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Secondary infertility - where to start?

(21 Posts)
ohnonotanother1 Mon 15-Aug-16 06:15:38

I have one son and have been unsuccessfully trying for a second. I just wondered at what point you ladies with secondary fertility began to have investigations etc?

I've heard mixed stories of what is available on the nhs - I've had the day 21 tests and seem to ovulate, I have fairly regular cycles too. What next?

I assuming I'm not entitled to much on the nhs so how do I start to even approach/choose a fertility clinic when I haven't the foggiest what might be wrong? And would I need to be referred or can I just book myself in?

In addition I had a fairly traumatic c section last time and have a bit of a niggling concern that maybe some scarring or something might be causing the problems, has anyone else had that investigated?

I'm going to give it til the end of the year and try a few more things (we have a holiday planned so maybe the "relax and it'll happen" will kick in hmm) and going to read up on improving my diet and lifestyle overall but would also like to start researching next steps while I have a few quiet moments on holiday and can talk to DH in a more relaxed environment.

Thanks ladies!

drsholmes Mon 15-Aug-16 18:26:12

I first went to the doctor after we'd been trying for a year. They told me to come back in 6 months. We eventually got referred to the fertility clinic when Dd was 2 but even then they told us to keep trying for 6months. I then had tests (all clear) and managed to get an appointment with a consultant who told us there was nothing wrong with us and we should do a few cycles of IUI just to "help us out". He also suggested skipping that and going straight for IVF.
He recommended acupuncture (I hated it - and her, apparently it was all my fault because I wasn't smiling when I came in) and high protein diet. And exercise 3times a week.

ohnonotanother1 Mon 15-Aug-16 18:44:23

Oh god if not smiling is my problem then I'm fucked.

Has any of this worked? It seems like a lot of conflicting advice there... Was this an nhs clinic or private?

I am happy to commit to the exercise and make any dietary changes that might help, even to try acupuncture etc even if just to have some time out to myself. But smiling, especially through what sounds like bundled advice, might be a step too far confused

drsholmes Mon 15-Aug-16 18:47:48

It was all through nhs and then the final consultant was upstairs in the hospital but was actually a private fertility clinic.

I didn't have to pay for any tests, but acupuncture was £40 a week! And no sex after I'd ovulated!

Nothing worked, even the well meaning advice of "just relax". The worst thing is worrying, because we got pregnant in 8months the first time, why isn't it happening this time. It's all so unfair.

Adopting now smile

drsholmes Mon 15-Aug-16 18:48:15

How long have you been trying for?

ohnonotanother1 Mon 15-Aug-16 20:22:10

That's interesting - didn't realise so much could be done on the nhs. I think I need to research the different Drs in my practice a bit more, mine wasn't very clued up.

I've actually not been trying all that long - 8 months so far which is I think 10 cycles as they're quite short. I'm going to give it until the end of the year which will be a year of trying, and going to try throwing everything (eg diet/natural remedies) at it for the remainder of the year, then make an appointment for further investigations early next year. I know I'm the whole scheme of things this isn't very long but we seemed to struggle last time too - we were not yet married and had very frequent sex pretty much every day, I'd had a fairly recent scan showing no issues and it still didn't happen for quite a long time, so I am wondering if there might be something going on that wasn't picked up last time.

I hope I don't seem insensitive asking these questions when really I haven't even scratched the surface of "problems" conceiving, I guess I just want to take back a bit of control by researching. I also want to have a conversation with my husband while we are on holiday about what his expectations are etc, as it can be hard to find time to talk about the big things without a child or work or similar interrupting. It's all a bit premature but seems like a natural time to bring it up, and I would like to be a bit prepared about what our options are.

The ironic thing is that I started out years ago being desperate to adopt. I'd booked an appointment with someone to discuss the adoption journey by myself on my 30th birthday and met my husband a couple of months before. It became serious quite quickly and he said he wanted to start a family of his own v soon and would prefer to try to have a baby first. I think I could give so much to any child whether they are genetically mine or one I've chosen to give my love to, and how they came to be in my life really doesn't matter. The thing I'm struggling with a little bit at the moment is that I wanted lots of kids and in quite quick succession, but two long periods of conception has somewhat changed that plan so adoption could be one way of me still being able give love to lots of children. Food for thought.

How far are you along the adoption journey?

drsholmes Tue 16-Aug-16 09:45:05

We've been to sessions and had a visit, now very early stage 1 smile

SleepFreeZone Tue 16-Aug-16 09:47:24

Can I ask how short your cycles are? Also how old you are?

kimnews Tue 16-Aug-16 09:54:42

Also your BMI? I only ask because we've been TTC #2 for 16 months and have tried everything, and had tons of tests. Consultant blames my BMI (underweight) and I need to put on a stone. I never thought it would be that because I've always been the same (fast metabolism) and we conceived #1 easily.

ohnonotanother1 Tue 16-Aug-16 15:16:47

Ah it's all well under way then, how exciting! I hear it can be a somewhat labour intensive process to get to the point of holding your child so I wish you as quick and stress free journey as is possible!!

Sleep free - My cycles have been 21-24 days though the last couple have been 26 but with lots of spotting 2-3 days before my proper period starts and again right at the end so I'm not sure if they are settling down a bit now or going haywire in a different way!!? I think I used to have spotting when I conceived last time but I don't remember it being this prevalent - the odd tiny bit but now it's quite significant for a few days.

I'm nearly 34 - which I think is also compounding my worries. You hear so many stories about fertility falling off a cliff at 35 and I desperately wanted another 2 children so I worry about my age, when realistically I know there is plenty of time really. I just don't want to waste any of it.

Kim - I'm not sure exactly what my bmi is but I know I'm overweight - I wear a size 14 and am about a stone heavier than when I last got pregnant. I'm working on it and have lost a few pounds. My dr thinks my bmi isn't high enough to impact but I'm not convinced so it's definitely top of my agenda. It's interesting you should mention about having a low bmi though - I have another friend who had several rounds of failed ivf, was told to gain a stone for her final attempt and that runs was successful. I don't know whether it was anything to do with the weight though or just fate handed her the good luck that day. I guess we will never know!

DaisyDaisydoo Tue 16-Aug-16 15:25:13

I'm in a similar position to you, DD is 3 and was an emergency c-section.

After trying for 12 months and blood and sperm tests coming back fine I got referred to a gynae consultant on the NHS and will be having a Lap & Dye next week- I had the same thoughts as you regarding scar tissue etc after my emcs as my cycles have never been the same- heavier, spotting in between periods etc. So hoping the lap & dye will give us an answer and hopefully clear out any problems.

I would send DP for sperm analysis so you can tick that off the list and then ask for a further referral to have a look inside, good luck!

ohnonotanother1 Tue 16-Aug-16 22:12:44

Thanks daisy. Interestingly my husband admitted to some weird symptoms tonight that I sound like prostrate issues - I hear that this can't affect fertility to any large extent but I do wonder if there are other things he's not told me. He hasn't seen a dr in 20+ years so I am definitely going to try and encourage this.

I think my cycles are heavier now too, I remember last time being surprised at my very light periods after coming off the pill but that's not the case since having my son.

Please do come back and let me know how the lap and dye goes and whether there's anything awry - I've heard this can give everything a good clear out and set things back to normal so I have everything crossed for you! Good luck!

ohnonotanother1 Tue 16-Aug-16 22:13:04

Prostate. Prostrate would be a whole other problem!

SleepFreeZone Tue 16-Aug-16 23:46:48

I had secondary infertility due to short cycles. I think this is your problem too. What made the difference for me was fertility acupuncture weekly (amazing) and vitamins (FertilAid for me and DP). If you can get your cycles longer I think you'll conceive.

Where are you based?

SleepFreeZone Tue 16-Aug-16 23:48:06

By the way my cycles at worst were 23 days. Acupuncture got them back to 28 days in 3 cycles and I conceived the next cycle having had no luck for 8 months.

DaisyDaisydoo Wed 17-Aug-16 07:12:41

Thanks OP! It's a worrying time but hopefully we will host get answers soon enough.

DaisyDaisydoo Wed 17-Aug-16 07:13:01

*both

ohnonotanother1 Thu 18-Aug-16 21:40:48

Thanks everyone - I wish you all the best of luck.

Sleepfreezone - I'm in Sidcup, greater London/Kent borders. I've actually been considering acupuncture so I think I will book some sessions for after my holiday. I've been looking at vitamins too and think I will order some fertilaid, lots of people have recommended them!

SleepFreeZone Thu 18-Aug-16 22:52:44

Ah long way from me or I would have recommended my acupuncturist. Short cycles are tricky sods, do you know on what cd you ovulate? You need enough time in the cycle to build up a good lining and then enough time post ovulation for the fertilised egg to travel down the Fallopian tube and implant. That's why the perfect 28 day cycle is advantageous as it gives you enough time for both.

Sunshine51 Sat 27-Aug-16 07:36:29

I went to my gp after 10 month, she referred me for blood tests and said there was lots they could do to help.
I had a very traumatic first labour with lots of damage done below but there is a history of early menopause in my family so who knows.
I'm at the point now where I am sick of seeing pregnant people.

Figgygal Sat 27-Aug-16 07:53:12

8 months really isn't that long to be trying how easily did you change native last time and how old were you? If the tests aren't indicating an issue is it a bit early to suggest a problem?

I ask as I'm 35 now conceived ds in 6 weeks of trying At 30 started again at 34 last January and was getting hysterical about it by August that we weren't pg. I had the basic tests and wasn't ovulating regularly my cycles when I did were between 23 and 35 days but they wouldn't do anything but retest for ovulation.

Strangely I started chilling out about it didn't do anything differently and I did get pg in Jan this year and am now 35wks with what will be our last baby. You just need to get lucky once are you putting too much pressure on yourselves?

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