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Fertility and RA

Does anyone have any experience with infertility and RA? We have been trying to have a baby for about 8 years now with no luck. We have done 4 unsuccessful rounds of IVF. When i started the methotrexate I also started birth control due to the possible birth defect side effect methotrexate can have. I know the likelihood of becoming pregnant on my own is slim to none but it still makes me sad to know it’s even less possible now that I’m on birth control. My rheumatologist was really good about explaining other options if we were still looking into more fertility treatments but i really want to get my RA under control and he feels that methotrexate is the best option. My pain has substantially decreased since starting the mtx so i do think it’s working but the “what if’s” are so hard!

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My family was already growing up when i was diagnosed darling,but i know there are people on here who are childless and not always by choice,so hopefully one of them will be better placed to answer your question darling. There will be plenty on here who have had problems. It is not the end of the world if you can't have a child my sweet and no i am not being patronising as i am sure you know. Hugs to you my darling.xxxx

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Yea I done 1 round of ivf with no success tried all sort of things including all tests I done but with no explanation. I didn’t know I had ra at the time , now I understand a little better

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Sounds like we have similar stories. We too are “unexplained” infertility. I didn’t know i had RA until October so all our fertility treatment was before that also

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We also tried for 8 years before starting fertility treatment, though it would have been 7 if it hadn't been for a hospital error putting us back a year. I'm not sure my experience is helpful though as I wasn't diagnosed with RD until I was 48 & that was after only a month of symptoms & of course my treatment was way before but there may be options for you.

You don't mention your age but I'm sure you must know that your fertility decreases with age & from 36 upwards it's more difficult with IVF, or it was back in the '90's when we were trying. We had 3 rounds of IUI, 6 of IVF/ICSI & although ours was initially considered unexplained infertility (even though I had confirmed endometriosis which was treated) we did find out my h had a problem too. This was easier in a way because neither of us were to 'blame', though I do dislike using that word in this context.

How long have you been on MTX & how well are you controlled presently? Just thinking if you're still eligible to continue fertility treatment & your age is becoming a consideration maybe if you're well enough you could test out trying one of the DMARDs considered ok for if you do (with lots of hope) become pregnant. Hydroxychloroquine, sulfasalazine (with folic acid) or azathioprine at low dose, each with steroids, may be options to discuss with your Rheumy.

I do so hope some of this helps, & of course if you are considered suitable to start fertility treatment again it's successful. However if you're not successful it's really not the end of the world, you still have each other & if you can weather this it only proves your love for each other is stronger than in most marriages, it really does test you but our experience is we're surrounded by Godchildren who love you second only to their mum & dad. I won't bleat on about fostering or adopting because you'll probably have been told that & it's the last thing you want to hear if you long for a child of your own. Be strong together & believe, that's my best advice to you both. x

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Thanks for the response! I am 33 and well aware of fertility decreasing at 35. We don’t have any frozen embryos left so would have to do another whole retrieval and all again. We are actually currently looking into adoption. We have talked about doing surrogacy in a few years but right now we are content with the adoption route.

I have been on methotrexate since the beginning of November...so not long...but it does seem to be working and i don’t really want to switch meds at this point. My doc talked about Hydroxycholoroquine but didn’t think it would be effective for me because my RF and CCP were both quite high.

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We tried for 5 years. We were told we had unexplained infertility. Randomly one day I spoke with someone about trying for a baby and she asked me if I took diclofenec - which I had done for about 30 years (I was diagnosed at 8). Anyway long story short. I stopped taking it. 3 months later I fell pregnant. I don't now if it was coincidence. I did miscarry early on. But 2 months later I fell pregnant again. My daughter is now 4. I was on enbrel at the time. I've never taken methotrexate as I wanted a family but I was lucky other meds work for me. I continued on prednisone. Don't give up hope. X

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Thank you! I love hearing success stories!

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Just like you I was taking a NSAID it was a cox2 inhibitor. Few people know they can cause temporary infertility. Like u I stopped taking it which was a huge struggle but 3 mths later bingo I was pregnant. I choose to never restart it as I had become so dependant on it. I have never needed it since and have had RA for 20 yrs.

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My doc did talk about other options and was very open to putting me on something else down the road if we decide to try again for a baby. So I’m glad that we at least have that option. Thanks again for your story! ❤️

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If you've not been on MTX for long I would give your body chance to have some rest from the disease. Once your pain & inflammation has improved & is more manageable I would consider stopping it in order to try to conceive. Before doing so I would speak to your consultant about taking sulphazaline for a period of time before stopping MTX so it can be your main line if defense along with steroids whilst your trying & during it pregnancy. Every drug has it's risks but you will be monitored fat more closely. Good luck & u will get there. U are young. I had my first child at 33 after having RA since 21.

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Hey I'm so sorry about your struggles but just wanted to let you know that I have two babies. One of them after I was diagnosed. So please don't give up hope xx

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We tried forever and never succeeded. I wish you all of the best luck in the world. We were going to try adoption, but my DH backed out and I wouldn't push that issue for anything..

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Hello lovely I so understand - I have been trying for 6 yrs- it can be soul destroying - esp if every around u is having babies ..... good luck 😉

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Yeah - That is the hard part - Everyone you see has babies and many insist that you hold them - ha ha... And God help you, you want to too. I will keep you in my thoughts as you and your DH got through this... Happy New Year too!

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I had pregnancies in 1993 & 1996 with no problems at all, especially since I was dx in 1971 and taken MTX & lots other drugs for years. I don't feel RA affected my ability to have children at all but, I did have an early menopause in my early 40's which I attribute to RA.

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I had Ra for 14 years before wanting to start a family. We tried for 2 yrs after stopping MTX for the standard 3 mths but no luck. We were in the process of starting IUI after a chance statement about NSAIDS possibly causing temporary infertility. A few Google searches later & discovered they can cause problems with your ovulation & thus stop u getting pregnant. I stopped the said Cox2 inhibitor I was on which was a massive struggle but 3 months later I was pregnant. The RA specialist had said I was fine to continue on it. The reality was different.

I managed my RA on sulphazaline & steroids alone for both of my pregnancies & my RA is pretty bad. I'm not sure what other meds u are on but triple check in case they are causing u any issues. Do your own research & question your RA & fertility specialists. Don't give up hope but try to give yourself the best chance.

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Thanks for sharing your story! I am currently only on MTX.

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