To start IVF during high stress or wa... - Fertility Network UK

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To start IVF during high stress or wait 3 months?


Hi all! I was just hoping for some advice. My dh and I are renovating a house, he's working 12 hour shifts and we're working up the house for full days on weekends. This project has taken far longer than expected (2 years) but we should finally be in the house by the end of October.

The reno has brought us both massive financial and heavy physical strain as we're paying for 2 houses, renovating the one ourselves but as my dh is focussed to finish it and feels unable to relax til we do, he's practiced no self care, gets little sleep and and has let healthy eating go out of the window.

We're supposed to be starting ivf in the next few days which would mean the final push to get into the house and moving would happen during ivf.

I recently started back to accupuncture and my accupuncturist highlighted that my clinic haven't tested my AMH or dh's sperm in a long time and that the stress and exhaustion (which dh was recently hospitalised with), could mean I go through ivf only to find his sperm isn't good enough, despite the fact it was good before and the problem was low ovarian reserve for me.

She said it takes 3 months for sperm and eggs to renew so 3 months of healthy changes would create the optimum egg and sperm health.

This would mean waiting until January for IVF. Practically it's great as we'd have settled into our new home, had 3 months of rest, health and self care and christmas would be out of the way.

On the other hand, I will be approaching 36 by then... will my eggs have dwindled further in 3 months? ...

what to do?? Any advice please ladies?

Massive thanks and best wishes for wherever you're at in your journeys with this. Xxx 😘

29 Replies

Wow it sounds like you guys have both been hard at it! I wonder if the clinic would analyse your hubby's sperm to check if everything is ok in that department before you start? Has he had problems in the past? I can completely understand the need to get going and know this is rich coming from me as I have no patience 🙈 but if you wait the 3 months it may just be that reassurance that you have both done all you can when you start treatment. Tough decision but I guess if its playing on your mind then the wait may just be worth it and it would give you both time to get settled into your lovely new home to enjoy your hard work for a couple of months! Good luck with your decision!xx

Hello lovely, how're things with you? Hope you're well.

I think you're right, we would probably feel reassured waiting.

I just rang the hospital to ask for our AMH and semen analysis results, they couldn't give them over the phone but they could confirm the last tests were in 2016 and they can't even find dh's semen analysis record! I asked if they could be repeated and the Doctor said they didn't need to be! Can't say I'm reassured with that! Xx

Im good thanks! Still no BFP but not for lack of trying....working on the next transfer....I always seemt to be saying that! Ha ha ha

That's pretty rubbish that they cant give you your results over the phone if they can confirm your personal details. Very annoying indeed they they cant even find hubby's results and you're right not very reassuring! I would think if they cant locate them they should be offering a re-test!!

I think if you can suffer the wait then you have something to aim for and like I said get settled into your lovely new home and enjoy a bit of a rest and down time!xx

My egg reserve had actually risen in two years, there was a post on here a couple of days ago of a lady who’s amh had risen, so don’t worry about your reserve plummeting in a few months. If it’s been a long time since either of you were tested then perhaps you could ask to get retested, just for peace of mind? Three months isn’t really that long. I think if you do go ahead now and you didn’t get the results you were hoping for then you would only regret not having waited until everything is more settled xx

Pookymama in reply to Tugsgirl

Hello lovely! How're you doing?

Yes, I just saw that post, great your AMH rose in 2 years!

I just asked the hospital for our AMH and semen analysis results, they couldn't give them over the phone but could confirm it was taken in 2016! They also couldn't find dh's semen analysis record but said they didn't need to repeat either... hmm.

Think I'm going to wait for the results to come via post, request re-testing and if they won't do it, pay privately at another clinic for the tests.

Think you're right that we could regret not waiting for a stress free period if we don't get the results we want too. Thank you hun. Xxx 😘

Tugsgirl in reply to Pookymama

Sounds like a good and sensible plan xx

Hi Pookymama

I felt I just had to reply as I have been in an almost identical situation to you recently!

My husband and I were offered the opportunity to buy his childhood home at the beginning of the year and just as we were in talks about it all, there was a huge flood (in the snow around February time) which pretty much gutted the whole house. Since a lot of the rebuild would be covered by insurance we thought we’d be in a good position to do it up and make it our own. However! It has been an extremely physically, emotionally and financially draining experience. My husband carried out a lot of the labour himself (while still trying to run his own company) and we did an extension at the same time. When it got to the stage, I decorated nearly an entire four bed house singlehanded! We both continued working and then doing the house on the evenings and weekends and now I can’t really remember what normal life resembles!

Our second round of ICSI failed in January so we had decided that we would finish the house over the summer and try again about now. However, like you, we haven’t had time to consider ourselves much throughout the process (and only moved in three weeks ago) so healthy diet, less alcohol and stress have all gone out the window!

Do you remember if you were told your AMH was low?

I’m 37 now and had an AMH of 6.3 two years ago, which is low for my age, but I have just had to try and tell myself that a couple of months shouldn’t make that much more of a difference. And in comparison to the stress I’ve felt (and still feel- the house is liveable but certainly not finished!) I felt our health was more urgent to get sorted.

We had exactly the same discussion as you and have finally now decided to wait until January. I’m not saying you should do the same, but for me, I wanted to feel in the best physical and emotional shape I could be!

Good luck with it all, whatever you decide and I hope everything settles down for you soon so you can both focus on yourselves xx

Pookymama in reply to Franco81

Hi Franco, thank you for your reply! Gosh, sounds like you've had a lot on your plate too! We also did an extension which took most of the time and money up so I feel your pain! I'm so glad you're in the house now though and are able to give yourselves the self care you need before your next round.

We've decided to do the same now. We should be in the house by the end of October so a nice few months to settle in and get healthy will stand us in good stead I think.

I don't remember my AMH, I phoned the hospital but they couldn't give me the results over the phone so they're sending them to me. Apparently it was last tested in 2016 though so it's been a while.

I'm sure 3 months won't be too bad for either of us hun, and approaching ivf with less stress, in a healthier state has got to be the better option than in the middle of chaos.

Hopefully we've both done all we can by January to make the next round go as smoothly as possible. Here's 2019 being our year! Xxx 😉

Selfishly we got told we could start last October and decided on 1 more Christmas of the two of us, relaxing, alcohol, food......might not be as bad as you think if you do decide to delay 😉

I don't think it is selfish to give ourselves a break as it helps to mentally prepare us, doesn't it! It's a massive roller coaster to meet Mr right, know he's the man who is worthy of fathering your children and then find your future dream becomes an uphill battle of finding pregnancy isn't coming as easily as hoped. We spend the years of what should be filled with fun, romance and carefree love-making facing constant disappointments of AFs, the stress of invasive testing and the "quick, I'm ovulating!" Sex followed by random acrobatic feats to "help the swimmers", all while watching what we eat, drink and do. Those years are exhausting, so we definitely benefit from lightening up on ourselves to recharge before ivf. Your not selfish at all lovely, your human! Enjoy being you for a while! I wish you every success for the next leg. Xx 😊

You are totally right on the sex, had me in stitches, it really does become like that, us females have the easy bit if we’re not in the mood 😂. Fortunately for us we got lucky at the start of this year with our first cycle, I’m currently 34+3 😀 baby is currently wedged under my left ribs this morning, ouchy! Wishing you all the best for finishing the renovations and starting on your cycle x

Yeah, sorry about that! I'm the queen of TMI but ya know, in the interests of keeping it real and all..😂. Aw, soo exciting that you're in such a good - all be it uncomfortable - place hun! Not long now! How're you feeling? Best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy and birth. Xx 😊

I’ve definitely not enjoyed pregnancy, been on meds for nausea since day 1 (apart from the comfortable pants, they’re great! 😉) and I’m not looking forward to the birth part but it’ll all be worth it in the end. I do enjoy feeling the baby move around, it’s amazing to think what it’s grown from! Hopefully this time next year you’ll be where I am now x

Aw, yoy poor thing, the nausea sounds miserable! I'm sure once s/he is born all of that will be a distant memory though! And yes, fingers crossed I'll get there too. Xx 😊


I think it’s a good plan to put it on hold for 3 months. If you went ahead now & it failed ( not saying it would) you might have regret. Treatment & stress aren’t the best mixture. Christmas is busy hectic time of year be nice to start afterwards! 36 isn’t old in terms of fertility. Good luck with everything xoxo

Pookymama in reply to Hidden

Hi Jess, yes, we've decided to put it on hold. You're so right about the potential for regrets otherwise! I'm really enjoying packing, organising and decorating in a leisurely fashion instead of doing it all and facing moving with the stress of ivf happening alongside. I think it's the right decision. How're you hun? Xx

Hi, I’d definitely push for repeat tests and these results may help you decide one way or another. Are you self funding or on the NHS? If self funded perhaps think about delaying but if NHS then it’s not so easy to change the timing I imagine.

Sounds like you’ve had an incredibly busy and draining time of late! You’ve achieved a lot though so well done to both of you 👏🏻

I can empathise a little with you on the house reno, busy work and stressful ivf decision - to ivf now or later. I’ve just hit peak busy period at work and have no headspace for things like IVF concerns let alone time to take off for appointments!! Our house reno has about one month left to go before we move back in, that has been very stressful but is ok at the moment. As we’re self funding (we are incredibly lucky and have a 3yo) we’ve reluctantly decided to wait until things calm down before starting our IVF journey.

In the meantime good luck with he house, try to look after yourself and one another xx

Yes, the docs said they don't need to retest despite them last being done in 2015 (SA) and 2016 (AMH), so when I phone to tell the clinic we're putting off until January, I'll push for retesting and if they refuse, we'll pay privately or something.

We're on our 2nd and final NHS round so want to get everything right. They're ok with us delaying so that should be fine.

Good that you're able to delay during such a busy period. I think being in the right headspace is so important!

Massive luck for your reno, move and ivf lovely! Hopefully everything will fall into place! Xx 😊

Hi! Personally I would wait wait wait. I delayed starting as we were going through a difficult family time. So glad I did . 3 months I doubt will change your reserve. Good luck xxx

Pookymama in reply to jenny34

Thank you Jenny, we've decided this is the most sensible option too. Sounds like you had a positive experience from waiting? Xx

jenny34 in reply to Pookymama

Our 1st (fresh) transfer failed (I think i was on brink of ohss) but we then had a natural fet which resulted in our eldest who is now 3. We later had a further natural fet which resulted in her little sister who is now 1. I am a firm believer in the research which shows that fets yield good outcomes , obvs! Wishing you loads of luck whatever you decide to do xxx

I would wait until January. I had a successful round of ivf at 39.

Get hubbie on some really good sperm health supplements between now and then (my clinic recommended condensyl) and you could take ubiquinol for egg health too. Get hubbie in for acupuncture or reflexology if you can make him stop long enough x

Hey Lizzie! So pleased for you to have had a successful round!

Yeah, he's taking the pregnacare well man brand at the mo but we'll look out for that other one.

I'm taking ubiqinol, vitamin c, a vitamin b complex, pregnacare, a fish oil blend with DHA, evening primrose oil and aspirin (so not much!😂).

I've taken him to accupuncture before but he didn't feel anything or believe in it so he didn't go back. Humph! Will maybe try him with it again once we're in the house. Xx 😊

I just took ubiquinol and pregnacare max which includes a fish oil supplement. Did your clinic recommend aspirin? There seems to be really mixed advice about whether taking it in the first 12 weeks is good. I’ve been put on it from week 12 of pregnancy to support my placenta but not before.

Ps reflexology is a nicer overall experience as at least you feel like you’ve had a great relaxing foot massage if nothing else, he might prefer that?

I know three more months feels like an eternity away but in the grand scheme of things it’s nothing- plus Christmas is in that time too (sure to bring additional stress!?) my clinic said to do it at a time where you give yourself the best possible chance. Stress plays such a big role in fertility. If you can I would say wait until you’re nice and settled and can begin the new year with fresh hope.

Good luck!xx

Pookymama in reply to Sausage11

Thank you sausage! I think stress is such a big factor and it is sensible to wait. Hopefully by January we'd have created the most conductive conditions for success! How's your journey going? Xx

Sausage11 in reply to Pookymama

Sorry I only just saw this reply. How are you getting on? What did you decide in the end? I am ten weeks now after a miscarriage, stage 4endo and 2 rounds of ivf, it’s been quite the year! Tying to stay calm and positive x


I would push for retesting on the both you before making a definite decision. We postponed our first round due to stress and it took longer than expected to settle, but we are back to it now. The time we took allowed me to get myself in the best place possible and I am thankful for it, I was a little nieve of the process before the break. I feel more prepared and ready. IGood luck with the move and i hope it calms for you soon :)

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