The Road to Starting a family
The journey towards creating a family started 25 years ago when Helen (53) and her partner were faced with the ambiguous term “unexplained infertility”. After trying to conceive with no success, they sought out fertility testing and were shocked to discover that everything appeared normal.
With no clear cause for their infertility, they began exploring treatment options in Helen’s hometown in Scotland. Initially, they tried intrauterine insemination (IUI), four in succession to be exact, before deciding to move forward with in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
Everything was looking positive, and Helen and her partner were hopeful that they would finally get their long-awaited baby.
“So the whole time it’s unexplained, and that’s why I’m pushing thinking it’s going to happen. I’m healthy, my embryos were a 10/10 quality, and the semen, everything was perfect. So I’m thinking why is it not working?” Helen said.
A Turn of Events
Throughout the procedure, she took her injections and went through treatment smoothly. However, she found herself experiencing excruciating pain during the time of the transfer.
“Whenever it got to the transfer, which should only be like a smear test, I had a lot of pain. They couldn’t place the embryos back properly. The nurses couldn’t put them in. It was like they were hitting a wall.”
She eventually asked to be sedated and went through a few transfers under sedation. But despite all their efforts, the treatments simply weren’t working.
Round after round, the couple experienced devastating negative pregnancy tests and finally after years of IVF, decided to move clinics within Scotland.
It was then when Helen was diagnosed with a “tilted womb“. In order to successfully transfer an embryo, they had to map out her womb, to make sure that the embryo could be placed at the optimal spot for implantation.
“I was pregnant three times. But the problem was that by the end I was 42, 43. And the doctor said he thought the embryos were just not sticking. I got to nine or ten weeks and after that, we stopped for a bit”
The couple’s doctor at the time, suggested the use of donor eggs, something Helen found herself to be weary about, but eventually accepted, realising her age would now longer allow for quality ovaries. Despite its promising results, things took a turn for the worst.
Everything was perfect. So I’m thinking why is it not working?
“Believe it or not, honestly everything was against me. Everything was fine, there were about 10 and they were all good quality and the day of the transfer I got a call from the embryologist to say they’d all died. I was like that’s not even me like it’s not my body.”
Despite having quality embryos, good quality sperm as well as being healthy herself, every time they tried IVF, it just wouldn’t work. They had done everything possible and knew that it was time to give their minds, bodies and pockets a rest. However, after every failed transfer and time off of treatment, Helen plucked up the courage to try again and again. 21 times.
The Trip to Cyprus
It was then that they decided to try one last fertility treatment – this time at Dunya IVF Clinic in Cyprus.
“I thought, I’m not going to do it anymore. But I still tried to get over it, you know, to forget about it, but it still kept coming back up.”
“And then that’s when I found Dunya when I researched on the Internet.”
Helen, now 53, after having endured two decades of fertility treatments, walked into Dunya IVF, and her last chance of having a baby.
“I said to my partner, if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen here. If it doesn’t happen here, it’s not meant to be. They have really good success rates. People come from all around the world to go. We were meant to come here.”
Everything felt right the minute she walked through the doors. From the surroundings to the staff, it all felt very professional and most importantly felt well looked after.
“It didn’t feel like you were alone. In Scotland, it could be like lots of people doing IVF. The personal side felt better.”
The couple’s main concern was getting their problem across to the doctor, that due to her tilted womb, the correct placement of the embryos was crucial. The doctor proceeded with a test procedure to ensure the actual transfer’s success.
“What kept me going was I just kept seeing this baby”
“That was quite reassuring. It’s not one size fits all. It wasn’t, come on the day and we’ll do it. We’re actually going to try it before. So it gives you more confidence, you know?”
“He knows what he’s doing. He’s done it for me. Not for some other woman.”
Helen’s doctor, Dr Alper of Dunya IVF weighed in, stating “Even though it can be both psychologically and financially burdensome sometimes, with our support, knowledge, and experience we are aiming to help women who want to have a healthy baby.”
And so began her final transfer, when she got a call from the embryologist saying the one embryo had died. There were only two left and the embryologist had to thaw before anything could be guaranteed.
Yet that was the one that worked.
“With a professional team having vast experience and knowledge, the treatment itself should bring not concerns, but instead happiness and comfort.”
A Happy Ending
Today Helen and her partner sit with their new born daughter, Daisy Grace after decades of heartache.
Dr Alper shared “We are so happy to see women like Helen finally getting the chance to have their own children, and we will continue to do our best in helping other couples achieve this dream as well.”
“Keep going! Helen says.
“Because when you get that little miracle at the end, you forget about the 25 years.”