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5 years unexplained infertility and giving up hope....

57 replies

nohassalls · 09/10/2013 22:01

Hello. I'm new here and just wonder if anyone else is or has got to the point of feeling that it's hopeless. I'm 34, DH is 38 ( and beside himself, desperate for kids). Been trying for 4.5 years, clomid-didn't work, IVF with ISCI didn't work, all went swimmingly, put back a hatching 5day blasto, the embryologist was winking at me and saying we're lucky this is best case scenario, and then nothing. BFN. Hmm We have 3 frozen eggs, of which 2 cycles of FET have been cancelled as my normally settled cycle misbehaved. Should finally have our FET in a few weeks, but I just feel like it's not going to work. We have a funded IVF coming up soon, but again, it just feels pointless. I've never seen a BFP in my life, there's nothing wrong with us. Humph. Reading success stories on here doesn't even cheer me up, I'm just envious that these couples have been lucky but have no feeling that will ever be me. Has anyone all but given up? Sorry - proper moan-a-thon!

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MadameJosephine · 09/10/2013 22:14

We had over 5 years of ttc in total, tests showed nothing wrong so diagnosed as unexplained infertility. 9 cycles of clomid gave us a bfp but that was shortlived, no heartbeat at the 6 week mark meant I had an erpc and we started all over again. More clomid, then 3 cycles of IUI. We decided against IVF in the end because we didn't feel we could cope with it emotionally or financially (I have a 17 year old DS so no NHS treatment for us). We totally gave up hope that we would ever Have children together. My miracle DD was born when i was 41 and is now 11 months old and the light of our lives. I know it's hard and that you will have times that you feel that it will never happen for you but I really hope that you eventually get your little miracle too Thanks

YouAreMyRain · 09/10/2013 23:18

Giving up hope was the only thing that kept me sane. For me (12 yrs of unexplained infertility) the cycle of hope and despair was unbearable.

I finally accepted the fact that I would never get pregnant and realised that the most important thing for me was to be a mummy. I now have two gorgeous adopted DD.

The whole experience of infertility was hideous and very isolating. We had friends with fertility problems who all conceived multiple times while we were being unsuccessful. I felt like the most inadequate human being ever (from a reproductive, survival of the species point of view). The fact it was unexplained made it more frustrating e.g. "it could be "x", if your "x" levels are low we can mend them by doing "y""..... "hmmm it's not that, so maybe ...." Etc etc

It may sound crazy but giving up hope really helped me, the hope was really cruel.


nohassalls · 10/10/2013 08:10

Thanks MadameJosephine and You are my rain. Nice to know one isn't alone with this feeling. So true unexplained is the most frustrating... You then worry you haven't had enough tests to truly get to the bottom of it. Then also I try to be philosophical and hope the if /when it does happen the long wait will make sense.....I'm pleased you both got there in the end!

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ceara · 10/10/2013 08:15

We only have 3 years unexplained infertility behind us so have not gone through as much as you, but agree it is the most difficult, isolating and confidence-shattering experience, and not having a medical explanation is an extra kick in the stomach as it makes it so hard to know when to give up hope. But that monthly cycle of disappointment does tax your stamina and emotional reserves so much.

A book I found helpful, if only because it made me feel normal though it is also good on practical coping strategies, is "when you're not expecting: an infertility survival guide". This has a good section on making the decision to move on from infertility. You might also want to look at

I have never seen a positive pregnancy test either. Like you I had one round of IVF which was textbook, and a "perfect" 5 day embryo put back, which tried but failed to implant. At which point I mentally gave up. I went back for the first of our (less than perfect) frosties in May as destroying embryos was not something I could do, but if I was young enough to have donated it to another woman (I'm over 35 so couldn't), I would have done in order to give it a better chance. I didn't do a pregnancy test at home as I knew it hadn't worked. I know success stories aren't helping you right now, but the clinic blood test was a good strong positive and I'm currently 25 weeks pregnant with that frostie. The clinic did advise from the start that IVF should be approached as a course of three treatments as sometimes it is just about finding the right, and genetically normal, embryo. So while protecting yourself from too much hope and thinking about your plan B may be what you need to do and a good thing, perhaps it's too early to give up completely on plan A?

Happiestinwellybobs · 10/10/2013 08:22

I agree completely with You. We tried for 8 years and having been finally told that IVF was never going to work, I worked through a lot of anger, grief and guilt (the issue lies with me) I finally entered a stage of acceptance.

We decided to take a couple of years to concentrate on us as a couple and had a ball - doing the kinds of things we could never have afforded with DCs. Having taken time out from the seemingly relentless discussions of infertility, we came to the conclusion that not having children was not an option. We adopted DD last year.

Having been to the depths of despair over the years, I honestly and truly am thankful that we didn't have a birth child, as we wouldn't have DD if we had. As soon as she came to ours I finally put everything behind me.

Moaning is perfectly understandable :). Good luck with whatever happens.

BeetleBeetle · 10/10/2013 12:44

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anroga · 10/10/2013 12:58

Hi nohassalls and girls

We have recently been told that we have unexplanined infertility after 3 years of TTC (I know that is no where near as long as some of you have been trying but was interested to read your posts as I thought it might just be me thinking like this...) just finished a 2nd cycle of clomid which I am waiting agonisingly to see if it has worked (I ovulate naturally every month but the specialist thought it was worth a try for a couple of months).

If that has not worked our next step is IVF which we have to fund ourselves as my fiance has two kids already.

In the last year TTC has been all I think about, get very down about, seem to talk about and am feeling very like how many of you have said you feel.

I have decided that if the clomid does not work I think we both need a break before going for IVF so would make a plan at the beginning of next year.

We would only be able to afford one go at IVF and then if that did not work we have both discussed the option of adoption. I don't think I could carry on with the dissapointment and the pressure it puts on your relationship TTC.

It been good to read your success stories with adoption on here and nohassalls is that not something you have thought about?


rabbitonthemoon · 10/10/2013 21:31

Hi, reading this thread with interest. I'm 36 and have been ttc for three years. I was kind of unexplained with just a borderline fsh but a recent scan has taken me straight to infertile, do not pass go, do not collect £200. There were only two follicles to be seen. Now we finally have a reason, it doesn't feel better at all, even though I always thought it would. I'm taking my nhs ivf go with my own eggs anyway as I just need to and the cons said you never know, he's seen it work before. But I know in my heart it would be a bloody lucky break for this to actually work first time.

I recognise the giving up hope thing - this was a corner turner for me a year ago. I no longer expect to be pregnant, I don't chart or know the day of my cycle like I used to. It still feels shit when my period comes though. I ovulate, I have ewcm, it all feels like it is a system that works, it's so hard that it just doesn't. At all.

It's good to see people on here who have adopted and found some kind of closure on the wretched blight of infertility and who couldn't imagine it any other way - I love that. I can't wait til I am sitting with my child and all of this is behind me. I wish none of us were suffering through this, quietly and bravely and I hope that things all work themselves out quickly. It helps to know I'm not alone. Good luck op.

eurochick · 11/10/2013 15:00

I'm in a similar situation. We are also unexplained. We've been ttc for 3 yrs. The only BFP I have seen was on the first of my 3 natural IVF cycles (I went on to miscarry).

We embarked on this saying we would try three cycles, but I am not ready to stop, so we are taking a break and trying to assess where to go from here (most likely a stimulated cycle with a scratch, but we are undecided on whether to change clinic for a fresh start).

It is really hard. Throwing myself into my work recently has helped but the only thing that is going to make me feel better. It was only during the few short weeks of pregnancy I had after my first IVF cycle that I remembered what it was like to feel like myself. I was finally happy, only for it all to come crashing down.

nohassalls · 13/10/2013 20:54

Thanks for all the lovely posts. Funny feeling to be happy you're not alone, but also sad for everyone's different and difficult stories. It's crappy! Several of you mentioned the numbers game of waiting for the right embryo to stick and it's probably a good way to think about it. Blimmin science. It's dangerous when you start wondering about 'meant to be'... And why (me)? But I find it hard not to go down that route when every single one of my friends gets pregnant IMMEDIATELY... Just to twist the knife. What is that about? Anyway. Happiestinwellybobs, I loved your post. However you get to your destination, I bet it's amazing to look back and realise you wouldn't have it any other way. I look forward to that day...Smile

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stillhopefulforanother · 13/10/2013 23:19

I thought I'd share my story. It's long but I will be brief.

After TTC for two years naturally, we embarked on IUI (2 cycles, both BFN), then IVF (4 cycles all BFN). All our tests we had up to date came back ok, so unexplained infertility.

Desperate, we changed clinics. The new clinic ran additional tests related to my immune system (nk cells), this revealed a problem. So I was recommended immunosuppressant drugs. I did three cycles with this new clinic and got pregnant each time (2 miscarriages and then a successful pregnancy which resulted in DS).

So for all you guys out there, please do one more test - for immune problems.

It worked for me and is worth ruling in or out.

Good luck.

LadyMedea · 13/10/2013 23:32

I feel guilty posting on this page as infertility isn't something ive experienced myself. I have however just finished this book - - which I thought was a wonderful memoir about one couples experience of modern fertility technology so maybe it would be somehow comforting for you.

anroga · 14/10/2013 10:36

Hi girls

My AF arrives yesterday after finishing my last cycle of clomid, I feel devastated as I really thought it might of worked.

We have unexplained infertility and have been TTC for 3 years so how next step now is IVF.

I really feel that TTC has taken over our lives especially this last year, its all I think/talk about, our lives revolve around the caldender and the lows I feel when my period arrives are terrible, you all know what I am talking about I am sure.

I really feel that we need a break from it all before we go down the road of IVF (also we have to fund the treatment ourselves as my fiance has two kids already).

Have any of you took time out and found it helped?

Any of your stories/advice would be appreciated.

So glad I have found this thread as the clomid one is now use to me now xxx

eurochick · 14/10/2013 14:43

I'm taking a couple of months away from IVF now, as I mentioned above. I do feel a lot better for it.

Karbea · 14/10/2013 14:55

Hi eurochick we've decided not to proceed with ivf anymore, we've tried twice and had planned to do it 3 times, but we can't afford to do it right now, and I'd always said I wouldn't do it after I was 40 and I'll be 40 soon, so that's us out.
I now need to work out what I going to do with the rest of my life, I gave up work as part of the journey and we've now got a dog, so don't really want to go back full time.
I feel better weve a plan (ie no plan) but a bit empty if I'm honest).

Franchini · 14/10/2013 15:06

I Just want to say "Don't give up hope!"
It took us three goes of ICSI to have our lovely DD.
Am now preg with Twins after another ICSI.
My motto at the time was - just keep plodding on.
Have faith. Good luck x x

anroga · 14/10/2013 17:03

Eurochick, Karbea and Franchini thank you for your messages.

Glad to hear you feel better for the break Euro and are going to reasses the situation I really feel like that is what I need to do now, have a couple of months of so off and then in the New Year make a plan.

I am so sorry to hear that the IVF has not worked for you Karbea but can understand how you don't want to carry on with it any longer. I think making a decision and then in turn having a plan really does help, it is the not knowing or thinking you haven't tried hard enough which is a nightmare thats why I have at least got to pay for one IVF treatment...if that doesn't work like you we are not in a position to pay for anymore treatments. I have a little dog and she is an absolute joy and takes my mind off of things hope yours does the same thing :)

Franchini great to hear it has worked for you and you are now expecting twins! Wow! I won't give up I can't not yet but just to have a little break will do us both good I think. Plodding on describes exactly what we all do with infertility!


HesterShaw · 16/10/2013 12:00

Hello all, (hi Euro my love xxx), hello Karbea - I think I remember your name from the Frolickers' threads back in the early fifteenth century when I started TTC.

Just to join in, I have more or less given up hope completely. I just can't envisage a child in the house, a baby in my arms, a line on a stick, a fat pregnant tum, anything. In fact I have always been like that, even when we started TTC. In my more superstitious moments, I think that's why it has never worked for me - because I haven't believed enough. Nearly four years TTC, never even a line, two failed IUIs (the second one of which looked from the outset as "good as it can possibly look" apparently). I'm 39 next April and starting to feel very old. People say "Don't give up hope" and then tell stories of people they know who had babies unexpectedly at 41, or had a baby after six rounds of ICSI. But none of it feels like that could ever happen to me.

We have our IVF appointment on Thursday. This is funded, but my heart is sinking on hearing stories of people being told you should look at it as a cycle of three, because we won't be able to do that. I am certain this won't work either. I asked about immune difficulties last time and they looked at me as though I was speaking another language and said they didn't know anything about that. I am wondering if I have something in my body which completely rejects any kind of invader - I am never ill, have colds or flu or anything. If I feel fluey and rotten on day, by the evening or the next morning it is gone again. Can you have just an incredibly strong immune system which kicks ANYTHING out? Including fertilised eggs?

I have seen an immunologist in the last year, because I occasionally have these very strong reactions which I think are allergic, but no allergen can be found. I was referred as part of the whole fertility investigation, but only because they wanted to see if I would be allergic to any of the drugs involved in IUI (I wasn't).

I can't see us adopting either.

At times I think I would be perfectly content without children, but then I see a mother and baby smiling at each other, or a little girl holding her dad's hand and skipping and the future looks frighteningly bleak, and that the whole world knows a joy which I will never have. It's scary.

Sorry to go on and to sound so negative. I am quite a fun person usually :)

nohassalls · 16/10/2013 12:41

Hi Hester

I felt, reading your post, like I'm reading my own mind! I totally felt right from the start that it wasn't going to go swimmingly.. as soon as we were married we tried and I kept saying 'If we're lucky enough to get pregnant'.... 'if it happens' to everyone (at this point non of my friends had kids so I had no frame of reference about how easy it would be for all of them and how hard for me), My mum pointed it out once saying it's almost like you knew it wouldn't happen. I totally don't think the cause is attributed to this 'negative' belief, rather I think it's probably a case of intuition... otherwise you're basically saying you're the cause of your own infertility. It has been raised with me many times though, that this feeling, coupled with the fact I'm personally not desperate for a child (while my husband is) and that I could in all honesty, wait another year or two, could be the the 'cause', like on some level I don't want it... a notion I'd also like to reject cause it's basically again making it my fault it's not happened when it could quite simply be scientific bad luck.

Interesting about the immune test... A lot of people on Mumsnet say that simple test changed everything for them. Would like this could be explored before I'm pumped full of drugs again. I must say I felt like the very minimum has been done by the NHS to get to the root of the cause... sadly, I also feel that each time I go in there( which is about every 3 weeks these days), they know my name, but have to remind themselves all over again what stage we're at and forget everything we discussed last time. Boooo.

It's a very scary feeling just not knowing if it will ever happen... and I feel your pain about seeing others experience something so wonderful, that I may never know.

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SaltySeaBird · 16/10/2013 12:55

I had a few issues and it was heartbreaking thinking I might never have a child. I'm the very proud mother of a little girl now (and TTC number 2!).

I have a friend who is pregnant after seven rounds of unsuccessful IVF. Her perseverance and determination is remarkable.

I hope things work for you. Don't lose hope yet.

MyNameisBuggerlugsAndIAmABESH · 16/10/2013 12:56

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HesterShaw · 16/10/2013 14:35

That's it, Bugs. I want to want my life back and move on with the rest of it, but I'm scared of doing so. Will I get to 45 and be even more bitter than I am already, and angry with myself for not trying harder and better? And old age without children is a very scary prospect - seeing what my parents are going through with my dad's dementia and imagining what it would be like for her (my mum) with none of her children or grandchildren. Because not having children means that - it means no grandchildren either (sorry to state the bleeding obvious :o).

I know it is really meant well and kindly, but at the moment I have an issue with people who say "Don't give up hope, there's always hope - we gave up and now we have a DD aged 1" and so on. Because even if you have "given up" while still having unprotected sex, there will be a part of you until the menopause which thinks "I might have a miracle this month" even though you bleakly know that it won't happen. So does "giving up" mean starting with contraception again, even though you know you don't actually need it? And there's the whole sex thing - all I associate sex with at the moment is failed baby-making. Sex is for making babies, and I can't do that. Therefore what's the point? That's what my heart is whispering to me, even though people with children would tell me what rubbish that is.

HesterShaw · 16/10/2013 18:14

Oh dear, killed the thread :o

MyNameisBuggerlugsAndIAmABESH · 16/10/2013 18:17

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nohassalls · 16/10/2013 18:25

Don't even get me started on sex. BOOOORING. I feel ripped off as our whole married life has been consumed by ttc sex... which has its ups and downs... literally... hoping one day it will go back to not being a a chore.

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