If i'm ovulating why am i not getting pregnant ?

(51 Posts)
erilou38 Sat 16-Nov-13 12:10:00

Been trying to conceive for 15. Already have children from a previous relationship whom i conceived in the first month of trying. My youngest is 7. I had her when i was 31 and conceived her within a few days of coming off the mini-pill. In those days i was super fertile it seemed...friends used to joke at how easily i got pregnant. Not so easy now though sadly. I'm 38 and terrified that age has caught up with me. Then there are women who conceive easily well into their 40s. I always assumed i was one of them...how wrong i was. My husband has no kids of his own so i am frantic to give him a child. Iv'e had lots of blood tests over the past year and on one occasion my FSH was elevated to a huge 20 on cycle day 3! This is very worrying as it indicates low egg supply. My most recent FSH was 11.2 which the infertility nurse said was 'reasonable'. She said there is no reason why i shouldn't be able to get pregnant, it may just take longer due to fluctuating hormones. Anyway, iv'e has several day 21 blood tests which have always shown that i am not ovulating as the progesterone level has been low. Nobody thought to repeat a day 28 test until a couple of weeks ago when one of the lady doctors at my surgery suggested it. I thought, as usual that it would show no ovulation but when i phoned for the results 3 days ago, to my surprise i had ovulated this cycle! My progesterone was at a good level. That gave me a small glimmer of hope. I'm now on day 33 of my cycle and still no period. As i must have ovulated late i expect it will arrive sometime next week. I was pleased to know that i am ovulating - why then am i not conceiving, after being so fertile in the past ? I obviously still have eggs in my ovaries but why are they not fertilising ? Are there too few, or maybe they are of a poor quality ? I skould be getting prescribed Clomid at my next clinic appointment in 2 weeks time but will Clomid help me get pregnant if i am ovulating anyway ? I'm getting desperate, there is no way i could ever afford IVF and as i already have children the NHS won't let me have IVF treatment. I just don't get it - how can a previously, highly fertile woman just loose the ability to fall pregnant in just a few short years. It's just so depressing thinking that my fertile years are most likely well and truly behind me.

erilou38 Sat 16-Nov-13 12:10:37

Sorry, meant to say i have been trying to conceive for 15 months.

SeaWave Sat 16-Nov-13 12:14:26

Has your DH has a semen sample done?

j200 Sat 16-Nov-13 12:15:56

Has your husband had a semen analysis? It could be that rather than you if you are ovulating?

j200 Sat 16-Nov-13 12:16:35

Haha great minds smile

erilou38 Sat 16-Nov-13 17:00:11

My husband had his sperm tested months ago and the problem doesn't lie with him as his results were fine.

Helspopje Sat 16-Nov-13 17:02:32

err - if you are actively TTC, you ovulated this month and your period is late, do you not need to POAS?

erilou38 Sat 16-Nov-13 17:15:03

I just took a pregnancy test 15 minutes ago and have just looked and it's negative...yet another BFN, i'm so pissed off with seeing them. Suppose it's possible iv'e tested too early but i have no idea when my period is due. Roughly next week sometime i'm guessing.

erilou38 Sat 16-Nov-13 17:16:53

I don't feel even remotely pregnant, i have no nausea or any of the usual symptoms. With my other kids i always had pregnancy symptoms very early on.

If you are ovulating then there is no point in taking Clomid as the whole purpose of it is to make you ovulate.

It rounds like your cycles are irregular - how much do they vary by?

It might be an obvious thing to say but are you having enough sex? If it turns out you are ovulating later in your cycle you may be missing the window of opportunity.

erilou38 Sat 16-Nov-13 17:34:25

My cycles are irregular and have been for the past 2 years. I always used to be regular as clockwork, every 28 days. Iv'e had a couple of short cycles, one 20 days and another 21. Mostly though, my cycles are longer, they range from anywhere between 35 and 42 days and my periods are lighter and shorter than they were before. A scan a few months ago revealed that i had one or two cysts that could be causing the irregularity. I'm 38 and the told told me a few weeks ago that it is possible i could be going through perimenopause. Why then am i ovulating i wonder. I have been reading up on perimenopause and my symptoms sound identical although i hope to god that it isn't that. So wanted to see a positive pregnancy test! Not really sure when i ovulated this cycle, somewhere between days 21 and 28 i guess. I do recall having sex once or twice around that time. Generally me and hubby have sex 2 or 3 times a week.

erilou38 Sat 16-Nov-13 17:36:57

Wouldn't Clomid boost ovulation in some way though ? Would it not make me produce more eggs thus giving me more of a chance of fertilization ?

fannyfireworks Sat 16-Nov-13 17:38:59

Sometimes just bad luck. Same for my sister and six years later they got preg with ivf. Wishing you the very best of luck xx

erilou38 Sat 16-Nov-13 17:44:52

Thank you. That's good news about your sister but sadly IVF is not an option for me unless i win the Lottery! x

No Clomid will not produce more eggs, the dosage is too small to overstimulate the ovaries. I did 5 cycles of Clomid as I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome - the cysts disrupt the normal hormone levels and prevent ovulation from happening - but it failed to work for me.

I ended up moving on to Ovulation Induction, which is similar to IVF in that you inject yourself with the hormones, but it is a lower dosage. Also they don't retrieve your eggs, you are scanned on a regular basis and then told to ho away and have sex! It finally worked for me on the 3rd attempt and I'm currently almost 25wks with my first.

j200 Sat 16-Nov-13 18:37:59

Frank did you have ovulation induction on the NHS? Do you remember what drugs your injections were? Congratulations smile

j200, yes my treatment was NHS funded. They said I could have up to 6 rounds of OI before being moved on to IVF.

I injected Menopur on a daily basis for about 10-12 days ( depending on scan results). The dosage varied every cycle depending on my blood results (taken on day 4) and then I took an HCG trigger (Ovitrelle) when I had a ripe follicle ready for ovulation.

I think treatment varies from NHS Authority to Authority, but I fall under Cambridgeshire and was treated at their new(ish) specially built clinic.

Oh and thank you grin

erilou38 Sat 16-Nov-13 19:34:06

Congratulations Frank! Wish i could have funded NHS treatment but as i already have children i don't qualify. I'm in Norfolk.

erilou38 Sat 16-Nov-13 19:36:31

The only thing i can have is the Clomid but that's it. As you say, there is no point in me being given Clomid now anyway as it's been established i'm ovulating. Not sure where i go from here now. Guess i just have to hope for a miracle.

I remember Robert Winston saying something on TV about his first advice to couples struggling to conceive is to have more sex. It sounds like a throw away comment, but it might be worth considering.
Good luck - TTC for extended periods of time is horrifically stressful, so be kind to yourself.

Have they explicitly said you can't get any treatment, or just not IVF? If your consultant thinks it could work for you, OI is a fraction of the cost of IVF, about £800 per cycle as opposed to £3,000 per cycle at my clinic.

Cost breakdown at my clinic

erilou38 Sat 16-Nov-13 19:52:20

The nurse at the infertility clinic said i was definately not entitled to funded IVF. She didn't mention anything else, just said i would be offered Clomid as long as my FSH level on cycle day 3 didn't go above 15. It was 11.2 on day 3 of this cycle which is too high for my liking and indicated possible low egg supply. I just wish i had age on my side. I could possibly afford OI. What is OI ?

erilou38 Sat 16-Nov-13 19:57:41

It's getting to the point where i don't feel like having much sex anymore as i know that it won't result in pregnancy. With my ex, it seemed like i only had to do the deed once and hey presto i was pregnant! Very strange as i was once so fertile. I'm beginning to wonder if my husband's sperm and my eggs are just not compatible, or maybe my vaginal mucus is killing any sperm. I know how ridiculous that sounds but maybe ther is something in my theory.

Age will be a factor unfortunately, but it's not the be all and end all - I started TTC aged 29 so you can have problems at any age.

This explains OI

Mandy21 Sat 16-Nov-13 20:02:33

I think things can change in a relatively short period of time unfortunately and I think egg quality certainly diminishes as you get older - you may be releasing an egg but it may not be good enough / viable by the time of fertilisation / implantation. BUT it only takes one egg that is good enough!

I agree with the pp that you need to pinpoint ovulation abit better, if you only had sex 1-2 times in the week of ovukation, you could probably do with increasing that.

It took me about twice as long to conceive 2nd time around, but my friend went through years of infertility treatment to have her 1st then fell pregnsnt the first month 2nd time around. There is no rhyme or reason to it unfortunately. But I think its just a question of being slightly more patient 2nd time. Good luck.

Do you chart your cycles - checking cervical mucus and taking your temperature? If not it might be worth doing so that you can get a better idea of when you ovulate. That way you can better time your sex. Every other day is best, and you should be having more sex before ovulation takes place - the egg only lives 18-24 hours after ovulation and sperm can are 6 hours or so to swim to the egg, so better to have a supply hanging around waiting for the egg IYSWIM.

I know the feeling about having to have sex "again". TTC sex, when it's taking a long time to conceive, can feel an utter chore.

erilou38 Sat 16-Nov-13 20:17:02

Yeah i know. It just seems lately that there are lots of pregnant women walking around in their late 30s and even early 40s. My friend had her 3rd baby at the age of 42, the lucky mare!

erilou38 Sat 16-Nov-13 20:26:26

I always keep a track of my cycles and have used OPKs. I have found these useless though. I never have much cervical mucus at all, dry most of the month. Up until 2 years ago i always used to get tons of fertile cervical mucus for about 5 days at ovulation time. It literally used to drip out of me, (sorry too much info)! I haven't taken my temperature every morning as it seems like too much faffing around and i would forget to do it most days what with having to get up at 6am for the school run.

Mandy21 Sun 17-Nov-13 15:01:01

I think if you're desperate as you say, you need to do something to be more accurate with your timings. I also found OPKs useless but I did chart, it becomes second nature, you do it as soon as you ooen your eyes, takes seconds.

I ought to add that my fertility nurse said that OPKs are useless if you have Polycystic ovaries - the hormone levels are too disrupted to give you an accurate reading.

erilou38 Sun 17-Nov-13 15:35:12

Yes, that's why i don't use OPKs anymore, since i found out i have ovarian cysts. Not sure if i'm polycystic but 2 or 3 cysts were picked up on a scan a few months ago. The infertility nurse did say that the cysts were probably causing my irregular cycles and at the time i had the cysts my estradiol level was elevated.

erilou38 Sun 17-Nov-13 15:38:31

Yeah Mandy21 i think i will definately have to start charting every morning. This 'trying' business seems like such hard work! It's all new to me as i never had to 'try' before, it just happened. I realise now how lucky i was and i just took it for granted before.

Andcake Mon 18-Nov-13 09:25:17

Egg quality is another factor - and age and high fsh often means the eggs are not of a great quality. I think i wrote you on another board about dhea, zinc, co enzyme and other supplements which can help - good luck

also agree with the lots of sex thing

erilou38 Mon 18-Nov-13 13:24:13

I really do suspect that i have low ovarian reserve and the eggs i do have are of a poor quality. Perhaps that explains why i am ovulating late in my cycle. I'm 39 in 4 months time so i have to be realistic and accept that it will most likely never happen again.

Andcake Mon 18-Nov-13 13:31:36

The FSH of over 11 indicates low ovarian reserve - its hard but it is possible - I did it - but I know I am very very lucky. I think it just takes a bit of effort and lifestyle changes. Its worth a go if you are getting down a bit. I had a few mc on the way but I felt it was worth trying as long as I was still having periods.
As i was refused own egg ivf I felt i had to do whatever i could. and it did work - if i was you I would try a few things just so you know you gave it a go. It also helped me not get really depressed.
I just felt I had to keep trying as I had no children which i found devastating.

erilou38 Mon 18-Nov-13 13:38:50

Did you use a donor egg ? Last year i had a massive FSH of 20! My doctor actually advised me to go on HRT! Since then my FSH has been lower. But i read an article that said your fertility is as good as your highest FSH. Pretty much a no-go foe me i think!! Maybe i have been in denial for the past year. Obviously i do have some eggs left as i ovulated this cycle. That gave me some hope. I'm now on cycle day 35 and still no sign of a period though.

I tried for 8 months with no luck but the month I conceived I was having acupuncture and using Chinese herbs. Worth a trip to the local Chinese health centre?

erilou38 Mon 18-Nov-13 13:48:58

Iv'e heard a lot of positive things about acupuncture. I'm seriously considering giving ita try.

Andcake Mon 18-Nov-13 16:53:10

own eggs - here dhea, b complex, zinc , co enzyme q10, yoga and lots of sex did the trick for me to finally get my take home baby!

i did try acupuncture at one point it wasn't for me! but worth a shot - i say try everything you can then at least you can't say you didn't try your best.

erilou38 Mon 18-Nov-13 17:00:41

That's great! Andcake, how old were you were you when you had your little bundle ?

Andcake Mon 18-Nov-13 17:50:45

- I think I told you my whole story on a menopause thread when you kindly answered a q I posted. Fsh of 11.2 at 37 conceived after loads of supplements at 39. I had 2 mc on route. Fsh is not alway accurate I would get amh or afc done to. Afc at least convinced me that I had one egg per cycle even if my cycles were wonkyhmm I used my ewcm to predict ov and would jump on dp as soon as I saw anysmile

I think on that post I sent you a link to the Wikipedia page on low ovarian reserve which is a good starting point - sorry can't link again as on phone now.

erilou38 Mon 18-Nov-13 21:20:25

That's really good that you conceived naturally by just taking supplements and without fertility medications. Sorry to hear about your miscarriages, those must have been very painful for you. It's lovely that you got there in the end though. I don't get much ewcm at all, haven't done in ages, but i think i may have seen some some this cycle which must have been when i ovulated. Yes, i think i did look at that link, thank you. At the moment i'm addicted to reading anything on low ovarian reserve or menopause! x

Andcake Tue 19-Nov-13 10:05:03

thats good - you've probably found all of these then but just incase
well as I know you are posting q about it there is alot of good info here

and although this is very american this forum is useful

as everyone on it has a similar issue whereas on mumsnet its probably only a few. Fertility friends also have a good forum just for people with this condition.

Chocolatemolehill Tue 19-Nov-13 14:08:53

Definitely try to have an AMH test done - it will give you a better picture as to your ovarian reserve.
If you can't afford IVF in the UK (the prices are ridiculous!) could you have it abroad? I had mine in Poland (own eggs) and my friend in the Czech Republic (donor eggs). The prices are about five times lower and the success rates really good (e.g. in my clinic 50%, compared with the UK national average of 30%)
Good luck!

erilou38 Tue 19-Nov-13 19:39:28

I would love to get an AMH done but am told they are around £180 but i guess if i'm desperate enough then i should just go ahead and do it. I definately can't afford IVF in the UK, possibly abroad maybe.

erilou38 Tue 19-Nov-13 19:40:00

Thank you Andcake, i shall check those out.

Mandy21 Wed 20-Nov-13 09:02:00

I'm not sure the AMH result is particularly helpful if you know that you already have a low egg reserve. As far as I know (have a close family member going through infertility treatment at the mo), it is used by clinics to determine whether you'll respond to the drugs used to increase your egg production during IVF (i.e. if your AMH score is 5, you'll probably produce around 5 eggs after you've had the drugs at the start of IVF, if your score is 1, you'll get 1 etc). I also think if you have a score lower than 5, some clinics won't recommend IVF.

So if IVF isn't an option, I'm not sure knowing your AMH level is going to help.

Andcake Wed 20-Nov-13 15:13:49

AMH would just confirm diagnosis - so yes probably not useful. I found afc useful as it did show i still had egg - but not many of them - just seeing them on screen gave me hope. As although my afc was low 4 - even a dr at the lister who saw a good follie growing just said go home and dtd. as having lots is only really important for ivf. The only problem is the worst quality are left til last so you need to work on them to find your 'one good egg'.

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