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Claire's story

Claire and Richard had two unsuccessful cycles of ICSI before deciding to move on from treatment. Here’s Claire’s story.

I’d had irregular periods for years but it was only when I was 24 years-old that I was diagnosed with distorted fallopian tubes.

The doctor told me he’d have to remove at least one but that he’d try and open up the other one. A few hours later I came round from the anaesthetic in a daze and was told that sadly he’d had to remove both – from now on my only option to have children would be IVF.

Years later I met my husband, Richard, and we got married. After our wedding day it felt like a bit of a strange anti-climax as we knew we couldn’t conceive naturally. When other couples might start trying for a family we thought ‘okay, now what?’

two people reading in a field

We had two chances at success

We started looking into fertility treatment on the NHS and were relieved to find out we were entitled to two free cycles. As Richard had mumps in the past he has a slightly lower sperm count so our consultant recommended ICSI as the best option for us.

Unfortunately our first cycle wasn’t successful but we did manage to get pregnant on a second frozen embryo transfer. Devastatingly I miscarried at six weeks and, even worse, the drugs that normally help to gently remove the embryo from your body didn’t work. I ended up having to go in for surgery to have the embryo removed which was an unexpected grief.

It was time to draw a line under treatment

When our second cycle didn’t work we knew it was time to draw a line under it. We could have borrowed thousands of pounds to have more treatment but what sort of life could we give to a child if we were heavily in debt? It just didn’t feel right to us.

Richard and I are fortunate that we both work in mental health and therefore have a fantastic support network. It’s a personal choice but we decided to be completely open and honest about our situation from the start and it’s meant we’ve had support at every step of the way. It’s also funny how many people come out of the woodwork and say “oh I know someone who’s having treatment too.”

We hope to be able to give a child a loving home

Moving forward, the last thing I want is to feel angry or bitter. Some people say it’s so unfair that I can’t have kids when so many people who have them don’t deserve them, but how does that help anyone? It’s not for me to judge other people.

We’re now looking into adoption and I’m excited about the prospect of hopefully giving a happy, loving and stable home to a child who needs it. I’ve made my peace with our situation and am looking forward to whatever the future brings.

Review date: 18 January 2020