Undergoing IVF can be a roller-coaster experience, but can also be a rewarding one once you find the treatment that’s right for you. Here Carla, a businesswoman from London tells her IVF story.
‘After marrying my husband James 4 years ago we decided that we wanted to start a family, and I came off the pill straight away. I was told that my periods might take a little while to resume, but after 6 months had passed and they still hadn’t started I began to get worried. James and I went to get tested at our local NHS hospital, and initially the doctors could find nothing wrong; my fallopian tubes and ovaries looked entirely normal. However, an AMH blood test revealed that my ovarian reserve was low, with an AMH of just 4.0. Being only in my early 30s, this came as a shock. We also discovered that James’ sperm count was low on a few parameters.
After trying fertility drug Clomid for 6 months with no success we were offered a round of IVF on the NHS and began in 2013. I was told that I only had a 5-10% chance of success, and we were given a long protocol with down-regulation. This meant that medication was used to shut my cycle down before I was given a big dose of stimulation to start it up again. I had 4 eggs collected, which were fertilised with ICSI due to James’ sperm count (ICSI is when the sperm is injected into the egg rather than left to fertilise in a dish). 2 embryos were put back into my womb, but unfortunately neither of them implanted.
James and I knew that we wanted to carry on trying, so we immediately started researching private clinics. An older friend who had got pregnant through CREATE told us about their Natural approach and I started reading into it. After researching Professor Nargund I decided that I wanted to know more and booked in for an open day. The clinic immediately felt like the right fit for me, and I was impressed by the tailor-made approach to treatment, as the NHS had been very ‘one size fits all’. At my initial consultation I was told that as the treatment works within your cycles I wouldn’t need down-regulation, which came as a huge relief as this had been the most stressful part of my NHS treatment. I was also told that as the clinic focused on the quality rather than the quantity of eggs collected, my chances of success were much higher than the NHS had predicted, at about 50%.
In January 2014 I started on Mild Treatment, which worked within my cycle and involved 8-11 days of stimulating drugs. The treatment went smoothly and I had 4 eggs collected and fertilised with ICSI. Two were replaced and I was ecstatic to find that I was pregnant. My pregnancy went well and I even enjoyed the sickness, knowing how much it had taken to get to that moment. Our beautiful daughter Lila was born in October. My road through IVF was the most emotional experience of my life, but ultimately the most rewarding. We would love another child, and will definitely be coming back to CREATE!’
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