Rivka called the helpline, bereft after suffering her second miscarriage. Her first pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 9 weeks and although the couple were very upset, they were somehow able to cope, having been reassured by her GP how common miscarriage is. Six months later and 12 weeks pregnant, she was devastated to miscarry again. The couple found it difficult to get support from friends and family as after their first experience, they had not shared the news that they were expecting. Their GP was apologetic, but told them that the NHS would only investigate after 3 recurrent miscarriages. They felt frustrated and angry and unsure how they would cope if indeed, it did happen again.
Result: A Chana support worker worked very closely with the couple to empower them to seek investigations through their GP, which they would otherwise not have known about, nor have been offered. Through Chana’s Medical Panel, our miscarriage specialist reassured the couple that they had explored all the necessary avenues. Throughout this time, they received counselling to help them cope with the losses they had suffered and with their concerns about future pregnancies.
Result: Chana was able to help towards the costs of preservation and storage. Both Joshua and his mother were reassured that in the future, Chana would support him and his wife through fertility treatments that may ensue.
Naomi and David came to Chana slightly hesitantly. They were already parents to a four year old son, Jacob. They had hoped to have a big family and were upset and confused as to why the second time round was proving so difficult and taking so long. Their son was also asking why he didn’t have a brother or sister like his friends and they did not know how to respond to him.
They called Chana after a disappointing appointment with their GP at their local NHS practice in which they were told that as they already had a child, they were not eligible for any investigations, testing or treatment under the NHS.
Result: Chana’s Scientific Advisor helped identify appropriate investigations. They had counselling which helped them manage their emotions. Although they had one child, their wish to add to their family was valid and warranted support. After many attempts at less invasive treatments, they realised that their only option was IVF. Chana supported them throughout this process and was also able to offer funding towards treatment. Unfortunately, the first attempt was unsuccessful; they both needed continued emotional support throughout this disappointing time. Chana contributed once more towards a second round of IVF, which was successful and their son was born last summer.
Michael and Ronit met each other in their late 20’s. They were happy to have found each other and excited about their future which they assumed would involve children. After a year of marriage Ronit was getting anxious so went to her GP, who was very understanding and sent her for various tests. These took time to do and for the results to come back, and in the meantime they were hopeful she would fall pregnant and it would have all been ‘worry for nothing’. She received the all clear after a few months of tests and the doctor then suggested the problem could lay with Michael. This was something they had not considered for a moment. Michael was a fit and healthy man, had never smoked and did not drink so this came as a huge shock. Michael had no one to talk to; Ronit had been open and honest with her mother and sister, but he didn’t feel he could talk to his family in the same way… That is when he saw an advert in the London Jewish News about a male support worker at Chana.
Result: He called the helpline straight away and it was reassuring to him to hear a male voice on the end of the phone; someone to whom he could speak about sensitive issues. Michael and Ronit were supported in talking about the impact this issue had on both of them, individually and as a couple. Michael went for tests which confirmed he had a fertility issue. On the basis of these results, he was referred to an Andrologist, a specialist in male reproductive health and was supported by a member of Chana’s Medical Panel. They achieved a successful outcome through ICSI: Intra Cytoplasmic Injection. They are now the proud parents of a daughter, and cannot thank Chana enough for their support.
Joanna and Avi came to Chana after struggling for 2 years with unexplained infertility. They contacted Chana’s helpline after becoming frustrated with the lack of a clear diagnosis.
Result: Joanne and Avi had weekly counselling sessions, during which a support worker helped them understand new medical terminology and the implications of testing procedures, whilst giving them emotional support to help ease the frustration of having an unexplained condition. They were given tools on how to support each other through this difficult time and how to lessen the impact of these challenges on them as a couple.
The sessions with their Chana support worker gave them an outlet during initial fertility treatments, and helped them come to terms with the necessity of opting for IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) after six months of unsuccessful procedures. Their first IVF treatment was successful, however, Joanna had a difficult pregnancy and continued regular sessions with her support worker, to help her cope with her anxieties. Eight months ago Joanna and Avi had a healthy baby daughter.
Daniel and Abby felt confident that they would be able to conceive a child and have a family. However, they also knew that any child they had would have a 25% chance of having Cystic Fibrosis, a devastating and life limiting condition they had seen Abby’s nephew struggle with. They had already been screened and knew that they were both carriers of the condition and wanted to avoid any child of theirs suffering in the same way. They were told by their GP that this could only be ensured via PGD, Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis and fertility treatment.
Result: A Chana support worker was able to guide them practically as to what the PGD would involve. Thereafter, the process was lengthy and difficult. The clinic needed approximately 12 months to prepare a bespoke genetic probe for the couple. Once this had been done they had to undergo IVF and then wait to see which, if any, embryo was suitable for implantation. Throughout this time Daniel and Abby received counselling from Chana, to help them come to terms with the fact that any children they had, needed to be conceived in such a clinical, invasive way. They also knew that however many embryos they produced, there was a chance that none would be suitable for transfer.