My name is Claire and my husband’s name is Richard: we met at work (NHS mental health unit) in 2011 and married in 2013. Richard already knew of my infertility prior to marrying, we spoke at great lengths how and what we would do if we chose to want a family in the future.

I am 30 years-young. In 2010 I was sent by my GP to have a laparoscopy as my menstrual cycle had been irregular for years and I was starting to worry that I wasn’t normal having spoken to a lot of my friends and colleagues. During my operation the consultant found that both of my fallopian tubes were distended/distorted and were leaking toxic fluid into my womb, therefore I was referred to hospital for further investigation and the possible removal of one of my tubes.

In hospital, I was warned by the consultant, after he had viewed my previous medical investigation notes, that there was a slight possibility I may need both tubes removing if they weren’t able to strip and save one. After my operation I was greeted by the caring and empathic female doctor who made sure I was comfortable and gave me the gut wrenching news that they had in fact had to remove both fallopian tubes; ‘yet there was still hope as you will be able to have IVF if in the future you want to start a family.’

Richard is 30 years-young too and in 2003, while at college, Richard contracted mumps and was sent to hospital for treatment; it was shortly after this he was told that due to his condition there would be a high possibility that his fertility would be greatly affected in the future.

IVF: the decision
Both Richard and I enjoyed married life but it became apparent to us both that we would like the opportunity to have children so with positivity in our minds we went to the GP in order to be referred to a fertility clinic – which was straightforward due to both our issues. It was amazing to find out that at the fertility clinic the lead consultant was the same man who had removed my fallopian tubes years before and we took comfort in the fact we would be in safe hands.

Richard went through numerous semen analysis tests, which showed he had a low sperm count and poor motility and I had many blood tests and we were told that yes we met the criteria for funded NHS IVF and he suggested due to our situation we had intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), however in our area there was only NHS funding for two cycles, but we were still positive as it was better than nothing at all.

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