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If I had known about the mild IVF approach to start with I would have gone with CREATE from the very beginning

NHS Referral

My husband has a really low sperm count; he had to have really extensive surgery on his abdomen as a baby and that impacted the blood flow to his reproductive organs. This resulted in him not being able to produce healthy sperm that have any motility. And the morphology was problematic as well.

We didn’t know this until we had been unsuccessfully trying for a baby for a while and decided to see a doctor about it. Our GP referred us to an NHS fertility clinic and after some initial tests, we were told that we would probably have to have IVF with ICSI to have a chance of conceiving.

NHS Procedure

We were eligible for one round of treatment on the NHS and although it took a while to get started because the process is quite long, we went for it and started treatment as soon as we possibly could. I was put on quite a long protocol which involved downregulation before the actual IVF treatment could even start and I found that to be quite taxing on my body; it was really hard actually. I had a lot of menopausal side effects and it involved a lot of needles. It was a whole month worth of injections and by the end, I had one big bruise that joined up on my belly. The egg collection procedure was quite traumatizing as well so overall it was a really hard experience for us both.

Finding CREATE Fertility

Sadly the NHS-funded treatment didn’t work, so we started researching private clinics. I found and watched a CREATE webinar which explained what mild IVF is and how it works. I found the webinar very informative and also quite reassuring, especially after my previous experience. The mild IVF approach really appealed to me - I really wanted to have treatment within my natural cycle this time so we chose to go ahead with CREATE.

CREATE Fertility's procedure

The mild IVF treatment was half the length of my previous cycle. The long protocol I had with the NHS took just over a month and involved daily injections whereas this time around I only had around 11 days of injections, which was so much easier on my body and also my mind because I do have quite a bit of a needle phobia.

Luckily, my body responded really well this time around and every motoring scan indicated that my follicles are growing really well. The egg collection procedure for this cycle was also a far more pleasant experience than my first. Essentially, it’s safe to say that my body responded much better to this milder approach to IVF treatment.

The CREATE clinic wasn’t as close to us so the travel was a bit difficult at times, but it was definitely worth it. We felt like we were in good hands throughout our time at CREATE and although there will always be a bit of anxiety when it comes to IVF treatment, we felt very well looked after and supported throughout.

Success after failed NHS with CREATE Fertility

When the time came to take a pregnancy test, I really wasn’t looking forward to it. The thought of doing another test and it coming back negative really brought back all the grief we had experienced previously. We felt devastated every time and I was terrified that this time would be no different. But it was. This time was different because the test came back positive and the fact that both my husband and I saw the positive result at the same time made the experience even more special.

Our little boy is now 16 months old and doing really well. Parenting is the hardest job in the world but also the most rewarding. We had been wanting to experience this for such a long time!

My only advice to anybody looking into starting IVF treatment would be to look at the different options available to you when you’re doing your research. If I had known about the mild IVF approach to start with I would have gone with CREATE from the very beginning - the long protocol was just too much for me.