* Author Topic: Newbie over 40 TTC #1  (Read 1519 times)

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Offline Shelbo76

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Newbie over 40 TTC #1
« on: 28/09/17, 17:44 »
Hi there, been lurking for a while but yet to post.

I've just turned 41 and by OH and I have been trying for a year now. I've always wanted to have children but sadly found myself single for most of my adult life and I even considered going it alone in the run up to my 40th last year as my hopes and dreams of having a stable family seemed to be slipping away.  I'd given up on finding the illusive 'One' so signed up to Tinder just for a little fun (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!) and lo and behold I met my OH who seemed too good to be true as we clicked before we even met in person. After a whirlwind 5 months of dating we agreed to start trying, I had to pinch myself a few times to believe it was really happening to me! Whilst I wasn't under any illusions that it would happen straightaway you can't help but hope every month and feel a little disheartened every time AF shows up!

So here I am 12 months after coming off the pill and no sign of a BFP so far, I think I may have had a chemical in May as I was a week late whilst on holiday and my BBT didn't drop down to it's normal pre-ovulation range till CD11/12. My OH and I don't currently live together because he's a carer for his elderly father so we only regularly see each other at weekends but we try to time BDing around ovulation. I started tracking my cycles in February as I wanted to have a rough idea of when I ovulated in my cycle to take some of the guess work out, however I have since learned that my cycles are an irregular length varying between 17 and 37 days at the extremes. I went to my GP after 6 months who agreed to do blood tests so I had Day 3 FSH/LH, Day 21 Progesterone, TSH, Prolactin, Oestradiol and Testosterone which all seemed in normal range.

I went back to my GP last month to see if I could get referred for further investigations and I've been so lucky as we had our first appointment on Tuesday with the Fertility Nurse so I'm relieved that things are moving in the right direction. It all feels a bit of a blur but she ordered SA for my OH (as he's not had this yet), an ultrasound and HSG for me plus a repeat of some of my bloods (FSH/LH, Progesterone and TSH) plus a Rubella test.  I realise with all the excitement and information to take in I didn't ask about AMH tests, I'm aware that you have to pay for these so would I still be able to get them done via NHS hospital?  As I'm not likely to get a follow up appointment to go through my results until December I'll probably see if I can get my AMH done privately as think a place locally does it for 80.

I also need to work on my weight as my BMI is currently over 30 so I can imagine that may be playing a part in my fertility and erratic cycle length. I used to be quite active and a regular gym goer but because I've been working on some high profile projects for the last 2 years my weight has gradually crept up 2 stone and I'm now 4 stone over my 'ideal weight' and I feel that it's definitely taken a toll on body, both physically and mentally and am definitely feeling my age and probably older! I'm half hoping we can fall pregnant soon so I can take a career break but I'm aware that stress is also likely affecting my fertility too so it's catch 22  :(. So I'm trying to take steps to manage this, OH have signed up for joint gym membership which starts on 1 Oct and although I eat a healthy diet most of the time, I'm making a conscious effort to eat healthily and not skip meals and I'm hoping the exercise will also help with the stress/emotional side of things.

Despite the relief of being referred to a fertility clinic, I do worry at times that it may be too late for me to conceive naturally and I may not get my dream family, I try to remain optimistic and put that to the back of my mind for now but that fear is always there. I've only shared that we're trying to conceive with my mum, sister and step-sister so far and I come from a very large family with lots of children and I'm constantly getting the 'when are you going to have children' questions and 'you're not getting any younger' comments which seem to affect me even more now. My OH is very supportive and very relaxed about the whole thing (as men are) but I can't really talk to him about a lot of things, they just don't get it, or it goes straight over his head  ;D!! It'd be nice to talk to others who are going/have gone through a similar situation.

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    Offline BB41

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    Newbie over 40 TTC #1
    « Reply #1 on: 5/10/17, 08:54 »
    Hi Shelbo, my story is a bit different as my partner has severe sperm issues so I knew when we met that it would have to be ivf. I was nearly 38 when we met but he was co-parenting his son (concieved with ivf) and so we couldn't live together (we were long distance) until I was 41. When we moved in together and started the ivf process I found out my amh and follicle count were low for my age and my fsh was too high to do standard ivf. We were told we could try natural ivf but would probably have a 1-2% chance of it working per cycle. We decided to go ahead with a 3 cycle package as I had read of people succeeding with terrible odds and we thought we would always regret it if we never tried. It took nearly a year to do the 3 cycles because of various issues but over that time I did a load of research into improving odds for older couples. I really advise you to read It Starts With the Egg (by Rebecca Fett I think). I followed most of the advice on diet, eliminating toxins and supplements (I didn't take dhea). My follicles went up from 1-2 in first round to 8 by last round. I got 3 eggs in last cycle (1 in 1st and 2 in 2nd), all fertilised (this is incredible in ivf) and all went to blastocyst (again unusual). My 3rd round was successful and I'm currently nearly 16 weeks with twins. I know I've been incredibly lucky but I really believe the diet etc helped tremendously. You have the advantage (assuming your partners results come back ok) of not needing ivf (it has very low success rates over 40) so you can be trying every month. I would aggressively pursue making sure you and your partner are as healthy as possible and research supplements and avoiding chemicals etc. Also is there no way of you moving in together? Presumably you will if you get pregnant anyway? You need to be really timing things and if your cycle is irregular then having sex every other day is probably the best way. Another good book Taking Charge of Your Fertility explains in detail how to know when you are fertile from cervix position and discharge (more reliable than temps) and has good tips on overcoming possible issues. Good luck with your journey. I never thought it would happen for me so you never know!

    Offline Shelbo76

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    Newbie over 40 TTC #1
    « Reply #2 on: 6/10/17, 15:48 »
    Hi BB41, thanks for your response and congratulations and hope everything continues to go well for you and your twins (wow btw)! I'm working on addressing lifestyle changes and supplements currently, I started taking Ubiquinol a few months ago which I'm aware can improve egg quality although I hadn't been consistent with taking them previously but now getting into the habit of taking that alongside Vit B complex and Agnus Castus to help rebalance hormones and regulate my cycle.  Hopefully the combination of diet changes, weight loss, exercise and supplements will help improve my chances over the next few months.  We are in a difficult position with my OH and I not living together as his dad has COPD and is housebound and although he's got 2 older brothers and a sister, he feels responsible for looking after his dad even though he really wants to move in with me which he would do if I got pregnant. I think I'm OK with tracking for ovulation as I look out for EWCM and use OPKs and my temps a day or 2 after getting a +ve OPK seem to confirm ovulation so normally we manage to BD around my fertile period most months but obviously not enough and the timing might not be right for catching the golden egg! I don't really like to put pressure on him by telling him it's that time of the month I just want for things to happen naturally rather than forced, one time he came round a week day and the pressure got to him!  Admittedly the more the months go by the more I worry that time's running out for me which probably doesn't help either. Hopefully once I get my scans and his semen analysis sorted we'll be a bit more clued up about what our options are, but in the meantime I'll continue to try and lose weight, reduce stress levels and exercise more. Just wish I was 10 years younger so I could be a bit more relaxed about the whole journey x