Fertility #SSP

I’ve been umming and ahhing about making a thread like this for a while. Not many people seem to bring this up but I had a really good chat with an ATD at the weekend about it and thought it would be good to have a general thread for people to share experiences/commiserate/discuss. I did do a quick search but couldn’t find anything.

B and I have been trying for about 2 years now (which is small-fry compared to some couples). We had an early indication that there may be some difficulties due to a PCOS diagnosis and a subsequent revelation that we have a very low chance of natural conception without some help. This has led to around 18 months of visits to our local hospitals fertility centre, . We were due to have an exploratory surgery there to investigate the issue/stimulate fertility but that got cancelled when Covid hit. I can’t see that happening any time soon unfortunately which is making us both unhappy.

On top of that, every couple around us (friends, neighbours, colleague) are getting pregnant all the time (pretty standard for early/mid 30s I guess) which is getting tougher and tougher to deal with. While we’re happy for our friends it’s causes a lot of upset in private later. B even had to message her best friend yesterday to say “stop sending me daily photos of your newborn because I can’t deal with this”. FFS. Lockdown is also pretty shit for this also as everyone with kids is moaning about having to look after them (which is somewhat understand I suppose)…

Anyway, feel free to share your experiences/stories/support. I’ve tagged as SSP (I think) for obvious reasons.

Nothing to really add here except to say that I’m sorry you’re both going through that. It must be very difficult and I hope it gets more manageable

27 Likes

Sorry to hear that you are having troubles.

We were struggling to conceive initially (maybe a couple of years) and I got tested (above average in all categories, racing your sperm to hospital after a wank is a unique experience) and my wife seemed ok on initial tests. She was booked in to have some exploratory stuff done and then she was pregnant, before the appointment.

We waited a couple of years and it was a struggle getting pregnant and there were a couple of miscarriages as well. I was thinking we should call it a day and then, 6.5 years after the first my wife got pregnant again and we had the baby last year.

Don’t know if this helps you any but it is my story anyway… and hope it all works out for you. Once things open up again it is pretty amazing what can be done. We know a lot of people who thought it wasn’t going to happen and it did, one way or another.

3 Likes

I worked out I couldn’t get there in time so I had to wank in the fertility centre wank station. Haven’t masturbated in such a bleak environment since my teens.

Anyway, the experience of seeing consultants etc has generally been pretty good. We’ve gone from not knowing what’s going on to having a much clearer roadmap to pregnancy. It’s just the waiting that’s killing us. It’s at least 3 months between appointments (more now due to Covid) and plenty of bureaucratic incompetence along the way and tiny progress each time as things are ruled out.

For us we’re not looking at IVF yet, there are a few more surgeries/drugs/steps to try out first.

3 Likes

Trying to get pregnant led to some of the lowest feelings of my life and that was ‘only’ 8 months in. I realised around that same time that it was insane that I wasn’t talking to anyone apart from the TV about it, so went to stay with my best mate for the night and off-loaded about that and a bunch of family drama and it was so cathartic and a real turning point.

Actually had a couple of folks on here who I chatted to about it on DMs just after that which was immensely helpful, just to speak with people I ‘know’ but who are disconnected from real life, if that makes sense.

It took us 1 more month after that in the end so it’s hard to know how long that emotional bounce would have lasted or if we’d have taken a break. We had a first GP appointment planned then around PCOS which clearly we were able to cancel.

I’m really sorry that you’re going through this - I’ve never felt so lacking in control, particularly with something so scheduled!

5 Likes

we were referred for IVF after trying for a few years. the first thing you get invited to was quite a miserable experience, it was in a lecture hall in manchester royal infirmary with about 50 other couples and they just did like a powerpoint about how it all works. after that it all seemed quite mechanical, like we were just going through the motions and no one ever took the time to chat to us about it. like i get that they do it day in day out, and the MRI have been doing IVF longer than literally anyone, but it would have been nice to have a bit more pastoral stuff. we did the tests and stuff (hospital room wanker here, hi) and everythign was fine, possibility of PCOS on one side but not to the extent that they were worried about it, and we got a diagnosis of ~unexplained infertility~ which was great. it spun us out a bit tbh, no one was interested in looking into the PCOS any more and there was nothing else they could tell us about ~unexplained infertility~ (although i get it, its a dice roll every time and sometimes you just wont get a 6), so we chased up the PCOS through our GP. in the meantime we were referred for counselling coz gf was on antidepressants. that didnt help much coz the counsellor was trained in fertility counselling i guess? so we were going into stuff that it didnt feel like she could help with. anyway we ended up deciding to take a break for a year to get both our heads together, that turned into two and a half years, and we were going to go back to do the tests again this year. first kid is due in october, like the IVF cliches we are

10 Likes

this makes sense, walking the dog with dreambabe @acorn and just unloading was so cathartic :heart:

2 Likes

Well good luck obviously. I’m sure plenty of people will say never say never and all that. A couple of my friends ended up going the IVF route in the end and have two lovely teenage twins now.

I’m in the strange position that I’ll probably never even know what my fertility is like/was. I’m in the strange situation that it was probably me that’s been more broody than Mrs F, which I suspect is much easier to deal with than the other way around. So all I can offer is that life can be great even if it doesn’t happen, and you can find a way eventually to take pleasure in the growing families of your friends. But you know that anyway, so perhaps I should just say good luck again.

1 Like

Yeah there’s this thing where telling IRL folks you’re trying feels like it adds this weight of expectation rather than helping to share your massive emotional burden.

1 Like

Really sorry you’re going through this.

During this phase of my life, when everyone I knew pretty much was having kids and we were trying unsuccessfully, I just remember feeling really left out but in a way that made me feel kind of pathetic and child-like. Like there was a sense of shame that I was able behave like I was in my 20s in perpetuity, that I wasn’t a real adult. I remember being at a party and someone was handing their baby round, and a few other dads were holding this baby for ages and the mum was looking at them all blissfully and then I held the baby and after about 5 seconds she panicked and came and took it away in case I dropped it or something. Fair enough, it’s her baby, but that really stuck in my memory and felt kind of humiliating.

This really sticks in my memory, the length of time waiting for an appointment that lasts 15 minutes and is basically an appointment to make another appointment. Suddenly you see 9, 10, 12 months disappear where nothing has actually happened and you’ve both just got older. I suspect this might be built into the system on purpose so that anyone who can conceive naturally has more chance to and it saves resources of more intensive treatment for those who really need it. Just a guess.

ps I thought about making this thread numerous times in the past and didn’t. would have been much better if I had, so well done for doing it.

4 Likes

Could you please confirm if you wanked at home or the fertility centre.

6 Likes

babes, I wanked all over the place:

Fertility test 1: wanked in the comfort of my own home, dropped it at my local doctor’s surgery round the corner.
Fertility test 2: at my brother in law’s house in a different city, as this is where the hospital we went for treatment with was.
Actual petrie dish deposit: at the fertility centre in a little room with a tiny TV/integrated DVD player, and a leather arm chair with a disposable plastic sheet draped over it. After making the deposit you had to take it out and knock on a little hatch window where a hand would just come out to take it off you with zero eye contact :smiley:

9 Likes

Really sorry to hear about those experiences Smee.

The timeline is horrible and it takes your mind to some bad places too “if it’s taking this long to get a first, will we have enough time for a second?” “will we be too old for IVF after we’ve done all the other steps?”. Bleak.

Thought this was a reply to the wanking post. :rofl:

7 Likes

hospital wanker solidarity poll:

  • i wanked in the hospital
  • i didnt

0 voters

Starting to feel like I missed out…

i promise you you didnt

Not entirely related to the subject to fertility (though that could be an issue further down the line) - me and my wife have had to talk options on pregnancy over the last year or so because of my wife finding out she has inherited a gene that can cause a specific heart disease. She has a family history of heart issues and one of her cousins died from it so understandably she is wanting to be cautious and we have found out that the NHS are willing to fund a couple of courses of IVF with genetic pre screening to ensure any eggs haven’t got the abnormality (there is a 50/50 chance). The alternative is we just roll the dice and hope if our children did inherit anything it could be managed. Trouble is of course it just makes the whole question of having kids much more fraught - not to mention the fact that we are both kind of on the fence about having kids anyway (but would probably eventually like to). But as you said - all of our friends now either have kids, are pregnant or thinking about it and my wife in particular is really feeling the pressure - but people who found it easy and didn’t have any blockers to their process just don’t realise how hard they can make it for others for whom there is much more heartache involved.

1 Like

I wasn’t sure about posting in here because my situation is quite different, but it’s something I don’t really get to discuss (aside from the occasional rant in the mental health thread). I appreciate my lack of fertility is my own doing, but I think most people here realise that transition isn’t always a ‘choice’ as such.

I’ve always really wanted to have children, but dysphoria had other ideas I suppose. I’ve been having moments recently where my desire to have children has been so strong that I’ve almost (but not really) regretted transition for the first time. I suspect it will probably only get worse. I’m having a very difficult time coming to terms with it, and it’s bringing out quite a lot of (internal) bitterness / resentment in me which I need to get a handle on.

Adoption is never going to be a possibility for me with autism and a history of mental health problems, and I’m 31 and have never been in a relationship, so I think that can reasonably be counted out too.

It’s by far the biggest thing having an effect on my mental health at the moment, and I can’t bring myself to think into the future because the thought of my mother dying and me having nobody left to speak to is terrifying. I know that’s a bad reason to want a child, but it isn’t just that - my heart swells when I think of so many childhood experiences I had that were a bit out of the norm, and I’d love to be able to pass those on so much.

The couple of times I’ve spoken about it to people they haven’t understood at all why it hurts so much.

Sorry that this isn’t quite on topic, it’s just probably the nearest place I’ll have to be able to share this and be understood.

8 Likes

I think it’s only a “bad” reason if it’s in isolation of you wanting to give as well as benefit emotionally.