Couple Expecting Twins From Newspaper Fertility Treatment Campaign

Issue Date: 3 October 2005

Midland Fertility Services (MFS) has confirmed that a couple from Worcester is expecting twins after receiving treatment funded by The Birmingham Post’s ‘Funded Fertility Treatment For All’ campaign.

Following a single cycle of IVF treatment at Midlands-based MFS, Lydia and Will Stark are expecting their babies on 14 April 2006. But until now, after Lydia was diagnosed with endometriosis and blocked fallopian tubes in her early 20s, the couple, who married in 2002, had been considering a future together without children.

Lydia (29), a retail manager and Will (31), a secondary school teacher, were awarded funding for their treatment after submitting an application to The Birmingham Post’s campaign for universal funded fertility treatment, which was launched in January 2005. It was the first such newspaper initiative in the UK.

Applications were considered by a panel of fertility specialists who based their decisions to grant funding to four couples on current common criteria for suitability for fertility treatment.

“Getting the funding and having our treatment at MFS has meant everything to us and given us the chance to be parents that we thought we’d never have.” said Lydia.

“We were told that we qualified for NHS funding, but so few women actually get funded by our PCT in any one year, that we would probably have to wait for years. After going to university, paying off our student loans and buying a house, we would not be in a position to pay for our treatment until I was well into my 30s.

“We only ever dreamed of having one baby and the thought of having two is wonderful!”

MFS is the Midlands’ longest established independent fertility clinic. It was approached by The Birmingham Post to provide the expertise for the ‘Funded Fertility Treatment For All’ campaign, during the run-up to the deadline of Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts to adopt the NICE guidelines on the provision of fertility treatment by 1 April 2005.

“We are delighted that Lydia’s and Will’s treatment has been successful and look forward to the birth of their babies,” said Dr Gillian Lockwood, medical director of MFS.

“Access to funded fertility treatment has given Lydia and Will the chance of conceiving before her age became an additional problem. Many of the UK’s one in six couples who have trouble conceiving either still have no access to funded treatment or have to wait up to four years for funding, by which time the woman’s age may mean that her chance of conceiving is lower, even with fertility treatment.”

Three other couples were awarded funding as part of the campaign:

* Ms S and Mr O had a cycle of IUI which was unsuccessful
* Mr and Mrs W had a cycle of IVF which was unsuccessful but will soon undergo a frozen embryo transfer as part of their treatment
* Mr & Mrs D had a positive pregnancy test after a frozen embryo transfer and will soon have their first pregnancy scans

ends

Lydia and Will Stark are available for interview. Contact Jill Anthony-Ackery at MFS, on 07795 812523 to arrange.

MFS was established in 1987 and is licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to offer a range of fertility treatments and procedures including IVF, ICSI, egg donation, egg and embryo freezing and sperm recovery. In 2002 the UK’s first ‘frozen egg’ baby was born following treatment at MFS. In 2004 MFS celebrated the birth of the 3,000th baby born after treatment at the clinic and in June 2005, registered its 13,000th patient. Based in Aldridge and Wolverhampton, it treats both private and NHS patients.