Jo­hanna Kohnen

Ex­pe­ri­ences with ICSI: In­ter­view with Jo­hanna & Mat­thias

The in­ter­view was con­ducted by Jo­hanna Kohnen 

When and why did you get the idea to go to a fer­ti­lity clinic?

“In our 13th ex­er­cise cycle (after just under 1.5 years) we fi­nally got pregnant. Un­for­tu­n­a­tely, our little star said goodbye far too early. Even be­fore that, we had an ap­point­ment at the fer­ti­lity clinic. But after the ap­point­ment we de­cided to give it ano­ther try. After the loss, however, it was clear to us that we needed help, which is why my gynae­co­lo­gist re­ferred us di­rectly to the fer­ti­lity clinic.

However, the road to the fer­ti­lity clinic was rocky and sobe­ring. The first ap­point­ment was just a fact-fin­ding ses­sion and the doctor said that we were still young in our early 30s. So we de­cided to give it ano­ther try. After our little star un­for­tu­n­a­tely didn’t want to stay with us again, it was clear to us that we never wanted to ex­pe­ri­ence so­me­thing like that again and that’s why we wanted to get help again.

But the next ap­point­ment was not very em­phatic either. The doctor said that we had won the lot­tery. But the wish for a child and an ap­point­ment with ano­ther doctor showed us that there is ano­ther way. Since then, we have in­sisted on being treated only by this doctor.”

What was your dia­gnosis and what tre­at­ments were car­ried out?

“Mat­thias has OAT I syn­drome, which means that he has too few sperm (oligo), too few motile sperm (astheno) and more mal­formed sperm (te­rato). The doctor ex­p­lained to us that this is common no­wa­days that we don’t have to worry so much about it. Jo­hanna has an egg ma­tu­ra­tion dis­order, which is trea­t­able with me­di­ca­tion, but as this should only be taken over a short pe­riod of time and no pregnancy oc­curred in the 3 months we had se­xual in­ter­course ac­cording to plan, we were ad­vised to have ICSI. We were told that our chances of get­ting pregnant na­tu­rally would only be about 5%.”

Did you get pregnant through any of the tre­at­ments?

“Ac­tually, we were in­credibly lucky. Johanna’s body re­sponded very well to the me­di­ca­tion and we were pregnant after our first ICSI at­tempt.

The 3 years until we got pregnant tested us as a couple. So many friends of us got pregnant and each time it hurt us a little. But the child­bea­ring years brought us tog­e­ther as a couple. Our an­chor was our mon­thly date night. An evening just for us wi­thout the topic of wan­ting children.”

To what extent did you let your so­cial en­vi­ron­ment (friends, fa­mily) in on it and were able to deal openly with the topic?

“We told our clo­sest friends about it. My best friends also suf­fered a lot, espe­cially after our starlet left. When things got se­rious at the fer­ti­lity clinic, we also told our par­ents. They sup­ported us as much as they could. We often no­ticed how dif­fi­cult it was for those around us to deal with it, be­cause they didn’t re­ally know how to talk to us about it. Maybe that is also a re­ason why we are so opened about it now. Mat­thias also talked to his boss about it shortly be­fore the ICSI and got a lot of un­der­stan­ding from him.”

What would you have liked to know be­fore the tre­at­ment?

“Oh, so many things! Our doctor ex­p­lained ever­ything to us, but when you go through with it, it’s re­ally in­tense. I had a lot of pain after the punc­ture and I also came to the hos­pital be­cause of over­sti­mu­la­tion. Of course we were aware that it was a me­dical pro­ce­dure, but I think it was glossed over a bit at that mo­ment be­cause the de­sire to have a child was so strong.”

What 3 things would you give to other cou­ples who want to have children?

1) Talk to your partner! 
We both had so many thoughts on the sub­ject and it was good to talk about it. For ex­ample, we rea­lised that ha­ving a child was in­credibly im­portant to us, but we wouldn’t do ever­ything for it. We wanted a child from each other, so sperm do­na­tion, for ex­ample, was out of ques­tion.

2) In­volve those around you! 
Even if many people can’t handle it. It was good for us not to be asked any more, and when will it fi­nally be time for you? Don’t you want children? We opened up more and more in the course of the pro­cess and talked about the fact that it is more dif­fi­cult for us to get pregnant and then many people ac­cepted that.

3) Seek help or coun­se­ling 
Jo­hanna: At some point I looked for help on the in­ternet, simply be­cause I was re­ally done. On In­sta­gram, I found a huge Kiwu com­mu­nity that was in­s­a­nely sup­por­tive. Sud­denly there were hund­reds of women who felt the same way I did. They had had the same fears and the same worries. Even du­ring my tre­at­ment at the fer­ti­lity clinic, the girls there were a great help to me.

Would you go down this path again, for ex­ample for a sib­ling?

“After the tre­at­ment we would de­fi­ni­tely have said no.  It was a re­ally ex­haus­ting path. But now that we get to enjoy the hap­pi­ness of being par­ents and our sunshine makes us in­credibly happy every day, we ori­gi­nally said we would go back to the clinic for coun­sel­ling at the end of 2019. However, we played the lot­tery again and the 5% chance hap­pened. We are ex­pec­ting our se­cond mi­racle in De­cember and are still blown away by the news.”

About Fer­tilly

At Fer­tilly, we have made it our mis­sion to ac­com­pany cou­ples (ho­mo­se­xual and he­te­ro­se­xual) and sin­gles on the way to ful­fil­ling their child wish. In doing so, it is im­portant to us to create trans­pa­rency in the area of fer­ti­lity ser­vices, to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion and know­ledge on the to­pics of pregnancy and fer­ti­lity and to help you to find the most sui­table Fer­ti­lity Center. Through coope­ra­tion with first-class Fer­ti­lity Cen­tres and cli­nics in Eu­rope, en­qui­ries about Fer­tilly are given pre­fe­ren­tial tre­at­ment. This means that our pa­ti­ents avoid the usually long wai­ting times and get ap­point­ments more quickly.

If you would like more in­for­ma­tion about Fer­ti­lity Cen­ters, suc­cess rates and prices, please con­tact us using this ques­ti­onn­aire. We will ad­vise you free of charge and wi­thout any ob­li­ga­tion.

  • An­swer the first ques­tions in the on­line form in order to book an ap­point­ment. This way we can better ad­dress your needs du­ring the con­ver­sa­tion.

  • We will find the best con­tact person for your in­di­vi­dual needs. Sche­dule 20 mi­nutes for the con­sul­ta­tion.

  • We will in­tro­duce you to the right fer­ti­lity clinic from our net­work, make an ap­point­ment and ac­com­pany you until your wish for a child is ful­filled.

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