H Dla Buôn Ya and Phùng Văn Ba, an Ede-Mường ethnic couple in Tân Sơn District in northern Phú Thọ Province, received IVF free of charge from the Andrology and Fertility Hospital of Hanoi. VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Infertility is a rough road, not only physically and emotionally but financially.
This is particularly true for low-income people. For those who are still struggling with daily basic needs, it is impossible to get access to high-cost medical care with complex procedures such as In vitro fertilisation (IVF), artificial insemination (AI) and intrauterine insemination (IUI).
But for some lucky couples, their dream of being parents came true when they sought help from the Andrology and Fertility Hospital of Hanoi.
Light at the end of the tunnel
An Ede-Mường ethnic couple, H Dla Buôn Ya and Phùng Văn Ba, have been trying to have a baby since 2016.
After several years of failure, the couple went to a local hospital in Tân Sơn District in northern Phú Thọ Province, where the doctors said the husband was infertile due to oligospermia (few sperm cells).
The couple was introduced to a solution – they could try IVF, the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology to have a baby.
However, the couple decided to go back home due to the high cost of treatment.
“My wife and I never knew we needed VNĐ100 million (US$4,297) to have IVF. There was nothing we could do about it. The dream of being a mother would never happen for me,” H Dla Buôn Ya said.
A miracle occurred when the woman heard about a charity programme titled ‘Golden Week’ that helps low-income people with infertility at the Andrology and Fertility Hospital of Hanoi.
Under the programme, the hospital would support 10 couples in extremely difficult circumstances to get IVF for free. The cost of each procedure was up to VNĐ100 million.
Ya said that when she submitted her application for the programme in May, she didn’t have much hope as many couples were seeking help at that time.
Fortunately, the couple was chosen. They would undergo IVF in a couple of months.
“My husband and I are about to reach our long-awaited wish,” she said.
They were among 10 lucky married couples selected for support.
Hoàng Thị Lai and Trần Đình Lý, residing in Nam Đàn District in central Nghệ An Province, had waited to have a baby for nine years.
They are living with nine other people under the same roof. Their income is mainly from farming.
The couple tried IUI four times but failed. They thought they would give up as pursuing such an expensive medical journey was unaffordable.
Trần Thị Thắm and Vũ Văn Trường in Na Rì District in the northern mountainous province of Bắc Kạn were married in 2012. The couple spent all their money on kidney treatment for a close relative. During the past 10 years, the desire to have a baby was always in their heart, but they never dared try any medical treatment due to the high cost.
Nguyễn Thị Miền and Vũ Đức Quỳnh in Hà Nội are in the same boat. They spent all their savings on treating Quỳnh’s mother, who suffered from an eye disease for eight years. They registered for the programme hoping for a miracle as they had little money.
Each couple has its own story. What they have in common is a desperate desire for a baby. Being given IVF for free is light at the end of the tunnel, giving them confidence on their life journey.
Apart from the 10 couples, 60 other fertility treatments were performed, such as screening embryos carrying diseased genes, microsurgery to find sperm, laparoscopic exploration of the uterus, and embryo monitoring by automated systems, all free of charge.
This is the fourth consecutive year the Andrology and Fertility Hospital of Hanoi has given free medical support to couples in difficult circumstances.
Since 2019, 85 per cent of couples have ended up having healthy babies. The rest are waiting for embryo transfer and receiving medical support from the hospital.
Nông Thị Quỳnh and Ma Văn Toàn, a Tày ethnic couple in the northern mountainous province of Tuyên Quang, with their two babies after joining the hospital’s programme in 2020. VNA/VNS Photo
Nông Thị Quỳnh and Ma Văn Toàn, a Tày ethnic couple in the northern mountainous province of Tuyên Quang, had two babies after joining the hospital’s programme in 2020.
Quỳnh was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, a common cause of infertility in women. She tried many fertility drugs and underwent IUI twice but to no avail.
They were about to give up when they were chosen for the IVF procedure in July 2020.
Two months later, Quỳnh became pregnant at the first embryo transfer. On June 15, 2021, two babies named Elephant and Rabbit, weighing 2.6kg each, were born to the joy of the family.
Trần Văn Đức in northern Ninh Bình Province had a work accident that resulted in complete paralysis from the neck down in 2014. At that time, he had been married to Doãn Thị Thu Hoài for 10 months. The couple’s dream of being parents came true after being supported by the hospital.
These stories have given motivation and hope to desperate couples hoping to have a child.
Nguyễn Khắc Lợi, Director of the Andrology and Fertility Hospital of Hanoi, said that more than 40 families had been supported with IVF free of charge so far.
He said for married couples suffering from infertility, the desire to have a baby never faded.
“That’s why every year, the hospital accompanies them to help them make their dreams come true,” he said.— VNS