This is IVF and our experience
Updated: Aug 2
Yes it’s that time of year again.....IVF injections.
There are many misconceptions surrounding IVF and what is involved. Our Calon Law Directors have personal experience of both IVF and Surrogacy. Most are lucky enough to not have to go through such an experience. Many also experience negativity, lack of support and even hostility from friends, family and employers. It is vital for any IVF journey to be surrounded by a positive support network as stress is often the biggest factor in a successful IVF cycle. Sadly, it is all too common for employers to have no sympathy or understanding to women going through IVF.
Often IVF is not talked about. There are feelings of shame, vulnerability and/or weakness. It is the fear that keep us from reaching out for support from friends and family who cannot understand the difficulties with IVF. There are support groups both online and in local areas but often that in itself can be intimidating. Opening up to strangers takes a confidence that not all people have.
So, what is involved?
Usually there are daily injections, sometimes of more than one a day. This can be spread over many weeks leaving the woman's abdomen looking sore and bruised. The injections will encourage the follicles to grow to up to 20mm in size each, and there could be up to 20 per cycle. So understandably many feel bloated and sore during this stage. This can be stressful, especially if you are afraid of needles. Sadly, it is the only way.
Then there is the Egg Collection. It is an operation held at the fertility clinic where they will extract the follicles whilst the woman is under anaesthetic. After a short time, she is then able to return home to recover. The clinic will then, on agreement with the patients, fertilise the egg using either IVF (the sperm is simply left in the petri dish to let nature take its course) or ICSI (a single sperm is injected directly into the egg).
Now the stress really begins. Not every follicle will contain an egg and not every egg will fertilise. It is common for 15 eggs to result from a cycle, but maybe only 1 or 2 will fertilise and reach the ideal day 5 blastocyst stage. The embryos are then either implanted back into the patient, or frozen for future use.
There is also the possibility that after many thousands of pounds, and much stress, there will be no embryo at the end of the treatment. It is hard to describe how this feels. It feels like a huge loss. The loss of hope. The loss of a possible future child. Now the grieving process begins. This is where employers need to be more understanding. Whether single or in a couple, all those involved need some time and space to come to terms with the result of the IVF. The employers can help with this.
We at Calon Law wanted to share our personal experiences of IVF to show that we understand that not all families are made equal. Sometimes it takes many years to get where we are so desperate to reach. This is especially true with Surrogacy. Sadly, not all will achieve their dream. We here at Calon Law will understand, and should you need our help with any of the services we provide, you can rest assured we will treat you with kindness and compassion. We can help to advise you on the technicalities of fertility treatment and Surrogacy law.