Paulina and Sam’s Story
Paulina welcomes Oscar after surgery to remove endometriosis and IVF:
“I met Sam when I was 20 and he was 24 years old. We both wanted children, but being so young, it wasn’t something we worried about. It’s ironic now, but we were more concerned back then, that I may fall pregnant by accident.
“When I turned 27 I came off the pill and we started to try for a baby. But after two years and no sign we started to get a little concerned. Since coming off the pill I also experienced pain and discomfort symptoms that, after talking to a friend at work and researching online, I came across the word ‘endometriosis’.
“I went for a check and scans confirmed my suspicions, I did have endometriosis, with the lining of my womb growing inside of me. My consultant recommended I have surgery to remove it as it was causing the pain and could lead to infertility. They advised that, as my ovaries were healthy and Sam didn’t have any male fertility issues, after surgery we should be able to conceive. But they also warned that the surgery would only buy us a window of time to conceive as my endometriosis could grow back.
“After undergoing surgery to remove the endometriosis, we continued to try to conceive naturally. But when we remained unsuccessful, , we went to see our GP who referred us onto the fertility clinic at our local Hospital, The John Radcliffe. The team there ran lots of tests and checked to see if we met the funding criteria for IVF. Thankfully, we did and so were referred on to be treated at Oxford Fertility.
“We received so much information by the team at Oxford Fertility. It may have been overwhelming, but they broke it down into steps. They also answered all our questions and were really understanding; when we weren’t at the clinic we could call or access the team through our own personal portal and they answered our questions straight away.
“The atmosphere at the clinic was wonderful, you felt like a private patient, the team were so welcoming. It was also never too busy, so you didn’t feel rushed.
“As we started treatment, everything went well and I produced lots of eggs, but they advised that my body had reacted quite a lot to the drugs and if we proceeded onto transfer straight away, I could be at risk of over stimulation. So, our eggs were fertilised, and the embryos were frozen whilst my body recovered. I was frustrated and wanted to push on, but the team explained this was important for my health and reassured me that the success rates are just the same now for fresh and frozen IVF. Doctors also called on me the next day to check I was OK.
“After a month, my body was ready for the transfer. Although I felt the need to have multiple embryos transferred my consultant reassured me that this wouldn’t be needed, and it would increase my chances of having twins which brings risk. Besides, we now had more frozen embryos that we could try again with if it didn’t work. But we didn’t need this, as it worked first time and our beautiful boy Oscar was born nine months later.
“For me, the whole process felt huge and crazy. To cope, I broke everything down into manageable chunks. During IVF I just had to get through each stage and then during the pregnancy I just aimed to get to 4 weeks then 6 weeks then 12 weeks and on.
“At first, I felt we would be in a lonely place, but as we spoke with friends we discovered so many people with endometriosis or who have gone through IVF. The team at Oxford Fertility also made the whole experience reassuring and helped us make Oscar, who is everything we thought he’d be. He is happy, healthy, and everything is good.”