As you may know from the ‘Cost of Becoming a Parent’ post my wife and I are in the throes of fertility treatment to try and conceive our first child through IUI. Unfortunately our first two rounds of insemination have been unsuccessful but this is not the focus of the blog; we are still positive about the process and our chance of becoming parents. This post is about our fertility clinic and the inconsistencies we have faced along the way.
Anyone who has experienced the process of fertility treatment will understand the emotional journey that you enter into: it is therefore absolutely essential to have a fertility clinic that you can trust and rely on. The clinic we have been using has been nothing but professional throughout the process but, after our second failed pregnancy test, we have been left feeling very frustrated.
Very early on in the process we had asked our consultant about going back to back with treatments. She had said that we could go back to back but that they sometimes advise, due to emotional reasons, for people to miss a month. My wife and I discussed this and we were very clear that, to start with least, we would want to go back to back. We did not want to waste time. After the first negative test we contacted our clinic to plan an appointment to start the next round of treatment straight away. However, we were shocked to receive an email saying that proceeding with round two straight away was not possible. The reason given was that my wife’s hormones had to return to normal levels before another attempt. This was a blow. Every month is precious when you are trying for a baby and, in a process that is so out of your control, losing one of the only things you have control over was difficult to take.
We moved on, waited and when, the next opportunity arrived, started round two. Again, we had a negative pregnancy test. We were obviously upset and then our minds turned to the wait we would have until the third go. We emailed the clinic to let that know that we nad a negative result. The response to the email caused confusion and anger: we were told we needed to make an appointment if we wanted to proceed this cycle. My wife rang the clinic and explained that we had previously been told that it was not possible to go back to back: it was confirmed that we could. The overwhelming feeling was one of frustration.
We had wasted a month. A whole month when we could have gone through treatment and fallen pregnant. This is us trying for our first child. My wife is 33 and we have been told that clinics rarely do IUI treatment on women over 35. The clinic does not know our plans for further children; I remain undecided in whether or not I would like to carry and, if I choose not to, my wife would try to fall pregnant with our second. This could, potentially, mean IVF which is far more expensive and intrusive.
We are angry, we are annoyed and, most importantly, we feel let down. This is private healthcare, with one specialism: fertility. Their systems should be watertight with inconsistencies being rare. Unfortunately we have other examples of a lack of clarity and miscommunication regarding the storage of hormone injections and blood tests. Friends of ours have also started this process with the same clinic and have come across similar frustrations. Any couple that enters their clinic is doing so because there is a reason why they cannot conceive a child in the ‘normal’ fashion. Starting the journey of fertility treatment is potentially a long, emotional and expensive process. When you enter the clinic you are entering into the unknown: you must be able to trust the professionals.