Toni & Michael’s Story

Growing up I only ever had one dream. I had such a wonderful childhood, fantastic parents and a lifelong playmate in my little sister and so when people used to ask the question ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ my answer was always simple, a mum!

I met my husband Michael at the age of 20; we were engaged six months later and married in April 2005. We both knew we wanted to be parents and so decided to come off the pill the following month and just see what happened.

Nothing happened! Months went by and we still weren’t pregnant but being a young couple we didn’t feel any pressure at that point. As the years went by we did start to feel concerned that it hadn’t happened though and so thought it was time to find out if there was a reason.

Our GP referred us for fertility testing but just before the appointment I cancelled it. I was absolutely terrified they would find something wrong and tell me I could never be a mum.

A year later in August 2008, it still hadn’t happened and we found ourselves at our hospital fertility clinic for testing. After various tests on both of us I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). I had never heard of it before as I displayed none of the typical symptoms of PCOS, other than a sudden weight gain when I came off the pill in 2005, but as I had also just got married I had put that down to contentment.

The hospital tried us with a variety of medications to try and boost fertility. I was ‘lucky’ in that my PCOS was mild and I did ovulate myself but only sporadically. Firstly we tried Metformin, a diabetic drug proven to help some people with PCOS. For us it just made me sick though and so we had to stop after a short while.

We then moved on to Clomid, a drug that helps you to ovulate each month. This worked and I started to ovulate regularly every month but we just didn’t fall pregnant. After six attempts on Clomid we did try one cycle of injections to boost ovulation but sadly on this cycle I did ovulate but also reacted so strongly to the dose I ended up with very mild OHSS, causing lots of small follicles to grow on my ovaries.

At this stage we made the slightly scary decision to go ahead with a surgical procedure called laparoscopic ovarian drilling which burns holes into each ovary to balance out the hormone levels in someone with PCOS. After the operation we continued with the Clomid for another seven cycles but sadly still didn’t fall pregnant.

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