We started trying to conceive in January of 2015and found that after 9 months we were not successful. We began investigations in September with our GP which included blood tests and a semen analysis, both of which came back within normal limits. I was convinced that there was a problem and asked to be referred to a fertility clinic at that point.
Our first meeting with the fertility clinic was in November of 2015 and initial investigations revealed that I had a low antral follicle count of 6. I was warned that this was indicative of a diminished ovarian reserve and advised to get an AMH test to investigate further. The AMH result came back at 5.9 which I was told is low for my age (I was 35 at the time). Overall the clinic advised that due to a diminished ovarian reserve, we were unlikely to conceive naturally and our best option was to pursue IVF as soon as possible. We took this advice and began a long protocol IVF cycle in January 2016. My response to medication on this attempt was poor, only one egg was retrieved. We made it to transfer but the cycle was unsuccessful. I found the experience to be extremely traumatic but was determined to try again.
In July 2016 we attempted a second cycle of IVF, this time using a short protocol. This attempt was abandoned before egg collection due to disparate growth of follicles and we converted to an IUI cycle which was again unsuccessful. We decided then to have one final attempt at IVF in November of 2016. This cycle was more promising, with 11 eggs collected. However it also ended with failure and we had no embryos to freeze.
At this point we were emotionally and financially exhausted. We were advised by the clinic that there was likely a problem with not just the quantity of the eggs but also the quality. The clinic were happy to try another cycle but gave an estimated likelihood of success at just 10%. We had been through enough and decided that if we were to pursue IVF again it would be with donor egg and not for a few years.
I had heard about Siobhan through friends but felt that our problems were greater than anything that herbal medicine could help with. I was very skeptical about alternative medicine and felt that time was running out for me and I couldn’t waste any on this type of approach. However, by January 2017 I was no longer interested in pursuing western medicine and felt I needed time to get my head around the possibility of building a family through third party routes such as egg donation or adoption. I decided to give Siobhan’s methods a try as I had lost faith in IVF and felt I should be doing something.
I was prescribed herbs which were boiled and drank twice a day. I also contacted a nutritionist who advised a wheat, sugar and dairy free diet. I was religious about taking my herbs but the dietary changes I gave myself some leeway. Overall I found this approach to be virtually stress free. After a year of invasive tests, huge financial stress and emotional trauma- it was refreshing to just get on with life without having to constantly book appointments and inject hormones. I was feeing good, eating relatively well and finally able to think about other aspects of my life.
My cycles immediately lengthened by 2 days to 27 day cycles and less than 4 months after our first visit, we were holding a positive pregnancy test. I am still pinching myself that this has happened. I truly believed that any power this type of medicine has is due to the belief that participants have in effectiveness. I have been proved wrong, thank God. Nobody can know for sure what changed that made it possible for us to conceive but I certainly believe that we are unlikely to be in this position without Siobhan’s help. I only wish I had tried this approach first and saved myself a lot of heartache and a lot of money. I am extremely grateful for the help Siobhan has given to me and I hope that our story gives some hope to other couples who are going through the horrible, lonely and heartbreaking journey now.