Friday, 1 March 2013

Let Down By The System


This week ITV's 'This Morning' have been showing some very interesting features and interviews all about Fertility.

Obviously fertility is not something I have a problem with, but one of my closest friends does.

It is something that Hayley has been battling with for several years now, and she has been kind enough to share her story with us ...........


"In 2004 I found out that I was pregnant. Unfortunately the pregnancy was ectopic which meant that I had to have an operation to remove the pregnancy before it put my life at risk.
After the operation I was told that my right Fallopian tube had to be removed.

5 years later I met Roger, who I have now been married to for 2 years.
When we first got together it was quiet casual, but I had know him since school so it was like old friends meeting up again.
After a few months things became more serious and I started to meet Roger's children Emma, who was 2 and Joshua who was 8.
We started to talk about what the future was to hold for us and Roger told me that he didn't want any more children and had already been to see his GP about having a vasectomy.
My heart sank.
I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

Now I had a big decision to make.
Either walk away, or carry on life without mothering my own children.

A few months went by and Roger changed his mind. He decided not to go ahead with the vasectomy and instead he became eager to start a family with me.
This was probably the happiest day of my life.
I would get to be with the man I love and start a family of our own. So, from this day forward contraception was abandoned.

We have been happily married for 2 years now ....... but still no baby.

I made an appointment at my local GP in Stevenage and asked them for some help.
The first thing the GP asked me was if my periods were regular, and to be honest they weren't, so the doctor explained that losing weight might help this.
It didn't.
The doctor did some blood tests and the results showed that I wasn't ovulating, so I was given a medication called Chlomid which helps the ovaries to produce more mature eggs.
I tried Chlomid for a year but was still unsuccessful in conceiving.
I was then referred to the Lister hospital in Stevenage for IVF investigations. My husband and I underwent lots of tests. I felt like a pin cushion being prodded and poked but it was all for a good cause so I just put my mind elsewhere to get me through it.

After having a scan of my uterus and ovaries I was also diagnosed with PCOS (poly-cystic ovary syndrome).
This, along with only having one fallopian tube, would make conceiving even more difficult.


We went to see a few consultants at the hospital and I mentioned that I must be the reason that we couldn't conceive because my husband has two children already.
If I had known then what I know now I would have kept my mouth shut.

The last consultants meeting was in January 2012 and she said to us that unfortunately, due to my husband having children from a previous relationship we would not be entitled to receive IVF treatment funded by the NHS.
They told me that all I could do is lose a considerable amount of weight and hope that it happens naturally.

As you can imagine I was devastated about it, and couldn't understand why I wasn't being given the chance to become a mum to my own children with a little bit of help from the NHS.
We could have private treatment but unfortunately we cannot afford it.

After being told that it is against NHS guidelines to provide IVF to us I did a bit of research and it is true.
It states in the guidelines for the East of England, specialised commissioning groups Fertility services commissioning policy 4.8 Parental status:
'There should be no living child from the couples current or any previous relationships, regardless of whether the child resides with them. This includes any adopted child within their current or previous relationships; this will apply to adoptions either in or out of the current or previous relationships.'

But, in other parts of the country this service would be available to us!
I couldn't, and still can’t see why it matters where you live. Why should a postcode be used to determine whether the NHS will help people that are desperate for a family to get treatment or not.

Also, with my PCOS, not a single consultant or GP told me about anything that could help this, apart from losing weight, but having researched this myself recently I have discovered that there IS natural medicine, and a prescription drug called Metaformin that could have been given to me to help me lose weight and help reverse the PCOS, as it is a disease and can be reversed. ....... So there is hope for me yet.

The thing that has really upset me is that only 10 minutes away, in Welwyn Garden City, a family friend is in the same situation; her husband has children from a previous relationship but they have had 3 lots of IVF treatment on the NHS!
And the whole thing about having a BMI over 30 meaning you can’t have IVF ....... well, I know a lady with a higher BMI than me and she was given IVF on the NHS as compensation because they had made a mistake during an operation on her husband!

It seems that receiving help from the NHS is becoming more and more of a lottery."


Understandably my friend feels completely let down by the system, and I have to say I agree with her.
Why should it matter if her partner has children from a previous relationship?  They don't live with them, and she is not their biological mother.
Why should she be refused the help to have her own children? Especially when it comes down to something as simple as where she lives!

She has now written to her local MP in the hope that she will be able to receive more support in her journey for herself and her husband to have children of their own.
Children that they long for and deserve.
Children that will be loved, cherished and cared for.

Why should they be refused the chance to have this?

Missy x

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