Nguyễn Thị Minh and her husband hold their nine-month-old son in their arms at an event in Hà Nội in July. —VNA/VNS Photo Thùy Giang
HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Thị Minh, 43, holds her nine-month-old son in her arms with the great happiness of a mother.
Minh finally fell pregnant when she was 42 years old thanks to in vitro fertilisation (IVF) after experiencing a 20-year journey with her husband seeking to become a mother.
Minh married her husband in 2000. She had an ectopic pregnancy twice and had to have a fallopian tube cut. She was also diagnosed with endometriosis.
This meant the couple had yet to have a baby after eight years of marriage although they went to many major hospitals in Hà Nội for treatment.
The couple then decided to use all their savings and borrow money from their relatives for IVF for the first time in 2008. However, the treatment failed.
They ran out of money due to medical expenses, so her husband decided to work abroad to earn money to cover the debt.
In 2018, her husband returned to Việt Nam after a decade of working. But he did not think of doing IVF again and he feared a second failure.
“However, I still wanted to have one more chance, I still really wanted to become a mother,” Minh said.
She persuaded her husband and the couple went to Andrology and Fertility Hospital of Hà Nội in November 2018 for another chance.
Two months later, Minh was eager for the first embryo transfer.
On the day to transfer the first embryo, Lê Thị Thu Hiền, deputy director of the hospital advised Minh to carefully consider because Minh’s endometrium was in bad conditions and it would be difficult to conceive.
Minh hesitated, but her husband encouraged her and said she should try, so she agreed.
Six days later, Minh burst into tears when she saw the home pregnancy test showed two faint lines.
She immediately went to a hospital for a blood test and the result confirmed she was pregnant.
“No word can describe my happiness at that moment,” she said.
Minh was often threatened with miscarriage during her pregnancy. She also suffered gestational diabetes until the 39th week of pregnancy.
“I cried a lot because of fear, the fear of losing my baby," she said.
But her husband kept encouraging her.
“We together cried with happiness when our healthy son was born,” she said.
Hope for infertile couples
Nguyễn Khắc Lợi, director of the hospital said the Department of Reproductive Support, had successfully carried out IVF for thousands of couples in the past eight years, including many difficult cases.
Lợi said modern reproductive technologies, especially IVF technology with other supporting methods, had helped many infertile couples in Việt Nam have healthy babies.
The success rate for IVF treatment increases year after year and is currently about 50 – 70 per cent, he said.
Hiền, deputy director of the hospital, gave an example that the hospital conducted IVF for a couple in Sóc Sơn District in 2018. Both husband and wife were diagnosed with thalassemia.
The doctors advised the couple to perform IVF with the support of pre-implantation genetic testing, she said.
As a result, the embryo transfer was successful the first time. The wife, Lê Thị Xuân, 36, delivered two healthy infants, one male and one female in 2019, Hiền said.
Another example was a couple with a husband who suffered from testicular trauma which meant the couple could not have a baby for nine years, she said.
In May 2018, the couple decided to go to the hospital for treatment and doctors performed surgery for the husband to take his sperm to carry out in vitro fertilisation and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF ICSI).
Thanks to the successful surgery, his wife was pregnant and delivered two healthy boys. The little boys were 15 months old now, she said. — VNS