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Being referred for fertility testing

(18 Posts)
sallyann1234 Wed 14-Aug-19 18:39:56

Hello 👋 I'm 34 (almost 35) and we have been TTC 1st baby for 16 months. Just had the initial blood tests done with GP and my husband had semen analysis and all ok. I've pcos though so we are now being referred. I've been using ovulation tests the last few months and I do seem to be ovulating, plus have never had a problem with missing a period. I'm just now scared about the tests- checking my tubes etc as I've heard they can be very painful. Can anyone give advice or has anyone been through this themselves? I am feeling optimistic as I just want to know what we are dealing with but at the same time I'm just starting to feel quite anxious too 🙈

Each2TheirOwn Wed 14-Aug-19 18:54:52

Hi @sallyann1234 I could have written your post myself!

I'm also 34 (almost 35) and have just been referred to the fertility clinic. I also have PCOS and my recent blood test showed high prolactin. DH's SA was all good. I have monthly cycles and according to OPKs, I ovulated last month (but couldn't TTC as I'd just had my MMR).

We've been on the waiting list for 3 weeks now and should get our first appointment through by mid-October. I have no idea what to expect!

Sorry I can't give you any advice, I'm in the same boat x

sallyann1234 Wed 14-Aug-19 20:00:48

@Each2TheirOwn it sounds like we are in the same boat then. It's nice to have someone else to talk to about this smileI've just no idea at all of what to expect and have just heard that some of the test procedures can be painful 🙈 We have been referred and hopefully should hear from the clinic before the end of this month, my GP told me to chase if they've not contacted me by then. October seems like a long wait? How are you coping waiting? You must be getting impatient sad I suppose we should just keep positive and keep trying in the meantime. Would be amazing if it just happened now before our appointments and we didn't have to go through all that! Xx

Each2TheirOwn Wed 14-Aug-19 20:19:54

Yeah I really hope we are both lucky and fall before we have to go through too much 🙈 it happened to my mum, she tried for me for over 2 years, went to the GP and got referred but fell pregnant naturally before her appointment came through 🤞🏼

The clinic wrote to me about a week after my referral to say that the waiting list is 12 weeks long and that if I haven't had an appointment through in 10 weeks to give them a call to chase it up. I have the date in my diary 😂

I would much prefer not to have to have invasive tests but it is good to know that things are moving. Do you take any medication for your PCOS? I don't but was told by my gynaecologist years ago that I'd need clomid when the time came to try for a baby. I'm hoping that's all I need. I've had a brief look into ivf and really hope I don't need to go down that route 🙈 x

JoJoSM2 Wed 14-Aug-19 20:25:37

I’d say to go to a private clinic if you can afford it. NHS waiting times can be terrible. From that first appointment it can be another few months by the time they’ve done them. And you might want to check what you’ll be eligible for in your area (could be 3 rounds of IVF or could be nothing).
We just got frustrated pretty early on and went private and got on with it.

MorgenMuffel Wed 14-Aug-19 20:39:48

Hi @sallyann1234 @eachtotheirown 👋 I'm in a similar situation but a bit further along.

(Just) 34 and TTC for about 18 months now. Went to gp in March for initial tests, fine for both me and DH. I had various bloods (thyroid, LSH/FH etc as well as progesterone) as well as a transvaginal ultrasound to check for fibroids, cysts etc. Back to gp in May and was referred, initial appt was end of July.

At this first appt I had an in depth discussion with the specialist about both our medical histories, lifecycle and what we've been doing to ttc (although only I went). Next steps are more tests for me - one to check for blocked tubes and one to check for adhesions in the lining of my womb. I have the second test in Sept and the other one I have to phone at the start of my cycle as it has to be done in first 10 days. Can take up to three months for an appt to be free so just have to keep trying! The specialist said my go had done a good job in getting all the tests done before my referral which was unusual, as they often have to do some of the basic stuff after the first appt which obviously slows things down.

Back to specialist in December and he said if we weren't pregnant by then it would be a referral for ivf, and with waiting times we would have passed the 2yr mark to qualify for unexplained infertility. Would be either one or two cycles depending on which ccg I'm under.

Not had the tube test but have two friends who have recently - one said it was fine and the other had a more painful experience. Of the tests I have had so far (and some precious unrleated gynae investigations) I've not found anything painful. My doc recommended taking painkillers before and after. One of my friends has PCOS and has been given Clomid (has to have some scans when starting to take) so hopefully that will be the same for you and will get you ovulating grin

General advice was to make any lifestyle changes to be as healthy as possible (I need to lose a few lb from all the comfort eating), for DH to take some supplements and both go completely alcohol free. No need to worry too much about timing for ovulation as long as having regular sex 2 - 3 times a week.

Sorry this was so long but hopefully gives you a bit more of an idea of what's next - appreciate timings will depend on where you are in the country.

So good to speak to some people at a similar stage xxx

sallyann1234 Wed 14-Aug-19 20:51:19

@JoJoSM2 I know what you mean! It might be really frustrating to wait but we literally have just been referred so I'm hoping it won't take so long. We are in London so private would cost us a fortune I'm sure 😱

Whatelsecouldibecalled Wed 14-Aug-19 20:53:23

Hi hope I can help a little even though I don’t have pcos.

I’ve just been through ivf and had all the tests etc before hand. Although it can be scary when you’re in the throes of it it’s not too bad.

I had several blood tests and a smear. I also had a HSG which is where dye is passed through your tubes to see if they are blocked. This wasn’t a pleasant experience but more to do with the fact they couldn’t find my cervix! Apparently it’s ‘shy’ and tilted! 🙄 once the dye was through it was ok. But crampy but ok.

We ended up having ivf as diagnosed with Male factor infertility so we were going to struggle without help. You honestly get used to people having their head between your legs!

Some advice whilst you are waiting for answers. Ensure you bum as in the right range (19-25) ideally around 23. Eat well and look after yourself. Take supplements such as pregnacare or like me Wilkos own version. Get other half heating healthy and looking after himself. Some things that help to improve my H sperm were loose fitting boxer shorts, high dose vitamin c, well man conception tablets, low drinking good diet and moderate exercise.

Good luck

sallyann1234 Wed 14-Aug-19 20:56:59

@MorgenMuffel thank you so much for sharing! Sounds like it might be a lot more complicated than I thought then. It's so funny you have no idea about any of this before TTC.

Where are you based? I'm in London so will need to see what we will be entitled to if we do need IVF.

My GP did those blood tests too but I'm surprised I wasn't sent for an ultrasound too before referral. I was diagnosed with mild PCOS 5 years ago and haven't had a scan since then.

I'm getting paranoid about nearly every area of my life now haha. Am I eating/ sleeping/ relaxing enough? Am I doing too much exercise/ not enough exercise? It just takes over all areas of your life 🙈

I hope all the rest of your tests go ok and you get good news before December then. How would you feel if you did have to do ivf? Xx

JoJoSM2 Wed 14-Aug-19 21:33:24

London is a bunch of different NHS Trusts so eligibility criteria and what’s on offer will vary.

In terms of private treatment, we used one of the top clinics (Zita West) and it cost 6k all in I think (2years ago).

MorgenMuffel Wed 14-Aug-19 21:50:09

@sallyann1234 we're in Surrey not far outside London, and as pp have said eligibility etc varies so much...the hospital said croydon didn't give any rounds on nhs. We would certainly need to think long and hard before going down the private route.

There are definately quite a few hoops to jump through but I'm glad I'm on the way now and having a rough idea of timescales helps a bit for me, I'm a planner so find having an appt in place makes me feel a bit more in control (even if far away!)

I know what you mean about it taking over everything, and I go through phases of where I can push it to one side a bit more - I try to make sure I am busy and doing things I might not be able to do should I get my BFP to take my mind off it. Also going to have a concerted effort to be as healthy as I can be for the next few months before the appt, so I can feel like I've done everything in my power to give myself the best chance at doing this naturally. Am sure it can only help if we do need ivf.

I'm feeling relatively ok at the thought of ivf, and have a few friends who've been through it and are very honest about it, so I am under no illusion it'll be an easy part of the journey and it has no guarantees. Not sure DH really realises how emotionally draining it's going to be but will cross thst bridge when we need to.

How are you feeling about your next steps?

sallyann1234 Thu 15-Aug-19 08:00:19

@Each2TheirOwn yeah we need to stay positive. Imagine the same happened to you that happened to your mum! My mum had no problems conceiving but my sisters have both had miscarriages but now have their own families 🙌

No I don't take any medication for PCOS. I think they found some cysts but I must have a very mild form as it's never stopped my periods and they've always been very regular. Sorry I don't know Anything about clomid but hopefully that just makes you super ovulate and pin all down a lot easier grin

I was told to chase by the end of this month if I've not heard anything so hopefully I've got a really efficient clinic who get ppl in and out in a matter of weeks. Wishful thinking haha!

In the meantime I'm Also trying to do a complete lifestyle overhaul. I'm going to loose a few pounds and really focus on getting more sleep. Signing up to a few craft classes too to learn a new hobby to try take my mind off everything smilealso trying to read more and I'm listening to loads of podcasts

sallyann1234 Thu 15-Aug-19 08:04:59

@JoJoSM2 yes I'll need to see what is available if we do need to have ivf. We are still at the initial stages so will wait for our tests.

Did you just go ahead pay for the private tests and then on for ivf? Did you not get initial tests on nhs? I suppose like you say everything varies based on where you live etc so yeah if your waiting times were awful I prob would've done the same as you. Are you still going through treatment atm? Hope everything is going ok for you and it all works out XX

sallyann1234 Thu 15-Aug-19 08:13:22

@MorgenMuffel wow nothing available on the nhs in Croydon? Surely everyone is entitled to at least one round? But yeah you don't know even if you'll need to do down that route yet so not point worrying just yet. Suppose I should find out about our area too smile

Sounds like you're being so positive and proactive. You're right- give your body the best chance and then you know you've done all you can. Your positivity has deffo rubbed off on me thank you! I def need to really look at my lifestyle and overhaul it. Mostly dealing with stress. And I like your idea of doing things you won't be able to do when you're pregnant so I'm going to do the same smile

None of my friends have had problems conceiving and my sisters sadly had miscarriages but went on to have families so I don't really have anyone I know who has been through this. Glad I can find ppl on here to talk to smile

I am feeling positive about the next steps but it's just trying not to let the nerves get the best of me. Just the unknown etc isn't it I suppose.

summeryet Thu 15-Aug-19 08:18:27

Hi,

It's the Hycosi (sp?) that some people say is painful. It was an odd sensation, but didn't hurt. They advise (in oxford) that you take some pain relief twenty minutes before the procedure.

Good luck!

Each2TheirOwn Thu 15-Aug-19 09:41:01

Hi Ladies,

@JoJoSM2 @MorgenMuffel @Whatelsecouldibecalled
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and tips, it's really good to hear what the process entails.

@sallyann1234 I was diagnosed with PCOS at 19, had loads of tests as my period stopped at 17 and didn't return until I was 28 (although I did have the odd one-off bleed maybe twice a year during that period). Since 2013 I've had a monthly period so thought that must be a good sign. A scan back then did show that I had loads of 'cysts' on my ovaries so I wasn't ovulating at all back then.

My BMI is currently 24, I'm T-Total and don't smoke. However, my diet could be a lot better and I don't exercise as much as I should 🙈 I've been taking folic acid but no other pregnancy vitamins so will look into pregnacare, etc.

I'm in Scotland so waiting times/eligibility criteria will probably vary wildly from what you get down south. My GP did bloods and gave me an MMR jab before referring us so as not to slow the process down. I also had to confirm that I'd have a recent smear test and my DH had to provide a SA.

Please do keep me updated on how the process is moving for you. I'll do the be same x

cranstonmanor Thu 15-Aug-19 12:05:40

I have pcos. I had a HSG and read all the horror stories on the internet and went in terrified! And it went ok. Seriously, for me it felt a bit crampy and bloaty like a period. Scrap that, my period is worse than that and doesn't last just 15 minutes. I appreciate that everyobnes experience is different (could also depend in the type of problem there is maybe) but also keep in mind that the horrible experiences are the ones that get written about on the internet. Nobody is interested if you write about a procedure that went fine, no problem. Well in my case it went fine, no problem.

JoJoSM2 Thu 15-Aug-19 14:05:52

We got diagnosed privately. It took a week. And I managed to avoid horrid procedures like getting tubes checked as the doctor quickly found out what was wrong (doing a test that the NHS doesn’t even do).
I was keen to crack on as I dreamt of 3-4 children and I was 36 at the time already. We got quite lucky as I have PCO (but not the syndrome) so produced loads of eggs. We’ve got DS + several more embryos in storage.

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