" I am so thankful to Dr Venkat to be sitting here now, 13 weeks pregnant"
The heartbreak that some of our patients experience before they embark on an assisted fertility journey cannot be put into words. At HSFC, we understand that it takes great courage, resilience and determination to keep going and seek answers - and we always do everything in our power to ensure that our hopeful parents always get what they deserve.
Today’s blog is about our lovely patient Natalie, who was diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and knew from the very beginning that she would have problems getting pregnant. After several failed attempts to conceive naturally, Natalie and her partner decided to proceed with IVF at another clinic. They had 4 frozen embryos, but a few months later, Natalie had a miscarriage. This led her to start researching potential underlying causes of miscarriages.
Finding HSFC through our Patients' Stories
Natalie tells us that she started to read a number of patient blogs on our website, which helped her to understand the underlying issues that can lead to miscarriages.
“If it wasn’t for the blogs, the social media and other women being so open about these issues, I wouldn’t have been in the position I am now. I would have probably experienced more losses,” says Natalie.
We asked Natalie about how she eventually chose HSFC, and she said: “I only read positive results and positive feedback, and I had a look online at success stories.” From there, Natalie and her partner decided to book a consultation with Dr Venkat. In particular, they were interested in learning more about the 'Natural Killer Cells' (NKC) Natalie had read about online.
Natalie and Dr Venkat agreed they should have more in-depth tests: “The results of the tests showed that I had elevated Natural Killer Cells, and I also had minor blood clotting issues. It was good in a way to find an underlying issue so we were pleased that something had been pinpointed.”
A personalised Fertility Plan
Following on from the blood tests, Dr Venkat put together a plan for Natalie and her partner. A few weeks later, at the beginning of 2021, the couple returned to the old clinic and had an embryo transfer - but this time they had the support of Dr Venkat, as well as different medication, injections and intralipids at HSFC before the transfer. “We got a positive result, and it has to be down to the immune programme that was set up by HSFC.”
Natalie is now 13 weeks pregnant and will have treatment with the HSFC until 28 weeks. “Every month I have intralipids to suppress NKC, and since February I’ve been taking daily steroids and blood thinning injections. I’ve been going to HSFC weekly for progesterone.”
Nicola Manashe’s inspirational blogs
Our patient Nicola Manashe and her partner Alex Reid decided to blog their fertility journey with HSFC. This was a real inspiration to Natalie, who admits it was Nicola’s blog that made her look up HSFC online. Nicola went above and beyond to raise awareness about Natural Killer Cells, and even set up a WhatsApp group where she encourages other women throughout their fertility journeys.
“If it weren't for Nicola’s blog, I would never have heard about this. I am so thankful to Dr Venkat to be sitting here now, 13 weeks pregnant,” says Natalie.
Praise for our team
Natalie gives a special mention to Joana and Steven at the reception: "They are lovely, so helpful.” She doesn’t forget to mention our nursing team, of course: “So lovely and so supportive. Any questions that I’ve had, they always answer them, even in the evening after the clinic has closed."
When asked about Dr Venkat, Natalie compares her to a Fairy Godmother! “She is really good at putting your mind at rest, talking you through the plan. She makes you believe everything will be alright.”
A message for other women
Natalie has a strong message for other people going through similar fertility journeys: “Please don’t give up, even if you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. We were in that position, we wanted to give up and not carry on. If you have experienced multiple losses, I would really recommend investing in blood tests. I truly believe this is the only way of finding out what is wrong.”
Natalie also recommends talking with other women and couples, as this is a helpful way of finding out answers to some questions. "We take it day by day, but every day is a blessing that we get through, considering where we were 6 months ago, mentally, to where we are now…”
We wish Natalie the very best of luck with the rest of her fertility journey – although maybe they won't need it now that they have The Fairy Godmother on their side!
If you were inspired by Natalie’s story, please read other successful stories on our blog.
To take a look at all of our fertility treatments, please visit this page.