over 40 ttc#2 - prob sec infertility ... what would you do next?(5 Posts)
Hello all - title says it in a nutshell really. I'm confused about things I should try next & in what order.
Been ttc 2 years
I thought I could list what has been done so far and get your suggestion about what I should try next. ie acupuncture? One of those expensive london fertility gurus? Consider IVF? Stats of success for my age are not hopeful (43 - waaaah)
DS is almost 8
Ok - had my 1st day & the other day bloods - all fine
DH sperm test twice. First slightly sluggish. Second all fine
Vaginal probey scan thing in sep - all fine
Missed the x-ray of uterus as terrified - find internals very very painful and the vaginal scan was horrible
Meanwhile we DTD every 2-3 days in a perfunctory manner from about 8 days after AF starts
I know I'm ignorant of lots of the nitty gritty things I should be doing. As well as the big next steps I should consider
Please can anyone point me in any direction or add any to-dos to my list?
At your age the most likely culprit is your age, older eggs etc, unfair though it is.
There is possibly not much that you can do about that (v little research that shows any positive results), but there are various things you could try without massive expense. A book called "it starts with the egg" makes a load of recommendations as a result of which I take ubiquinol, vitamin C and alpha-lipoic acid as well as fertility multi vitamins, fish oil and extra folic acid.
I appreciate the thought of the hsg is not nice, but it really is the quickest non-invasive way to check your tubes. And if you were to want ivf, you would probably have to have a hysteroscopy beforehand, as there is no point in creating embryos if the environment in which you want to put them isn't good. Maybe speak to your doc about this; you could be sedated for it if that would help (although a nurse did mine in 10 minutes at UCH and it was totally fine- and I have nearly cried in a smear before!!).
I think some ivf clinics might recommend a donor egg (I know, it's a lot to get your head around), so that's worth bearing in mind if you wanted to go that route.
There's not much evidence to support use of acupuncture, but I do find it helpful for dealing with the emotional side of things.
Other things - High protein diet, making sure your weight is right, no smoking, very little alcohol, a bit of exercise when you can - may help, but I kind of think that if it is going to happen a little occasional glass of wine isn't going to prevent it.
Finally, DHEA is recommended by some doctors for older women undergoing IVF although there doesn't seem to be much "good" evidence supporting its use and very little to say what impact it might have on a natural cycle. But who knows? It is supposed to improve egg quality. Maybe it is worth a shot, but it's one of those things you have to buy on the internet which makes me too nervous to try.
Best of luck, as a fellow ttc-er wondering about next steps, I hope you get what you want.
Hi thanks so much for this detailed response - I've been looking to see if anyone would reply & really happy to see the reply today --
I'm off to order that book now -
Wise words about the X-ray - & sedation sounds good. Although also comforting tip hear about your experience part. after horrid smear
Not sure what DHEA is but from your answer presuming drugs so will google
Really good to hear from fellow ttc-er
Thanks for the advice & wish you so much luck on your own journey
Hi I can recommend getting a copy of Robert Winston's essential fertility guide for an explanation of the kinds of tests you should ask for to establish if there is a reason for your secondary infertility other then age alone. At 43 your chances are better to conceive naturally if you can than through ivf so it's important to know what you are dealing with. I'd second going back for the hsg and investigating getting a hysteroscopy in case it shows a reason why your own eggs aren't implanting. There's also plenty of advice over on the conception board about getting the timing right.
Hi OddSocks - not sure if you're still around, but if so, you can find some good info about DHEA here (from an IVF clinic in New York who publish lots of research into it): Link to DHEA - CHR research
As NotSpartacus says, you have to buy it online, but there are brands that seem reputable enough such as Biovea, McPherson Labs, Life Extension etc.
Also the book recommended by Not Spartacus ('it starts with the egg') is really good - worth a read. I hadn't heard of the Robert Winston's book as recommended by Sesame so that's one to add to my own reading list!
If you're interested in getting your tubes investigated, I had a HyCoSy (saline + ultrasound) instead of an HSG (X-ray). I had it done here: Concept Fertility Putney - HyCoSy
Do you use ovulation prediction tests (OPKs)? Personally I think the Clearblue smiley face ones are best. I've actually had better results with the cheaper pink ones, rather than the more pricey purple 'dual hormone' ones, when I've been able to compare them with the odd round of ultrasound cycle monitoring that I've had.
You probably know that any IVF would have to be private (not NHS) given the fact that you already have a child and are over 42.
Don't panic too much though. I conceived my first naturally and relatively easily aged 43 + 3 months. I'm trying for a second, bit less hopeful and sometimes desperate, but haven't given up quite yet.
Why don't you have a look in on one of the over 40's TTC threads: Link - Over 40s TTC? You'll find plenty of others in your position.
Plus there's a thread for pregnant at 40 and over. You could lurk to cheer yourself up!
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