Tara and Wayne’s Story

My partner Wayne was diagnosed with Hashimoto disease at the age of 11. Hashimoto disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes an underactive thyroid. Around 2010, Wayne was having difficulty standing up without falling down – he felt extremely dizzy all of the time, and frequently suffered with migraines. He was sent to Kingsmill Hospital for tests. They discovered his adrenal gland and pituitary gland weren’t working properly, affecting his ability to produce testosterone. 

We believe this caused Wayne to have hypogonadism. He was then given testosterone gel to manage his symptoms. 

Trying for a baby

A few years later, we started trying for a baby. Nothing happened, so we reached out to our GP to get some help. Our GP started the referral process for fertility treatment, to try and help us achieve our dream of becoming parents.

Wayne’s sperm test came back, and we found out he had a sperm count of 0. The doctor told us that with that result, there was no way he would father a child. We were absolutely devastated. 

We could have given up there and then, but we wanted to understand more. 

Discovering the truth

We finally had a breakthrough. NUH Life fertility clinic explained that the issue was down to the medication that Wayne was on. It was effectively like a male version of the pill, and was causing his sperm count to be so low. We finally had an answer as to why his results had come back as zero! There was such a mixture of emotions – anger that no one had told him this before he was put on the medication, but overjoyed because we had hope! 

This news meant that Wayne had to come off the hormone replacement gel, knowing full well that this would make him ill. His sperm count would be monitored to see if it was rising, and we would discuss the road to go down once he had been reviewed. 

Our appointment came around, and his sperm count had improved. Although it was better, it wasn’t the best it could be. The team wanted us to be referred to a private clinic for IVF, as this would be our best chance of having a child.

A change of plan

I received a phone call from the clinic to let me know that my blood results for Rubella had come back. It turned out I wasn’t immune, so everything would have to be delayed until that was sorted. 

We then went to our appointment at the private clinic. They told us that Wayne’s sperm test was actually very good, and suggested going back to the NUH fertility unit to try three rounds of IUI before going for IVF.

We had one go at medicated IUI – and we became pregnant with our miracle baby. 

A little surprise

We were about to go through the procedure again – we had an appointment with NUH Life, and discussed how much the IUI would cost this time around as we already had a child. We made the decision to wait for a while and get Christmas out of the way. 

But then the unexpected happened. My period didn’t come in November, and I genuinely thought something was seriously wrong with me. It was impossible that I could be pregnant. I did a test anyway, because I knew the doctors would want to rule it out. 

The result came back positive, and we looked at each other in disbelief… how could this be this possible?! We realised it was down to Wayne – he hadn’t been taking his hormone replacement because he thought it had been giving him headaches.   

Now we have two beautiful children, aged 2 and 5 months, and we can’t thank the NUH Life fertility team enough for what they did for us at every stage. They even helped me get over the anxiety of falling pregnant naturally by offering us an early scan. The whole team was great, even the receptionists for consistently being so happy and positive. Everyone made us feel so comfortable.