This session is best suited to those who have been trying to conceive for 6-12 months or have suffered one pregnancy loss.
During this three hour session you will hear Jessica and Dr Lyuda talk about topics including
- Debunking fertility myths including BMI, ‘what ‘ageing’ eggs actually means, and what you can do about it. Male testing to consider, apart from just a semen analysis
- Learn about alternative approaches to common gynaecological and health conditions that may impact your fertility, because IVF is not the only solution or treatment option to consider.
- Gain a deeper understanding of how health conditions, hormone imbalance and nutrient deficiencies could be playing into your odds of pregnancy success
- Tracking your cycle and internal environment checks
- Basic testing you should begin with and what to look out for in the results
- Diet & Lifestyle to improve your chances of conceiving
- How best to prepare for IUI/IVF/ICSI if it is required
- What to expect at you first fertility clinic appointment
- IUI, IVF and ICSI explained
- How to pick the right clinic and doctor for you
There will be a tea break and then this will be followed with a Q&A session.
This session is best suited to those who have been trying to conceive for over a year, those that have suffered recurrent miscarriages, unexplained/secondary infertility or would be categorised as complex cases.
During this three hour session you will hear Dr Lyuda talk about topics including
- Unexplained infertility
- Chronic sperm factor fertility issues e.g., option of MACS/PICSI plate
- Anatomical issues such as uterine anomalies
- Recurrent miscarriage reasons & treatment protocols
- Recurrent unsuccessful implantation
- Immune issues and specialised treatments such as LAD/LIT
- Advanced testing of endometrium function - assessing ideal timing of implantation, checking for infections or bacterial imbalance
- Other factors which could be causing your issues including Thrombophilia, Genetic factors/karyotyping
- Conceiving over 40
- Premature ovarian insufficiency
- Sperm or egg donation
Jessica will then focus on how to provide adjunctive support so that there is an integrated approach in treatment. Jessica’s topics will include:
- Is it really unexplained?Common test markers that are overlooked, standard v's optimal ranges for fertility, meaning of AMH testing in isolation, secondary fertility struggles - key features
- Sperm support-e.g., alternate approaches to elevated sperm DNA fragmentation, investigations and protocols to consider
- Recurrent miscarriage- it's not just about the egg, discussion of combined complex factors and case examples.
- Immune issues - Hashimoto’s - discussion of diet & lifestyle protocols, Natural methods for immune modulation- i.e., running alongside medication protocols, Importance of gut health for immune support, The importance of uterine & vaginal microbiome- subclinical infections, endometritis etc.
- Thrombophilia- supporting blood flow via diet, lifestyle and supplementation
- Impact of secondary health conditions & certain medications on fertility potential
- Nutrition & best practice if over 40 - e.g., Epigenetics and mitochondria, Follicular fluid components etc.
- Stories of hope
There will be a tea break and then this will be followed with a Q&A session.
Hello, my name is Caragh Trenier. I’m mum to 3 little loves. Our journey to have our family started out really well. Thankfully we were really lucky with our first two children as we got pregnant without too long a wait and they arrived healthy and safe. But then trying to get pregnant with our third child completely changed everything.
After a year of trying we finally got pregnant. It felt like the longest wait but we were finally there. All was going well. We had a scan at 6.5 weeks and another at 10 weeks and our beautiful baby was thriving and well. We went in for a scan at 12 weeks and my world was turned upside-down. Our heart broke when we saw the still and lifeless little being on the screen. I knew straight away that things weren’t right. The consultant confirmed that our little one had passed. We were beyond devastated. Both of us sobbing leaving the office and having to go off with our daily lives. It just didn’t seem right. My husband had to go back to work and I went to do school pick up. In shock and numbed by it all.
We had already planned this little ones whole life out in our heads. When they were due to arrive, what age their brothers would be when they arrived, we had started even thinking about names that would work with their brothers names. We were heartbroken. We figured this was sadly one of those things, we were one of those 1 in 4 stats and presumed it would be a one off.
Over the next two years we struggled each time to get pregnant and when we did get pregnant we would miscarry again within weeks of our early scans. We were on the floor wondering what was happening and would we ever have another baby. I was driving myself demented with ovulation sticks and testing, charting every little detail and taking every supplement I could find. We got general tests done in our GP’s and all seemed to be fine. I also had a laproscopy to see if it was endometriosis and again everything came out clear. So we couldn’t understand why this was happening.
Seeking professional help
We finally admitted that we really needed more help and after trawling countless facebook groups and forums we found who we felt was best placed to help us. We enlisted the help of Jessica Bourke – the Fertility Detective and also Dr Lyuda Shkrobot. This was the game changer for us. Jessica was incredible, she really listened to our whole story and took in every little last detail. We got additional tests done on her recommendation and in doing that we found my husband had DNA fragmentation issues that the general checks done by the GP never picked up. His results weren’t far off the lowest they could be. Jessica prescribed a supplement protocol for both of us and within weeks his results were well above average again thankfully and my body was beginning to feel so much better. We met with Dr Lyuda not too long after and we discussed in depth the areas that could be causing this. We went through each area and we decided to focus on the most likely issue for me which was immune issues. I did some additional testing and specialised bloods with her and my results came back to confirm this was the case. Essentially what was happening was that my body was seeing the baby as something that needed to be attacked.
We agreed a plan of action but also that I needed to try L.I.T (Lymphocyte Immunization Therapy) which is only available in the UK. This proved very tricky at the time as we were in the height of the pandemic and very few were able to travel. I got my Dr’s notes and approval and went over to Dr Gorgy in The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy in London. I had my first session of LIT treatment. I was 5 days post ovulation at the time of the treatment and two weeks later tested and I was pregnant. I had a second session of LIT again and Dr Lyuda supported me with infusions, progesterone, steroids and antibiotics during this time. Jessica also adapted my supplements to help support the pregnancy.
A happy ending
We were so terrified as we were so invested in this being our last chance. Dr Lyuda was incredibly supportive during the process as I was completely panicked and needed regular scans to try calm my nerves. I cried so many times those first few months and then I was sort of numb during the rest of the pregnancy feeling like it was too good to be true. By some miracle our baby girl arrived safely in Nov 2021. We have never been so happy.
There were a lot of twists and turns in this story. Far too many to highlight. So many lows and a lot of feeling lost and uncertain about where to turn. It’s such a lonely experience. I got lots of people asking me would I not just give up trying that it was too much on us, it wasn’t meant to be, others saying aren’t we just lucky we have our other children and plenty of people having opinions on what I should and shouldn’t be doing/eating/drinking etc. Having shared my story with pals I have found so many women experiencing the exact same story of secondary infertility. I really wanted to have this event to try educate as many women as possible on all the different areas that may be causing their issues so that they leave informed and knowing exactly what they want to investigate further with their doctor or consultant. We felt we wasted at least two years of our time being misdirected by the wrong people and we want others not to waste their precious time the way we did.
Hello, my name is Aoibhin Crowley. Since I have been through a fertility journey, I know what it’s like and I don’t want others to experience a silent struggle. Since sharing my story, many people have come to me to ask me for advice. It’s only when you open up that you realize how many people have actually been through it or know someone who has. Shared experiences are incredibly powerful, and I really hope that this Fertility Masterclass led by two of Ireland’s experts will help others out there.
Starting out with hope
Like many women these days, I spent a long time trying to prevent myself becoming pregnant. I took contraception for 16 years. Then, you are ready to have a baby. For me that time came when I was 36.
Coming to terms with infertility
When we realized that it wasn’t happening for us, we both went to get checked at a fertility clinic. It is really important to understand that difficulties in getting pregnant are not always about the woman. We came away from the appointment with some general advice but no greater understanding of why I wasn't getting pregnant. Nevertheless, we had done some research on the internet and were convinced that there was an issue, so we chose to see to Dr Lyuda in Unique Life. She confirmed that we would need help conceiving.
As hard as it is to think of yourself as ‘an infertile couple,’ we still felt positive. Even if we knew we were unlikely to conceive without support, the journey up until then started to feel lonely and out of our control. Having a team of specialists behind us was rather reassuring. It gave us direction and reignited our hope.
Facing it together
Of course, my husband and I were in it together – we absolutely had to be a team. By the time we had our first consultation at Unique Life it had been two years since we decided we wanted a baby.
The bad news was that our chances of conceiving on a natural level were close to zero. The good news was that they were so bad that we could immediately try ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection), which is a procedure to help cultivate embryos. From this point, the romantic notion of getting pregnant transformed into a scientific and clinical process. We were told our chances of pregnancy were around 40%.
We had two transfers, after the first transfer failed we were heartbroken. It was a physically and mentally exhausting experience for us both.
The most wonderful surprise
I vividly remember July 2021 after the second transfer we drove to Clare to enjoy the scenic Burren loop and the Cliffs of Moher, we returned to Dublin for the blood test
I didn't test at home during the TWW so when the call came after lunch from Unique Life with results of my blood test, I picked up immediately and I couldn't believe it when the nurse confirmed I was pregnant!
The second transfer became our beautiful baby girl Sadhbh who was born in March 2022. The whole process, from deciding to have a child to holding our baby in our arms took almost four years.
You are not alone
When you start trying for a baby, you hear stories. There’s the one about the person who had a baby they didn’t plan for. Then there’s the one about the couple who fell pregnant after a couple of months. There’s the one about the person who had a baby even though they were in their forties and there’s the one about the people who struggled a bit, but got pregnant before fertility treatment started.
For some reason, people love to share stories about fertility when it’s easy. The truth is that there are lots of people out there who don’t find it easy. It is only when you are in it, that you find out there are others in your existing community in the same position. I remember bumping into a lady in the waiting room at the Rotunda Hospital who shared her IVF journey with me, the relief I felt to have someone else who I could talk to, someone who really understood.
I kept a diary, so that I would remember my story. I knew that I would want to return to what I went through and what I felt at the time – if somebody else needs my help.
I really hope that our stories and the Fertility Masterclass will encourage others to openly talk about infertility to support and simply be there for each other. We are in it together and you are not alone.