- Sarah Broadfield, 34, thought she would never become a mother
- She endured 7 years of IVF treatment costing £15,000 and 2 miscarriages
- Doctors said her miscarriages were caused by Antiphospholipid syndrome
- This condition causes an increase risk of blood clots and miscarriage
- Doctors said aspirin could help thin her blood and prevent miscarriage
- The couple scraped together their savings for one last round of IVF
- She became pregnant and in August, Alfie was born weighing a healthy 8lb
- Mrs Broadfield credits the aspirin for his birth, calling it ‘modern day magic’
A woman who endured almost a decade of failed IVF attempts and two miscarriages has finally become a mother – after taking an aspirin every day during her pregnancy.
Sarah Broadfield, 34, feared she would never have children after spending £15,000 on fertility treatment and two miscarriages that left her devastated.
But when she became pregnant again in November last year, she began taking the 2p aspirin each day after doctors said her miscarriages were caused by her blood being too ‘sticky’.
Sarah Broadfield, 34, finally gave birth to son Alfie (pictured) after seven rounds of IVF and two miscarriages
After being diagnosed with Antiphospholipis syndrome, which is known to cause miscarriages in pregnant women, Mrs Broadfield (pictured left during her pregnancy) was told to take a daily aspirin
The aspirin helped prevent a miscarriage and baby Alfie (pictured) was born in August weighing a healthy 8lb
She had been diagnosed with Antiphospholipid syndrome, which causes an increased risk of blood clots and miscarriage.
However aspirin can help by thinning the blood, preventing this.
Nine months later, her son Alfie was born in August 2014, weighing a healthy 8lb.
Mrs Broadfield, a nurse, said: ‘Finally holding Alfie in my arms after everything we’ve been through was the best moment of my life – and it’s all thanks to me taking an aspirin a day.’
She had married her 36-year-old husband Chris, an electrician, in 2006 and a year later they started trying for a baby, with hopes of eventually having two children.
But, two years later, with no success, the couple went to see their GP for fertility tests.
Although Mrs Broadfield had previously been diagnosed with endometriosis, doctors didn’t believe this was affecting her fertility, but couldn’t find another explanation.
The couple were referred for IVF through the NHS but two rounds of treatment failed.
‘The first failure was the most devastating because I really thought it would work,’ Mrs Broadfield said.
HOW CAN ASPIRIN HELP PREGNANT WOMEN WITH ‘STICKY BLOOD’
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), which is also known as Hughes syndrome, is a disorder of the immune system that causes an increased risk of blood clots.
Pregnant women with APS also have an increased risk of having a miscarriage, although the exact reasons for this are uncertain.
At least 15 per cent of recurrent miscarriages (having three or more miscarriages in a row) occur as a result of APS, and it is now recognised as the most common, treatable cause.
Generally, if a woman is diagnosed with APS following miscarriages, she will be treated daily with low dose aspirin (75mg-150mg).
Treatment with aspirin can help pregnant women improve their chances of having a successful pregnancy.
With treatment, it’s estimated there is about an 80 per cent chance of having a successful pregnancy.
In April this year, U.S. scientists found low doses of the drug could improve the chances of conception and of having a live birth.
It can help women who have recently lost a baby to conceive again
This could be because the drug increases blood flow to the womb, they said.
‘Even though I knew it wasn’t my fault, I blamed myself. I felt like I’d failed as a woman.’
When a third IVF cycle failed, the couple scraped together their savings, as well as getting some help from their parents, and paid for a fourth attempt at a private hospital.
They were delighted when Sarah became pregnant a few weeks later.
At the six week scan, everything looked fine but, two weeks later, a second scan showed that she had suffered a ‘silent miscarriage’ and the baby had stopped developing in her womb.
‘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,’ she said.
Following the two miscarriages at eight weeks, the couple were referred to the Liverpool Miscarriage Clinic and blood tests showed 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.
She said: ‘It was such a relief to know what was wrong and the solution seemed impossibly simple.’
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.
Mrs Broadfield married electrician husband Chris, 36, in 2006 and a year later they started trying for a baby
At the 20 week scan doctors said Alfie was developing normally, but Mrs Broadfield said she was a ‘nervous wreck’ before every scan, ‘waiting for them to deliver bad news’
‘By that stage, we were wrung-out, emotionally and financially so we decided it would be our last go,’ she added.
Weeks later, she became pregnant with twins and started her ‘aspirin therapy’, as well as having an anti-clotting injection daily throughout the pregnancy.
Sadly, at the six week scan, the couple were told that one of the foetuses had failed. But, despite their disappointment, they were relieved to see the second baby was developing normally.
Aspirin, which helped her give birth to son Alfie, was ‘modern day magic’, Mrs Broadfield said
‘The doctors kept a really close eye on us, which was reassuring, but I was still a nervous wreck before every scan, waiting for them to deliver bad news,’ she said.
Superstitious, Mr and Mrs Broadfield even waited until the later stages of the pregnancy before preparing their baby’s nursery.
As her risk of having a stillbirth was heightened, the baby was induced at 38 weeks and the couple’s baby boy Alfie came along on August 1st 2014.
Mrs Broadfield described how holding her baby in her arms was a moment of both joy and terror.
She said: ‘Just after he was born, he went quiet and I panicked. Then we heard him cry and it was the best moment ever,’ she said.
She added: ‘Holding him in my arms, it felt so surreal, as we’d waited so long to meet him.’
The next day, they brought Alfie home and he continues to thrive.
‘They have no plans to embark on more IVF but she knows what to do if another baby were to come along.
‘If only I’d known that taking one aspirin a day could help me so much,’ she said.
‘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.’