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Fertility Network UK
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Hello

Hello all. I am new to the forum. I am soon to be 40 years old and been TTC with husband for 7 years. He has low sperm count, poor motility and only 1% morphology. Dr says that there's little to be done bar IVF and I don't qualify for it on the NHS. I feel pretty hopeless right now

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First of all, so sorry to hear about your long journey. Did the doctors figure out why your husband has low sperm parameters? I’m asking because although my husband’s sperm count was always good but motility borderline and morphology 1-2%. It turned out that he had problem with his thyroid possibly for years and an autoimmune illness. We didn’t find out until he got really ill from it. Can you try IVF privately?

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Hello Kari55

We don't know the cause of his sperm problems. The Dr told us she was only really concerned with the count and not the other factors. I will certainly ask about his thyroid but we have no reason to think he has a problem.

Unfortunately we can't afford to go private and even if we could, they'd charge us the absolute maximum due to my age. All the enquiries I've made so far tend to only want to treat women below 39.

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There is a lot that can be done to improve sperm parameters through lifestyle and supplements. You obviously might have already tried different things. If you go self-funded to the NHS hospital you would be charged reasonable price or you might be a suitable candidate for natural IVF which is much cheaper so might na worth of checking these options.

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I'll look into it. Thank you

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You could look to have treatment abroad. I know Cyprus do quite reasonable packages and you get a bit of a holiday too x

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Thanks Purpledazzle. I have looked at one in Baracelona but they want around £4000 for what we would need (ICSI) I think we would have to find something for around half that price but will keep looking.

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Also although our IVF was mainly needed due to having only one tube which is blocked my husbands motility and morphology was not great and they said we may have to have ICSI. He had to lose weight so we could qualify for NHS funding and he did a lot of exercise and I made him take male fertility supplements every day and by the time we got to fertilisation day a few months later they said his sperm had improved massively and we didn’t need ICSI. I also did everything I could to help my body. I ate a ton of eggs and avocados, gave up caffeine and alcohol ate loads of fruit etc and took supplements. All the best x

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Thank you. I need to lose weight and I have lost 20lbs but I am struggling now. I will keep on with the weight loss and exercise plan but as there are age limits on IVF too, time is runnig out. I know BMI takes height into consideration and I am quite tall but the NHS BMI table doesn't take frame into consideration and I have a very large frame. I take a size 8 shoe and have broad shoulders.

I quit smoking many yeras ago when we first started TTC and I very rarely drink alcohol these days. Maybe 1 glass of wine every 2/3 months. I only have coffee once a fortnight but I do drink a lot of tea. I did switch to decaffeinated years ago but it didn't help.

I have husband taking zinc and folic acid so I am hoping the rsults of his next semen analysis shows improvements. He quit smoking at Christmas even though he didn't really want to and since he has piled on the weight and drinks more but he tells me this is what he must do to stay off the cigarettes.

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It’s all so hard I know, my husband still drank too much but he was doing a lot of exercise and I gave him the wellman conception supplements. He doesn’t really drink much tea or coffee so that was never an issue. We were surprised and happy that his sperm had improved so much. I also banned him from the sauna except the day of weigh in at the hospital when he still had a couple pounds to shed. It delayed out treatment over 6 months. I turned 37 midway through treatment so was starting to worry that age would be a factor. Can you not borrow the money? I know if we had had to pay we would have taken out a loan or asked family to help us pay for treatment.

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We have just borrowed all we can for a deposit on a house. We met and married later in life and both ahd properties with previous partners to sort out so it's been a long road and we have very little money. One of my husband's many excuses for not getting tested sooner was that he preferred to have his own house before we had a baby or we would be renting for the rest of our lives. He was willing to risk gettng pregnant by not using contraception etc but didn't want to go through testing and then treatment until we were settled. It's only that I turn 40 this year that I think made him realise that it's now or never but he certainly wouldn't give up the house deposit money. If we were to get a bank loan that might also affect our mortgage application.

I am looking for cheaper alternatives abroad and if and when we do move into our new home, I might be able to put some of the cost on my credit card.

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You may be able to pay for the drugs on your credit card. I’m not sure, some of the other ladies may know. It’s like anything I guess, if you really want it you will find a way. Debts can be always be paid back but we can’t make ourselves younger. Xxx

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Exactly my feelings.

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I know exactly how you feel to be told you need IVF but then have the door slammed firmly in your face & to just be another computer says no candidate. We too have the same problem, partners sperm count is low & poor morphology but we don’t qualify as my partner already has a son. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!!!! We also cannot afford to pay & go private. Unfortunately I don’t have any answers or tips on how to make you feel better, am feeling at the brink of a massive breakdown right now but just wanted to tell you you are not alone & I really do understand exactly how you feel! Much love to you XX

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Thank you so much. Everyone else is telling me to just accept it and move on and not let it bother me!! Even my mother in law. It doesn't help that we found out yesterday that my father in law had something wrong which he had to take tablets for before my husband was born but she wouldn't say anymore. I think this is something we should have been made aware of a lot sooner.

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Move on & not let it bother you?!!! WHAT?!!! Who are these people?!! How can they say that about something so important - obviously they haven’t had to go through any of this themselves otherwise they wouldn’t say that! Unless you’ve been through it, you can’t understand the pain of infertility! Yes that would of been helpful of them to tell you that before!!! Is it something you can speak to your doctor about if you mother in law isn’t willing to tell you any more information?

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It was my mother in law who said it. I think she is worried I will get depressed again. She says she knows how it feels because they struggled to get my husband. He says they find it difficult to talk about personal/private things like that and it's not their fault. I've said we need to see husband's Dr and tell her that it might be hereditary and get him to try and get some more information from his parents.

It's making it worse because her niece has recently had a baby and I can't cope with it, especially as I have had an issue with her in the past. I know infertility is turning me into a person a don't recognise. I am full of bitterness, jealousy and resentment but I think it's understandble under these circumstances. It helps to know that there are others out there going through the same thing.

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Same here, I hate the person I have become & the life it is causing us to live, as you say the bitterness, jealousy & resentment just take over & it’s all consuming. The unfairness of it all is too much to bare. I hope the doctor can give you some answers!

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Thank you. We are working on trying to improve his sperm as much as we can ourselves and I am researching clinics abroad that do IVF for a lot lower cost. I wish you all the luck in the world in your TTC journey and thank you for replying and making me feel a little less alone.

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Same here, I have just been looking at one in Greece!! No problem at all, message any time! X

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Hello, I don’t think anyone can fully understand in anyway the pain of what you are going through unless they have experienced it themselves, like all the warrior women on here.

7 years is such a long time to be struggling through this, have you tried to see a councillor? I think the NHS rules on who gets treatment and who doesn’t is a disgrace to our society, I didn’t qualify either and waited 6 months for my appointment to be told in less than 10 mins that they wouldn’t treat me.

At the moment I think you should put yourself first and take yourself out of family situations that involve seeing babies or pregnant relatives you need kindness and support, wishing you all the best xxxx

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Thank you so much for your reply.

Yes I saw a counsellor from August to November last year and it helped a lot as I was very depressed. I am very sad but I don't think I a clinically depressed anymore, just going through a rough patch because I thought that once we knew the cause of the infertility that on eof us would get dr prescribed medication or surgery and that we wouldn't be told that IVF was the only option.

I am also struggling because I recently found out about my father in law's "problem" and I feel that to have kept it from us all these years, knowing we were having problems conceiving is a big disgrace and the fact that my husband doesn't seem to feel the same really stings. Had we known, one of the first things I would have done is done more to persuade him to get tested years ago when there was more time and then we would have disclosed to the dr that there may be a hereditary issue. Maybe I am just over reacting.

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No your not because any information is power and tools for you to use in your journey, but try not to focus on wishing you’d known sooner focus on the fact that you know now and research vitamins and life style changes that can help.

Treat yourself with kindness and remember you are not alone, you are strong and you can get through this

Xxxxx

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Thank you Catherine. I had hopes that he'd be given medication but the fertility specialist said only to take zinc. It actually caused an argument because my husband said I shouldn't pay any attention to Dr. Google and accept what the specialist with all her medical training told us instead. I am hoping that talking to his GP after his next analysis might prove to be more helpful.

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My husband had a low count and reduced morphology and we tried this amazing German multivitamin. Amitamin.com honestly amazing. Also made changes like loose boxers, no hot baths, no cycling and his has improved dramatically! Good luck x

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Hi seabird85,

Was it FertilsanM that your husband took or the Antimin M Forte? I only ask because mine took FertilsanM but he didn’t have another test, we just thought, i just still didn’t get pregnant so we stopped but maybe should of kept going! X

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Thanks seabird

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Hello! We stayed on fertilsan m for a few years and his results improved dramatically. Got tested every three to six months. I actually ended up having hormone issues too so that was also a problem! Good luck

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I think it must be the CCG (clinical commissioning group) you are in. The postcode lottery is highly unfair!!

I am 39 years old (last December) so 40 this year. I qualified for NHS IVF. I qualified as long as I take up the first cycle before my 40th birthday.

I would see if there is any way you can appeal it.

We looked into private, the tariff is the same regardless of age...as far as I could see in the clinics I looked at (London). But I guess that doesn’t help you if private isn’t an option xx

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I think it is similar where I am but i turn 40 in June so no time to lose the weight needed to put me in the range for IVF. Ive lost weight so far but it's not enough so I thibk it will have to be either finding a way to drastically improve his sperm or go private abroad

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Hello Flora. I went to see my GP after 4 years of no contraception and no pregancy just to check all was well. She told me that 4 years wasn't a particularly long time even though I was 36 at the time. She put it mostly down to bad timing and the fact that my then fiance and I weren't really trying because we weren't living together and only seeing each other on weekends. She said she could authorise a progesterone test, but as my periods were regular and I was getting positive OPK's, she didn't thi k it would help much without a lot of other tests that she would only refer me for if my fiance agreed to get a semen test and the progetserone test and semen analysis were the simplest to take before moving on to other tests. It took me from august 2014 which was when I first saw my GP to August 2017 to convince my now husband to see his GP and get referred. When I went back to my GP, I confirmed my husband had been for a semen analysis and I was immediately referred to the fertily clinic who did all sorts of tests and nvestigations.

I am seriously thinking about surrogacy and will discuss this option when I next see my fertility consultant although I am desperately worried about not experiencing pregnancy and childbirth, but mostly I am worried abut not bonding with my baby the way other mothers do as I hear a lot of the bonding hormones are created during pregnancy.

Adoption is something we discussed very early on and we both want the baby to be gentically ours so it's not an option. I might be peruaded if we could guarantee adopting a newborn, but I doubt my husband would agree.

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