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Help! IVF - Overweight

(54 Posts)
torthecatlady Fri 12-Feb-16 12:47:44

Hi, i'll try and give you as much info as possible, so as not to drip-feed!
I apologise in advance for the long message! I have wanted to start this thread for ages, but have only now mustered up enough courage to do so!

Basically DH and I would like to start a family over the next couple of years, but naturally conceiving seems pretty unlikely. We would like our first before we turn 30 and hopefully approx. a 5 year age gap for the next. (We are open to adoption, however would like to try to conceive on our own first.)

DH and I have not been "actively trying" to conceive, however we have not used any form of contraception for around 3 years. I still feel young but we're ready.

We have not had any pregnancies in this relationship. However, I have had a couple of pregnancies but no children as a result of miscarriage in a previous relationship - but none for at least 9 years. DH has a DS from a previous relationship, so it doesn't appear to be a problem from that side.

I have been diagnosed with a couple of medical conditions which could be contributing factors to our infertility PCOS and Endometriosis.

We are young. I am 25 and DH is 26, time is on our side - however we are both overweight and actively trying to get fitter and healthier! We are both in the "obese" category on a bmi index. I need to be one stone lighter to be "overweight" and be considered for IVF (I think?).

Will our dr refer us, even if we are currently overweight?

I am not sure where we stand in terms of IVF on the NHS. We live in Wales and the waiting time is quite long.

We have been to an open evening at a private clinic (which was amazing) and expensive who did not say our weight would be an issue in us using their services.

However, I have heard that the NHS will not offer us IVF if we are overweight.

The private clinic offer free treatment if we were to donate eggs or sperm - They won't take my eggs for health reasons, but DH is happy to donate. We cannot afford the cost of private without the donation of sperm!
I would prefer to go down the NHS route first if possible though.

torthecatlady Fri 12-Feb-16 12:55:42

I realise that I didn't really ask a specific question.

Mainly, I am wondering if our dr will refer us to an IVF appointment with a specialist. Even if he does do this though, will we fall at the next hurdle for being overweight?

I have a long standing battle with depression which is now un-medicated and relatively under control (I have a "mentor" who I see once a week).

Every time I look on facebook, another friend of mine is pregnant or posting millions of pictures of their children. My heart is starting to feel heavy at the thought of not being able to do what I am supposed to be biologically programmed to do, as a woman. sad

Can anyone offer me any guidance from their own experience?

ComeLuckyApril Fri 12-Feb-16 13:21:19

We got as far as the initial testing that the GP can organise (hormone tests for me, semen sample for him) and would have after that been on the waiting list for an appointment at the clinic for more investigations (I presume - I got lucky and am now pregnant). My BMI was over 30 and it wasn't mentioned although I know my area won't give you IVF on the NHS unless it's under. But I think they can do all the investigations and make a plan which you can then take to the private clinic, or some people have success with taking fertility drugs and avoid IVF.

BespokeStereophonicVinyl Fri 12-Feb-16 16:23:14

Hello - Really sorry to hear of your difficulties conceiving - Sorry to say that you probably won't be offered IVF on the NHS at all as your DH already has a DC from a previous relationship. (I believe this to be pretty standard now nationwide)

The reason for the BMI restrictions on the NHS is that, (statistically speaking) the treatment is just much less likely to result in a live birth if you have a high BMI. There are obviously individual exceptions to this, but on the whole the miscarriage risk alone shoots up in women with high BMI.

You might be able to arrange some initial tests on the NHS, but I think your chances of being granted NHS funding are pretty much non-existant.

Do you have savings you could use? Personally, I'd throw everything at reducing your BMI first to give yourselves the best possible chance at either a natural conception or for a successful IVF.

Good luck!

BespokeStereophonicVinyl Fri 12-Feb-16 16:26:27

...also, I know you didn't specifically ask, but I would be incredibly wary of leaving it so long to attempt an IVF cycle if you already know you have issues.

I'd get cracking right now if I were you, time runs out so very quickly (as I am finding to my cost at the ripe old age of 36!)

My one wish in my life is that I had known at your age that DH and I would have difficulty conceiving. You have that knowledge now, don't waste it!

Aurielia Fri 12-Feb-16 16:43:18

It took me seven years to conceive my Dd. Like you I have pcos and was overweight.

I lost weight over a year, over seven stone. My twice yearly periods become monthly after when my weight reached the healthy bmi for me.

I conceived naturally 11 months since starting my diet. I had received a hospital appointment to start the ball rolling with fertilty treatment two weeks after I got that positive pregnancy test.

My daughter is now 13 months old. It was hard to hear from doctor's about my weight constantly. It took me time to get the will power to lose weight, but it was the best thing i ever did.

Even if I had needed fertility treatment the weight loss would still be the best thing to do. It increases the chances treatment being successful, helps reduce misscarriage and lowers the risks in pregnancy and Labour.

It wasn't easy to lose all that weight. It took me a couple of years after first being told I'd have to lose weight or I couldn't start fertility treatment via the NHS to get together the will power.

Good luck, I hope you will have your own little miracle soon. Even today I can't believe this little girl is mine.

torthecatlady Sat 13-Feb-16 01:09:49

Thanks for all of your replies. Itms given me lots to think about!

I'm really shocked to hear that we may not be offered IVF on the NHS due to my DSS. That doesn't seem fair at all. If that is the case, I guess we are looking at potentially fertility drugs or going private (using sperm donation to fund it).

I have just joined a new dr's surgery and have an appointment on Tuesday, so I shall let them know about my concerns and that we would like some advice and to get the ball rolling.

Weight loss is something we are working on at the moment! Not just to start a family, but so that we may hopefully live long healthy lives together!

Fertility drugs hadn't even crossed my mind at all. Perhaps they could be our saviour!

We are fortunate to know about our fertility problems whilst we are still quite young. I know that age (and weight) play a role in the success of natural and IVF pregnancies.

At my appointment on Tuesday, I will ask to be referred for tests and see where it goes from there.

Thanks again all!

MPP81 Sat 13-Feb-16 01:23:21

Hi Tor. I'm in wales too and have a higher bmi. We were referred by our doctor in December but told that I needed to try to shift some weight before we get our first appointment as we probably wouldn't be able to have ivf until I had, though they would still investigate. We were told the wait was currently 18 months, but I did phone in January to check the referral had been received and was told that the wait had decreased slightly and we could expect to hear from them at the end of the summer. I have a DC and my DP has none. Our doctor said he believed that here, they still allow ivf on nhs if one partner has no children, but he couldn't be sure (really should have asked when I phoned the clinic actually!) so we're currently looking into going private anyway. Just thought I'd share my experience so far, since it seems similar to your circumstances.

VimFuego101 Sat 13-Feb-16 01:24:30

We would have been able to access IVF even though my husband already had a child from a previous relationship. It seems to be a post code lottery.

unimaginativename13 Sat 13-Feb-16 02:25:32

I think they need to explore all options of conceiving naturally. Being underweight or overweight can be an issue so that needs to be rectified before the IVF is offered X

MrsDarcy4092 Sat 13-Feb-16 08:14:21

Your best to contact your ccg and a them yo send you a copy of the fertility policy as i found even my Gp didn't know what we would get funded. You have it in black and white then.

I'm loosing weight to have Icsi privately even though they said they would do it now it just seems healthier to lose it first. I've lost almost 3 1/2 stone in 7 months with slimming world - really recommend it

BespokeStereophonicVinyl Sat 13-Feb-16 13:51:11

I researched this in some detail in a professional context in around 2011 and none of the PCTs (as they were then) in England funded IVF where one partner has a child.

To the people saying differently, which CCG/PCT was this? I am finding this very difficult to believe!

VimFuego101 Sat 13-Feb-16 17:51:29

Mine was hertfordshire (admittedly a few years ago now). 2010 I think. We moved abroad before starting so never actually did it, but the funding was approved.

MPP81 Sat 13-Feb-16 18:59:04

I've just found this looking online for our current guidelines

For couples – there are no children (biological or adopted) living with the couple and one of
the partners has never had a biological or adopted child. For single women – that the
woman has never had a biological or adopted child.

So, for my personal circumstances, it looks as though we would not get any funded, but for the OP, if her DP's child doesn't live with them then it may be she is eligible, though obviously I don't know if this is different in other parts of Wales.

BespokeStereophonicVinyl Sat 13-Feb-16 19:00:37

2010 was 6 years ago! The Policy is different today.

I know you're only trying to help, and I'm not trying to 'shame' you, but posting out of date and incorrect information is really unhelpful when OP is dealing with such an important issue.

BespokeStereophonicVinyl Sat 13-Feb-16 19:03:35

I will say though, that I am lot less familiar with the situation in Wales

bananafish81 Sat 13-Feb-16 23:37:54

Islington CCG doesn't have restrictions on funding if one partner has a child from a previous relationship. Or at least it didn't when I last checked. Not every CCG excludes this.

bananafish81 Sat 13-Feb-16 23:44:55

See also other London boroughs:

Fizrim Sun 14-Feb-16 00:09:37

I'm in the South-West, and I know someone who says she is losing weight to have IVF - she already has a child but her partner doesn't. I assumed they were using the NHS but now I'm not sure. Good luck with the GP appointment and I hope you get some clarification.

Kirstie27 Wed 13-Jul-16 21:30:28

Hi. Just reading this discussion as I have lost 5 1/2 stone ready for our Ivf journey in September. I'm worried that the medication will make me gain weight or something. And slimming world as far as I know doesn't have an Ivf plan just a pregnancy plan so I'm unsure if it's a good idea to carry on following plan especially since we are having our treatment abroad! If anybody needs any help or advice regarding weight loss feel free to reply. Hope your all doing fantastic!!

MrsDarcy4092 Fri 15-Jul-16 07:00:42

Definitely carry on with plan. It's just healthy eating so what would be the downside? I'm unsure why an ivf plan would ever be needed

drinkyourmilk Sun 17-Jul-16 08:13:03

I did put on weight with my ivf, but not much- and stuck to plan as much as possible. My S/W leader was very supportive. Carry on would be my advice.

Kirstie27 Sun 17-Jul-16 09:41:31

Thanks smile. Think we're all different, I'll speak to my consultant and go from there smile

Wifey1990 Sun 17-Jul-16 12:08:55

I live in Kent and we are unable to have IVF on the NHS due to my husband already having a daughter from a previous relationship! I think it's very unfair as well

TinySalmon Sun 17-Jul-16 12:58:43

If your partner has DS from previous relationship you will not be eligible for IVF on NHS anyway.

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