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Secondary infertility..?

27 replies

bekki0504 · 12/11/2013 15:26

Hi, I am completely new to mumsnet but I wanted to maybe start chatting with some other mums (or mums trying to conceive)
So here is my story..
I already have a beautiful little boy, he's 4. He was a complete surprise as my periods have never been regular and I though perhaps I might have problems. We weren't trying as such but also weren't using protection. Had a normal pregnancy (though he was big, he was 4 weeks prem and still weighed 7lb 15oz!!)
When he was a year old my husband and I decided to start trying again, came of contraception.. And nothing. 3 years of no contraception and no pregnancy. I went to the gp about a completely unrelated topic, but she asked about my health in general and I told her about my few and far between periods (usually 3 a yr max, I'm 24 and had my first one at 13). Ran some tests and said I possibly had PCOS (no other symptoms except no periods). Was sent to endocrinologist at the hospital, had more blood tests, had an ultrasound and no cysts so not PCOS but that was where it stopped, no further appointments, just left.. Hmm
Found out I was pregnant in September of this year, but unfortunately had a m/c at around 7-8 weeks.. We were devastated. My sister is currently pregnant with her second so it has been really tough not being able to talk to her about it etc.
After m/c I spoke to my gp about possibly being referred to fertility clinic. Had a message back from her a couple of weeks ago saying that fertility clinic won't see me until a year after the m/c.. Unless there are any underlying problems! Which means to me they probably didn't even look at my history etc!
I know I should be happy that I have a happy healthy little boy, but I feel unfulfilled if that's the right word? I am so desperate to have another child (ideally I wanted 3!) I spend every waking hour thinking about getting pregnant, I am constantly googling.. I feel like I'm going mad! I don't even know if I ovulate regularly! It seems no one wants to help, every way I turn I am shut down.. All I want is for someone to say yes we'll help, or this is what's wrong.. I work in pharmacy so I know what medical help is available.. I just feel at a loss!
Has anyone been in a similar situation? Would really love to chat to anyone that has any advice etc.
Thanks and look forward to chatting : )
Bekki x

OP posts:
worriedmum100 · 12/11/2013 20:26

Hi Bekki

I know exactly how you feel. I have secondary infertility and it's horrible and soul destroying. I think there is a secondary infertility thread ongoing on here which will have lots of supportive ladies on it.

If I were you I would be going back to the GP and insisting on blood tests to check your progesterone levels which should rise after ovulation. Also, if you can afford it I have found the Clear Blue Fertility Monitor to be helpful in telling me if I ovulate and when ovulation is approaching. It just helps to get to know your body a bit better etc.

As for the going mad - I have no advice as I am just as mad! I used to chart religiously but have manged to let go of taking my temperature every morning and I don't even expect to be pg anymore but it's still very very hard when AF shows up every month like clockwork.

My DP and family are brilliant so I am lucky to have lots of support. I hope you have the same. We are now seriously considering IVF but I am 38 and you have time on your side :)

bekki0504 · 12/11/2013 21:09

Thank you for replying worriedmum.
I am so sorry you are experiencing similar, it's just horrible!
For me, it just feels like no one wants to know.. Even during the m/c it just felt like I had no support from any of the health professionals, I just had a blood test 2 days apart, hcg levels halved and they said oh no you've had a miscarriage and that was that Hmm
I feel completely blessed to have my little boy, but he's very lonely at home and struggles with sharing etc at school which even the school said is quite normal for only children. I just so want to give him a little sibling, as much as for us.
I think you're right, I need to be more forceful with my gp and ask for more tests. I just feel like I'm going crazy.. Every little sign or symptom I think I'm pregnant, I haven't even got af to look for as it never comes!
I really hope it works for you in the end, whether natural or IVF. Good luck and big baby wishes to you Smile

OP posts:
goddessnic · 13/11/2013 15:23

Hi I posted on the other secondary infertility thread but it doesn't seem to be active anymore. I understand how you feel, we have been TTC for 3 years now and we have a 6 year old. I am 42 now so time is really an issue. This month particularly seems to be really hard for me, I keep crying and feel so desperate for another child, and a sibling for my son. People don't really understand and there isnt much support as we already have a child.
Just wanted to say you're not alone x

bekki0504 · 13/11/2013 16:38

Hi goddessnic Smile
Sorry to hear you are in the same boat, but kind of nice in a way to know I'm not alone!
I have to agree that there doesn't seem to be much help out there, I am def thinking of going back to gp, maybe call tomorrow on my day off. All I really want is someone to say yes we will help, let's run these tests..!
I am so grateful for my little man, but doesn't stop the longing for another! I have lots of support, but a bit sick of hearing "you have one so don't be too disappointed" or after the m/c "at least you know you can fall pregnant again!" It's not really very helpful and quite insensitive sometimes!
Are you seeking help atm goddessnic? X

OP posts:
goddessnic · 13/11/2013 18:03

Hi there, well I've had all the NHS tests, a scan and that dye flush thingie when they see if your tubes are blocked, but everything is normal.hubby normal too. Our next step is IUI and we're saving up for that. If that doesn't work I think we'll stop as I can't handle it anymore :-( x

bekki0504 · 13/11/2013 18:50

That must be so frustrating, that there appears to be no problems but still unexplained!! I'm so sorry for your situation, it must be so upsetting Hmm
I don't know how much IUI is, as at the moment it's not something we've had to look into, but I hope it works for you if/when you go ahead with it Smile I will have my fingers crossed for you xx

OP posts:
goddessnic · 13/11/2013 23:23

Hi there its about 500 quid a go, a lot cheaper than IVF! Good luck to you too x x

bekki0504 · 14/11/2013 10:59

More waiting Hmm GP not available until Monday, every day I'm not doing something makes the wait feel weeks longer, rather than days.. Just feel so desperate.. Want help, like, yesterday!!
Sorry just venting.. Don't want to offload on my husband much more, because then he blames himself (though at this point neither of us knows what the problem is!)
Just hoping my GP can shed some light or at least give refer us on Monday or I feel like I may have a breakdown!!

OP posts:
goddessnic · 14/11/2013 18:25

Definitely fight for the help, dont let them fob you off x

bekki0504 · 14/11/2013 20:16

I will try, but I have it all played out in my head what I am going to say.. And then I just lose my bottle! Think I will have to try being assertive and demand what I am entitled to!! Did you have any troubles getting the tests done? I don't know if it's possibly just my GP, I've had 4 different ones in the 3 yrs I've been at the surgery Confused xx

OP posts:
MaryQueenOfSpots · 14/11/2013 20:57

Hi Bekki, goddess and worried - may I join you?

I am 40, I have a DS who is 5 and we have been TTC for 3 years. I got sick of being strung out by the NHS and had the tests privately. No exciting Xmas presents this year as today I've just "treated" myself to a Hycosy (internal ultrasound and dye in the tubes) and AMH blood test. I've already had other bloods, DH has had his sperm checked - no identifiable problems.

The options are IUI, IVF, adoption or continue as a 1 child family. I've been looking at the success rates for IVF for a woman of my age and they just look so crap - 13% chance of a live birth from embryo transfer. Our area don't fund IVF for people of my age or with a child already so we'd need to fund it. IUI looks even worse, at least it's cheaper though.

It feels a very lonely situation - other people do tend to think we should be grateful for what we have. And of course we love our DS beyond reason. It doesn't stop the longing for another though.

It feels good to connect with others in the same situation, although obviously I'm sorry it's happening to you to. I really hope your GP can help you on Monday Bekki. Good luck with the IUI goddess, fingers crossed for you. Worried how much is the clear blue fertility monitor and is it better than using the predictor sticks?

bekki0504 · 14/11/2013 21:11

Hi Mary, of course you may join us : ) just unfortunate that we are joined on such a terrible subject Hmm The main reason I joined is because I wanted the chance to talk with like minded people going through similar situations, as although my husband and family are very supportive, they just don't know how I FEEL about these things.
I completely agree with what you say about people thinking we should be grateful for what we have - and I am, my little boy brings me more joy than I ever thought possible! But you are right, that it doesn't stop you longing for another!
It is such a shame that the NHS have failed you in providing the tests you are entitled to have, and that you have had to go private. I was reading the NHS website yesterday about fertility issues, and it does state that you are entitled to them, just dependent on your area as to whether you are eligible for funded IUI/IVF etc. I just hope I can persuade my GP to put me forward for relevant tests etc.
I have tried the Clearblue fertility monitor, though I tend to use the internet cheapie dipsticks until it is possible I have a positive, then confirm with Clearblue (I don't have regular periods so I tend to have to test everyday, and using the Clearblue everyday would cost me a small fortune!)
So with this latest "Christmas treat" test (Wink) are they checking your egg supply, quality etc? You will have to let us know how it goes, if you want someone to talk to about it Smile
Bekki x

OP posts:
MaryQueenOfSpots · 14/11/2013 21:32

Thanks Bekki - good luck on Monday. Fingers crossed. I'm sure you are right that there is an entitlement to these tests, I think for me I just needed to feel I was doing something not waiting. Xx

bekki0504 · 14/11/2013 21:59

I hope so too - I think I feel I need to be doing SOMETHING to get help, rather than just the wait and see.. 3 yrs already feels like a lifetime and now I think I'm getting impatient!
I guess I too would even consider going private if it meant I might actually get somewhere.
Good luck with your tests xx

OP posts:
goddessnic · 15/11/2013 00:10

Hi worried, bekki and maryqueen. Isnt it mad that we all seem to have been trying for 3 years? It is really lonely you're right, no one really understands unless they're going thru the same thing. Bekki I had no problem getting the tests done on the NHS, I just asked to be referred to a fertility clinic. I guess my age meant there was no time to waste. Maryqueen of spots, what is the amh test- is that the egg quality one? How much does it cost? X

Bewleysisters · 15/11/2013 00:46

Hi Everyone - just wanted to send everyone my best wishes. This is such a hard place to be.

I had eight miscarriages between first and second child between age of 39-43 (age, plus underlying immune issues that were successfully managed in my last (donor egg) pregnancy). I was haunted by the missing child in my family.

I really struggled with the quality of medical advice I received. And especially if age is against you, would urge you to press to get access to the best medical help you can (consider paying for a consultation if you have to/are able to, but do seek out an expert who other women in the same position recommend).

Afraid we're no-one's priority and it is really easy to be left to drift. For oldies like me, who face rapidly declining odds, this is really bad news.

Hope things work out for everyone.

worriedmum100 · 15/11/2013 07:26

Hi everyone

My understanding of the AMH test is that it gives an idea of what is left in your egg "store" rather than the quality of what's left. I might be wrong but I don't think there are any tests that can determine that.

I've been wondering all night about Natural Killer cells. If you've already had a baby can these suddenly become a problem? Not sure. Some of the more expensive fertility clinics do tests for these. AF arrived yesterday so in a dark place at the moment :-(

The clear blue monitor was around £80 and the sticks are £20 odd for a pack of 20. I've got on ok with it but have had a few months where I think it's missed my peak. Because you test in the morning and the surge often comes later in the day. I think some ladies supplement with ov sticks on potential peak days. We dtd every other day between end of AF and cd20ish anyway so the bases should be covered even if the monitor misses my ovulation.

bekki0504 · 15/11/2013 08:05

So sorry to hear of your multiple miscarriages Bewley - but pleased you got your happy ending in the end Smile
I think my problem is I'm the other end of the scale - I'm 24 and in pretty good health (apart from the missing periods!) so they just think you're young, don't worry, get on with it.. But it's not as simple as that. And after my m/c in September I'm constantly looking for signs but also afraid of getting a BFP, in case it happens again Hmm
So sorry it's not your month worried - I'm on CD27 today, and have a feeling af is on its way for me too (few cramps etc last night)
So nice to have some like minded people to chat with Smile

OP posts:
MaryQueenOfSpots · 19/11/2013 21:38

Hi everyone, hope you are all ok?

bewley i'm so sorry for your losses, and thank you for posting. I have seen some of the London clinics do well with oldies. Locally, all very average, unfortunately.
bekki how was Monday - did you get anywhere with the GP?
worried thanks for the info on the cbfm. Did you find out any more about natural killer cells and whether they can become an issue if you've already had a child?
goddess, amh is ovarian reserve so can give you an idea of how many years of childbearing you have left. I think it also gives an indication of whether you would be able to use your own eggs (not donor) in IVF. Like worried says, it won't indicate the quality.

I don't have a follow up appointment at the fertility clinic until Jan (so much for private medicine). So plenty of time to ponder the options. CD 21 today. This is my first month in forever without a 2WW as I was advised not to have intercourse before the hycosy and it was so bloody uncomfortable I haven't felt like it since! I have to say I feel really chirpy not to be worrying about it for a change....

bewleysisters · 19/11/2013 23:10

Hi all - hope everyone is doing OK?

Bekki I feel for you - so frustrating to be stuck in this place. Worried mentions 'charting': just to say I found Toni Weschler's book: 'Take Charge of Your Fertility' a good resource. Really helped me with understanding/tracking what was happening in my body and getting potential insights into issues around ovulation, luteal phase defects etc. I picked up some helpful information from Fertility Friends too - if you do think further about going to a private clinic I'd be tempted to get a recommendation. I had some fairly disillusioning experiences as well as some really enlightening consultations in the private sector.
Mary if you are OK with the natural monitoring methods in the Weschler book I'd recommend them. Although I had subsequent miscarriages, they helped me manage to get pregnant naturally 7 times between age 39-43, despite an earlier referral for infertility at age 35 having failed to conceive for five years.
Worried - NHS will potentially test for NK cells if there are grounds to suspect auto-immune disorders (I had uterine biopsies - so yes, potentially can be an issue in subsequent pregnancies). Think this remains 'frontier' science. Is something making you suspect NK cells?
Mary, Worried, my old consultant always used to say that egg quality and quantity tended to go together? It's definitely a numbers game.
Goddess best wishes with the IUI - thinking of you.

hellotreeshellosky · 21/11/2013 12:09

Hi all. Sorry we are all going through this. I have posted under this name before about the same subject, I keep it separate from my usual name because I'm easily outed and this is personal stuff.

Can I have a moan? I am feeling so low today. My DS is 4 and was conceived without any problems. Today I POAS and got a negative for about the millionth time... My period was a whole day later than it has recently been and I foolishly got my hopes up. Again. We haven't used contraception since DS was born and have been actively trying since he was about six months old. I got pregnant following a HSG earlier this year but miscarried. I don't know if I have really mourned the miscarriage, I was mourning my dear mum at the time.

I know we are lucky in so many ways and I'm usually really good at putting a happy face on it but...

I am sick of TTC and what it's doing to our sex life. We have sex when we have to whether we feel like it or not, then heave a sigh of relief and stop doing it for the rest of the month. I hate telling DH every month I'm not pregnant. He's amazing and he would never blame me (in fact he thinks it's his fault) but I hate making him sad.

I hate that I can't seem to stick at diets because I know losing weight can help. I hate that I can't keep away from the wine because I know that will help. I hate that I get my hopes up every month.

We have stopped putting life on hold 'until we have another baby' but I don't know where to go from here. We have had tests and been told there is no obvious problem. DH's numbers are slightly low, but not all the time, my ovaries are slightly polycystic but it's no big deal. We obviously got pregnant earlier this year so all we can do is keep trying. We could try IVF but I'm not sure I have it in me emotionally, especially without a specific problem to solve. I'd be interested in adoption but DH is not keen and I have not come to terms with not having a healthy pregnancy and normal birth (DS was a very premature C section). I'm a bf supporter and applying to train as a midwife. I don't know how I'll get past my pregnancy grief in that kind of environment.

Everyone around me seems to be having their second, third or fourth babies. I'd like four but I'm 35 so it's not likely now. I am sick of hearing about other people's 'surprise' babies. I am happy for friends of course but it's always tinged with jealousy and sadness for myself.

Today I feel like I want to give up but I'm desperate for another child.

Sorry this is so long. I am just so, so sad today and wanted to reach out to people who would understand.

HaPPy8 · 21/11/2013 12:56

Hellotrees hellosky so much of your post rings true for me though we have not been trying quite as long as you. My first child took over 2 years to conceive so I expected a long road but in many ways it feels even harder this time. We have been trying again now for almost 2 years and I too am tired of the sex on schedule, putting life on hold etc etc that ttc entails. I feel like its all I have thought about for about 5 years. I would also have liked 4 but am 35 early next year and just know that wont happen for us now. I have been there where your period is just a bit later than normal and your hopes are raised only to be dashed. My closest friends have 4 and 3 children each and my heart aches for another child. Sorry you are having a bad day. There are lots of us out here who understand x

hellotreeshellosky · 21/11/2013 16:14

Thankyou haPPy. I'm sure I'll pull my socks up tomorrow but it does mean a lot to know I'm not the only one. I may take a break this month from worrying about dates and timing.

I hope you get there soon.

PotteringAlong · 26/11/2013 12:43

May I join?

I have 1 DS and have been trying for number 2 for 16 months.

Tonight I'm going to the gp for the first time to set something / anything in mention.

I'm all over the shop. I never ever thought I would be in this position.

hellotreeshellosky · 27/11/2013 22:39

Hi Pottering. How did you get on at the docs? I found the first visit very difficult. It was hard admitting we had a problem. Hope your doctor was helpful.

I felt strange about it because with DS I was prepared for it to take a long time and it didn't, so I didn't expect problems second time round. Hope it happens for you soon.

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