Infertility and PCD seems to go hand in hand for some, and it’s the same story for my own journey navigating a rare condition. Being told at 21 years old that having a baby might be difficult was something I just put to the back of my mind, I wasn’t ready for that to be something to worry about at such a young age. Fast forward to approaching thirty, in a serious relationship and the thought of being a parent started to cross my mind. I started the conversations with my specialist as soon as possible and she referred me to the fertility team to begin asking questions and testing as well as understanding how PCD would be a factor in starting any fertility treatment.
Eventually two years after those initial consultations, we finally got that long awaited letter to begin our treatment. The doctor discussed our options with us, and it was determined that ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) was the best thing moving forward. We started our paperwork quite quickly, which is a lengthy process of filling in online forms, watching how to videos and lots of hope for something that would really change our lives.
In our first official appointment we were given a giant bag of medication and sent on our way to begin taking the medications, which is a lot (A LOT) of injections, as well as the many appointments up and down to the hospital for scans to check how my eggs were looking. Eventually we were given our appointment to get the egg retrieval done so our eggs could be sent off to get fertilised and the wait began. The egg retrieval was reasonably straight forward, I was put under anaesthetic for around 30 mins, and then woke up for tea, toast and sent on my way. We were told to wait for our team to contact us to see how our eggs were doing.
We ended up with 9 eggs collected, which was an okay amount though we would have loved more to give us a better chance of having good eggs for implantation. After a few scary days we were told that sadly only one of our eggs was strong enough to be put back in. For anyone undergoing fertility treatment or considering it, my number one top tip – have a good team around you, because its hard going, mentally and physically and not just for you but also your partner.
My partner was allowed to join me for the fertilised egg to be placed back in, and we watched with our fingers crossed, pineapple socks on (if you know, you know!) and full of hope for what could potentially have been a moment we watched our future child begin growing! Sadly, it wasn’t our time, and we lost our embryo, but I don’t regret taking the opportunity to try. This was our one free go at doing fertility treatment, and we elected not to go through with any private treatment.
There are moments in my life when having PCD feels unfair, although thankfully these days are few and far between because I refuse to let my chronic illness take over my life. I’ll admit that this was a time where I just thought, I wish I didn’t have PCD but it wasn’t meant to be and I’m a firm believer in what’s meant for you, won’t pass you by.
- names have been changed to protect the identity of the writer