A SOUTHEND couple have shared their story of IVF success after being told they were too old to conceive naturally.

It was a chance conversation with her GP that gave Janene Harwood and her partner Simon the advice and access to the funding they needed to become parents.

Simon had always wanted to be a dad but as he was already in his mid-40s he thought he had missed the boat.

Janene, now 38, thought the pair would have no problem conceiving.

She said: "We were both conscious that age was not on our side, but we had no reason to think there would be any problems conceiving. I had just always assumed that I might get pregnant the first time.”

An unexpected conversation with her GP forced Janene to face an uncomfortable truth: she and Simon might need medical intervention to help them conceive.

“It was my doctor who brought up the subject of fertility, as my appointment was for an unrelated matter,” added Janene.

“When I told her that we had been trying for a baby she offered to send us for tests because of my age. "I was 38 and if we needed IVF treatment a referral would have to be made before I was 40 for us to be eligible for NHS-funded treatment.”

Although age is a common cause of infertility – egg quality and quantity decline quickly after the age of 35 and, in men, a low sperm count.

Janene and Simon were referred for fertility testing to diagnose the reason they were struggling to conceive. Hospital tests were inconclusive so the couple were referred for IVF, and they chose to go Bourn Hall Clinic, in Wickford for treatment and further tests.

Janene said: “We were advised that IVF with ICSI would be a good treatment for us because they could pick out the best sperm under a microscope and inject them directly into my eggs in the lab."

The treatment at Bourn Hall worked first time and the couple became parents to Noah, who celebrated his first birthday a few weeks ago.

Bourn Hall will have speakers at the upcoming fertility convention at Orsett Hall, Thurrock, on February 2.

The free event will include presentations and speeches on ways to boost your chances of conception, common causes and life changing treatments, and the mystery of unexplained infertility.

For more information and registration, visit www.bournhall.co.uk/news-events/