New techniques improve the odds for IVF couple

Informed that her egg store was low, Jemma and her partner Carl pursued an emerging treatment called IMSI – twins Esther and Leo were born in August 2014.

After being told that her egg store was so low that it was unlikely that she would become a biological mum, Jemma and Carl, used a new emerging treatment to improve their chances of a baby.

The couple had been together for six years when they married and started to try for a baby, Jemma explains: “Month after month went by without success, we began to wonder if something was wrong so in 2010, we went to our doctor who referred us to the local hospital for tests.

A disappointing three cycles

“After a course of Clomid to stimulate ovulation was unsuccessful we went back for a further test. This anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) blood test showed that my reserve of eggs was very low and they warned us this might make it difficult for me to have IVF with my own eggs. This comment left me feeling hopeless.”

The couple were referred for IVF treatment and they choose Bourn Hall Clinic.

Unfortunately none of the couple’s three cycles of NHS funded IVF treatment were successful as Jemma produced insufficient eggs.

Opting for IMSI treatment

So the couple decided to have a further self-funded cycle and this gave them freedom to investigate other treatment options.

A high proportion of sperm even in healthy men have some abnormalities and in IVF embryologists are very careful to select the best sperm.  To assist this process an emerging treatment is Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) where the sperm is viewed at very high magnification, using an inverted microscope. This enables the embryologist to look inside the head of the sperm to identify the healthiest looking sperm for injecting into the egg.

On discovering that Bourn Hall Clinic had started to offer this treatment Jemma and Carl decided that it was worth having as part of their fourth attempt.

Jemma says: “We wanted to maximise our chances of having a baby and believed IMSI would help.”

Each of Jemma’s harvested eggs was injected with a single sperm selected using IMSI. Six of Jemma’s fertilised eggs developed to blastocyst stage of which two were selected and transferred into her womb. Everyone was delighted when Jemma became pregnant.


Double the delight

On 27th August 2014 twins Esther and Leo were born.

“Although twins do bring complications for us having gone so far this outcome was ideal. We always wanted to have a family and it was a perfect result!”

Carl says; “Thanks to Bourn Hall Clinic I’m definitely a very proud father and love being a dad to our twins as they complete our family.

“I always believed there would be light at the end of the tunnel and although sometimes it was not easy, particularly the frustration of not knowing why we had infertility issues, we kept our hope up, persevered and fulfilled out dream.

“Attending Bourn Hall’s Cambridge clinic gave us confidence as we knew it was established by the pioneers of IVF treatment. The hall itself is in the countryside and in tranquil settings, which I think can help make the process all the more bearable.”

Jemma adds: “I refer to Bourn Hall as ‘the land of hope and dreams’ and hopefully our experience will help encourage others.”

New techniques improve the odds for IVF couple

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