"IVF Treatment"

About: Ipswich Hospital / Gynaecology Suffolk PCT

(as the patient),

My husband and I had tests as I was unable to get pregnant after 5 years of trying. I already have a son from a previous marriage. Our GP advised us that my husband had such a low sperm count that we would not be able to have a baby without medical intervention. He referred us to Ipswich hospital. My husband was told that he had a varicocele and he would require an operation to remove it. He was told that this was his only option as we were not entitled to IVF as I already have a son. They told us that this should improve his sperm count and so he had the keyhole surgery. Following the procedure my husband got an infection in his stomach and ended up back in hospital and off work for a number of weeks. He had tests on his sperm again and we went back to the hospital for the results, We were told there had been no change in his sperm count and that was the end of that.

We went back to see our GP who referred us back to the fertility specialist at Ipswich Hospital for a follow-up appointment as he felt we had been left in limbo. We saw one of our consultant's understudies and was advised that we would not get any IVF treatment as I already have a son and we would be discharged. I broke down into tears and my husband got angry as he felt he had been through a lot for nothing. The understudy didn't know what else to say and went off to get the consultant. They told us that there was no NHS funding as we did not meet the eligibility criteria due to me already having a son. I told him that my husband has no children of his own and they said if they had a pot of money they would give us the treatment but they hadn't.

I went back to work that afternoon and did nothing but cry. I had the next day off and luckily my work were fantastic. That day I sat at home and trawled the internet trying to find some answers. I looked on the East of England NHS website and found their IVF funding criteria. There was a paragraph that struck me instantly. It said that if you and your partner didn't have any children together and your partner had not adopted your child then you were entitled to funding. I printed it off and my husband drove to the GP surgery and gave it to our GP who was already writing to the NHS panel. A month or so later our GP telephoned my husband at work to tell him that we had got the funding!! We had 3 attempts at the IVF ICSI and I fell pregnant on our second attempt. We have a beautiful, perfect little boy who is loved and spoilt beyond belief. I'm glad that we have got to where we are now but I can still feel the pain and upset caused by the fertility consultant at the hospital. I cannot be more grateful to my GP and tell him every time I see him!

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