Australian Ingrid Clermontina Truelove moved to Bangkok seven years ago knowing she had a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which meant it would be difficult for her to have babies. When she was guided by her GP to Samitivej Sukhumvit to investigate In Vitro oocyte maturation (IVM) treatment with Dr. Boonsaeng Wutthiphan, it led to a meeting that would change her life. Although it transpired that Ingrid was not a suitable candidate for IVF, she was given the option of undergoing In Vitro Maturation (IVM) treatment at Samitivej, which she accepted. She has since given birth to two healthy baby boys.
When we finally decided that we wanted to try and have a baby, I saw my regular GP who recommended I see Dr. Boonsaeng, who was specializing in IVF and IVM treatment. After doing some research, I found that Samitivej was definitely the best option in the area for IVF treatment – in terms of the care, research and development of IVF.
What I didn’t know before I met Dr. Boonsaeng is that, because of my condition, I wasn’t a candidate for the regular form of IVF because there was a danger of over-stimulating my ovaries during the treatment.
What I also didn’t know is that Dr. Boonsaeng had brought a method over from a Canadian fertility institute called In Vitro Maturation (IVM). He gave me some information and asked me to do some more research to see if I would be willing to undergo this treatment. We discovered that we couldn’t do IVM in Australia so we made the decision that Bangkok would be the best place for us to have a baby. So we started the long journey.
We immediately felt comfortable with Dr. Boonsaeng. His approach was very thoughtful and he gave great attention to detail from the beginning. He was also very careful with my condition to ensure that I didn’t develop sickness during my hormonal treatment. It was very positive because he gave us the information about everything he was doing throughout the process.
My “miracle” treatment
The process started with very gentle hormonal treatment and it was a little bit of trial and error. Dr. Boonsaeng was very careful not to over-stimulate my body which could have been dangerous. Although it was a frustrating and a very emotional time for me, I always felt like I was in good hands because he explained everything he was doing and why it was taking so long. I put all of my trust into him.
Throughout the process a big challenge was to thicken the lining of my womb. I then had to do self-injections, which I didn’t like at all, but I didn’t get sick from them, which was one of the positive parts of getting IVM over IVF. IVM hormonal injections are much less invasive on a woman’s body – especially considering my PCOS condition.
It took many months until Dr. Boonsaeng finally felt I was ready to do an egg collection. Then within a week to ten days after self-injecting, we were ready to do the egg collection. The first time round it was not very successful. The egg quality wasn’t good so Dr. Boonsaeng gave us some advice about how many eggs were of good quality and which ones we should disregard.
We put some medium quality eggs back inside, but that was unsuccessful. So Dr. Boonsaeng advised me to rest my body for six months and come back when I was ready to start again, physically and emotionally. I took a break and came back in six months for another round. He performed the same treatment again and this time we collected 18 good quality eggs.
He told me the first time I hadn’t been emotionally prepared as well as physically. After going away for six months, disconnecting myself then coming back again, I was better prepared.
It’s a miracle and I can’t describe the feeling. All I can do is recommend this treatment to anyone who is having second thoughts about having a baby. I want to tell them that anything is possible. The support that this hospital has given me, both emotional and physical, has been amazing. I now know why we were sent to Thailand – to have our babies here. The experience this hospital has given me has been incredible.
When I found out I was pregnant the first time, it was a feeling of disbelief because I always thought that I was never meant to have babies. I believe this miracle was made possible by Dr. Boonsaeng. We were so lucky to find him and twice lucky because I fell pregnant again!
Even though I just had my second baby five months ago and there were some complications in childbirth, I will never forget the moment Dr. Boonsaeng came into the hospital and asked me when I would be ready to have my third baby! He has always been so positive and he has literally helped us grow our family. I think he would like to see us have a third baby because he believes anything is possible and now I believe it too.
I have two sons now. My first son just turned three last month. He is very healthy, big and strong; a happy boy. My second son is five months now and he is also very happy and healthy.
There are two things I want to say. The first thing is: never give up. It feels like a long process because emotionally you are ready to have a baby and you see friends or others in the hospital who already have their babies, and it’s hard. You have to stay positive and put your trust in the doctors. You have to keep asking questions to ensure you are comfortable, but never give up.
I put a lot of faith in the doctors at Samitivej and there was never any point during all my treatment that I felt I was not being looked after. Our trust has been repaid and now we have two very healthy boys.
I know a lot of foreign couples come to Bangkok for fertility treatment and I would highly recommend they come to Samitivej for IVF and IVM treatment because it’s a great destination. The facilities and the doctors are world class. If you are considering coming to Bangkok for IVF or IVM treatment you will get a very clear picture from the moment you walk in here what the process will be – they give you all the information up front.