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With 1 in 6 people diagnosed with some form of infertility, chances are there is someone out there with a story similar to yours. IFAASA is going out there to find those stories. If yours isn’t here, we’d love to hear it, regardless of whether it is ongoing or what the resolution was. Sharing your experience might help someone else.

Personal stories may be sent to Please put ‘Personal story’ in the subject. You may, of course, choose to remain anonymous. Please also note that we cannot allow the endorsement or slander of any specific medical professionals or clinics.

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By Chantal Jacobs

I am 1 in 6 but I am even rarer than that. I’m here to tell you that despite all your best wishes and hard work – treatment sometimes just doesn’t work.

We have been TTC for 8 years, I started at 29. We have done 6 or 7 IUI’s. 7 ICSI’s and 2 PICSI’s. I’ve done endometrial scratching and everything I could to maximise the chances of success. All of that pain and heart break resulted in our seeing two lines once and ended in a protracted early miscarriage of twins, one by one, we saw a scan and a heartbeat and then it stopped. Just like that.

My first IVF was 16 years ago.  A life time ago.  And yet it feels like yesterday.  16 years and three children later, I will never forget what it was like to be in the trenches of infertility.

Today I am a mother of three children.  A few years ago I was terrified I would never be a mother.  It still seems surreal.  A question I am often asked is “was it worth it?”  Was it worth going through five years of infertility, nine IVFs, several pregnancy losses and hundreds of thousands of rands in order to have my children?  The answer is both yes and no.  Was it worth all the miscarriages and the tragic death of my first born son Ben at 10 days old due to pre-term labour? Most definitely not.  Are my living children worth all I went through? Most definitely yes.  I would do it all again, a million times over in order to have the children I have.  I suppose what people are asking is whether motherhood is what I hoped it would be.  It is all that, and more.

By Angela Kelleher – IFAASA Director

In 2011, following a couple of years of trying to conceive naturally and four attempts at IUI, I finally walked through the door to Medfem Fertility Clinic. I remember the sense of dread I felt and how overwhelmed I was to see others in the waiting room – was infertility this common? I had no idea of the statistics (one in six), and had never investigated infertility and was completely innocent to what was ahead of me. And I remember that day having the most comprehensive consultation I ever received in my life. I walked out of there feeling a hundred times better and knew exactly what the future held in terms of tests and investigations.

I never thought it would happen to us. I never thought we would be the 1 in 6. All I have ever wanted to do is be a mommy. And now we find ourselves on our fourth cycle with our fertility clinic.

I cannot begin to explain the emotional rollercoaster which is fertility. It never seems to end. It’s like going through the five stages of grief each month. If receiving consistent “no’s” or “sorry not this time” or “negatives” isn’t difficult enough to deal with, there is the added trauma of being surrounded by pregnant women and babies everywhere you go.

Since a little girl, all I wanted to be was a Mommy. One would think falling pregnant is the most natural experience to  happen to a woman, so I  thought, never did I once think I would be the one crying behind closed doors, putting a front up at the next baby shower, or diverting the famous question asked by many “So, when are you having a baby?” My husband and I have been trying to fight this battle for 4 years.

By Christelle Oosthuizen

Funny how, as woman and since a young age you think how you will look pregnant and how many kids you would love to have. And you definately think getting pregnant is the easiest thing to do.

Never in my right mind have I had the slightest blink of a thought that to get pregnant, will take forever and will nearly ruin my life and change me forever…

We are 1 in 6

I am 27 years old and married for four years this year. I have always wanted to be a mother so naturally when I got married it was one of the first things my husband and I decided to do. We first bought the house and the car because we wanted to have space for all the lovely baby things and the right car because we planned all these family trips we would take together so we needed a car with space for all the baby luggage. On our one year wedding anniversary we official started trying for a baby.

My Story

By Maritza Smith Meiring

09/02/2014 – I recently got my operation date. To realize we will never have our own baby, even after giving hope in 2009 after my big operation. I can’t help but to mourn, grieving like someone very , very close to me has died. It’s like a big loss , loss NOT being like a broken bone which will heal with little showing on the surface , more like an amputation – a visible, constant reminder complete with phantom pain from the lost limb. It is something I will deal with for the rest of my life. The closer to the time of the opp, the more painful it is, but the results of the pain (amputation) will always be with me. I even get morning sickness, night frights of having twins, bloody, screaming and constantly crying twins….

By Mylene Janse van Rensburg

At 18 I was a very busy matriculant at the height of my final year! Just came back from America with a few medals for competing in the International Championships of performing arts! I was ready to finish my last year! Then I met Georg, wasn’t really in to him because a few years back he was friends with my step brother and that alone gave me a red light! After a few weeks I started seeing that this guy Georg is actually very different from the idea I had as a junior in high school! Gosh I was in love!! We went to my matric fairwell, I was in the clouds with this very hot 22 year old boy at my side!  So my final year at school ended and I was very much excited about my new journey starting the next year!

By Bronwyn Le Roux

Our journey started 5 years ago. We got engaged and decided that I would go off birth control. So we could have a honeymoon baby. Sadly that never happened.

However I always knew deep down that something was wrong. I started seeing a great Dr at Louis Leipoldt. He thought I might have Endo and therefore was refered to a Endo specialist at Louis Leipolt. I underwent my first Lap in 2014 they found I had stage 1 endo. After my recovery we started ovulation induction.

By Anushka Pillay

A Journey of Emotions & Pain all rolled up in one….Infertility Rollercoaster…

I am 1 in 6 ladies to have this horrible condition

My Hubby and I have been together for 17 years, married 8, been trying to conceive for the last 6 years….When I was a little girl marriage and babies was never on my mind, In fact I never considered having a baby.

For the last 6 years, the first thing and the last thing and the only thing is I need a miracle to fall pregnant. So here goes my story on my journey through infertility & hope….

At the age of 10 I was diagnosed with IBS, always had pains

By Carin van Rooyen Mrs Africa Earth South Africa 2017.

I am 34 years old, been ttc for 8 years. I have endometriosis, hubby cannot understand why I just dont give up.

All I’ve ever wanted was to be a mother….it is in me…I see a baby and I want to cry….I am petrified of dying alone.

I have so much love to give, I know I will be a wonderful mother. I am angry at my body….why does it not work?

By Imogen Rossam

It never crossed my mind that infertility could or would ever be part of my life! I have wanted to be a mom since I was young, and I just assumed it would happen easily when I was ready.  I met and married the man of my dreams in 2013 and after our wedding we immediately started trying.  We daydreamed and planned about the baby we were “about” to have and both assumed that within the year and our little family would begin.

Op moedersdag 1996 was ek in sak en as nadat ons al vir 3½ jaar probeer het om swanger te raak en drie in vitro-behandelings ondergaan het sonder sukses.  Ek het begin glo dat en nooit ‘n mamma sou wees nie en was erg depressief.  Om myself te help troos het ek vir my ‘n duur goue ketting gekoop as ‘n ‘onmoedersdag’ geskenk.  Gelukkig het ons verhaal ‘n gelukkige einde en ons is vandag die trotse ouers van vier pragtige kinders – twee tweelinge. Dit is vir my meer werd as al die goud op aarde!

By Kelly Van der Merwe

We have decided to share our story for the sole purpose of giving hope to other couples
currently going through their own personal journey in the hope that one day they too will
be able to share their story of answered prayer and encouragement to someone else in
need of inspiration.

By Danya Pearce

Where do you begin a story about losing a baby? At conception? The devastating ultrasound? Or maybe you start at your own in utero development which really sealed my baby’s fate? I was born with a unique congenital deformity classified as a mullerian defect. There’s a lot of technical information available on this, but in a nutshell, I was born with a malformed uterus. This all happened when I was still growing in my own mothers belly, the irony is also not lot on me. I had a semi normal uterus attached to my right ovary and an underdeveloped one attached to the left. As luck would have it, I did fall pregnant naturally against all predictions of the specialist. My miracle. I was thrilled but at the same time, uneasy. I had just gotten used to the fact that I was different to the norm, had funny parts and would probably need the assistance of a test tube and lots of fiddling. I am, however also aware of life’s weird twists and turns.

“I knew after the first 6 months of trying that there may be a problem” I was so ready to be a mom I could not wait. I was lucky/unlucky enough to work with reproductive health and I knew the definition of infertility is being unable to conceive within 12 months, but that most people conceive within 3 months.

The next 6 months of trying while waiting to reach the 12-month mark were very long and emotional. It is a twist of fate that the day you find out every month that you are not pregnant is the same day that your emotions are all over the place. I was sure the problem was me, my mom used Clomid to conceive me. The shock we received at our fertility appointment was to learn that it was both me and my husband!! and that there would be no slow progression up the treatment scale it was just straight to IVF with ICSI.

By Cindy Jansen van Rensburg

I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility in 2011, after having tried to fall pregnant for three years already. After two IUI’s, a laparotomy and an IVF, we decided to pursue living childless as an option. And of course, as Murphy would have it, that was when I fell pregnant naturally. Sadly we lost the baby at 12 weeks, and about 8 months later our marriage also crumbled and we are now divorced.

By Yolanda Cronje

My journey with infertility started in 2010, I was totally oblivious to the fact that I may suffer from infertility (as I think most couples are)

After a few trips to my gynecologist, where he confirmed its quite natural not to fall pregnant immediately after being on the pill for a few years. This may be true, however in my case it was a little different.

By Nordette Wilcox

I’m definitely a 1 in every 6.

I am a dual sufferer of both endometriosis as well as polysistic ovarian syndrome.  My journey started with the irregular menstrual cycles and extreme pain when those cycles eventually came.  Back in those days and I mean the late 1990’s people never really spoke about infertility or what could cause it.  I know this because I had been under two major hospitals three different gynecologists and not one of them could find the issue until I was 25 and had just gotten married and wanting to start a family. By then I had given up I was tired of the blood giving, the scans the constant tablet taking and no answers.

By Inge Louw

Like so many newlyweds we had our first 3 year plan all mapped out. House, dog, kids. Then life happened and 5 years later still haven’t had one 2lined pregnancy test.

When we got married, with me being a bit older, we decided on not using any contraceptives. Funny enough I actually thought I was pregnant with a honeymoon baby but the nausea and lightheadedness was just the heavy turbulence combined with snorkeling the day before.

By Willene Naude

If anyone told me 3 years ago that I would be where I am today, experiencing all the joys and struggles of a normal mother I definitely would not have believed them. Even though this time 3 years ago we were about to start our 4th fertility treatment and our very first egg donor cycle. I guess I gave up hope long before that time but felt that I needed to try all that I could to become a mom, maybe so I could have walked away one day after exhausting all options and at least tell myself that I tried everything.

I am 1 in 6

I am 1 in 6.

I am a Swati 36year old lady.

I have been married to the best man in the world for 8years. I love this man. I have an amazing family, my siblings have been our pillars all these years.

We have been trying to conceive for as a long we have been married. The one thing I wanted more than anything in my life was to carry my own child.

By Imogen Rossam
It never crossed my mind that infertility could or would ever be part of my life! I have wanted to be a mom since I was young, and I just assumed it would happen easily when I was ready.  I met and married the man of my dreams in 2013 and after our wedding we immediately started trying.  We daydreamed and planned about the baby we were “about” to have and both assumed that within the year and our little family would begin.

I would like to share my story, as I feel that I have been silent for way too long. It is not a shame, it is reality. Infertility is a medical condition and should be treated as such. My name Anneeda Pekeur, Stage 4 Endometriosis survivor,and I struggle everyday. Everyday. It is a challenge somedays just to get out of bed and get dressed.

J’s Story

I am 26 (turning 27 in a couple of months) and I will be married 3 years now. For the better part of 2 years my husband and I have been trying to start a family. I used to dream about being a mom, it was the only thing I was ever really sure of being. (Yes, I realise this sounds like a massive cliché – but it doesn’t make it any less true.)

By Sheene Venske

My husband and I tried for 3 years to fall pregnant – our infertility struggles seemed straight forward since he had naturally fathered 2 children from previous marriage and then had a vasectomy.

Since I had never used contraception and coming from a large family I assumed I would be just as fertile as my mother. The age difference between myself and my husband too was quiet substantial (at the time of ‘trying’ I was 21 and he 38) our fertility doctor said although his age and compromised sperm would count against us, my age and lack of hormonal tampering would aid the attempted pregnancies.

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