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Secondary infertility - how do I continue with the monthly disappointment?

(19 Posts)
cluelessnewmum Mon 05-Dec-16 10:58:10


Feeling pretty miserable after another cycle goes by and I'm not pregnant, and wanted to find some kindred spirits.

As the title suggests, been TTC number 2 for 12 months now, at the beginning of 2016 when we started trying, I never thought I would be going into 2017 not being pregnant, as DC1 was conceived so easily.

My story is that I don't have low progesterone (all hormone tests normal, I ovulate) but I spot 5-6 days before my period making my luteal phase short. Have been using progesterone in the last few cycles which stops the spotting but obviously hasn't helped in conceiving.

Also have been doing acupuncture for 3 months but now starting to wonder if this is an expensive waste of time.

Already been to Zita West, doctor there said only other option would be IVF but to wait another few months.

Read about some women taking clomid even if they do ovulate to give a 'stronger' egg - anyone had any experience of this and if so who prescribed it to you? Zita West Doctor said there was no point doing this as I ovulate but there are obviously other doctors out there that disagree?

Anyway..... I just wanted to do something productive rather than wallowing. I'm sorry, I know some people on here have been trying for alot longer than we have. It's just difficult when you start to take stock when a year comes to a close.

Hobbes39 Mon 05-Dec-16 15:14:20

Hi clueless
I understand how you feel, but don't panic yet... 12 months feels a v long time, but you aren't actually classed as having 'secondary infertility' until 2 years by the NHS as far as I know...
I mean that reassuringly as it means that you are just taking slightly longer than average, and all could be just fine smile
However, i am in the same boat but further along as I have a DS who is 3.5 and we've been trying for 2 years now for no2.
Can I ask how old you are? If you are like me and pushing 40, then you should have more tests done soon to investigate - your FSH & LH and your AMH levels for starters if you haven't had these done? I hope this doesn't make you more worried, but after lots of tests and no obvs problems, we were told to go for IVF as it would give us our best chance and the docs told me to do it sooner rather than later as once you are over 40 chances get smaller. So to cuts long story short, I'm now in my TWW after having 2 embryos put back last week, so I'm hoping it's worked, although what has become apparent is that my age is def a factor as our embryo quality wasn't great, so our chances of success are small, but you never know. Good luck. It's shit - and heartbreaking when my DS is so flipping lovely with babies and would be a lovely big brother... hang in there x

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 05-Dec-16 15:41:42

Was wondering if your man has had any tests done to date. I mention that only because you yourself have had some tests but there is no mention of he being tested. He should be tested as a matter of course; it is no point in solely testing the woman only to potentially discover that there are male factor issues.

Has the cause of the spotting been determined, that needs to be further looked at.

Would not take clomid unless there is properly thought out reason to take it; it is usually only given where there are problems with ovulation. Clomid's main job is to make the ovaries work harder (it has nothing to do with making the egg supposedly stronger). It is also quite powerful stuff and women should be monitored closely whilst on it, if you were not monitored you would have no way of knowing whether it was working or not.

I would certainly push for more tests for him as well.

Good luck to you both.

cluelessnewmum Mon 05-Dec-16 20:00:33

Hiya, thanks fir replying, very kind of you.

Hobbes, very best of luck with your tww, I can't imagine how agonising that must be, it's bad enough when it's just a monthly cycle.

I'm 35, DH is 40, DC is 2. I've had my LH and Fsh levels tested, they're OK apparently. I'm not sure about AMH, if that is the one which tells you how many eggs you've left I haven't done that but perhaps I should as the next step.

Interesting that I'm not counted as secondary infertility yet, but for me personally I know something is different ie, last time I got pregnant easily and I didn't have the spotting, this time I do and it hasn't happened so I can't think that is not the cause.

Attila, I wish I could find the cause for the spotting but I don't have low progesterone and I don't have pcos, and those are the two tests they do for causes of spotting so I'm at a loss. Seen bupa doctor, Zita West doctor and disinterested gp and all just kinda shrugging their shoulders.

Agree on sperm test - dh has done the cheap otc test but he's going this week for a proper one.

Thanks for the info re clomid, I would just like to do something before ivf, but haven't been given any other options other than lifestyle. So was hoping that might be worth a go.

Fingers crossed for you Hobbes x

Hobbes39 Mon 05-Dec-16 22:37:07

Hi clueless
I meant to say before, after having my DS when my periods came back they were shorter (22-25days) less consistent and I had spotting before them, which was part of why I went to the doctors when we did after no success. You have more time on your side, so you have time to have more thorough investigations, but the docs basically didn't seem all that worried about my spotting, despite it not being my normal... it was very frustrating. With the tests I got done on the NHS to investigate, the gp was next to useless, but at the hospital they tested my progesterone weekly, and I was told it was ok, but I think that it was borderline at times so I suspect this has been a bit of an issue. The hospital basically told me that I could either spend time getting checked for possible issues like endo, (as I have v painful heavy periods) or if having a baby was our priority then IVF would be best. I was shocked there didn't appear to be an in between for me... but here we are.
I think you have time to push for more, and if you have the money, I'd get your AMH blood test (gives an indication of egg reserves). Good luck xx

cluelessnewmum Tue 06-Dec-16 11:33:17

I agree, I think the Spotting is a problem but if it's not low progesterone, endo or pcos they don't seem to know. I don't know whether they don't see it as a problem because people conceive with spotting or just Because they don't know what it is so don't have a solution.

But like you something changed in my body after having my DC and it's just making me feel that all the months we keep trying naturally are a waste of time.

But like you I wish there was something I could try before ivf. It is a big psychological adjustment to be at this point as well as the financial outlay.

Agree getting the AMH levels done at least tells me how much I should panic time wise.

Wishing you all the best,let me know how you get on xx

Kskifred Tue 06-Dec-16 11:56:23


I also am ttc #2, been trying for about a year, started off casual but now charting/panicking and really pulling out all the stops.

In the middle of my tww and not sure how I'm feeling.

We too conceived my little boy so easily (happy surprise) that it feels like something isn't right or that we are less fertile.

My cycle also changed quite a lot after DS was born (he is now 2.5) and some cycles were as short as 22 days shock but with a better diet and exercise over the past few months I've seen them get longer by a day roughly each cycle over the summer, I've now at 26 days. I think hormones were definitely affected since having my son, I think weight gain during the pregnancy would have also contributed (It has taken a long time to get back to a healthy weight - I gained a lot).

It feels so confusing when you already have children because you know it's possible IYSWIM, it should make you feel more positive really but it doesn't, just more anxious that something is now wrong.

Treadlightly Tue 06-Dec-16 12:05:00

It really sucks I know.
I had unexplained secondary infertility when ttc my dc2 at age 36.
Took 2 and a half years & 10months of clomid before I got pregnant with ds.
I'd ask your gp about clomid, he referred me to the hospital.

kimnews Tue 06-Dec-16 12:15:53

We are TTC DC2 also, our DS is 4.3 and every month I worry about how much older he will be than any future sibling. We have been trying for 19 months, and I'm only 28, and all tests have come back fine. So why the bloody hell have I not got pregnant yet!!!

MmmMalbec Sat 10-Dec-16 06:23:34

I'm currently on my first round of clomid. This is my 8th cycle of TTC number 2. DS was conceived second month. I have been having lots of spotting and a short LP. I had a private progesterone test which showed low but it was a particularly bad month for spotting. Anyway I went to the doctor and she referred us to the fertility clinic (I'm 29). He said that clomid should help to regulate my periods and lengthen my LP. However he didn't take my progesterone result seriously because he said you can't be sure when you ovulate for definite without a scan....

Anyway I'm only 6/7dpo today so I don't know if it's worked yet or not. I was scanned for a week around ovulation and I know it has at least made me ovulate sooner than usual. I think the logic is like you say that being on clomid can produce bigger eggs which have more chance of being successful.

It's so stressful when you're not totally sure what's wrong isn't it. Good luck!

SleepFreeZone Sat 10-Dec-16 06:33:37

What's your weight like? What's your diet like?

HalleLouja Sat 10-Dec-16 06:35:03

Another one here who went through the same. I think it took 18 cycles to conceive DC2. I also have spotting and conceived DC1 really quickly. Also I am pretty sure before DC1 my cycles were spot on 28 days now they are nearer 26. The tests I had were fine but DH was just about to have another sperm test as some of his results were inconsistent. I was supposed to have the day 3 (??) test the month I got pregnant.

Anyway in the end I got pregnant naturally. But did try acupuncture and hypnotherapy. I think the hypnotherapy was more useful as it helped me calm down. To be fair all the stress I put myself through is one of the reasons I won't have another.

DC2 is now 5 1/2 and as I like to tell her she was well worth the wait.

SunsetInToulouse Sat 10-Dec-16 06:55:20

It took us about 18 months ttc dc2. After about 15 months I changed my diet, drank significantly less wine, did more exercise, and mentally resigned myself to only having one. I was 38, and doctors wouldn't really talk to me about it as I already had Dc1. DC2 is now nearly a year.

cluelessnewmum Sat 10-Dec-16 08:51:02

Thank you all for replying, very kind.

I will go and see my GP about Clomid as it sounds like it is worked out for some of you.

I've just started charting and drew up last month's chart - it is all over the place, with my temperature falling away long before my period started, suggests low progesterone / thyroid issues from what I've read even though my tests for progesterone and thyroid are fine, and I am now taking 800mg Cyclogest - so frustrating to not know why this is happening.

Sleepfreezone - I'm not overweight - about 8 stone 3 pounds (I'm small though!), only about 3lbs off pre pregnancy weight (all those lbs on my tummy though). Diet could def be better, too much convenience food, not enough fresh but I'm working on that. Don't drink much alcohol or caffeine these days (way less than when I got pregnancy the first time). Trying to get fitter etc as well, but again I wasn't super fit before the first pregnancy either. Also taking every vitamin under the sun.

Thanks all, and good luck for those who are still waiting! xx

Hobbes39 Sun 12-Feb-17 19:42:42

Hi - not been on a while as didn't actually get notifications of other posts, but just saw them now! How are you getting on clueless?
You mentioned being in cyclogest - where did you get it and how did you know how much to use? Has it helped? Our first round of ivf was unsuccessful sadly - was a chemical pregnancy - so trying again next month... god I hope it works this time as can't really afford another go. I'm slightly annoyed hay despite asking about it, the docs didn't try me on clomid - I'm not sure why not, but I wonder if it varies with areas what they try - which would be annoying. Anyway, hope that those of you who were still trying have been successful... fingers crossed we will be this time round..! X

cluelessnewmum Sun 12-Feb-17 21:04:35

Hi Hobbes, thanks for checking in. I'm so sorry to hear that your ivf wasn't successful this time, I hope it works next time, is there something they can tweak to improve your chances?

Me, I'm still not preggers... I've been to see a private doctor, on the recommendation of another mumsnetter and I feel confident in him. I'm so annoyed I wasted my time and cash with useless Zita West,who said that the only option would be ivf if it didn't happen naturally.

This guy said we should try ovulation induction before ivf, which involves the drug Gonal. He said was better than clomid as can tweak it through the cycle. Is a lot cheaper than ivf, one cycle just below 800 quid. So doing a monitored cycle next time and then this ovulation induction.

I don't know in your case whether clomid is worth a shot now you're doing ivf, but clearly there are options before ivf that Zita West weren't willing to explore for me so it obviously does depend on the doctor.

I've also got an NHS subfertility appointment next week so will see what happens there, whether I'm entitled to anything as I expect already got dc

Good luck in the next round, stay in touch! Xx

cluelessnewmum Sun 12-Feb-17 23:00:18

Oh and to answer your question about cyclogest, I don't think it does any good. Guy I'm seeing now says it's pointless and to stop using it x

CanISayOfHerFace Sun 12-Feb-17 23:38:50

Hi clueless. I had three IUIs to conceive my first child after two years of trying and tests which resulted in a diagnosis of unexplained infertility. All my results and DHs were normal.

When we decided to try for a second baby my charts were showing similar to yours in that I was ovulating but my luteal phase was short and I was spotting.

I asked my GP for progesterone (he tried to give me clomid which I didn't need). He didn't know how much to prescribe so I just asked for the same amount I was given during my IUI cycles. I started taking it when my chart showed I had ovulated and I got pregnant that month. So I believe it worked for me but obviously we caught the egg in the first place for the progesterone to do its thing.

One thing I learnt about testing during my infertility experience is that there are varying degrees of normal, even different thresholds from country to country. A few things on the low end of normal all add up and the odds are then stacked against you. However you often just get told your results are within the normal range. It is worth asking for actual numbers so you can see where you fall on the scale. My progesterone, AMH and DHs SA were all on the low end of normal and I think this is why we needed IUI to conceive first time around.

Good luck, it sounds like you have found someone who can help you smile

MmmMalbec Mon 13-Feb-17 13:24:25

Just seen this pop up and thought I'd update that I actually got pregnant on that first clomid cycle an I'm now 12+1. I started spotting at 7dpo so I was totally sure that the clomid had made no difference but it stopped at 11dpo and I got my BFP. I honestly couldn't say that clomid worked for sure but something different clearly happened that month. Good luck to everyone xx

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