Hitchin couple discuss IVF success during Fertility Awareness Week

Caroline and Ari conceived Dylan on their first round of IVF treatment. Picture: Courtesy of Carolin

Caroline and Ari conceived Dylan on their first round of IVF treatment. Picture: Courtesy of Caroline Alexandrou - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin couple have spoken about their troubles conceiving and IVF success to mark Fertility Awareness Week.

After years of trying for a baby, Caroline Alexandrou and her husband Ari are urging anyone struggling to get pregnant to “not be embarrassed and seek help”.

Ten years ago, at the age of 30, Caroline was diagnosed with a benign tumour on her pituitary gland, which mimics some symptoms of pregnancy and can cause fertility issues.

After meeting Ari four years later, she explained early on that she may have trouble conceiving.

Caroline said: “I was one of the last of my friends to have a baby. I was getting older and older and thought that my time was running out.

“We started trying for a family before we got married, but once we were married we took it more seriously and it all got a bit obsessive with calendar-checking.

“By the time we went to see the GP to ask for help I was 38.

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“We were incredibly lucky because at the time we were eligible for three NHS-funded rounds of IVF but I don’t think that would be the case now.”

The couple were referred for treatment at Bourn Hall in Cambridge – the world’s first IVF clinic – and Caroline fell pregnant at the first attempt with son Dylan, who was born just one month before her 40th birthday.

“Bourn Hall told us that we had one ‘top-notch’ embryo and that turned out to be Dylan,” Caroline continued.

“He is a healthy and happy little boy – and we are both utterly besotted with him.

“There is so much that can be done to help people struggling to get pregnant, so I would advise them to not be embarrassed and to seek help sooner rather than later.

“It might be that some simple lifestyle changes could help you to conceive naturally and – if it turns out that you need fertility treatment – the younger you are, the better.”

To help people who are trying to start a family gain access to early advice, Bourn Hall is offering free consultations with a fertility nurse specialist and half-price fertility health and wellbeing tests.

During Fertility Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday, Bourn Hall is also holding a free fertility fair at its Cambridge clinic on Saturday.

For more information about the fair and about Bourn Hall’s half price fertility health and wellbeing checks go to www.bournhall.co.uk.

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