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20 months of Fertility Woes, NHS won't help :(

Hi Everyone! *first ever forum post* :)

I am 29 and my partner is 33 years old. I have been off the pill for 20 months. Maybe naively for the first 12 months we were 'seeing what happened' & when nothing did I contacted my GP for advice.
I was sent for numerous blood tests throughout my next couple of cycles and told that a high level of prolactin might be the cause. After 6 months of back and forth they said this wasn't the cause and that the NHS wouldn't investigate further due to my partner having 2 children from a previous relationship. Feeling devastated doesn't quite explain how i felt about this.
Since i have changed doctors and booked in for more blood tests but they did confirm that I wouldn't be referred further as he has children.
I have now become totally obsessed with tracking my cycles.
I seem to ovulate every month (as per LH and BBT) and i have regular easy periods. 
My partner and i are VERY sexually active and get busy twice a day on the week of ovulation. I resorted to booking days off work around ovulation lying down for half an hour after sex. We haven't touched caffeine/alcohol/cigerettes for 2 months (which is really tough every time i see a BFN) I also take about 10 vitamins every morning that are meant to 'help fertility' such as agnus cactus, vit d3, omega 3, vit c ect ect.
To add insult to injury, I did fall pregnant when i was 19 which (now very regretfully) was terminated. 
I don't really even know what has spurred me to write this post, i just am completely lost and sad at the thought i may never have children of my own which i can see worries a lot of women.
Is there hope? Do i keep trying? Do i give up with NHS and get myself in debt for fertility treatments? if so which ones?! do i delete my cycle tracking apps? do i keep tracking? is there any point in lying down after sex?! Is there time still? am i too young or too old to worry?!

I would hugely appreciate any advise, a reality check or some hope!

Thank you x


  • Hi Alice!  I am so sorry to hear this and I feel deeply sorry that you are going through this now.  I myself had fertility issues and we tried for over 8 long years with no luck.  We did however have help from the NHS as we both had no children.  Then we found I had various issues that needed sorting but once it was all OK and sorted we had all the fertility treatments up to IUI but sadly to no avail.  I was losing weight for IVF, weight I had gained during IUI treatments when I found a real time fertility monitor called "Ovusense".  I desperately wanted to avoid going down the IVF route and then having to pay for it after our 1 shot on the NHS may have failed.  I started using it to track and understand my cycles plus I changed my diet and started on some supplements that were recommended to me by a wonderful fertility nutritionist, actually much like what you are taking.  On 3 months of this, I was pregnant.  I'd love to help you out and share what I did if you wanted to get in touch with me?  I don't mind if you want to discuss this privately by sending me a message or if you wanted to continue to talk publicly on here?

    Much hugs!

    x Kirsty x
  • Hi Kirsty, Thank you so much for your kind reply.
    8 years! i can't imagine how stressful that must have been for you, im sorry that happened and really happy you finally got your positive!
    Can i ask what underlying issues the NHS found? (if not too personal) Unfortunately it seems I've hit the end of the road with no answer.
    I have considered an IUI treatment but unwilling to start paying £200 for consultations on treatments without knowing what the issue is.

    I haven't ever heard of Ovusense but once i have left my office i will be doing my research! I have also never considered a fertility nutritionist but i am open to try anything before being forced to involve costly practices which might not work.
    Can i ask what you were advised? 

    I am happy to chat on this link but if you would prefer please message me.
    Thank you so much again Kirsty! Really helpful :) x

  • I have heard so many stories where people struggle to conceive, they get so fed up of it that they 'take a couple of months off' from all the tracking etc and actually end up getting caught. A friend of mine did that, dtd twice in one month and got caught - after spending all her previous time dtd at the 'right time' etc. Maybe worth considering! I think stress has a lot to do with it tbh x
  • Hi Alice,

    That's so unfair that the NHS wont help you as your partner has children. 

    Have you always been dtd so regularly over the 20 months you have been trying? Just I've heard it's better to dtd every other day, or once a day at max during the ovulation window as otherwise your partner might not have time to build up strong enough reserves. 

    I've also read that Preseed is meant to help  or at least I've read lots of people get pregnant very quickly after trying it. I've bought some this month but havent used yet. Maybe worth a go?

  • @beautyandthebump I'm thinking you might be right, i'm hearing this a lot :( its hard to do after being completely obsessed by it all. I had given up alcohol totally but last Friday after work i decided that i cant keep letting my worries about fertility take over my life and i had two glasses of wine in the sun. I woke up feeling a little less tense for the first time in a long time. i haven't drank since but just letting go a little bit really helped. I'm going away for the weekend for some sun and really hoping to relax and stress a little less.  
    I keep hearing that damaged tubes might be the cause and its so hard as the NHS won't do any tests for that as my partner has children. Seems very unfair.
    I've had 4 blood tests over the last month and when i'm back from my trip i will get results and take it from there. My new doctor seems very sympathetic so that helps. I might take you advice and try my BEST to delete apps after my next appointment. Thank you for your advice, i REALLY appreciate it. xx
  • @FailingToBePatient we have always been 'active'. As i said there was a good year that we werent 'trying-trying' just seeing what happened but we were always at least every other day. Since then we have been trying to dtd in twice around the 4 day period. 
    I have never heard of preseed - i can see it acts as like a fertility lubricant? i am willing to try anything but i have to be honest, all of the tracking and testing and timing is really becoming a bit of a turn off and even that is worrying me!

    How long have you been trying? Do you know someone who has recommended pre-seed?

    Thank you for your suggestion :) i will be ordering.
  • @FailingToBePatient we have always been 'active'. As i said there was a good year that we weren't 'trying-trying' just seeing what happened but we were always at least every other day. Since then we have been trying to dtd in twice around the 4 day period. 
    I have never heard of preseed - i can see it acts as like a fertility lubricant? i am willing to try anything but i have to be honest, all of the tracking and testing and timing is really becoming a bit of a turn off and even that is worrying me!
    ive heard conflicting advice on whats best re amount of sex in fertile window. some say its best to catch 'best swimmers' and some say to just go for it!....i guess thats what you happens when you 'over-search' maybe.

    How long had problems conceiving? Do you know someone who has recommended pre-seed?

    Thank you for your suggestion x 
  • Hi all,

    I’m 32, TTC for 19 months for our first baby.

    I’m in a similar position that the NHS won’t help us with investigation because my husband has a child from a previous relationship (as if being a stepmum isn’t hard enough!! This adds a whole new dimension!)

    I got in touch with a local private fertility clinic called the London Women’s clinic (not just in London cause I live in South Wales)...anyway, they have a promotion on at the moment for bloods, ultrasound scan and semen analysis with a consultation to discuss results for £155 - I thought that was bloody good value for money! May be worth a look! I was thinking if it gives me peace of mind everything is ok then we’ll just keep trying and hoping for the best.
    I literally just ordered preseed today to try next month 🤣
  • Hi @LJ87,

    So we are in the same boat then. Like you said being a step mum (as lovely as it is) can be tough especially when the NHS deem you not eligible for treatment. I cant quite understand it still.

    That sounds really promising! have you booked? 
    I have sent them an email to inquire as i cannot see a deal online but would be VERY willing to book that if its available near me. Such a good deal!
    I see they also have fertility seminars which looks interesting.

    I might put my order for preseed in this evening  ;) have you heard good things?
    Thank you for the recommendation! very helpful and something to consider for sure.

    Separately - as we are in very similar positions - are you managing to stay positive during this uncertain time? i'm really struggling and finding each month harder to take and worried its starting to really affect my mental health. Completely understand if you would rather not discuss as its very personal :)

    Alice x
  • I haven’t actually booked in yet but if AF arrives next week (due a week today!) then I’m definitely going to! Yeh the deal wasn’t online but when I sent them an email enquiry then replied with the deal.

    Our situations are so so similar, I also had a termination when I was 18, can’t help but wonder about the ‘what if’s’!!

    Yeh I do find it mentally quite draining month on month but I just keep focusing on other things in my life to try to distract myself - I have completely redecorated our house in a bid to try to keep myself occupied while we have been TTC!! 

    Yes I’ve heard good things about the preseed and kept reading about it online so thought there would be no harm in trying it. This month I’ve focused more on my diet too - I read some research that said you would be eating less carbs more protein to aid fertility so I’m trying that too! 

    What so do you do to try to keep yourself sane? I think coming on here and speaking to people in the same boat definitely helps, I also try not too talk to hubby too much about it as I don’t want it to consume us but then I also don’t want to feel like I’m going through this alone. It’s a tough one! 

    What CD are you? I’m on CD 20, I have a 27 day cycle like clockwork so only 7 more days to wait but god the wait seems to be more excruciating every month!! 
  • I cant believe how similar our situations are...its 'the best' boat to be in but its also reassuring to speak to you.

    By the way on my lunch i went and got myself some preseed ;) couldn't help myself!

    I might do a little research into best diets, although i am a pescetarian so i might do a little research and see if introducing meat/protein might help. 

    I've read lots in my fertility research about agnus castus (also known as chaste tree) which i have been taking. Have you tried this or heard about the supplement?
    Also have you tried acupuncture? Not something i've tried but i read such conflicting evidence that it works. 

    I've been trying to think of things to distract me too. We recently went on a little trip but that was time limited. I'm trying to think of small business ideas to keep me occupied. 
    I am determined to not let this cycle get the better of me emotionally!

    1 week! i have everything crossed for you!
    I'm on CD 14. i ovulated on Saturday so i have a couple of weeks, i think AF should arrive around 27th but my cycles vary by 2 days usually. #thinkbfp!

    Have doctors just done blood tests or have you had any ultrasounds ect? Do you have PCOS or endo or anything? 

    I really understand about limiting the fertility talk with your partner, it has become such a hot topic in my household and its really starting to affect our relationship. It does cause a lot of strain and i would hate to start bickering.
    I have really enjoyed discussing on this message board as its nice to speak openly about an incredibly personal subject that i (and i'm sure others) sadly remain secretive about :)

  • correction - *not* the best boat to be in!
  • Yes me too it’s good to chat to someone about it! And who knows....we might be buying all this stuff and not even need it!! Defo thinking about that BFP! 

    No I haven’t heard of that supplement - I’ll look into it tho! I’m willing to try anything! Lol 

    My doctor has only done progesterone testing on day 21 of my cycle, he said it was normal. But I haven’t had an ultrasound scan to know if I have PCOS or endometriosis. I think if this month isn’t our month I’m going to book in with the London women’s clinic and see what’s going on. 
    Another annoying thing for me is that I work 2-3 night shifts a week so sometimes if they fall when I’m ovulating it’s difficult to DTD around them! We can sometimes DTD during the day before my shift but it only works if hubby is off! But this month he was off and I feel like we really made a big effort this month so I’m keeping everything crossed!! 

    Have you had much much help or support from your doctor? Do you have PCOS or endo?

  • Exactly! - there is so much conflicting stuff out there on the www that's its so hard to know what actually works!

    That is annoying that you work nights sometimes! it must be hard to make sure you are timing correctly. Do you try to dtd once a day over the 3/4 fertile days? I assume your other half works days? 
    I use the app fermomoter to track BBT, CM & LH. Do you use an app? I'm getting a bit sick of all the monitoring! especially taking temperature first thing EVERY morning. 

    I've had VERY little help from GP's. I've had numerous blood tests which always come back as normal. 
    What i really want is a scan as i'm worried mainly that i have damaged tubes (hear a lot of that) but they are reluctant to do this as they don't think i have either PCOS or Endo as my periods are fairly regular and very mild. All in all i am very disappointed in the help and support received and just wondered if you were too or if it was worth changing doctors for a third time! 

    I was going to leave 'going private' as my last resort and just keep pushing the NHS for help but i am loosing hope and thinking i might be kidding myself.
    It cant hurt to pay £155 and hopefully get some answers! Im interested in the open day they are doing on the 3rd as well - me and my partner are booking into it so thank you again for the recommendation!

    It sounds like you have done everything you can this month so i REALLY hope you get the best news! and if not then at least you have a plan which is so important.


  • @LJ87
    I wasn’t looking at my app yesterday as I was working but I’m actually on CD 19! Still AF due next Sunday
  • @LJ87 Sorry to bombard you, just wanted to let you know I've booked my fertility MOT with the place you suggested for next Saturday :) 
    It was a little more expensive at £275 as London is the nearest to me but very much looking forward to finally getting some answers! thank you again and good luck for this weekend :)
  • Hi Alice, sorry for late reply! I wasn’t on nights last night! Oh that’s great news that you are all booked in!! You’ll have to let me know how it goes 😁

    Yeh we try to DTD every day while on my fertile week - but I don’t stress too much if it works out that it’s every other day because of work. I can’t control everything and I need to keep reminding myself of that! 

    I was doing the natural cycles app with taking basal temp but annoyingly you can take your temp ideal you have worked nights so I just found it inaccurate and also it was driving me mad!

    Even ovulation tests drive me mad - I feel like I was just getting obsessed so now we are just eating well, exercising, taking vitamins (wellwoman and wellman) and DTD regularly and focussing efforts on the week I know I ovulate.....and then keeping everything crossed!

    6 days to wait for AF now 🙈 I don’t feel any different tho so I don’t think this month is our month but trying to be positive! 

    How are you feeling? I bet you are looking forward to getting answers and I think £275 isn’t bad for all the information you’ll be gaining!
    Hoping it’s all good news for you and it’ll take the pressure off a bit.

  • That's ok! just thought id let you know id booked and i will for sure let you know how i find them and thank you again for the recommendation.
    already feel a lot better knowing ill get some answers finally...
    were also going to sit a fertility seminar to gain a little more info on treatments should i need them.

    From what ive read pregnancy symptoms are sometimes non existent and often are very similar to PMS so I've tried not to focus on them. Keep positive and busy :) 
    I usually obsess about spotting like its the holy grail of pregnancy but its not always the case ;)

    I'm considering packing the apps in too and putting a stop to the obsession. I just like to know roughly when i'm ovulating so i can do all i can in that 3 days  :#

    I really hope its good news for you and i and if not we have a plan of action with preseed and l! :)

    Have a nice evening x

  • It’s mad isn’t it, if you do it all you are obsessing and if you don’t do it all you feel like you maybe aren’t doing enough!! 🙈

    Keep me posted of any developments...always here to chat if you fancy it 😁 L xx
  • ahhh!! I feel like AF is coming! Lower abdomen feels really heavy and bloated snd some lower back pain!! Is she going to rear her head early! So annoying cause I’ve been every 27 days like clockwork so far, not due on until Tuesday....sorry, just needed to rant! 
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