"I wish I had PGT-A done right at the beginning of my ten-year fertility journey!"
When she got married, Romila was determined to have a baby before her 10th year wedding anniversary. She had no idea that it would take many years of fertility struggles to finally have her baby. Almost 10 years later, baby Hope is where she belongs, in her mother’s arms.
Here is Romila's beautiful story.
Romila’s IVF Journey
Unfortunately, Romila and her husband both had health conditions that made conceiving naturally a challenge. After a while, they decided to try an IVF treatment. “I had the first IVF treatment in 2012 at Hammersmith Hospital – a free NHS cycle, which didn’t work.” Romila's first IVF treatment was followed by two more, in 2013 and 2014. Again, unsuccessful. She then had to put her fertility journey on hold after her mother’s passing. “It was a really difficult time, lots of loss and feelings of failure,” she says.
Choosing Harley Street Fertility Clinic
In 2018, the couple decided to come to Harley Street Fertility Clinic, mainly due to its handy location. “We decided to go to Harley Street Fertility Clinic based on its central location – it allowed me to get to and from appointments easily. It was convenient, close to my place of work.”
Here, Romila had three rounds of fertility treatment. The first IVF treatment was successful, but it led to an ectopic pregnancy, which had to be terminated. The second time using IVF was also successful, but unfortunately, the couple found out that it was in an unknown location. “I had to have medication to end the pregnancy,” recalls Romila.
Third Time Lucky?
Romila and her husband didn’t give up. In the summer of 2019, they started their third round of fertility treatment with Harley Street Fertility Clinic and Dr Venkat. This time, they didn’t proceed with a fresh transfer and decided to freeze the embryos. “We decided to have the PGT-A done to make sure the embryos are normal. Dr Venkat also suggested to have one of my fallopian tubes clipped in advance of my treatment, and she also recommended an add-on treatment.” Romila stated that these were certainly possible reasons that the treatment worked so well. “Freezing the embryos allowed me to have immunotherapy, intralipids and other treatment alongside it,” she says.
In February of that year, around the time of Romila’s husband’s 40th birthday, she had a positive pregnancy test. An early birthday present? Unfortunately not — problems seemed to follow Romila on her quest to have a baby. When she checked her HCG levels (the hormone produced by a woman in her early pregnancy) at the clinic, it was 51 instead of the desired 100. “The level was even lower than in all my previous unsuccessful pregnancies. Rachael, the nurse, told me to come back in 48 hours as it might be double.” Unfortunately, Romila's HCG level only increased to 57. She remembers thinking, “Forget it, it’s not going to work. Game over.”
Romila then stopped her treatment completely, including her immunotherapy, and accepted the fact that this ray of hope was no different to her previous ones. However, despite all of this, there was still part of her that didn’t want to give up just yet...
On her next visit to the NHS hospital, Romila had an amazing surprise. “There’s something in your womb,” a nurse told her. Romila thought it couldn't be true. She was called back two weeks later for confirmation, and it was good news. “I didn’t believe it until I was three months into my pregnancy. When I got to 21 weeks, I told my husband I was pregnant!”
PGT-A and Embryos
During her ten-year fertility battle and her entire fertility treatment journey, this was the first time that Romila checked the embryos for abnormalities using PGT-A. “I had 4 embryos and 2 came back normal. Not the best-looking or the biggest, just a normal 3 BB,” says Romila. With both Romila and her husband having fertility issues, they needed the reassurance that the embryo was normal.
The HSFC Staff
“I did three treatments at Harley Street Fertility Clinic and all three times I fell pregnant – that says something!"
Talking about the staff, Romila said, “The nurses went out of their way to support us. During the first treatment (2018), there was a nurse called Nicola – I owe her a lot, she went above and beyond.” Romila also mentioned our other nursing team members: “Tanya, Margherita and Rachael… they all knew my history."
Romila says that Dr Venkat did ‘everything that could be done’. “She was honest about what would work and wouldn’t. Especially this time, we requested the embryo to be placed lower down. She also recommended us an add-on treatment and to have my fallopian tube clipped.”
A message for other women
Romila also mentioned that having PGT-A gave the couple the certainty that they were doing things right. “If you need to seek treatment, seek treatment! Don’t give up hope! It’s worth having the PGT-A done because we didn’t do that before. It gave us certainty that at least what we were putting in were normal, the chromosomes were fine.”
“I wish I had the PGT-A testing right at the beginning of my IVF treatment!”, says Romila.
When Romila was married, she always wished to have a baby before her ten-year anniversary in November 2020. Baby Hope was born in October 2020, a month before her personal deadline!
Who said wishes don’t come true? Whether you have to wait one year, two years or ten, miracles do happen — with a bit of scientific help from our professionals at Harley Street Fertility Clinic.
The patient's name was changed.
You can find out out more about PGT-A, time-lapse technology, embryos and implantation, from our "Choosing the best embryo" webinar.