No one would take Michaela’s secondary infertility seriously, but then Dr Nick Raine-Fenning at TFP Nurture Fertility found a cyst on one of her ovaries.
Dr Nick Raine-Fenning is a fertility specialist, surgeon, and a medical director at TFP Fertility. He has more than 15 years of experience in fertility care.
Family means everything to Michaela, 32, from Derby. With a dozen siblings and a career at a nursery, she’s been surrounded by children and babies her whole life.
Michaela had always taken it for granted that she’d have babies easily and when her first child, Cole, arrived she was overjoyed.
But after seven years of trying for a second child, there was still no brother or sister for her little boy.
Those seven years were hard on Michaela. Working as a baby room supervisor meant she saw families grow all around her.
“Some days, it was hard to put a smile on,” she says.
Michaela and David had sought advice from their GP, but basic tests had failed to identify any problems and Michaela was told simply to be patient.
Whilst she worked hard at the nursery, in her private life she was carefully monitoring when she was ovulating and trying every trick she could think of to conceive.
With David turning 40 and Michaela in her 30s, the couple felt they had to explore IVF.
More than anything, they wanted their little boy Cole, now ten, to have a brother or sister.
With no NHS funding available for secondary infertility, the couple knew they would have to invest in IVF themselves.
They looked online and found a couple of clinics local to them.
The first clinic they visited didn’t feel right – but then they found TFP Nurture Fertility.
Michaela says: “We went to an open evening, and everyone was so welcoming. When we got in the car afterwards, we both said that this was the one.”
Almost immediately, Dr Fenning and staff at the clinic discovered what had been contributing to Michaela’s infertility.
A scan identified a 10cm Dermoid cyst on the right-hand side of her uterus.
Michaela was amazed. She’d had regular periods and no pain.
The cyst was removed in hospital, along with one of her fallopian tubes.
Michaela went home to rest, then five months later she returned to TFP Nurture Fertility to begin IVF.
IVF began with a ‘short protocol’ approach. This involved just three weeks of medication ahead of egg collection.
Seven eggs were collected, six were fertilised and five grew into healthy blastocysts.
One of these was transferred, and a month later Michaela was pregnant with a baby boy, Harley.
A dermoid cyst is a lump growing on the ovary, made of egg cells. It’s not cancer and it doesn’t always cause infertility, but it can grow very large and need to be removed.
“Secondary infertility can be puzzling and upsetting,” says Dr Fenning.
“And in Michaela’s case, with doctors telling her that she was young and should just relax, it would have been frustrating, too.”
“Michaela had a very large cyst which had taken over her ovary - it would have potentially made IVF and any subsequent pregnancy very complex with increased risks. It had to be removed.”
“We are so pleased that we were able to help Michaela and David complete their family,” he says.
When people ask Michaela about the seven-year age gap between her two boys, she tells them that’s just how their life is.
She never expected it to be such a struggle, but she’s grown as a person and now just takes each day as it comes, enjoying every moment with her family.
And when Harley was just a few weeks old, Michaela and David brought him into our clinic for a visit.
“We always had such a warm feeling here,” said Michaela. “We wanted to bring Harley back to where our journey began.”
We’re here if you have worries or questions about your fertility, or want to explore treatment options. Get in touch today and speak to a fertility expert.
Dr Fenning is a surgeon and fertility consultant specialising in subfertility, which is when couples have struggled to conceive naturally for more than one year.
He has more than 15 years of experience and is a medical director at the TFP Burton Fertility Clinic.
He is highly active in his field, having published over 100 scientific papers, and serving on the board of multiple renowned fertility committees.