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Fertility Network UK
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New -Sad times, trying to come to terms with everything

Hi,

Not sure where to start. I didn’t realise there were so many people with fertility problems. My partner and I had been trying for a baby for around 12 months and had been unsuccessful when we decided to go to the doctors. After lots of tests, blood tests we were finally referred to a fertility clinic. We had some very sad news at the beginning of this year that my partner has Klinefelter syndrome. I had never heard of this but it is where the Male is born with an extra X chromosome which results in the testicles not producing sperm. As you can imagine we were shocked, upset, hurt along with a lot of other emotions. After a lot of thought we are currently in the process of blood tests and selecting a sperm donor through our fertility clinic.

We have been given the options available that we can be funded by the NHS. 1 x IVF or 3 x IUI. The success rates differ considerably between these two treatments. I am so confused as to what to choose as our option. We obviously have to pay for our sperm donor which is so sad that we have to fund this ourselves especially after finding out we can not conceive naturally. My partner is finding it extremely difficult to come to terms that he can’t have children.

Does anyone have any advice please it would be nice to hear of other couple success, thank you

20 Replies
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Hey hun I'm sorry to hear your news. This whole process seems unfair and it seems like there is always another kick in the teeth! I've just started iui so can only advise on our decision.

Me and my partner are currently unexplained and were given the choice of iui or ivf. We've chosen to go with the iui regardless of the success rates as I wanted to feel like we have ticked every box if we do have to progress to ivf. And we can't go back to iui if the ivf doesn't work out. So at least if we have to self fund we would have tried what we can on the nhs. And there are stories were iui does work! We're in our early 30s so id like to think that we have time on our side too.

If we were self funding i think we may have gone with one IUI and then ivf if it didnt work out. We're lucky that we've quite a bit of savings to use if needed. I think it's worth weighing up how much your willing to spend and how many cycles you could get out of it xx

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Hi, thank you for your reply.

IUI is what I meant I’ve amended my post. The nhs in our area offers 3x funded IUI OR 1 x IVF but we have to pay for the sperm donor. So we can have only one treatment funded so we have a difficult decision to make.

The fertility clinic are saying IVF has at least 50% of success so are suggesting this option. This would mean we only have to pay for one sperm donor too. Fingers crossed it works because if not we will have to look at funding further treatment and more sperm donor.

Like you say it’s just one kick in the teeth after another. We never dreamed this would happen so have very little savings and when we have looked into fertility plans some of them cost £17,000. I feel so hurt that their isn’t any help or funding in this difficult time. I think having the news you can’t naturally conceive is torture enough. We too are in our early/late thirties.

I really do hope you get the good news you are both waiting for and wish you all the best xx

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Hi

I’m so sorry to hear you are having a difficult time of it.

My OH has also had a chromosome issue (his is a ring 21 chromosome) which meant he had never produced sperm either. Like yourselves this was a complete shock and it took us over a year to finally make the donor sperm decision.

We’re hopefully going to start IUI October/November. We’re just going to give it 1 go and then move to IVF.

No success story yet but hopefully we will have. Hopefully the same for you too xx

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Hi

Sorry to hear your news. It does come as a shock and we still can’t believe it’s happening to us. But we want to be parents and realise this is our only way.

What does your NHS fund for you? Do you get 3 x IUI?

Fingers crossed for you that your treatment works and you have a success xxx

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Yes, we felt exactly the same way and neither of us could quite believe that this was really happening to us. When we got the zero sperm count results it was a massive shock.

I think it’s still quite rare to have a completely zero sperm count and my local GP and nurse say that they have never had a couple that need to use a sperm donor and ask all sorts of random questions lol.

We are doing this privately rather than the NHS because I’m almost 36 and we don’t want to wait. Plus the NHS hospital we wanted to use wouldn’t let us use the sperm bank we wanted to and insisted we use the European sperm bank. We are from Scotland and my OH was really concerned about using Scandinavian sperm because he insisted the child wouldn’t look like us and everyone would know ( I know this is not true but he couldn’t be convinced otherwise and so I let him have his own way as he had been through enough).

I wish you every success too xx

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Yes same with our GP! And the funding letter had been returned from the local NHS saying that our situation holds no exceptionality so they will not fund sperm donor.

I think we must be lucky as the lady I spoke to has said although this is a European sperm donor they do also have local U.K. donor which makes us feel more comfortable as we feared the same as your OH.

All the best xx

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This must be so devastating to you both. It sounds like you guys are a great team and are making your way forward.

IUI or IVF is a really personal decision. We are unexplained and we were offered IUI/clomid and then IVF or we could proceed straight to IVF. I was almost 37 by this time so decided to go straight to IVF- I guess in my head, I wasn’t entirely convinced that IUI would be more successful than trying naturally but I hadn’t done that much research or looked at stats. I’m not sure what’s involved in IUI in terms of hormonal regulation but IVF is pretty invasive and full on.

I imagine IVF will be more expensive to fund yourself so if they are only offering you either IUI or IVF Funded that may contribute to your decision. You may be lucky to get a few embryos so even if your first cycle is not successful you could have a frozen transfer which is cheaper to self fund. Or you may think that you want to have tried all the pre-steps first before you go to IVF.

There’s no right answer-only what feels right for you both. Good luck Xxx

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Hi,

Thank you for your kind words, we are a great team.

Was your IVF a success? I do hope it was.

That does make sense that the IVF is a lot more expensive and that is probably why our consultant has suggested this route first.

Thank you again. Few more days to wait before my blood test result and we are provided access to the sperm donor bank to choose our donor profile xxx

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We were successful 2nd time round with a frozen transfer :) currently 20 weeks pregnant.

Wishing you all the best x

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Fantastic, how exciting!

Wishing you all the best too xx

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I would choose IVF as it is an expensive procedure. I dont know if it is exactly the same as iui, but there are some lesbian couples who do the insemination themselves (sorry if that is tmi). So worst case scenario, if money is very tight, you could do that. I dont know if there are health risks. Accessing ivf on the NHS is a bonus and i f I were you, I'd take it while you have the chance before they change their criteria.

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Thank you for your thoughts.

Makes sense to accept the IVF then been as that’s the most costly and the higher success.

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I read hun in an article that after 1 IUI the success rate is around 10% however this increases each time you do it !! The article went on to say that ivf was around 40% success rate on first go. Wreaking my brain trying to remember where I read this so I could send on link. Promise though if I come across it I will send it on. But maybe ask your consultant about the success rates on both. Personally I would go with the ivf.

Best of look with which ever journey you decide xxx

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Yes those are the figures we were told by our consultant.

I think IVF is the best option here.

Thank you for your reply xx

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Hi Bluebaby1,

My husband also has a diagnosis of klinefelter's syndrome, we found out last year after trying for a baby for a year ourselves. It hurt that we felt that we had wasted time and never even had a chance of getting pregnant on our own. My husband took a few months to come to terms with his diagnosis and we had some councelling through our clinic which was really helpful. They advised us that although it was our choice they recommend being honest with your child about where they come from as it can be damaging if they find out later in life. It took us a while to process this too but we have decided to take their advice and this took a lot of pressure off when finding a donor as we didn’t feel they had to look exactly like us. Obviously this is something that you need to weigh up for yourself.

We originally went with the idea of having IUI but the clinic recommended going straight for IVF as IUI only has a 10% success rate and ivf a 40%. We are due to start treatment next month.

Good luck on your journey x

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Yes very sad when we found out. Frustrated of the length of time trying before we found out especially when the GP was just telling us to carry on trying.

We have our consultant in October so unsure what to expect but being honest with the child is probably the best but so sad for my partner not being able to have his own child :-(

We also have concerns of the baby not looking like us.

So much to think about!!

Good luck with your treatment keep us posted. Hope you have good news xxx

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Hi there, my husband has the same thing! I can imagine you went through all the emotions that we did! We had the same choice to make, and we have decided to go straight to IVF, after advice on here and just weighing things up. We are waiting for our next appointment where we will be picking the donor sperm. I’m 35 and my OH is 30. Wishing you all the very best in this journey xxxx

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Yes very emotional. Such a horrible world sometime. I hope you have both come to terms with it and hopefully you will have success in your first treatment. All the best and good luck xxx

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Stay strong! At least you have the funded other part! So, yeah! I've even been through a scam last year. I went to abroad for it at a center called Adonis. They received our payment and cancelled on us due to some things in our case. So, yes! They didn't even give up 100% refund. So, yeah! Stay strong! infertility is a tough route. Keep going! Go for IUI or IVF. What your doctor suggests you. Anyway! Stay blessed! Keep going! Baby dust on your way. :)

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What a horrible situation to be in. So sorry to hear that.

Thank you very much for your advice. We will keep going thank you x

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