Should we go down the IVF path? - Fertility Network UK

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Should we go down the IVF path?

Noodleone profile image
Noodleone

My partner and I met when he was 38 and I was 39. I’m now 41 and time is running out.

We TTC naturally for a year but my irregular cycles made it impossible. We have tried a couple of rounds of letrozole which worked to prompt ovulation and then didn’t. Now on first cycle of clomid. My fertility specialist had given us a less that 10% chance of conception via ovulation induction but thinks I am a good candidate for IVF due to high egg count (pcos) and we would have better odds that route.

Both of us said we wouldn’t go down the IVF path when we started TTC 18 months ago. He is still not keen for a range of reasons non of which are inflexible. Faced with the possible end of the road I am still super scared (I was anti due to the invasive treatment) but worried I will regret it if I don’t give it a shot.

He has said ‘if you want to do it I’ll do it’ which feels as bad to me as him saying he doesn’t want to do it at all as I feel like we are not in it together. We are fighting over it a bit which is not like us and I feel we are now on different pages with what to do next. He had also been travelling for work over the last month so has been arms length from the whole process while I have been buried under thinking about it + going through all the treatment on my own.

Any advice would be appreciated!

35 Replies

Hi I’m so sorry you are having such a tricky time.

I could have written this myself a year or so ago. We had been ttc and got our bfp almost immediately but it was a blighted ovum so ended in MC and then despite months of trying nothing else happened.

I spoke to my doctor who basically said a) 41 isn’t old anymore and b) you have unexplained infertility so you should get pregnant but c) time isn’t necessarily on your side so if you can both cope with it mentally and can both afford it then ivf seems a sensible option.

We eventually gave ourselves a ttc deadline after which we agreed we would ivf, it still was a BIG debate whether we started but we came to a decision eventually. I am now 42. I am on my 3rd round (my long winded story is shared via posts on my page). I dont think either of us regret starting as I feel each round at least we have managed to get to embryo stage (even if it doesn’t work) which is a step on from where we were getting naturally. However I would also add it has added pressure to our relationship and is definitely not the quick fix I had hoped it would be.

Feel free to PM me if you want more info or have questions! good luck xx

Noodleone profile image
Noodleone in reply to Daisy1245

Thank you so much. It’s a really good point about it not being the path anyone would choose. Sometimes I feel like I am holding on to false hope and should just accept the timing has got the better of us. However, It is comforting to know you haven’t regretted going down the path despite reservations to begin with. I had a look at your profile and it looks like you have had a tough run!

My dr has been quite frank about age being our biggest challenge although I only turned 41 at the end of June. Did your doctor give you any idea of chances at our age for it to work? Mine has said if it gets to good quality embryos which he said is likely because egg count is not a problem the odds are circa 50% for pregnancy (birth rates are lower of course) but I see so many different stats and I am never sure which ones to believe.

Daisy1245 profile image
Daisy1245 in reply to Noodleone

Hi, I am afraid I was given very different % chances by my doctor. She told me (and my consultant said similar) I had about a 1 in 25 chance of getting pregnant naturally but a 1 in 4 chance in getting pregnant through IVF. When we heard those stats it was a no brainer for us x

Noodleone profile image
Noodleone in reply to Daisy1245

Thanks for sharing. It’s so confusing!

This is a tricky situation but you will need your partners 100% support if you want to go through IVF. Has he had tests to check his sperm count and quality?

My advice would be to get referred to a clinic and speak to a consultant to find out all of the proposed tests and what regime they wield recommend for you. Your clinic will also have access to a counsellor. Once you know what the process entails you could both chat with the councillor together.

What ever you decide to do I wish you the best of luck xx

Noodleone profile image
Noodleone in reply to LKT1

Thank you. We’re being treated at a private clinic and have had all the tests done. The issue is me not him. The next step is to go and talk to a counsellor.

Hey there! Ah it’s a rough time for you, no one knows how hard it is when we’re TTC and having problems.

I was probably of a similar view to your partner when we first started trying, he was more open to IVF than I was (seeing as the invasive treatment was on me!)

Some fertility clinics do open days etc which explain a lot, I wish we’d taken the opportunity to go to one of those - it may help you both get your head around it?

He’s not saying no, so that’s good at least. And let’s face it, no one would choose to have IVF, but it offers a chance we’d otherwise not have. So I guess the discussion to have is would you both rather have given it a go or not - how would you feel in years to come.

Wishing you the best of luck, it’s not a nice situation and does put pressure on but this forum is great to help xxx

Thank you. We’re being treated through a clinic and I at least have watched all the videos and spoken to friends about the process. I know it’s going to be super tough. I need home 100% with me to do it and I’m just not sure his heart is in it but then I also don’t want to compromise on the chance we could have. He’s definitely not saying no - but I don’t want to feel I’m dragging him over the line either. Ugh.

I guess you need to ask yourself whether, a couple of years down the line, you'd regret not trying it. It's a big investment financially, as well as emotionally, and unfortunately there are no guarantees - but would you look back and wish you'd at least given it a shot? And if you decide not to do it because of your partner's reluctance can you live with that without it becoming a source of resentment?

If I had to give an opinion I would say go for it, then if it sadly wasn't successful at least you'd have no regrets and if it was successful... but best of luck whichever way you decide xxx

Yeah this is exactly my dilemma. I feel either way I lose either by conceding to him or pulling him over the line when he isn’t keen. I think on balance I’ll feel less regret via IVF

Hi,

I met my partner later in life too, all my friends have had the perfect marriage, house, kids package. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked that way for us. After 2 early miscarriages early on then nothing for a year, we went down the ivf route. We had our transfer yesterday and, honestly, even though the 2 week wait to find out if it has taken will be tough, the thought that a fertilised egg is at least in my system is a weight off my shoulders. There are no guarantees it will work but, for me, I at least feel a little more in control of the situation. I got so depressed trying every month and waiting around not even knowing if the egg had even been fertilised. At least there's a chance this way. Yes, it's not the romantic ideal and yes, it is invasive but truthfully you do sort of get used to it. They do preserve your dignity as much as they can, and it's less uncomfortable than a smear test! The scans are every few days and it's like a lubed up dildo they use to look inside! I would say having my partner around to do all the injections has been a dream though--the first lot of injections have small needles and a friend of my partners did them herself, but I didn't want to inject myself. If your partner isn't around, bare in mind, the needles after transfer are much bigger and inject into your thigh muscle rather than stomach fat like the earlier ones--even my other half was nervous using them. I would say it helps to have someone to do these for you. Unless you're a tough nut and are happy doing yourself!! I couldn't have done this without my partners support but that's just me. I think it's important you have someone around to do this with you. I don't know if my cycle has been successful yet (my eggs were average quality) but I don't regret taking the chance and trying a different strategy-- good luck with whatever you decide to do x

That sounds horrific post transfer! First two rounds I just had pessaries and third round I do have to inject blood thinners but no muscle injections so just to reassure readers some people are luckier!! I did want to say though I really really agree with your commentary about the fertilised egg - the monthly cycle was getting me so down too. I def feel more in control this way (even tho I probably am not!) good luck for your 2ww, I am 6dp3det x

I think maybe my nurse was a bit rougher than she needed to be. My partner was far gentler!! I still wouldn't want to be jabbing myself though!

Congrats x

No congrats / I’m pretty sure it hasn’t worked 🤦🏼‍♀️. Good luck for yours xx

Thank you for your response - I really appreciate. I wish you all the very best for your journey from here.

I’ve already had some insight into treatment as the 3x ovulation inductions we’ve done have including regular blood tests + scans and I’ve been using trigger injections. My partner has been fantastic giving me the injections as I am needle phobic. In part, that’s why I think IVF is now less of a step for me as the treatment is halfway there already...

Hey, I hope you are well. I can understand how hard this all must be for you. When partner and you are not on the same page it can be a struggle. Therefore, my advice to you would be that you both visit the doctor together. After than talk about things openly. Listen to each other's side. This will really help you.

Noodleone profile image
Noodleone in reply to hannahding

Thank you. Yes I think that’s what we now probably need to do.

Hey, I’ve just finished my first cycle of ICSI (one fresh, 2 FET) all BFN. I’m 40. My presumption was that we would continue privately but my husband announced he didn’t think he wanted to continue. After a lot of talking and thinking I realised that I couldn’t give up now or I would always resent him. I told him that I was going to continue and he had to decide if he was coming with me. My husband works away a lot so I’ve done most of it alone anyway.

We’ve had couples therapy (not with the clinic, they told us this was a relationship issue not IVF 🤷🏻‍♀️). My husband had a huge breakthrough and admitted he was scared and hated seeing me go through this (and some other personal issues I won’t go into). He’s now starting to come around. I want to add that my husband and I are very close and very loving and this issue is not a reflection on our relationship. It’s very easy, when disagreeing about a single issue, to think that your whole relationship is tainted.

In conclusion, I would think very carefully about what YOU want for YOUR future. And I would strongly recommend going to couples therapy. It will help to strengthen your relationship through the journey and understand each other and how best to communicate.

Noodleone profile image
Noodleone in reply to Redpixie

This is super helpful / thank you for sharing. I have had a similar experience - he travels a lot for work and I feel like I’ve been carrying most of this on my own anyway. In part, that may be what is causing his detachment - we’ve been having discussion about this on a sat phone due to his remoteness! The balance of resenting him for not doing versus feeling guilty I’ve pushed him is real but I do think the latter wins out over all.

Redpixie profile image
Redpixie in reply to Noodleone

I can totally relate. My husband work 4 weeks away, 4 weeks at home. After our first cycle, I can honestly say I am so proud of myself for doing this independently. I am surprised by my strength and resilience and now know I can do anything 💪. You can do it too. The last FET I did completely on my own and in some ways it was a positive experience. Try to think long and hard about what you want and don’t let fear stop you. A classic Winnie the Pooh quote perfect for IVF “you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”. You got this 💪

On a side note, have you looked into acupuncture for regulating your cycle?

Hidden profile image
Hidden

I am 42 and the pressure of trying naturally was much more stressful than ivf. With low eggs count I got pregnant at my first round of ivf with twins, I am now 21 weeks. For me ivf was the best decision I have even made - I didn’t find it too stressful due to being cared by a great consultant, you just need to be very focused with medications and injections (don’t missed them and do them at the time they tell u to do them).

Between being turn by the possibility of not having children and having ivf, I would choose ivf always.

Hope this helps.

xx

Noodleone profile image
Noodleone in reply to Hidden

Thank you for sharing. That gives me hope! I think I’m reaching the same conclusion as you - just need to help him get there too...

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to Noodleone

Good luck! The sooner you get there, more chances you have! Good that you still have high eggs count!

I’m sure you’ve done all the financials regarding affordability etc, but the reality is, it’s addictive!!!!! Every step closer makes you want to try one more time and it’s like gambling... you always find the funds, sometimes at the detriment of your relationship. I was really lucky, needed minimal intervention medicinally, but had 2 full stimulated cycles, with ICSI, freezing frozen embryo transfer, sperm retrieval, Sperm storage etc a very expensive journey, and have one daughter and one on the way at 40 which is a huge success! But I have 5 different friends who were not so lucky, more than 5 full cycles each not to mention medicine, FET and storage etc, and only one has had a child. Every time we’re together and start the IVF talk, the financial fact and debt each family incurred is a real harsh reality that they face and all have said that they should’ve given up way earlier than they did. I don’t mean to take the wind out of your sail, but if your partner is already not on board 100%, just be sure to set a financial milestone that you’re both happy with and agree to and stick to it! If it doesn’t work out for you at least there will be no regrets or blame. It’s a stressful situation that can bring out the worst in couples! Good luck with your journey! X

A really good point. At this stage, due to my age, I’ve always said end of 2019 is my deadline and I still feel confident with that. The issue will be if we get there almost but not quite - although I think my age will cause a deadline for us.

Hey lovely. Yes, it is quite the journey. Certainly not a club anyone wants to be in but once . you're in it - you find yourself with the most wonderful community of sisters. I have friends I speak to around the world who I've never even met. I'm on round two of IVF now and the needles are easy. Emotions more manageable. I had a struggle with my husband also. He already has two children from his first marriage so having children is not so important to him - he already has two. It took a long time of discussions and heart to hearts and arguments until we got to where we are today. It took me drawing up huge spreadsheets to show how we could afford it - where loans were going to come from - how much money we'd have left at the end. We live in HK and I have a sick mum in the UK to visit and his kids are in Oz so we have so much going on. But here we are. Round 2. Made us stronger in the end. As we had to share so much. He hates needles but injected first round. Now I know how much he hates it and I'm calmer, I do it this time. His first wife also had four miscarriages so he's really uncomfortable at doctors so I manage a lot of that too. He supports where he can. Each relationship is so different. Good luck!! xoxox

Oh wow, what a journey you have been on! I have much to be grateful for - I have a best friend in a similar position to you (partner already has 3 kids) and it is supper tough! I wish you all the best!

You got this. Another thing to help grow your relationship and make you stronger x

I’m sorry to hear you having such a tough time deciding. We’ve had one failed attempt so far and I was grieving the loss of my father at the time. It was such a hard process to go through and my husband and I really struggled. It’s such a big thing for you both to go. A few of my friends had ivf and told me how much strain it can put on a marriage and I kinda didn’t believe them until it happened to us. We are ok now but for a few weeks I was thinking he didn’t want to do it and didn’t want it like i did. (He did but my hormones were all over the place).

You can only do what’s best for you and your marriage. If you decide to try we are all here for you xx

Noodleone profile image
Noodleone in reply to L400ynd

Thank you! I am finding even our current treatment (stimulates ovulation induction and IUi) is putting pressure on us a Leary’s even though we agreed not to let it come between us. It’s much harder than I thought an I know IVf is next level due to the stakes being so much higher. Wishing you all the very best!!

The hardest part of IVF for us was admitting that we needed help to have a family. The mental aspect was the toughest but once we accepted that that’s what we needed to do, everything else was plain sailing.

Good luck with it all. I know it’s really tough xx

I had my last child at 41 it had been 17 yrs since I had been pregnant I conceived natural but I have my 1st grandchild the same age as my 16 yr son I am 57 now and have no regrets having this son at 41 good luck and do what works for you all

If you want to get pregnant within the next few months, they do ivf. There are a million reasons why you can talk yourself out of it and I tried to do that for two years until I caved and I did it and now I'm 16 weeks preggo. Just do it. Invasive shminvasive ! who cares. it will give you your baby when everything else is just a shot in the dark!

Hi Noodleone, it is a very difficult decision to make. I'm 41,42 nxt month and my partner is the same age,we met late on in life and had tried to get pregnant naturally but didn't happen so we decided to go down the IVF route,well to be totally honest I did,my partner was quite honest and said he was doing it for me as he knew how much I wanted to be a mom. Its been a difficult journey,first cycle was abandoned due to quality of my eggs and was told only option was donor egg, after a missed miscarriage and 2 failed rounds I am currently 6weeks and 2 days pregnant and since going through it my partner has got more on board and is now 100% supportive.

Wishing you lots of luck, you will find the ladies on here really supportive xx

Noodleone profile image
Noodleone in reply to Clairenix

Thanks for sharing this! Best of wishes for your pregnancy x

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