Is it me or the clinic?: Hi all, I am... - Fertility Network UK

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Is it me or the clinic?


Hi all,

I am new to this, but not so new to the terrible thing IVF is.

I'm 37 and this morning is the third time that I see the one dreaded line. Can't I just draw an extra line with a pink Sharpie?

fresh day 5/ frozen day 5/ fresh day 3

We're at the stage where we start to really wonder what is wrong with us.

All the data looks good - Eggs fertilize, sperm is good, lining is perfect but it never works.

We're thinking to change the clinic. It's not a bad clinic, but we need to try something different even if it is just to trick ourselves into thinking that we're doing something new. I've been reading everything here and it has helped me a lot to understand more. I do know that clinics are hidden so I'd really really appreciate anyone contacting me personally.

Does anyone have any recommendations where a doctor really takes care of your personal case?

I'm based in Surrey/Croydon but can travel wherever needed. My current one is based in Camberwell/Dulwich

21 Replies

Hello! Sorry to hear about your results. Have you tried Hijama/cupping?

Hi thedancer, I have never heard of it.

Hey! Have you had your progesterone levels tested after transfer? Sorry you’re not pregnant yet. It took me a long time and I’m certain it was all down to progesterone- see my posts x

Nadia1984 in reply to Scarlett13

Hi Scarlett,

I haven’t tested my progesterone levels after any of the 3 transfers.

Aren’t the lutigest pessaries 3 x per day doing that job? I have a consultation with my doctor this Monday, I will definitely ask him for this. Thank you!

Scarlett13 in reply to Nadia1984

Well for 7 transfers I was on various forms of progesterone - lubion injections, pessaries, with great embryos, but when I finally had my progesterone tested (despite the support I was on) my levels were soooooo low, like 4 or something? And around 50 is ideal! Once I switched to prontogest intra muscular injections for my 8th embryo, my levels rocketed to 90 and I got pregnant and now have a son, so I come on this forum to suggest this to ladies incase this is the problem for someone else. My clinic were so sure for so long that women didn’t need their levels testing as the standard progesterone given should have it covered but not all methods are the same and not all women respond the same. Some women have naturally low progesterone levels to start with. So it really needs to be tested and personalised. Must clinics in Europe test as standard as they’re aware of this. After 6 embryos failed to implant and my 7th ended in miscarriage early on, my clinic said their new research showed that women do need to be tested and they found prontogest to be the most effective followed by pessaries and lubion was least effective. So in the end I was on intra muscular injections plus pessaries until 12 weeks into my pregnancy with my 8th embryo then I gradually reduced off the support. I feel that a lot of time and money and pain was potentially wasted for me although I’ll never know 100% if this was the reason or coincidence. But all my embryos were strong and I had the scratch 5 times too. I got 7 day 5 embryos from my 3rd round and by number 4 of that cycle I finally got tested and had my progesterone changed, my levels went from very low to very high and I was pregnant. Seems to me that it has to be that. Perhaps my miscarriage was due to not enough progesterone in my body to support the pregnancy. My previous embryos potentially didn’t even implant because of lack of progesterone. I was only on pessaries at the beginning then mainly on lubion for the majority of my transfers. I’m not saying this is your issue but it is definitely worth exploring and if your clinic doesn’t test progesterone as standard then I would really press them hard to let you pay for them to test you - I was tested the day before transfer - then again the day after transfer at my request I think it was. I wrote a post about the importance of progesterone. I was trusting my clinic all that time and was even told no the first time I asked if I could be tested but then their own research made them test as standard. Good luck xxx

Nadia1984 in reply to Scarlett13

Thank you so much for all this. You're an angel. I am so happy for you and your boy, it gives me hope too. :) It is so very helpful to read all the information that you wrote. I hope more women see this and find the solution in the progesterone levels.

I will really demand these tests for my next cycle. I just still have the dilemma if I should stick to the same clinic where I had two failed cycles of IVF with 3 unsuccessful transfers or I should change.

I guess I will decide after my call with the doctor on Monday and challenging him with all these questions.

Scarlett13 in reply to Nadia1984

I kept with the same clinic and glad that I did. Definitely see how they respond to your queries x

So useful thanks Scarlett13 ❤💫🥰 congrats on your boy x

Thank you xxx

At what stage should they be checking progesterone? I am due to start my one and only funded cycle and im hoping it all works out

Before transfer is a good idea xx

Depends if your clinic does testing for this - if they don’t you could ask to pay to have it done? Cost me £35. Good luck on your journey xx

Hi. I'm so sorry to hear this.☹️

I have also had 3 failed transfers, my clinic has recommended I have an ERA test as I may need an extra day of progesterone as they may be transfering the embryo at the wrong time. If that's the case the embryo cannot implant.

I am also having a blood test to check if I have Nk cells.

I have these tests on the 16th march, hopefully they will give me the answers I need.

Have you had these tests? if not maybe look into them. I have seen a lot of women on here who have had them and had a positive test afterwards just by changing up a few things ..

I also had my progesterone levels checked the day before my last transfer and my levels were very they added in lubion injections which helped increase my levels

I hope this helps x

Scarlett13 in reply to Hope_1234

I’m pleased to hear you’re having your progesterone levels tested and your progesterone increased x

Hi Hope,

Thank you so much for your answer. It really really helps.

I am sorry to hear that you had three failed transfers too. I hope the 4th is successful for both of us! :)

I have never done ERA test, I am curious if my doctor will recommend that too.

And I will ask him for the NK cells test as well.

It is impressive how much you can learn from all of you. I feel you are natural doctors by heart :)

I really hope you get the answers you need and most of all the miracle that we all want so much.

All the best.

Hope_1234 in reply to Nadia1984

I would suggest to him about getting an ERA and NK cells test if everything else seems to look good.

(Have a little research on here about women who have had an ERA test and then gone on and had a positive test, there's so many)

After my test on the 16th, it takes about 6 weeks for my results so I will update you on how it goes

Wishing you the best of luck, let's hope for 4th time lucky for the both of us 🤞🥰

Nadia1984 in reply to Hope_1234

I think ERA is my most searched word today I probably have typed it 200 times :) thank you for your advice it really means a lot to me!

I hope it all goes well for you and the test really helps. I'll keep all my fingers crossed for you!!


I see some others have suggested nk cell testing. Nk cells usually attack at implantation stage so it is likely that you would have had either very early chemicals or nothing at all. If you do decide to go down the nk cell route, you are literally down the road from me and also, in my opinion, the best miscarriage specialist in London. Doctor hassan shehata specialises in nk cells and immunology and is based in his Epsom crp clinic 4 days a week (1 day at harley Street clinic in london). He is the reason I am 23 weeks pregnant. Good luck x

Hi Zebedee,

Thank you so much for answering and congratulations on your pregnancy. This is just so nice to hear. These are the stories that keep you going :)

It is really interesting that you are mentioning chemical pregnancy as I have always wondered how do you actually detect one.

I have only done 3 pregnancy tests in my whole life. Three of them on the date I have been told from the clinic and obviously all of them ended up with the scratch.

My period has always been clockwork, you could almost adjust the calendar to it and yet I have been TTC from three years with no good results.

I promised myself that next time I will start with the tests much earlier so I can be more of control of what's happening.

Interestingly, I was exactly the same. My periods are exactly 34 days long and I ovulate on day 21. When I had my viability scan I even said to the sonographer 'so I'm 7 weeks 4 days pregnant based on the first day of my menstrual period, but it should only be 6 weeks and 4 days as I ovulate late.' he literally looked me in the eyes and went 'wow, you really know your body.' I was measuring exactly 6 weeks 4 days 😂

I was also similar: always got 15+ eggs, partners sperm was good, most fertilised (but we only ever got 2 embryos every cycle) and my lining was fine. My amh is 16.5 so really good for my age- I'm 39 now, but 38 when I conceived.

Sometimes you do ask yourself- if everything is fine, why is it not happening?? For me, nk cells was the answer. I had a natural pregnancy after 3 failed ivf rounds because I was put on loads of different drugs to calm the nk cells down.

So, with chemicals, I always got a very faint line a couple of days before my period was due... On the day of my period, the lines would be visible but not necessarily dark enough to give me confidence all was going well. The lines then did not get any darker. My period then came as normal. If you've not done pregnancy tests then it's unlikely you'd know you'd even had a chemical, most people only know because of the tests.

There could be so many reasons why it's not happening for you. People always say 'oh, it's probably embryo quality' but there's so much more it could be. If it's not your lining, it could be an immunology issue. My mum has rheumatoid arthritis and I'm pretty sure that my own problems conceiving are linked to my immune issues. It really is insane how hard it can be to get pregnant, but hopefully you're on the right track, as you're asking questions and willing to look further afield for explanations x

It is really helpful to find similarities, this is the only way I can measure my path :)

We actually had 8 follicles/eggs the first time all fertilised only two made it to day 5.

I had one fresh transfer and one frozen

The second time was worse, they've added Gonal to my protocol. 7 follicles only 3 fertilised I had a 3 day fresh embryo transfer and none to freeze.

I am a firm believer that everything has a reason. This is not a sci-fi movie it is as real as it can get. This is why this unexplained fertility is driving me crazy. I am sure there is a reason behind all of it I just need to figure it out. Not easy with my poor biology knowledge. :)

People like yourself help me find more answers than anyone in my clinic. Thank you Zabedee.

Next time I will stuck up on pregnancy tests. :)

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