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May 14, 2020

Our family: Charlotte - part 1. The beginning of her fertility journey with HSFC

“Inspiring people who are overweight to seek fertility treatments”



Charlotte started her fertility journey with Harley Street Fertility Clinic in 2019. She is 34, and her partner is 43. They’ve been together almost 2 years and wanted to plan for a family just over a year ago. They tried to conceive the natural way, but nothing happened and she was worried that her body weight was causing fertility problems.

Listen to Charlotte's podcast here:

“As I was getting older we were thinking that maybe I should freeze my eggs, or looking at other fertility options,” says Charlotte. “We sat down and looked at different clinics.” In the end, they decided to choose Harley Street Fertility Clinic.

“We liked how they detailed how the treatment would commence, payment options. We came for a consultation and we decided this was the best clinic for us.” They were going for IVF, and Charlotte explains that “I am undergoing treatment where they would collect my eggs, fertilise them and then implant the embryos. I am on injections at the moment and it seems to be going well.” *


The staff at HSFC

Charlotte praises all the staff but she has some particular names she would like to mention. “The nurses here are very kind. Bernie and Margherita. When I first started the injections, they watched me do it and talked me through it which was very calming. My partner was also in the room with me, encouraging me. When you come for your appointment, even if you think it’s just for 20 minutes or half hour, it’s good to bring someone with you, for that moral support, or maybe they have questions you don’t think about as you worry about injections,” continues Charlotte.


Emotional  and physical aspects

Speaking of the changes that the injection brought to her, Charlotte “noticed a bit of bloating, and also my breast area is tingly”. As for her follicles, she said, “at every scan, Dr. Venkat reassures me they are growing well.”

What about the mood and feelings? Charlotte noticed mood swings  since starting her injections. “My partner is aware, he is very helpful. I try to concentrate on something else, I read a book or take our dog out for a walk.” Charlotte confesses that she is going through a mix of emotions. “I am going through a mixture of feelings, I am feeling scared, anxious, excited. I have to make sure I take the injections at the same time. It’s like when you have a goal and try to reach it, and it’s not just jumping to the end goal, but the process that takes you there. It’s going to be loops and turns, but it’s great to have my partner with me. A mixture of anxious and excitement,” Charlotte concludes.


The partner

Charlotte’s partner is very blasé and straightforward. “My partner simply says, ‘We’ll come here, have treatment, have a bay at the end of it.’ He is very supportive, but obviously we, the females, are going through it.”

Charlotte’s advice for other partners who are undertaking IVF treatment is: “Try to be there for her. Try to understand. Take yourself away from her sometimes. Be as supportive as you can.”

Charlotte knows that some appointments can’t be attended by partners. “Today my partner is not here with me but he is checking on me if I’m ok.  He is doing very well through the process, but it’s obviously different for women. It’s the mother’s role to nurture. We are going through emotions now, and the end goal is to have a baby.”

The fact that they are planning a baby brought them closer. “It’s sweet and we are planning something together, we are planning a child. It has brought us closer together. Obviously we are not going through things blindly, we know the ups and downs, we know what could go wrong. We know people can do it by themselves, if they are not in a relationship. I think it’s better if they can bring someone with them.”


Dr. Venkat

When asked about Dr. Venkat, Charlotte smiles and simply says, “I would like to say ‘Thank you!’ to Dr. Venkat. From the first, initial consultation, she sat down with us, explained everything, we were new to this. She was so friendly, calm, able to detail everything with us. She’s been so very helpful though my scans that I had, she talks me through, shows me and explains what’s on the monitors. She’s very professional, calm, she knows her job and we do feel safe under her care.”


Sharing her fertility journey with other people

It is incredibly kind of Charlotte and her partner to share their fertility journey to inspire others seeking fertility treatments and we are ever so thankful!

“When I first started researching I was looking for people in a similar situation like me. We went on youtube, or websites. This is a private, personal journey that everyone is going through. I am an overweight fertility patient. I have tried to join a community online, people in a similar position as myself. There might be other people who are probably in the same position as me, who’ve been told you can’t get pregnant or you cannot go through the treatment because of your size. There are ways. Eat healthily, drink lots of water, take vitamins. I started to read books, one I have with me today, “Fat and fertile”. I know I would be a niche market  for your podcast but I am happy to share with you.”

Charlotte feels Harley Street Fertility Clinic’s podcast is a great way of raising awareness for different issues that might affect people’s fertility journey.

“You are building a community where people can come and find information which is great.”

“I would love to bring the baby here, once I get to that point. I am looking forward to getting to that stage and sharing some more,” concludes Charlotte.


*The interview was recorded in December 2019. We caught up with Charlotte last week and we have some great news we will share with you soon, as her journey with HSFC continues.


If you would like to start your fertility journey, why not take the first step and book a remote fertility check up? We would love to hear from you. Call us on 020 4538 8634 or email us on