Anita and Simon have been trying to become pregnant for 22 years, and thanks to the fertility clinic IVF Spain and the Fertility Journeys project – organised by Fertility Road – they are finally fulfilling their dream of forming a family.
We wanted them to share with us their thoughts about their long journey to fertility. The following lines may help other couples that find themselves in the same situation as Anita and Simon.
How did you feel when they actually confirmed that you were pregnant?
Anita: I think the 12 days of waiting for the results after the transfer were the hardest and the longest. I decided to do my home test before the blood test results and when I looked at the results, I just could not believe there were two lines, which were perfectly visible. It was just amazing, I had to do another test and another the next day, and all of them were positive. My husband and I were over the moon, and two days later a blood test confirmed it.
We have been waiting for this moment for 22 years and almost lost hope that this would ever happen to us; it is like a dream come true, a feeling of happiness and joy knowing that there is a new life inside my body. Amazing.
Did you ever think that you had to give up the idea of becoming parents?
Anita: Yes, waiting for so long to become parents, we actually accepted the idea that it would never happen for us. All our friends and family accepted that we would not have family and when the chance appeared to receive help from the IVF Spain clinic, we knew that it was our last chance. My husband tried to calm me down, to stop me getting too excited; he did not want me to become too disappointed. At my age, I believed I had little chance. I knew that I could be a good mother and give plenty of love to our child if it happened.
We’ve already had the great pleasure to interview you during your visit at the clinic. How do you feel now about our Assisted Reproduction Center?
Anita: We were welcomed back to the clinic in January and treated in a very friendly and professional way. This is the best clinic in the world. People are so friendly and welcoming, and all the staff from doctors to nurses and office workers wish you the best and great success; they are genuinely interested in you and care for you extremely well.
You feel very special and calm, and you know that you are in the best hands. I think it is wonderful that this Assisted Reproduction Center in Alicante is providing help and professional support, and fulfilling the dreams of very needy people. It is wonderful that such great and professional help exists, and even when you lose hope there is always a last chance, and IVF Spain can be your last chance for happiness.
What would you advise people who are experiencing a similar situation?
Anita: Not to lose hope. There is always a last chance and it may lead to success. I would recommend IVF Spain to everyone who needs help, not to lose heart but take it step by step. Even if the first time may not be successful, there is always another chance, extra help, and good advice which will bring success.
Never lose heart.
IVF Spain writes…
Many couples come to IVF Spain in search of a medical solution to their fertility problems. Furthermore, many patients have been travelling more than five years from clinic to clinic to find one that truly cares for them. At IVF Spain we take the patients’ needs and their stories very seriously. The most complex cases require more than pure willingness to be solved. The fertility clinic should have an experienced and competent research team as well as an innovative laboratory. In short, the clinic should be able to implement the latest advances in assisted reproduction to achieve excellent pregnancy rates.
There are different factors that may influence pregnancy failure, among which the quality of the embryo stands out – should the embryo not meet all requirements and be of poor quality, pregnancy will not occur. Therefore, in order to determine their quality we perform a Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS); a test by which it is possible to detect both numerical and structural chromosomal abnormalities, thus allowing us to discard those embryos that do not have an adequate chromosomal content. However, since chromosomal abnormalities increase with age we suggest performing a PGS on patients older than 38. Our aim is to safeguard the health of future generations.
Endometrial micro-environment and quality are also factors of great importance. A molecular dialogue between the embryo and the cells of the endometrium must occur to achieve pregnancy. Thanks to the endometrial receptivity test we perform at IVF Spain, it is possible to assess the degree of reception of the endometrium during the window of implantation.
Furthermore, the immunological factor must also be considered. Occasionally, maternal cells may acquire an abnormal behaviour and, as a result, reject the embryo. Maternal cells detect sperm material inside the embryo and cause implantation failure (an increased number of natural killer cells (NK) is indicative to this process). At IVF Spain we administer intravenous immunoglobulin, which is capable of lowering NK levels.
It is also noted that studies only focus on female factors; however, the male factor is responsible for over 40%of infertility cases, so in order to detect the cause we perform an advanced seminogram during the first visit, which may help to detect abnormalities beyond sperm concentration, motility and morphology.
An advanced semen analysis assesses apoptosis markers to measure the percentage of sperm that enter cell death. For instance, those who will not be able to complete the reproductive process is determined (in such cases we apply techniques that help to select sperm cells with fertility potential). All these processes, combined with DNA fragmentation (which determines the presence of damage of the genetic material) provide an overview of the reproductive capacity of the patients’ sperm.
Occasionally, the embryos stop developing before day five. Such signs are indicative of male factors which may be treated by means of a Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA) and, thus, raise the pregnancy rate. In short, in most cases having a multidisciplinary team capable of implementing advances in reproductive medicine makes the difference when it comes to achieving the desired pregnancy.