Fertility #2

Sunday, June 7, 2020

My last fertility post was back on March 1st and although there hasn't been much progress due to Coronavirus, we have managed to have a couple of appointments since then. As I left it from the last blog post - we had both had blood tests at our first consultation and then I was booked in for a ultrasound, we were then both booked in for another consultation for all of our results in one. A few bumps along the way but both of these appointments went ahead in some form so for the purpose of journaling our journey and updating anyone who's following - I thought I'd pop it in another post.

Transvaginal ultrasound - Thursday 26th March

So, lockdown was announced for the UK on Monday 23rd March and honestly, I didn't think my appointment would end up going ahead. I called early on in the week to ask if I was still expected to go in and the lady reassured me that social distancing measures had already been put in place and they were still ready for me on the Thursday. Even with reassurance I was still sceptical and as my appointment wasn't until the afternoon, I actually called again on Thursday morning just to check as the hospital is quite a drive from where we live - during this phone call they also changed our consultant appointment for all results to a telephone appointment. 

Before the appointment I was absolutely terrified as it was and everything was made worse by lockdown - everywhere was like a ghost town and I had to go into my appointment alone. I went into the Gynaecology unit and was sat there for barely 5 minutes before I was taken down for my ultrasound - I couldn't even tell you how many times I sanitized my hands. I must admit it was pretty hard sat in the next waiting room as I was with all the pregnant ladies waiting for their ultrasounds (2m apart of course) but I managed to keep my composure. The ultrasound itself was so easy and nothing to worry about after all. I was shown to a locked room to strip my bottom half and then was given a sheet to wrap around me to get to the ultrasound bed. Luckily for me, I had been smart and worn a floaty midi dress so it didn't feel too weird. There were 2 ladies in the room with me, one doing the ultrasound and then one who I'm assuming was kind of like a chaperone. I must admit the whole experience was pretty weird wiggling my bare bum to the bottom of the couch but the ultrasound itself was pain free and comparable (for me) to a smear test. Once done, I was sent back to the locked room to clean off and get dressed and then on my way. The ladies had brilliant poker faces and I couldn't get any info from them at the time unfortunately. The whole appointment was really quite fine though and I can honestly say I was sat in the waiting rooms longer than I was having the ultrasound.

Consultation - Tuesday 7th April

Our appointment was scheduled for 3pm and to my surprise the phone rang at 2:45pm - it was a lady telling me our consultant had gone home so she was cancelling our appointment. At first I was taken aback and nearly just said ok and put the phone down but Kallum said 'ask her if we can have our results anyway'. The lady put us through to the consultants secretary and I explained the situation and she was so confused - she wasn't aware the consultant had gone home and told us to bare with her and she would call us back because she felt that something wasn't right. 10 minutes later she called and said our consultant hadn't gone home, a registrar had, so we could still have our call but just 40 minutes later than expected. 

Our consultant called and although he sounded very stressed himself - he gave us all of our results as we hoped. Kallum is not CF carrier and his Chromosome Analysis also came back normal. My AMH levels were apparently normal and he said my womb etc looked perfect on the ultrasound. He explained to us that the next step would be SSR so our next appointment would be a paperwork appointment and then the next one the SSR appointment itself. Our consultant estimated a 40-50% chance that they will be able to find sperm which we are quite positive about as it feels as fair as a flip of a coin. With the pandemic clinics were unfortunately told to postpone treatments meaning nothing else was scheduled in and it was a waiting game until it was deemed safe to reopen but none the less we were quite relieved after our phone call as it could have definitely gone a lot worse.

On 11th May it was announced that clinics could apply to the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority to reopen and could be accepted should they have a sufficient safety plan in place. Our clinic was added to this authorised list Friday 22nd which means, slowly they should be able to start treating patients again and we can all hopefully get back on track. At the moment though, there is still no date released as to when that will be and I have no doubt in my mind that there will still be a bit of a wait while they sort staffing, PPE and the backlog that I'm sure has accumulated. I do however feel happier knowing that they at least have the go ahead which means it will be quicker than if they didn't.

Once we are back on track, the rest of the treatment will solely be relying on how successful the SSR is - but either way we will have options. Any future updates may also be delayed depending on how certain appointments and steps go. Unfortunately with infertility all element of surprise goes out of the window so we will have to both decide how we plan to handle it. I am very keen on keeping up with the blog posts and possibly even starting a YouTube though, in view of helping others as well as it being documented for us.

SSR - Surgical Sperm Retrieval
CF - Cystic Fibrosis

(All information in the blog post above is as correct as I know it to be in our area and situation)

Disclaimer: This blog post is in no way sponsored and all opinions and photographs are my own.


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