A Melbourne couple were one of the first to line up to celebrate the 10th birthday for Melbourne IVF clinic City Fertility Centre.
Melissa and George Dimiotis’ journey to be parents spanned 12 years of trying to conceive naturally, with ovulation induction, natural therapies, egg donors, in vitro fertilisation and other techniques.
They experienced several phases during their journey, including hope, denial, disappointment and renewed energy.
Success finally came when they opted to use donor eggs, which produced five successful embryos. They underwent three embryo transfers, which all failed. With only two embryos remaining and considering previous poor outcomes, the decision was de to have both transferred at once. Only one embryo survived and miraculously split, resulting in identical twins Chloe and Isla, now 18 months old.
Melissa said it took her a long time to accept that she needed an egg donor but she now understood it was the only way she could have had a baby.
“I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure in my mid-20s and told by Dr David Wilkinson I would need donor eggs to conceive,” Melissa said.
“We refused to believe that we needed donor eggs, sought other advice and went on what ended up a 12-year roller-coaster ride to try everything to fall pregnant.
“We even gave up for three years, bought our dream car and focused on different things in life until we tried once again with donated eggs. We went back to see Dr Wilkinson, who we hadn’t seen for 10 years and was now with City Fertility Centre Melbourne. He was the first specialist we saw all those years ago who had told us we would need an egg donor, and finally we had success!”
Now with two wonderful little girls, the couple said they had no major regrets but encouraged people to consider donor eggs if it was strongly recommended to them.
“We did what we thought we should do and while it was a bumpy journey, we have ended up with two wonderful little girls, so we are over the moon,” Melissa said.
City Fertility Melbourne has helped more than 1000 babies come into the world since opening 10 years ago.
Dr Wilkinson said people with infertility problems today had a much better chance than a decade ago of achieving a pregnancy with the help of a fertility doctor.
“IVF treatment options have continued to progress over the past 10 years with several significant advancements, including vitrification (rapid freezing), blastocyst embryo transfers, advanced embryo selection, and advancements in culture media systems,” he said.
Dr Wilkinson said techniques such as vitrification gave IVF providers the ability to rapidly freeze eggs and embryos, then successfully thaw them at a later date with far superior success rates than was previously the case.
“In addition, the ability to test embryos for a vast array of conditions that may have been causing infertility issues, then select the most viable ones to try and achieve a positive pregnancy, is also a big advance,” he said.
According to the National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit’s Assisted Reproductive Technology in Australia & New Zealand 2014 report, 73,598 assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment cycles were performed in Australia and New Zealand in 2014. This represented annual increases of 2.4% in Australia and 9.6% in New Zealand. Women used their own eggs or embryos in 94.6% of treatments.
Making Dreams Come True for over 10 Years
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