PCOS and HIV trying for a baby, advice on situation.

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Hello, 1st time poster - sorry if it's not the correct section. I've been with my partner for 12 years and we've been trying to conceive for about 6/7 years. I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) which is why we have struggled.

Around 18 months ago, the situation got too emotionally demanding with invasive medical procedures and stress on our relationship. We separated for about 6 months and stopped treatment. My partner slept with somebody during this time so obviously before we got back together, we both got tested. My tests came back negative but he was diagnosed with HIV.

So, after another period of separation and independent counselling, we are back together for about 7 months now. We've devided to resume trying for a baby. My question is, how? We always have safe sex now so how would I get pregnant?

My partner is in good health, low viral load and is taking Atripla meds and his consultant suggested sperm washing? I am seeing my consultant in a couple of months, where he will put me on a fertility drug called Clomid.

What exactly is sperm washing and how does it 'get' to me? Or are there other methods, apart from potentially risky intercourse? Also, as I have PCOS, how will this affect my chances? Considering we were previously trying for so long, I have this fear that my chances are now 0%.

My partners consultant couldn't give much help with the PCOS side of things and I am too anxious to wait to see my specialist so any information I receive now will be very useful.

Finally, I'd like to ask, do people think we are being irresponsible or selfish for wanting a child? Please be sensitive and diplomatic with any answers.

Thanks in advance.

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  • Posted

    The sperm washing is to improve the quality of the sperm to be used in doner AI. I am not an expert in this field but would think that your PCOS is the real barrier to your getting pregnant. You need to discuss this with an assistant conception unit but your best chance may be formal IVF with embrio transfer. You do not say what condition your Fallopian tubes are in and this also would need to be assessed before taking Clomid.

    What people think of you is nither here nor there. It is nobody's business but yours and your partner's. Also try also to relax and have fun. What will happen will happen. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Andrew, thank you for the information.

      I've had hysterosalpingograms done in the past and my tubes are fine. I've also had a hysteroscopy which did show a slight thickening of the womb lining but nothing to worry about apparently. I've had many blood tests, ultrasounds and I did start 1 round of Clomid at the lowest dose. That was when we reached 'breaking point' and we split up due to the stress. My consultant said he'd be happy to have me back, which is why I'm going for the appointment. Maybe he likes a challenge!

      Am I correct in thinking that HIV does not live in sperm, only in semen? So the washing would basically separate the two? Does this take the risk of transmission to almost zero? Also, do you think I would have to follow the whole process of IVF? I appreciate that you cannot give me definite answers about all of this.

      I do try to be unconcerned about others, we both know that any child will be a blessing. Its just difficult when you reach 35 and people are constantly asking why we don't have children! I worry that if they found out our reasons then they might judge us or worse, the child.

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    • Posted

      You are on the right track if your consultant is an infertility/PCOD expert. Because that is what you need. You might also join an online support group of women with PCOD struggling to become pregnant. The HIV issue I don't think is paramont. 
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  • Posted

    What was the out come i am in the same situation hiv with pcos but to top it up no partner so will have to look for a donor.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mnandi,

      The outcome is that I am still childless. Unfortunately I am not eligible for ivf or the sperm washing techniques. It is very sad for me, I constantly hope for a child.

      Fortunately, I am still negative so I am thankful for that each day. And my partner is remaining healthy on his medication.

      What advice have you been given so far? Have they suggested medication to increase your ovulation?

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