“The doctor said I was peri-menopausal,” says WS, who would prefer to remain anonymous. “I was ovulating, but the follicles were empty most of the time. He told me that my chance of getting pregnant was less than one per cent.”
Ever since her first child was born in 2009, WS has been trying for another. Doctors told WS that her levels of a hormone called AMH, which is released by eggs, were way below normal. One of her ovaries looked shrunken, and was no longer ovulating.
She was advised to try IVF as quickly as she could. “I had six rounds of IVF over two years,” says WS. “At the beginning I was full of hope, but after the third attempt, you start crying and questioning yourself.”
After the sixth attempt, WS was advised to give up on trying to have a baby using her own eggs, and to consider egg donation instead. “We were really done with IVF then,” says WS. “We sold all of the baby stuff.”
But last year, WS came across an article about an experimental fertility treatment, offered by a clinic in Greece. At the Genesis Athens Clinic, Kostantinos Sfakianoudis and his colleagues draw blood from a patient, centrifuge it to isolate plasma that is rich in platelets, and then inject it into the woman’s own ovaries or uterus. The team think the treatment has rejuvenating properties.
WS flew to Athens, where she paid a thousand Euros for the treatment, which was completed in a day. She returned to the clinic the next day so the team could check for any problems, before flying back home.
Back in Germany, WS went back to a local fertility clinic for a last attempt at IVF. When she told her doctors about the treatment she’d undergone in Greece, they laughed. But the IVF produced three follicles – including one from her previously defunct ovary.
One of the eggs was in particularly good shape. This egg was fertilised, and the embryo was re-implanted a few days later. “I was somehow full of hope,” WS recalls. “I had never had a good quality egg before.”
WS is now 23 weeks pregnant. “I feel special,” she says. “To me, it’s a miracle I got pregnant. We’re really happy. It’s a girl.”
Read more about the experimental treatment WS and more than a hundred other women have tried.
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