Karen's story

Updated: Apr 26

Karen, 40 one of The Fertility Circle co-founders shares her journey and discusses the experiences that led to using double donation to build her family.

Karen's Story 4.5 years, 2 x IUI, 4 x IVF, 2 x FET, 7 miscarriages

In my late twenties and early thirties when many of my friends were starting to have families I just wasn’t in the same place. But by the time I was 34 I felt more ready and after a few months I did get pregnant naturally. Amazing, right? That’s what I thought, especially as I’d had what I thought was my period two weeks earlier but despite that I was still getting positive test results. Turns out I was actually having an early miscarriage. This was the start of a painful and familiar pattern.

Although the first loss hit me hard, we’d only been trying for a short time so I picked myself up by going full steam into fertility mode and researched ways to naturally support fertility. I found a wonderful fertility acupuncturist, I tried meditating, I did fertility detoxes, yoga, you name it I probably tired it.

“you’re young, you have plenty of time, it will happen”

After months of giving it our all nothing was happening. Feeling frustrated we decided to have some investigations carried out to find out if there were any obvious issues. Then followed a long year of tests, appointments and waiting. For both myself and my partner basic testing suggested everything was normal. Why wasn’t it working then?! Patronisingly three different doctors gave me the “you’re young, you have plenty of time, it will happen” speech. This wasn’t what I needed to hear and I felt that my concerns weren’t being fully acknowledged.

We eventually moved onto fertility treatment starting with two rounds of IUI. The first didn’t work and the second was a chemical pregnancy. Then came the IVF rollercoaster!

Our first IVF cycle started well when I had 18 eggs collected but sadly by day 3 all we were left with were two poor quality embryos. The clinic transferred both embryos but didn’t give us much hope. I spent the two week wait devastated that it had all gone wrong but was shocked when I did get a positive result! Sadly, the excitement was short-lived and I miscarried just before five weeks. That cycle was a massive whirlwind of emotions, hope, fear, crushing disappointment then the same all over again. As tough as it was though my dream of having a family kept me going and I was determined not to give up.