Woman says her fertility concerns were not taken seriously by doctors and was told to wait a year – Coventry Live

A woman says her fertility fears were ignored by doctors, who told her to wait a year before an investigation could begin to look into why she wasn't ovulating while trying for a baby.

Primary school teacher, Ellie, from Leicestershire, claims she wasn't taken seriously when she spoke to health professionals about her concerns while attempting to start a family with her husband in 2019.

Speaking to the Mirror, the 28-year-old recalled how she wasn't getting a period after coming off her birth control pill, which made it an impossible task for her to track her ovulation, the Mirror reports.

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She said: "I came off the contraceptive pill and I assumed that I might get pregnant in the following month. After coming off the pill I didn't have regular periods at all, maybe once every three months.

"I assumed my body was getting back to itself. After about six months of that I went to see the doctors and they said that since I was trying for a baby they said I couldn't do anything for a year."

In the majority of cases, couples will not be referred to a fertility clinic on the NHS until they've had at least a year of fertility struggles. Ellie first noticed her irregular cycle after trying to get pregnant in 2019 - but her blood tests showed no signs of abnormalities.

She added: "I came off the contraceptive pill and I assumed that I might get pregnant in the following month. I assumed I would get pregnant within six months, I had that in my head. After coming off the pill I didn't have regular periods at all, maybe once every three months. I assumed my body was getting back to itself.

"After about six months of that I went to see the doctors and they said that since I was trying for a baby they said I couldn't do anything for a year. They were more focussed on me having a baby".

Following a whole year of waiting, doctors then told Ellie she had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) - a condition that affects how the ovaries work and can affect fertility.

"They were more focussed on me having a baby. We were trying everything from ovulation sticks and temperature testing. After 12 months we were referred to a fertility clinic and that is when the PCOS came to light." She said.

The government put the UK into a national lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic by this time, meaning Ellie would have to wait longer since many unessential health services were on hold until further notice.

Ellie said: "They knew I wanted to have a baby and they were fixated on waiting a year, but regardless of my wanting to have a baby I was not having periods. It should have been investigated and it wasn't. They did try to tell me that I was young and I had to be insistent that I had waited my 12 months."

When the summer of 2020 came around, appointments started to resume and it was here Ellie found out she wasn't ovulating. "It's frustrating because if they investigated it six months ago it could have been picked up. I wasn't allowed that for that six months and when Covid hit I felt there was an extra delay. I felt like it was a health thing regardless of me trying to get pregnant.

"I was very much hopeful and then every month that went by to find out you're still not pregnant was disheartening. The pill gives you a bleed which can be a withdrawal period. I never knew what my cycle was like without it.

"So the first few months I would have a bleed every now and again which was like spotting. That almost gives you false hope because when I didn't have a period I thought maybe I am pregnant and then you do a test and it's negative."

Luckily, Ellie managed to get pregnant after taking medication and welcomed her son in May 2021. However, she says that if her concerns had been investigated much sooner, she would have learned she wasn't ovulating and it would have saved the false hope she endured each month.

She said: "I was very much hopeful and then every month that went by to find out you're still not pregnant was disheartening. The pill gives you a bleed which can be a withdrawal period. I never knew what my cycle was like without it.

"So the first few months I would have a bleed every now and again which was like spotting. That almost gives you false hope because when I didn't have a period I thought maybe I am pregnant and then you do a test and it's negative."

Ellie is now sharing her experience in hopes others don't just assume pregnancy will come easily. Her words come after World Infertility Awareness Month, which took place in June.

She said: "I would say trust your instincts and advocate for yourself. I knew with not having periods that something wasn't right, and there was obviously something wrong. You need to advocate for yourself if something isn't quite right. Also not to assume that fertility will come easy for everybody - infertility is a lot more common than you think."

According to the NHS, at least one in seven couples has difficulty conceiving within a year. Ellie added: "I was certainly quite nave and it wasn't until I was in the process that I realised it's a lot more common than people seem to think it is. Because pregnancy is such a natural thing there's a misconception that it will just happen. It does make me wonder if we try for another baby that it will be the same or not."

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Woman says her fertility concerns were not taken seriously by doctors and was told to wait a year - Coventry Live

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