Cambridgeshire father’s day joy thanks to IVF
A Cambridgeshire couple have two very special reasons to celebrate father’s day after IVF treatment helped them overcome fertility issues to become proud parents to twins.
IT specialist Luke Brown from Cambourne and his partner Hannah Stark were shocked when tests revealed that both of them had fertility issues.
The couple had first started trying for a baby in 2015 but after no success inside 12 months, Hannah went to see her GP.
She said: “I knew that there was potentially a problem with me because I had irregular periods as a teenager and my periods took 10 months to start again after I came off the pill.”
But worse was to follow when it was discovered that Luke, 33, had a low sperm count, which coupled with Hannah’s subsequent diagnosis of polycystic ovaries, significantly lowered the couple’s chances of conceiving naturally.
Luke added: “It was very hard to deal with as it was just something which had never crossed my mind. I remember feeling helpless and not knowing what I could do to change things.”
And Hannah admitted the double blow hit the couple hard.
Hannah, 32, said: “When we found out that we both had fertility issues it was pretty devastating. Seeing adverts for pregnancy tests and baby products on TV was just one small way we were reminded of our difficulties and it was a really hard time for us.
“We just had to get on with it really and keep ourselves busy. Luke tried a few of the tips suggested for improving sperm count such as wearing loose underwear, exercising and not drinking, but it didn’t help particularly.”
Fortunately, the couple were among the last to be eligible for one round of NHS-funded treatment before IVF funding was cut by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG.
The couple chose Bourn Hall’s Cambridge IVF clinic, so they didn’t have to go to London for part of the treatment.
“Living so close made everything more straightforward for us,” said Hannah. “We didn’t have to stress about being late for appointments. If the car had broken down on the way we could probably have finished the rest of the journey on foot so we were very lucky.”
The couple had IVF using a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) which is commonly used where the sperm needs a bit of ‘extra help’ to achieve fertilisation. Hannah’s eggs were collected and then Luke’s sperm was directly injected in to her eggs in the laboratory before transferring two embryos to her womb.
The couple’s first round of treatment was not successful but they had saved up enough cash for a second round as a precaution.
And two weeks after embryo transfer, a pregnancy test confirmed that the treatment had worked and a scan revealed that the couple were expecting twins.
“We were grinning like maniacs. It never crossed our minds that both embryos might have taken,” laughs Hannah. “It was beyond good news. We were shocked but happy shocked.”
Twins Max and Adeline were born eight months ago and proud dad Luke said: “Now the twins are here it is hard to imagine our life without them. I look forward to all the new experiences we will have together. They are just a constant source of happiness.”
More by this authorAdrian Curtis