One thousand babies have been born following IVF treatment at the Bourn Hall Norwich Clinic – eight years after it opened its doors. Some of the most recent parents shared their stories to encourage others to seek support.
Dr Nausheen Mawal, Consultant Gynaecologist and IVF specialist at Bourn Hall, said: “One in six couples struggle to conceive. We are able to help many conceived naturally with medication, minor surgery or lifestyle changes, but there remain a few for whom IVF treatment is the only option.
Bourn Hall provides NHS fertility testing to Norfolk patients and fertility treatments including ovulation induction to improve the changes of natural conception. Bourn Hall also offers self funded IVF treatment and NHS funded IVF where couples meet eligibility criteria.
Dr Mawal continues: “The biggest cause of infertility is age; women lose their egg quality gradually up to 35 and then more rapidly. So, if you have been trying to conceive for a couple of years, or less if you are over 35, then do have a chat with one of our fertility nurse specialists.
“Infertility impacts your quality of life and relationships, getting advice from your GP or a fertility specialist can help your mental wellbeing.”
Joining Dr Mawal was Kirsty, mum to Jenson and Vicki and Ricky, parents to four-year-old Dylan and six-week-old twins Elliot and Jack.
Bourn Hall Clinic is hosting a virtual Fertility Fair which is taking place throughout National Fertility Awareness Week starting on November 1. On Saturday November 6 there will also be the opportunity to ask questions in a live one-on-one confidential chat with specialist fertility nurses, fertility consultants, a nutritionist and patient support advisers.
Kirsty and Dan’s story
“I was about to turn thirty and became more aware of my biological clock ticking,” says Kirsty. “I’d always told myself that if there was ever an issue with not being able to conceive that I would get advice about it because I didn’t want to leave it too late.”
Kirsty and husband Dan had been trying for a baby for 18 months when their GP referred them for fertility tests at Bourn Hall Norwich which provides the NHS fertility diagnostic testing in Norfolk.
“The fertility consultant at Bourn Hall was interested in my history of heavy and painful periods and sent me for a hospital laparoscopy.” This revealed that both Kirsty’s fallopian tubes – that take the eggs to the womb – were blocked, and she would never have been able to get pregnant naturally.
“Finding out that the reason that we couldn’t conceive was actually a relief. The unknown was really frustrating especially when friends were getting pregnant and I was thinking. ‘why not me?’ The ‘not knowing why’ seemed like the worst part. With a fertility diagnosis we were able to move forward with the appropriate treatment at the Bourn Hall Norwich Clinic which enabled us to have a baby.”
Jenson was born on October 20 last year and recently celebrated his first birthday. “It was so lovely when he finally arrived. Our family was complete,” says Kirsty. “What I would say to other couples struggling to conceive, particularly if you suffer with painful periods, is to push for the tests you need, so you can understand your options.”
Vicki and Ricky’s story
“We had hoped that we would be able to start a family as soon as we had got married,” says Vicki. “It seemed as though everyone around us was falling pregnant with amazing ease and we had hoped we would find it easy too.”
After fertility tests revealed that Vicki and her husband Ricky would need IVF, the couple had IVF with ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) treatment at Bourn Hall which involved directly injecting one of Ricky’s sperm in to one of Vicki’s mature eggs before transferring it to her womb.
Their treatment was successful first time. “Nine months later our gorgeous Dylan turned up and life changed for the better,” smiles Vicki.
The couple returned to Bourn Hall for further treatment last year and Vicki didn’t need a pregnancy test to tell her that she was pregnant two weeks later.
“We were given the date to do the pregnancy test, but I didn’t need to wait that long to know,” she laughs. “A couple of days before my test date the morning sickness kicked in, very early and very real!
“We now have three beautiful boys, Dylan has just started school and is accompanied on the school run every day by his twin brothers Jack and Elliot.
“Without the amazing team at the Bourn Hall Norwich Clinic we wouldn’t be where we are now with the most beautiful family that we were not sure we would ever have.”
Support for the fertility journey
For many couples struggling to conceive it can come as a complete shock whilst others may already have a reason to suspect they might struggle to conceive.
Bourn Hall Clinic is hosting a virtual Fertility Fair and on Saturday November 6 there is an opportunity for a one-on-one confidential chat with specialist fertility nurses, fertility consultants, a nutritionist and patient service advisers.
To find out more and register for the event go to Fertility Fair offers support for your fertility journey – Bourn Hall Clinic