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Start of my journey

(5 Posts)
Alba1987 Tue 14-Feb-17 11:00:52

Hi all. This is my first post & just looking for some helpful advice and honestly a bit of support on what lies ahead.
Myself and my partner have been ttc for about a year and a half. Last month I finally bit the bullet and made an appointment with my GP to express my concerns. My GP was amazing... she has two IVF babies herself and she totally put me at ease. So I'm booked in on the 20th to have bloods taken to check ovulation and she has referred me to a gynaecologist. It's a bit of a scary time and me stepping into the unknown. Can any of you share your experiences? What should I expect?

BreezyBear Tue 14-Feb-17 16:01:09


I've just come here as I'm in the early stages too! Im about to get my IVF referral so have gone through the initial investigations. I'm sure it's different for others - they haven't found any reason why we can't get pregnant so at the moment it's "unexplained infertility". If they were to find a problem then I think there might be more steps to try before IVF. We have been tcc for 2 years and 3 months now.

I was referred to a consultant gynaecologist and had blood tests done in the waiting time, on day 3 and day 21 of my cycle. Partner also had semen tests done. Both tests came back fine - I ovulate and partners sperm is normal. I waited a couple of months to get an appointment.

First gynaecologist appointment: I had a chat and discussed blood test results, cycles, how long we had been trying, weight, general health and lifestyle.

Second gynaecologist visit: Hycosy scan. This was to check that my tubes were not blocked and to check for cysts. It was an internal scan using a small camera thing. I think this is standard as a first fertility investigation. I had a ovarian cyst and was told to come back for another scan in 2 months time.

Next appointment: Transvaginal ultrasound scan - I still had a cyst and looked like something called an endometrioma. Performed by a nurse and then had another appointment to see the consultant for results.

Next: Saw a gynaecologist again who advised I would need the cyst removed surgically before they could refer me for IVF, although it's unlikely the cyst was actually causing my infertility.

Next: Had a laparoscopy to remove the cyst and check if there was any more endometriosis. At the same time they did dye studies and a hysteroscoypy to check everything else looked ok (checked uterus lining, checked there were no polyps etc). Cyst is now gone and everything else looks fine.

Next step is to go back to the consultant and, hopefully, be referred for IVF! They said I just need one more blood test to get the go ahead.

It always helps to know the date of your last period or your cycle day at the appointments, they always ask. It's an emotional process so look after yourself. Also familiarise yourself with any IVF criteria for NHS referral in your area in case it does come to that. You can find out what your CCG offer here: Fertility Fairness. They may have restrictions on age, weight etc.

Good luck with your journey. I hope things work out for you!

Alba1987 Tue 14-Feb-17 16:51:11

BreezyBear wow thank you! That has definitely given me a better insight with regards to what to expect. I guess it could go a different number of ways dependant on the results but definitely feel a bit more prepared. Sounds like you have been through a lot already & I wish you all the best for what's next. I'm in scotland but I had a look at our IVF provisions and all seems to be OK for us. Discussed the current waiting times (12 months) with my GP and she also told me about going private but I think with my age I would be OK to wait (I'm not in too much of a rush at the moment) just happy to have got the ball rolling. It took alot to actually accept that maybe things werent going to just happen naturally. I hope to see more from you! Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience so far xx

MrsDarcy4092 Tue 14-Feb-17 18:09:53

Hi there, i am sorry you are joining us on this journey.... It really is up down and difficult but there have been silver linings along the way. I will try my best to explain our journey

We started TTC Jan 2014, i was 30 and DH 35. In Feb 2015 I saw my GP who referred me to an USS and day 21 bloods to check for ovulation and suggested my DH make an appointment for a SA. My blood showed i ovulate and i had my USS in about April time.. they asked me to come back 2 weeks later as my period was due they couldnt see the lining properly. I went back 2 weeks later and they found a polyp. So i was told i would need surgery to have it removed - we have private insurance so i booked it privately and had it done in june. They found a large polyp which almost certainly was stopping implantation. had it removed and all fine.
However, DH somewhere apparently misunderstood and thought he only needed a SA if my tests came back normal.... so... he finally sees the GP in June and gets his pot to do a sample which he prob did in July - called up almost instantly to say he needs to do another as nothnig to worry about but the result is lower than they expect. He does another and GP calls to say your results are really low so we need to refer you to a urologist. We requested the results and were shocked to see how bad the results were - 0.1 million per ml and 1% forward progression motility.
July 2015 he had the first appointment with urology. Who examine him, orders hormone bloods, another SA and an USS. We go back in September and told he cant find a reason for the poor fertility so is referring us to Mr Ramsay a fairly famous male fertility specialist.
Feb 2016: We see Mr Ramsay, he prescribes a drug called Tamoxifen and asks to have another SA in 4 months.
March 2016: I see my gp as i have a bengin tumor which doesn't cause me any problems but i am worrying about the ivf drugs and if this could cause it to grow - GP refers me to a neuro specialist and endocrine specialist.
MAy 2016: I see endocrine specialist who says ivf wont interfere with my tumour but notices my thyroid is within normal for normal people but too high for ivf - it needs to be below 2 not below 4.5 like the rest of the population.
May 2016: I see GP to start on thyroxine trying to get my result from 4.5 to under 2 i think this will be easy...
June 2016: I have MRI and see neuro specialist who says i will be fine to have IVF.
July 2016: Thyroid test - now 3.5. Increase dose.
August 2016: WE go back to see MR Ramsay and there has been an improvement in the result so he tells us we can do ivf with icsi and which hospital are we under.. we say GP didn't ever refer us.
August 2016: Thyroid test - now 3.7, thyroxine does increased again. Also ASk GP to refer to fertility. GP says, why didn't we do this in jan 2014? errrr
September 2016: We see fertility specialist nurse at the hospital. She organises DNA testing for DH and i need another USS.
October 2016: Thyroid is now 3.2 - still too high, increase dose. USS is normal. DH bloods are normal - no idea why he has such poor fertility.
November 2016: decide to have a go privately. Thyroid is still too high they wont start. SA has one back to being extremely low. I email Ramsay who just says sometimes that happens. Clinic say SA is not good enough DH may need surgery.
December 2016: Thyroid is now 0.8 - too low!!!! GP decides to keep dose the same and recheck in a months time. Also see fertility consultant at nhs hospital, who refers us for treatment - finally!
FEb 2017: Have USS with clinic prior to initial consultation - told i have a lot of folicles as if this is a bad thing?? awaiting latest thyroid result. DH has a SA in march and our first treatment appointment is mid march.

I am exhausted just remembering it all!!!

it sounds bleak and it is hard but honestly i am so so so proud of our marriage and how well our relationship has coped. Even this awful experience has a silver lining so however bad it gets just allow yourself to feel sad because it is awful but there will also be some lovely positives along they way - i have lost 5 stone!! and don't forget when reading this my DH fertility is extremely poor so we have had lots of extra tests to get through. Most peoples journeys are much quicker than ours. Good luck

toffeepuddin Tue 14-Feb-17 22:44:25

For me, the main hurdle was from the GP to the hospital. It took 5 months, with 2 cancellations.
My first hospital appointment, the gynaecologist, just discussed the blood results, etc. I had already had a hycosy test done privately to check my tubes. DP sperm is fine, I'm ovulating but my ovaries look polycystic. She refers us for IVF.

2 months later..2nd appointment, he discussed my ultrasound results and said there's an abnormality in my womb. Before we can go ahead with IVF i have to have a hysterscopy (camera in womb). Depending what the results of that is, ill either have to have a laparscopy or hormone drugs with IVF.
It's a long process but thorough and my gynaecologist seem very caring and good at what they do.
Hold in there OP, hopefully it won't be a long journey for you

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