Some couples struggle with infertility for years and are never able to conceive a child. This heartbreaking future is what Sarah and Chris Broadfield thought they would have after unsuccessfully trying for a baby for over two years.
Sarah was diagnosed with Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), which causes an increased risk of blood clots and miscarriage. In fact, 15% of recurrent miscarriages are caused by APS. Prior to her diagnosis, Sarah blamed herself for their her inability to get pregnant.
Sarah said, “It was heart-breaking but we were reassured that at least I’d managed to become pregnant this time. When it happened for a second time though, we started to wonder if there was a serious problem.”
The couple was referred to the Liverpool Miscarriage Clinic and blood tests confirmed that Mrs Broadfield had Antiphospholipid syndrome (AS), a disorder of the immune system which causes an increased risk of blood clots People with AS are at risk of developing deep vein thrombosis and artery clots, but the condition is particularly dangerous to pregnant women as it can lead to miscarriages.
It’s estimated that AS is responsible for one in six cases of multiple miscarriages, as well as one in six cases of deep vein thrombosis. For Mrs Broadfield, the condition did not explain why she hadn’t become pregnant naturally – but did explain why she’d miscarried twice.
Because of its blood-thinning qualities, an aspirin a day has long been hailed as a means of preventing strokes and some experts say it could also reduce the risk of cancer. Doctors advised Mrs Broadfield the daily tablet throughout her pregnancy would thin her blood and dramatically reduce the risk of her miscarrying for a third time.
So, the couple embarked on their final round of IVF, with two eggs from previous attempts being implanted.
Amazingly, they conceived and in August 2014 their son Alfie was born. He weighed a healthy eight pounds and finally after seven rounds of IVF, they became parents. Sarah concluded: “Holding him in my arms, it felt so surreal, as we’d waited so long to meet him. If only I’d known that taking one aspirin a day could help me so much. It would have saved us a lot of heartache. I wanted to speak out to hopefully help any other women who might have this condition without knowing it. For us, the aspirin was modern day magic and we always keep a box in our cupboard now, just in case.”