Anyone else also diagnosed with Unexplained Infertility? IUI or IVF

(72 Posts)
seaviewasia Mon 03-Sep-12 15:00:46

Hi there, just wondered if anyone is in a similar situation to me. I have unexplained fertility, in perfect health, all my tests including FSH levels, Lap and dye tests have all been perfect. I am 34 years old and we have been TTC for 3 years. Doctors tell me I am a picture of health. I have regular 28 day cycles - almost always to the day. I have never had a missed period, been pregnant or been on the pill. My husband's tests all came back normal too. He is 39.

I was slightly underweight and in order to qualify for IVF on the NHS I have had to put on 3kg. I am half a kg away from normal weight.
I was always extremely relaxed about getting pregnant but I am beginning to feel the pressure after trying naturally for 3 years. I will be 35 in January.
I have now been referred via the NHS to have IUI/IVF but after 3 months I am still waiting for an appointment. I also have an appointment with a private clinic this week as I feel I need to move things along now.

Just wondered if anyone here has been in a similar situation. Would you have IUI first before IVF if you were in my situation?

PicaK Mon 03-Sep-12 21:20:23

Well I was in your situation (except in the normal weight range). Three goes of IUI didn't work for me - IVF did eventually. If I could go back in time then i'd tell myself to skip that year of IUI. And also not to do ivf in the winter cos that didn't work for us.

But that's our gut instinct and as much use to you as a chocolate teapot.

It could be that in your case you'd be one of the few that IUI works for so ivf would be a metaphorical sledgehammer. But life is short and the longer you do the infertility journey the harder it gets. If you have the money then I'd say leapfrog to ivf.

I'd also say get your private person to do blood tests for autoimmune stuff. But again that's cos i've just found out i've got Hughes syndrome. See everyone's opinion is hopelessly influenced by their experience.

I would say chase up that NHS appointment. Stuff goes missing and it shouldn't take that long to see a consultant even if the treatment takes a while.

Best of luck. Throw everything you've got at this and don't feel guilty about it.

seaviewasia Mon 03-Sep-12 22:27:30

Pica, thanks so much for sharing your experience.
I will definitely chase up the NHS route.
I know what you mean. I am keen to do at least IUI once. I have been told that it's worth doing if I am easy to stimulate but if not I should go to IVF hence why I thought worth doing at least once to try it out.
Thanks so much for your suggestion. I will ask about these additional tests. I am so new to all of this it all feels a bit overwhelming.

PicaK Tue 04-Sep-12 07:15:16

It is overwhelming.

My one bit of advice i'm v confident about is that counselling really helps.

Bluegingham Thu 06-Sep-12 09:35:11

Picak, I agree, esp immunes.
Fwiw though I'd totally forget iui. The success rates are SO poor it's not worth bothering with, esp mid 30s.
Have a look at the HFEA site for the success rates of clinics. The best, but sadly most expensive is ARGC. Their stats are the closest thing you'll get to buying your own baby.

Devilforasideboard Thu 06-Sep-12 18:47:30

We have a diagnosis of unexplained infertility and the consultant didn't even mention IUI, we're going straight to IVF/ICSI. He says the IVF/ICSI will potentially be useful as a diagnostic tool given that there's no obvious reason why I'm not conceiving.

I was similar and we had 5 unsuccessful IUIs.
Even at the time I hadn't heard of anyone who got pg that way. Have since only ever known one person.

Almost everyone I talk to wishes they had skipped IUIs and gone straight to IVF. It just wasted time/money and built up hopes.

My personal story is TTC for 3 years, had 5 IUIs then took some time to consider whether/when to do IVF and feel pg naturally. Then fell pg naturally again when DD1 was 18 months old.

Good luck.

seaviewasia Thu 06-Sep-12 23:36:02

Thanks ladies.

Appreciate your suggestions. I thought the same about IUI - success rate very low but so many health professionals I have spoken to say I should try it - doctors and the acu chinese doctors. They keep telling me I am still young so worth trying but I don't think 34 is young in fertility age...

I am in two minds still. My thoughts were to try it once, see how it is and depending on how easy I am to stimulate, I might carry on or not.

daintynuts - so happy to hear your positive story.

Will more than likely go with CRGH. Anyone had any experience with them?

MummyDoIt Thu 06-Sep-12 23:41:41

I can speak in favour of IUI. I was unexplained, all tests perfectly normal, no reason why I shouldn't conceive. My consultant recommended three IUIs before moving on to IVF and I conceived on the second cycle. We had no treatment available on the NHS so it was worth a shot as IUI is so much cheaper than IVF.

highlove Fri 07-Sep-12 16:14:08

I'm also a (partial) IUI success in that I got pregnant with a combination of injectibles and IUI on the first go. Very sadly miscarried at about 8 weeks but obviously that's not related.

Having said that, we've exhausted our NHS options and no we're going private we are going straight to IVF/ICSI...if I could do IUI again on the NHS I'd give it another go BUT as we are paying for it, we concluded better to throw our money at what gives us most chance of another pregnancy. We could do three goes of IUI with injectibles for the cost of a cycle of IVF so just felt like that was the right option for us.

You will see further another thread on IUI vs IVF further down which I started and the consensus was just go straight to IVF. My reservations were just that IUI is closer to 'natural' and I had a thing about not being in the same place when my potential children were conceived. But the bottom line is I want a family so have decided to do what is most likely to make that happen.

Best of luck

highlove Fri 07-Sep-12 16:14:10

I'm also a (partial) IUI success in that I got pregnant with a combination of injectibles and IUI on the first go. Very sadly miscarried at about 8 weeks but obviously that's not related.

Having said that, we've exhausted our NHS options and no we're going private we are going straight to IVF/ICSI...if I could do IUI again on the NHS I'd give it another go BUT as we are paying for it, we concluded better to throw our money at what gives us most chance of another pregnancy. We could do three goes of IUI with injectibles for the cost of a cycle of IVF so just felt like that was the right option for us.

You will see further another thread on IUI vs IVF further down which I started and the consensus was just go straight to IVF. My reservations were just that IUI is closer to 'natural' and I had a thing about not being in the same place when my potential children were conceived. But the bottom line is I want a family so have decided to do what is most likely to make that happen.

Best of luck

sw11mumofone Sat 06-Oct-12 21:57:38

I was in a very similar situation. All tests perfect, picture of health but ttc for 3 years with no luck. Went to a private clinic and was recommended to do 3 lots of iui before ivf. Fell pregnant on the second try and didnt need ivf. I would highly recommend my clinic -CRGH - they have had some of the best results in the country for the last few years. For my second dc (currently 19 weeks pregnant) I had ivf. However this was because my fertility levels had significantly dropped since last time (am now 39). Luckily it worked first time. I would definitely do iui first as it was cheaper and far less invasive than ivf. Such a personal choice though. Good luck!

blondebaby111 Mon 12-Nov-12 14:07:28

Hi there, yes we have unexplainned too...its hard because you feel like its not a proper diagnosis. I tried just one round of clomid which didn't work either so we decided after a lot of thought (i really didn't want to go down this route really) to try I.V.F. it wasn't half as bad as i was expecting it to be and can happily say we are going back tomorrow for our et...really hope and pray this works. We never got the option of iui so don't know much about it but whichever you choose i wish you lots of luck xx

seaviewasia Thu 29-Nov-12 12:47:51

mummy,, high love, Sw11 and blonde - thank you for your comments.
I will definitely be going for IUI in the new year. I finally decided this was what I would prefer to do. It was also helped by my Ovarian Reserve Test results which was excellent. I figured I have waited this long, I can wait a little longer and try the most natural assisted conception route first.
Thanks so much everyone. I hope it all goes well for all of you.

Neyite Sun 02-Dec-12 11:39:08

I had ovulation stimulation with Clomid and trigger shot and was lucky on the third cycle. He is six months old now and we are about to try for a sibling naturally. I was 37 when I conceived.

Ginshizz Mon 03-Dec-12 12:43:17


DH and I had been ttc for 3 yrs when we were referred to the NHS ACU. DH's swimmers were a little on the lazy side but everything for both of use was within the normal parameters so we were told we had unexplained infertility.

I had tried seven months on clomid privately with not so much as a sniff of a bfp.

We were told IVF was our best option becaus of the length of time we had been ttc. At the time we started IVF, I was 34 and DH was 38.

We then pushed for ICSI as well as we only had one shot with NHS funding so didn't want to take any risks - our dr was fine with this.

We now have a lovely little 6 mo DD currently trying to cover my iPad with yoghurt!

We were given the option of three rounds of IUI but I was so emotionally exhausted with not getting pg despite everything (I really though clomid would do it for us!) that we decided to go straight for IVF. I can't explain why but I just didn't have any faith in IUI being able to work for us and I just couldn't deal with the thought of waiting even longer to get pg, although that was just me being impatient feeling frazzled I think as there is no reason why IUI wouldn't have worked.

I think it's one thing for the drs to think you are young enough to try other options (which, of course, you are) but it depends on how you feel.

I have to say I found IVF easier than I had feared. We had short protocol IVF so from first injection to bfp was a little over three weeks.

Best of luck with it all


Griffomais Mon 03-Dec-12 17:41:43

Hi hope u don't mind me joining in... I've been TTC for 27 months no luck at all now diagnosed with Unexplained Infertility. I am so terrified abt IVF but I know it's probably going to be our only hope. How can I prepare myself for it? If ou o private how long from consultation to actually receiving treatment?

Ginshizz Mon 03-Dec-12 20:14:18

Griff sorry to hear you are having ttc problems. I am not an expert, but I can tell you what it was like for DH and me.

We had IVF on the NHS so I don't know how this compares to going private but our timings were like this:

End of April: first appt with dr
June: tests for me - FSH, LH, AMH, rubella immunity, HIV status; SA and HIV test for DH
HFEA forms filled in and analysed
July: second appt with dr to discuss results and plan treatment
August: 13th, started course
Sept: 3rd, bfp; 9th, the day I was meant to POAS!

If you go private, I think you won't have to wait as long for tests to be done and analysed. We did lose a few weeks waiting for me to be on the right day of my cycle for tests etc and then, obviously, to start the course.

You can start the course at the beginning if the cycle after all your tests come back.

I have to say, it wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done and you need to brace yourself to pack up your dignity and put it in storage for a few weeks (you need fanjo scans throughout the course to monitor how the drugs are doing). The injections were actually fine, and the hormonal bonkersness I was expecting didn't happen much

If anything, it was harder for DH because I was doing all the "work"

I definitely recommend seeing if a short protocol will suit you as it skips the bit which I think can be really hard, the down regulation.

PM me if I can tell you anything else

Good luck!

Nothingontvat3am Mon 03-Dec-12 20:25:48

I was in your situation 2 years ago after 3 failed iuis I finally got pregnant on my first ivf attempt. My friend (also unexplained infertility) now has beautiful twins after her 1st iui.

QODRestYeMerryGentlemen Mon 03-Dec-12 20:32:55

6 months of clomid, 4 unsuccessful IUI - didn't even get to insemination stage as was under, over, under and over stimulated .... Straight surrogacy .... Offered nhs ivf appointment on the day I was starting adoption/surrogacy maternity leave grin

All unexplained, I'm 43, been with DH for 27 yrs, no contraception for 20 yrs now, never been pregnant

galwaygirl Mon 03-Dec-12 20:43:04

The success rates for IUI are the same as for trying naturally while 'unexplained'. At 34 I don't think you have time to be hanging around to be honest. Your chances of IVF success will decrease the longer you leave it. I went straight to IVF as recommended by my clinic - we actually went for ICSI as I wanted to avoid finally discovering the problem was with the egg walls or ability of sperm to burrow through with a failed fertilisation. I was 30 at the time.
We had 5 blasts at day 5, did a single ET and now have DD who is almost 18 months. I never feel like I rushed - IVF wasn't that bad.
The doctors in my clinic are experts and would never recommend IUI for unexplained.
I think you need to bear in mind how close you are to 35 and not kid yourself that you have time on your side. Sorry to be so blunt but I think people who consider themselves young fertility wise in their 30s are deluded.

FuriousRox Mon 03-Dec-12 20:57:09

Did you have an amh test (anti mullerian hormone) ? I don't know if the Nhs does it as we decided to go private rather than waiting the full three years. all my tests were totally normal apart from that one, which showed a lower range reading. The amh thing is to do with egg supply, so maybe it's the same as ovarian reserve testing.

Based on that, and me then being 34, we were advised to skip iui and go straight for ivf, which we did, with success. I was really failing to see the point of iui by then anyway.

Good luck OP, it is a hard road you are travelling. Good luck.

Griffomais Mon 03-Dec-12 21:34:43

Hey Ginshizz thank for yor post really helpful information - going to have to look in to it after Christmas as getting desperate now. Think the IVF waiting list in my area is 3 years and I'm 35 just now so think going private is going to be my best hope - its so expensive sad

galwaygirl Tue 04-Dec-12 08:06:59

Griffomais - it is really expensive but I wish they could break success rates down by infertility cause as it seems like unexplained is a good one to have in that IVF works really well. Just from anecdotal evidence.
Think about ICSI - it's more expensive but a lot less expensive than doing a full second cycle after finding out the explanation is something which would have required ICSI if you know what I mean.
I really feel that for us the problem was getting the egg and sperm together and once that happened it all went really well. There were no womb lining problems or anything to worry about.
I got 13 eggs, 12 of which were suitable for ICSI and had four blasts in the freezer after getting pregnant. I'm currently pregnant with number 2 after a single FET which only cost £500 as our clinic offers a cheaper price.
When I was preparing for IVF I was stressing out so much thinking of having to have enough money to give it three goes etc but it can work better than you think.
Hope you get lucky very soon x

mannyb Thu 03-Jan-13 12:45:43

Hi there. I am 33 and was trying to concieve for 3 years. I had a low fertility but it wasnt low enough for the doctors to be concerned. The y said i had unexplained infertility. My partner is 33 and he has above average semen so we really couldnt understan why nothing was happening. Everyone around us appeared to be getting pregnant so easy. I had 2 IUIs which failed. We decided at the last minute to do a third over Christmas before our IVF appointment on the 7th January. We had it done on the 17th December so it was just wait and see... I found out on the 29th December that i was pregnant.... we are over the moon..i think that it is worth trying it cost us €3000 in all between prescriptions and bloods and the procedures themselves but it was worth every penny... I wont lie... it was the most comfortable thing i have ever had done but it only take a few mins... and is worth it in the end smile

seaviewasia Fri 04-Jan-13 00:53:24

Hi all, I started this thread a while ago and just came back. I appreciate all your opinions. I decided to go for IUI as a first go. I will be having my 1st IUI treatment later this month. I will be 35 in a few days.
Galwaygirl - I take your point about fertility going down hill in your thirties. My choice was driven by my AMH and ovarian reserve test which was v good for my age. My plan is to do 1 IVF and then evaluate. My clinic has recommend 3 IUIs. I plan to do 1 or 2 and then move onto IVF if it's not successful.
I am not sure why I opted not to go straight for IVF. I know the basic one is not that bad, I guess I just want to think that I can do it as naturally as possible and perhaps I need the time to get myself mentally ready for IVF.
Mannyb - your story gave me hope.
Griff - make sure you get your OVT and AMH test done. This was really what drove my IUI decision.
Good luck

Pending Sat 05-Jan-13 11:53:17

DH and I were also found to be in perfect health, but after ttc for 2 years, with one miscarriage, the GP referred us to NHS fertility clinic. We were both in our late thirties, so a bit older than you OP and therefore the clock was considered to be ticking. After a lot of unsuccessful clomid (bleurgh), we had two cycles of IUI and I conceived on the second attempt. Perfectly normal pregnancy and birth ensued! But I was persuaded into a induced labour on my due date (consultant wanted to do a CS) as statistically this was considered safest. Not sure if I agree with that in retrospect, but it was an ok experience and all we really wanted was a healthy baby at the end if it.

I consider myself profoundly lucky to have conceived and had a baby (now 3yrs old). My heart goes out to all those ttc.

amumthatcares Sat 05-Jan-13 22:17:20

We also had unexplained fetility. I was 32 and DH 31 when we started the first of three cycles of Clomid, with no success. We then moved on to hormone injections & scans and I thankfully conceived on my second attempt and had a wonderful DD.

Lots of people said that now I had been pregnant once, I would easily conceive naturally. I never did. That was 18 years ago. It was my one and only pregnancy and I have never used any form of contraception. Like Pending I consider myself to be extremely lucky and blessed to have DD. Good luck to you OP and all other couples emabarking on this journey.


You had a battery of tests done, what tests did they do on your H and how long ago were these done?. Tests too should be done in tandem, there seems to be a presumption that subfertility is the sole preserve of the woman by some in the NHS whereas in some cases male factor subfertility is the root cause of the problem.

Unexplained subfertility is infact no diagnosis at all; it means that they have failed to find out what is wrong. It is sometimes given to couples when not enough or adequate investigative tests (particularly on the male) have been done. Any test result over 6 months old should be discounted, both of you need up to date test results.

I would ensure as far as possible that male factor problems are properly looked at by the hospital as possible cause for the subfertility; one semen analysis for instance is in no way conclusive of there not being any problems.

changeforthebetter Sun 06-Jan-13 09:48:53

Hi, did both and thankfully successful. I know MN sages will accuse me of being woo, but I swear acupuncture made a difference. I had a Chinese doctor who specialised in fertility issues. She was also registered with the professional body her (sorry, can't remember name).

seaviewasia Mon 14-Jan-13 13:20:25

pending & amumthatcares

Thanks for both your posts. pending your post gave me hope.
I am waiting for my AF which is due this week so I can start Clomid and then have iui. I am realistic but hopeful that this could work. I am prepared to move onto IVF if this doesn't work. I just don't know how long a journey this might be.

amumthatcares your story about only being pregnant once is an interesting one. My mother had 3 children. She never used contraception to the best of my knowledge and the age gaps between my siblings are 10 and 8 years! I often wonder if fertility is inherited.

attila my DH have also had sperm tests. He has had 3 tests in total and they have all been normal. I do understand that unexplained infertility is not really a true diagnosis, just that they don't know. I have friends who had the same diagnosis and after 7 IVFs and 2 IUIs, still no children. I think some people are perhaps just not compatible. I am hoping that DH and I are not one of them.

In the meantime, I am waiting for AF...

seaviewasia Mon 14-Jan-13 13:22:37

changeforthebetter I am also having herbs and acupuncture. It hasn't made me pregnant so far but my periods have improved a lot - from very painful to full of clots (sorry if this is just too much info!) to v little pain to almost no clots. I will keep at it for the IUI too.

MarieMar Tue 14-May-13 10:08:13

Hi All,

I thought I'd join in as I'm feeling a bit low at the moment (thought I might be pg but have gotten some spotting on CD30)...

I'm 31 and my DH is almost 40, and we've been TTC for 1.5 years. I know that I'm (relatively) young in fertility years, but I've had the wind knocked out of me by my mother getting cancer and wanting her to see grandchildren before it might be too late. I'm worried I've started my TTC journey late, as it took my mother 6 years to have a full-term pg, and she started when she was only 24!

It just feels like the process is so long, as we're in the 'unexplained fertility' bracket - all tests fine (Day 2 and 21 bloods, LH, FSH, HSG), and we've gotten as far as GP -> gyno, but not to consultant/assisted conception specialist. I've had 2 stressful trips to the gyno already, and they've given me an appointment to speak to them in October, which would just be a follow-up with them! Not even the referral for an assisted conception specialist yet, which I understand could take months even to book a date, after which it could take months to actually start the IVF/IUI process!

Could anyone tell me how long their NHS referral process (and the IVF / IUI process as a whole!) took them? I really can't afford it, but is this one of those things where it's worth going private? Can anyone recommend specific private clinics that I can at the very least have a consultation with? Sorry all, for writing such a stressy message, but it's been so hard keeping all this to myself and my DH, and I could really use the advice sad. Thanks for any you can offer!

whiskymiller Wed 15-May-13 15:50:35


I'm 32 and my DB is 34, I thought I would say hello we have ttc for about 3.5 years, all tests for us are normal we have been through a few cycles of clomid and unfortunately I have had 2 MC and an ectopic which has resulted in a tube being removed. All this means is like others on here we are also in the 'unexplained fertility' bracket.

We have been referred to IVF on the NHS. All tests were done by January 2013 and we were referred to Hammersmith early Feb. I had my first appointment at Hammersmith last week and my co ordination appointment is booked for July so things seem to be moving very quickly.

It can take ages to be referred though I think we first went to our GP in 2009 when I had my first MC and started going for tests in 2010. I seemed to be on clomid for ages and I think it was only a change of consultant that stopped all that and referred us for IVF straight away thankfully!

I am now more hopeful about getting pregnant as I have had no faith for a long time.

Good Luck to all you ladies and men on here I hope we all get our little miracles xxxxx

EuroShaggleton Thu 16-May-13 16:34:26

marie for us it was just under a year from the first GP appointment to the point when we could have started IVF (but we decided to put it off for a few months for our own reasons). The timing seems to vary hugely from area to area. If you have the money, going private would be likely to speed things up.

MarieMar Wed 29-May-13 12:27:44

Hi EuroShaggleton, thanks very much for the response! Sounds like you had a bit of a speedier journey, but perhaps you'd been trying for longer than 1.5 years? Did you end up doing IVF/IUI privately or via the NHS?

MarieMar Wed 29-May-13 12:30:37

Whiskymiller: you sound like you've had an arduous time of it... Really crossing my fingers for you that your July appt leads to good things! Haven't been recommended Clomid by my gyno as I seem to be ovulating like clockwork, and they say that it isn't suitable in that situation. Only time / an actual fertility specialist will tell, I guess!

nettleshipe Fri 21-Jun-13 16:24:46

My DH and I had been trying for 2 years and were put on Clomid. We became pregnant on the second month using this but had a heartbreaking miscarriage after 9 weeks. We have now been ttc for a further 3 months. Still had a few months left of Clomid due to the pregnancy in the mean time but I have just come on and will be using my last 5 tablets up this cycle which is terrifying.
Went to our clinic a couple of weeks ago and they have referred us for IUI.
I am so scared and so depressed. sad

nettleshipe Fri 21-Jun-13 16:26:48

oh I should add, I am also unexplained infertility and both of us have clear results.

BlindKitty Sun 23-Jun-13 08:54:08

nettleshipe apart from your very sad mc, we are in exactly the same boat (2 years ttc, clomid, unexplained and awaiting iui). Feel quite lost myself atm. Have you had your amh checked? I haven't but lots if people on here seem to have.

Happilymarried155 Sun 23-Jun-13 09:00:33

Nettle ship and kitty, I have been ttc for 2 and a half years now. Can honestly say its been the most frustrating and heartbreaking time of my life. We too are unexplained, due to finally start iui next week. It's been a long hard road but now we are starting treatment I feel a little better.

Try and keep positive and tell yourself that one day you will have a baby! I would have gone insane by now if I didn't have faith that it would happen one day! Good luck

BlindKitty Sun 23-Jun-13 09:37:36

happily oooh good luck! Can I ask if you've had any scans or amh checked?

Happilymarried155 Sun 23-Jun-13 16:53:34

Yes had them both all fine, it's really frustrating to think there is nothing wrong and it just isn't happening. I try not to think about it! What tests have you had?

BlindKitty Sun 23-Jun-13 17:57:00

Well had the usual blood tests and a Hsg but never had a trans vaginal or amh, amongst goodness knows how many others. Did you get them on the nhs? I'm wondering whether I can just get them done privately if my nhs consultant refuses

Happilymarried155 Sun 23-Jun-13 19:53:57

Yes had them done on the nhs on my very first appointment at the fertility clinic. Think the scan is quite important, they told me I had loads of eggs, look for cysts and check the shape of your cervix and things.
Have you had your referral yet? I had to really push for mine and ended up changing doctors in the end!

BlindKitty Sun 23-Jun-13 21:40:05

Yes, I've been under a fc since sept yet never offered either of those. I'm going to contact her tomorrow. If she refuses, do you think I should just get them done privately?

Happilymarried155 Mon 24-Jun-13 06:49:09

I would definitely enquire to why they haven't been done. I thought it was common practice up do both of these first. Have you had a hycosy yet?

BlindKitty Mon 24-Jun-13 22:15:59

No, just a Hsg. I'm sure there's something she's missing sad

eurozammo Thu 27-Jun-13 11:28:39

Marie we'd been trying for 6 months when we went to the GP initially (although we hadn't been using contraception, just rhythm/withdrawal for a long time before that), and 18 months when we first got to IVF.

I did 2 rounds of IUI privately as it wasn't offered on the NHS in my area. They didn't work.

I then started long protocol IVF for my NHS round last summer. I had an awful time downregging and quit the cycle.

We took a few months off AC and went for (private) natural IVF at Create in Jan. One egg, one embryo, BFP, although I went on to miscarry.

I'm now in the 2ww after a cycle of natural modified IVF (low dose stimms) which produced 4 eggs and 2 embies.

We'll give natural IVF one more go in the summer if this doesn't work, and then reassess.

kitty I'm surprised you haven't been given a scan. That was one of the first tests I had and shows a lot of things- ovaries (so they can look for cysts or polycystic appearance), womb (fibroids), womb lining (thickness), etc. I don't think all NHS areas test AMH though. Mine was done privately. I think most clinics use either HSG or hyscosy, and it's not common to have both.

BlindKitty Thu 27-Jun-13 20:48:37

euro tbh I'm thinking about just paying for one. Can u ask why you had to drop out of the first ivf? Just trying to understand it better. Really hope this cycle works for you!

eurozammo Fri 28-Jun-13 12:23:46

The downregging drugs hugely affected me. I was depressed and anxious and like another person really. I had almost every side effect listed in the packet and woke up every day I was on the drugs feeling like I just couldn't go on. A lot of people feel "a bit down" on the drugs but I have only ever come across two people online who have had such an extreme reaction. My husband and I decided that if that is what I had to go through to have a baby, it wasn't for us. And then we moved clinics to one (Create) that takes a more holistic, low drug approach, and I have been fine.

ceara Sat 29-Jun-13 10:13:55

euro first of all, I really hope your current cycle has a good outcome.

I hear you on downregging. I had to down-reg with buserelin for my frozen embryo cycle and I really struggled with muscle and joint pains, migraine, and paralysing depression. I didn't have as bad a time as you but those weeks were still pretty rough.

However, for the original IVF cycle I had "mild" IVF ie short antagonist protocol with Gonal-f and cetrotide. No downregging, stimmed from day 3 of a normal cycle and added the cetrotide in the final few days of stimming to hold off ovulation until it was time for EC. I think the aim with mild ivf is generally to hope for about 6 good eggs (though I got 13, and am no spring chicken). If you are able to tolerate cetrotide this protocol offers a halfway house between natural cycle ivf and the conventional protocol. It is quicker, and I think easier on the body.

For what it's worth, I had no ill effects from the cetrotide even though buserelin is the work of the devil as far as my body's concerned!

CaipirinhasAllRound Mon 01-Jul-13 10:19:48

I had a bad reaction to the down regging drugs and had to stop too, emotionally and mentally I was ok but I developed about 10 cysts which then had to be aspirated (procedure very similar to egg collection)
I too then did a short protocol and got great results. It didn't work but we have 5 day 5 blast in the freezer and are now waiting to start a frozen cycle. I was meant to start down regging in 10 days but have another cyst so they want me to wait and see if it disappears. They've also okayed me to do it without the down regging so I'm now waiting to have a scan on day 1 - if it's gone I'll crack on starting drugs on day 2, if it's still there and they don't feel I should go ahead, I'll have to have another aspiration grrrrr

BlindKitty Thu 04-Jul-13 11:06:02

Going to bump this as quite interested in responses!

ceara Thu 04-Jul-13 21:55:12

Marie, kitty, I'm sorry I don't think I replied to the original question. I'll try now.

I am also "unexplained" and it is such a horribly difficult and frustrating thing for anyone to have to go through. I'm sorry life has thrown this in your path.

You asked how long til referral. So, here is my history though I know it's all a bit dependent on local policy and can be confusing to navigate - we found it so, anyway.

We pressed the slightly-worried button and saw the GP initially after 8 months and were immediately referred to the gynaecologist (but I was over 35 - younger people generally have to try for 12 months before being referred). Our GP arranged the initial blood tests and DH's sperm analysis while we waited for the gynae appt. Saw the gynae 3 months later, HSG a month or so after that and received our diagnosis of "unexplained subfertility, no reason you won't get pregnant it just might take a bit longer" a little over a year after starting trying.

After another 6 months, so 18 months oftrying in total, we went back to the GP as there was still nothing happening. We knew that due to the postcode lottery the NHS would not fund our treatment (in our area over 35s don't qualify). However, the GP was great and referred us to a different gynae to double check nothing had been missed, as you are entitled to a diagnosis regardless of the local funding rules for treatment. The tests were all repeated, except the HSG, and I also had an AMH test which the gynae arranged but I paid for privately (£40) as NHS policy is only to test FSH as a marker of egg numbers. I never had a transvaginal scan, though, at any point prior to beginning treatment.

The second gynae counselled us that our odds of conceiving naturally were ahead of the odds of an IVF cycle working until around the 2 year point, at which the balance tipped the other way. Based on that, we trusted to nature for a few more months and then signed up for treatment. Because we were treated privately at the same hospital where we had the fertility investigations, we didn't need any more tests or consultations and just embarked on treatment as soon as we were ready to take the plunge. There was no waiting list to start following referral for treatment and I understand it is the same there for NHS funded patients (ie we weren't fast tracked because we were paying). So I started my first cycle 2 years 2 months after starting trying to conceive, and 2 weeks 5 days later had an embryo transferred.

Looking back, the gynae referrals felt an interminable wait and we didn't get that much out of the appointments (not really their fault, as unexplained is unexplained). However, once we took the plunge and said yes to treatment, suddenly we'd started before it felt like we'd even drawn breath.

I should say in fairness that we began IVF somewhat against the consultant's advice which was to attempt the less invasive option of IUI first. However, I didn't feel I had the stamina for too many cycles (of whichever sort) and wanted to use my resources pursuing the option which gave us the best prognosis. I was also conscious, at 38, of time passing. And we were both swayed by the hope that even if unsuccessful, IVF was in a sense the last remaining diagnostic test and might give us the explanation that had eluded everyone so far, to help us make peace with our infertility. (It didn't - still no idea what's wrong but on the positive side, I got pregnant.)

IUI is successful for many people and I think with unexplained infertility there really is no right answer, either to how long to leave it to nature, or which treatment route to take, you just have to follow your instincts and what feels right at the time.

Boygirl5 Thu 04-Jul-13 23:32:25

I was advised not to have IUI as with unexplained infertility it doesn't really raise your chances much more than having sex.
We went straight to IVF and luckily got pregnant straight away with twins!!
Obviously that does not mean IUI wouldn't have worked, we didn't try.

Good luck

BlindKitty Fri 05-Jul-13 10:51:46

boygirl tbh this is what I'm worrying about! Can I ask how long you were ttc for and how you you and your partner were at the time?

BlindKitty Fri 05-Jul-13 11:03:28

ceara thanks for sharing your story. Do you think you'll do ivf for another child. Interesting what you say about never having a trans vaginal scan. Neither have I but I'm going to ask my gp to refer me to bupa for one, if only to put my mind at rest.

eurozammo Fri 05-Jul-13 11:10:54

cerea that is similar to the protocol for the natural modified cycle I am doing now (although I started the drugs later thank day 3). I used Gonal F and Cetrotide. I did have some side effects (I was down and really fecking grumpy) but as I was only on the drugs for a few days, it wasn't as bad as being on burserelin.

BlindKitty Fri 05-Jul-13 11:31:39

Why what was so bad about burserelun euro?

drwitch Fri 05-Jul-13 12:00:01

we had unexplained infertility but ended up conceiving naturally both times, first time just after the lap and dye, second time just we were just waiting for my period to work out when to start the treatment and it never came. I was 39 (almost 40). Second time doctor was horrible, he treated us (especially me) as though we were idiots and problems that needed solving rather than people. I felt he really pushed us towards IVF, even though my understanding of the stats suggested was that this was not necesarrily the right thing to do. What really helped was counselling from someone at the clinic, they had enough information to help us make an informed choice

BlindKitty Fri 05-Jul-13 12:41:56

I'd love some counselling but the last time I spoke to a nurse at the clinic I ended up in tears. drwitch how long were you ttc for? X

ceara Fri 05-Jul-13 12:55:38

kitty we planned to do 3 cycles unless the first found an insurmountable problem. If we are blessed to have a healthy baby, though, I will quit while I'm ahead (except for giving our remaining frostie a chance), not least because of the age I'd be by the time I was ready to cycle again.

If you are thinking of going to BUPA and paying for a scan, you might consider instead booking an initial consultant appointment at the fertility clinic? Then you could hear more about your options, and the clinic could do the scan and advise you on the findings. The scan should cost the same though the consultant appointment would obviously add £100-200 to the bill. Talking commits you to nothing and information is power.

I'd also second the advice to talk with a fertility counsellor before you make your decision. Our consultant was lovely, but I still found the clinic's fertility counsellor invaluable to talk to as there is so much more than the clinical biological stuff (the consultant's comfort zone!) to think about.

drwitch your experience sounds horrible. Mine was the opposite, we were given all the time and support we needed to decide how to proceed and urged to consider all options.

kitty don't let me or euro freak you out about buserelin. Most people don't find it too bad, and suffer mild or even no side effects - we were just unlucky, I guess :-). But it's good to know there are alternatives if you need IVF, and fall out badly with buserelin.

BlindKitty Fri 05-Jul-13 19:11:18

cerea we already have a fc! I just always feel rushed with her and she doesn't think we need a scan. I think I just want one for peace of mind if anything. I'm presuming bupa would send my findings to her, if anything?

ceara Fri 05-Jul-13 19:35:48

Sorry kitty! That was me assuming that you were seeing the gynae registrar for investigations, like we did.

BlindKitty Fri 05-Jul-13 20:57:57

No, no gynae problems (that I know about anyway). Our fc has put us on the ever long iui waiting list but I'm just not sure whether it is the right thing to do

eurozammo Sat 06-Jul-13 05:42:45

Hi kitty. I mentioned the side effects I had on burserelin in my 28 June post. I am very much in the minority though. My closest friends irl took it and don't remember any side effects at all.

BlindKitty Sun 07-Jul-13 13:48:36

Ah ok. It's not even like I've been offered any ivf yet! Just trying to gain as much info as possible!

BlindKitty Mon 29-Jul-13 19:51:09

Going to bump this!

Dreamy33 Thu 01-Aug-13 09:10:22

Hi all,

Hope you don't mind me joining. We find ourselves in this situation of ttc for 2 1/2 years and unexplained fertility. We have been advised by our fertility clinic that if you have been ttc for 2 years with no success, don't bother with iui as it's unlikely to improve the situation much. We have been advised to go for ivf which we are hoping to start over the next week or so.

Feeling nervous of the unknown at the moment but hoping that the reality will be better than my imagination!

Popinder Fri 04-Oct-13 20:30:05

Hi there,

I too have unexplained infertility, my husband and I have been TTC for 4.5 years since I was 29 with no luck. We have had every test under the sun and still no reason offered. In the UK the NHS advised us to go straight to IVF (they didn't even mention IUI) but unluckily we were in the middle of relocating and timing didn't work out in the end. In Spain our clinic (not sure if we will defo use them yet though) recommended 3 rounds of IUI prior to IVF. The paranoid part of me wonders if this is a profit thing for the clinic to recommend IUI prior to IVF though! I am meeting a friend tomorrow who used to be a very successful IVF Dr and will ask some questions about the benefits of IUI over IVF or vice versa for unexplained infertility. Good luck guys!

Gabby57 Mon 28-Oct-13 21:50:53

One test I would also add to make sure is examined is thyroid functionality. It is critical to the whole conception process through to the end of 1st trimester. I conceived my 1st child on the first month of trying and 3 years later are having issues. My GP had no suggestions so on my own I sought out an endocronologist specializing in fertility. Many GPs are not aware that thyroid guidelines for fertility have changed (since the Thyroid Journal published new research in 2011). Now, there is a firm belief TSH levels need to be between 0.5 - 2.5 (the lower the better). My levels are around 5, which is fine to function on my own (and doesn't trigger glaring thyroid issue symptoms), but are prohibiting me from conceiving. My GP was going to refer me to IVF, but even this would not have worked unless I fix the thyroid, which should take some simple medication for 6-8 weeks.

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