniques that have helped?

I know it’s very personal but I’d love to hear from you if you have something to share x

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Hi TigerGreen. I don't have any words of wisdom I'm afraid but wanted to reply as I'm in a very similar situation. I'm 33 and in the middle of my 2nd ICSI cycle.

I generally have a few good positive days followed by a few really bad down days and haven't really found a way to deal with the sadness yet!

I would say that the main thing that helps me is talking to my husband, if I try to keep it all in I explode after a few days then all it takes is a chat with him to make me feel better so now I make sure that as soon as i start to feel sad I talk to him instead of letting it eat me up!

Good luck with it all xx

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Hi Griffon, thanks so much for your response. You’re absolutely right about communicating. I’m really sorry you’re going through this too. T x

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Sorry to hear about your failed cycle! Ive had 3 OE cycles and we took the hard decision to move onto DE. It is hard to get to the acceptance that you will never have your own biological child, really hard however having made the decision to move forward and started treatment I haven't looked back. We chose DE as it still would give me the chance of the next best thing, carrying my own baby....albeit not genetically but my body will have grown the baby. It's lovely to hear that you have discussed other options and are open to adoption. I didn't have counselling but I do think it's something to consider if you are struggling. Wishing you all the best going forward.xx

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Hi Cinderella, thank you for this. Sometimes it just helps to know others understand what you’re going through. I haven’t given DE much proper thought but I will, so thanks. I wish you the very best with your next round. X

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There's actually quite a lot of us doing DE on here. Defo worth considering and like I said it's great that you're open to exploring other options. Did you see this couples diary on BBC radio 4? They explore options....quite interesting. Oh and you're not alone on here!!xx

bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05pfcnq

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Hi, so sorry to hear of your failed cycle and low amh.

I have two failed own egg IVF cycles and got diagnosed with premature ovarian failure. We are flying out to Greece in April to start the donor egg IVF process.

Infertility treatment is a tough process to go through especially if you find out that you can't have your own biological child.

My hubby and I are pretty excited about donor egg IVF now though and I realised that I don't mind it at all.

I think just getting a chance of carrying a baby is amazing and I know I will love it no matter what.

We looked into adoption as well but decided to give donor egg IVF at try first.

What I find very important is to always talk to your husband about how you feel. If I try and keep things inside me I just go mad. So talking and writing things down helps me the most! :)

I never went for counselling so unfortunately can't say anything about it.

Good luck x

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Thanks Ines, you must be really excited now. It’s wonderful to have renewed hope isn’t it. Writing is a good tip, I’ve thought about it but haven’t done it so will give it go. Thank you and really good luck with the next few months ahead x

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Hi TigerGreen! It's so sad, the whole IVF process. And sadly there's so much time to think about it between all the different stages...

I've just started my first ICSI (am now down regulating) but one and a half years have passed already since my GP first referred us to the infertility clinic at St Mary's Hospital in London... And there have been so many moments of sadness and disbelief on this journey! Not least because for us the issue isn't only my low AMH (3.8) but I also have a thick uterine septum (which might interfere with implantation and will mean it will be risk pregnancy), and my DP has morphology issues.

However no matter how sad I've been, I haven't lost hope. One of my best friends went through 8 or 10 IVF cycles before she had her two sons, so I've always known I've signed up for what might be a long and rocky road. I'm also on another forum (are we allowed to recommend other forums?) which has several dedicated threads on DOR (diminished ovarian reserve) issues and just today I was reading a post there written by a woman with AMH 1.27 and FSH 17 who had a baby through ICSI. There are also lots of people on that forum who have been to clinics abroad (e.g. Greece and Prague seem to be quite popular) and had success with low AMH. And on the other hand I've got two little brothers who are adopted and I love them more than anything - so it's always also been clear to me that adoption is a good option. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that even if you're feeling sad, don't give up hope.

During this journey we go through incredibly difficult things, but I feel we need to take care to not let that sadness and struggle define us - accept and acknowledge it as part of the process, feel the sadness anger and frustration, but remember that we and our lives are so much more, and we never know what's waiting for us around the corner.

Sounds like you've only been to one clinic as you've so far done one cycle - have you thought of trying out other clinics? Or have you asked your clinic whether you could try again and do something differently? Do you know why the cycle failed? Low AMH is not enough of an explanation, as women with a lower AMH have had successful IVF/ICSI treatments. Would it be possible to do any more testing? Just some thoughts.

Something that's helped me with the sadness is talking to my partner, friends and family, as well as journaling. And just last week I discovered an app called Mindful IVF, which has meditations for all the different steps along the process (also the bad ones and for when things don't go as planned), and I've found it very helpful and calming. For me also researching the internet helps, as it makes me feel more calm when I know more about the different issues, and all the success stories I bump into give me hope.

Hope that helps! I'm sending you a big hug! x

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Hi Chinita, I just wanted to send a quick response to say thank you for such a thoughtful response. Strangely I also have a uterine septum (only discovered during IVF) and my partner has borderline morphology issues! I identified with a lot of what you wrote and want to respond to it proper but have to dash to work. Will write ASAP but thank you x

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Hey again Chinita, I just wanted to say thanks in particular for the reminder that infertility doesn’t have to be something that defines us. I think you said we and our lives are so much more. I agree completely. I always feel better when I remind myself of this. What’s around the corner might be more colourful than we imagined. I may not have biological children but I will be a mother, whether to my own children or to my nieces or to my friends gaggle and I won’t let infertility rob me of the joy of the rest of life going forward. It’s hard to see that often, but important to keep coming back it when the anxiety sets in. Thanks for reminding me of that this morning. X

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Hi TigerGreen! Thanks for your kind words, and I'm really happy if what I wrote helped. There are definitely some very difficult moments along the way, so it's good to remind ourselves that there is life outside of IVF and that we have a life outside IVF too :) Sometimes in the darkest moments it can be hard to remember though, and it's so precious that to support each other here. Good luck with your journey! I'm sure there are great things ahead for you! x

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So nice to read your story & great attitude. Good luck for this cycle I will watch out for your good news whenever it comes xx

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Welcome to the forum. I remember how I felt when I got my low amh result so I sympathise but honestly there are a lot of success stories here! I love that you have adopted brothers, I have one naturally conceived daughter who just turned 4 so feel like the adoption space would be quite a mind field along with my daughter. Great to hear you have had a positive experience of that. As for relaxing, I’m not too good at that but I like reading about infertility, I feel that knowledge is power. I also like to try a new supplement every month to feel like I’m doing something different x

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Hi Clara! I just wanted to add that I have a 13 and 15 years age difference with my brothers which probably helped us not to have any issues - I was more like another mum for them when they were little, and didn't actually end up living in the same house for very long... I think it's the kind of relationship you'd have with any sibling with whom you have such a big age difference - I love them to bits and totally adore them, and I'm super overprotective about them, but we're also definitely from a different generation and don't really share so many things, as we didn't really grow up together, and for that reason also are not as close as siblings of a similar age might be. I also think something that helped was that when they joined our family I was old enough to rationally understand what infertility and adoption is, so I knew what was going on. Also, we don't have the same mother. However I do believe there are also other ways to have a positive experience as the older (biological) sibling to adopted siblings - as always, there isn't just one right way to go about these things. Please ask if you have any questions! And all the best! x

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