9 February 2015
Ireland AM – Mary and Howard Hughes' Journey
How do miscarriages affect your fertility and what do they mean for future pregnancies? Mary and Howard Hughes talk about their story.
Miscarriages are very common, probably more common than people realise. When the couple got married, Mary was 35 and they were in no rush to start a family. When a first pregnancy happened naturally, they were delighted. However, when miscarriage struck, they were deeply concerned.
One of the outstanding messages is about this couple’s story is that they were not complacent about the miscarriages that took place. While miscarriages are very common, particularly in the early weeks of pregnancy, it is essential to seek medical advice when more than one miscarriage occurs, to investigate whether there is an underlying problem.
Dr. David Walsh of Sims IVF advises that couples should acknowledge and take proactive action, when they experience more than one miscarriage. He agrees that age and delaying starting a family, a modern day phenomenon, can negatively impact a couple’s chance of having a baby.
Miscarriages were followed by an ectopic pregnancy, which occurred at 13 weeks and Mary went through emergency surgery. It was at this point that Mary and Howard realised that they had to seek professional help to conceive and maintain a pregnancy. At this stage, time was not on their side.
Dr. Walsh’s approach was to help the couple to deal with the adversity presented to them – particularly in maintaining pregnancy. He discusses the difference between genetic and non-genetic miscarriage and how non-genetic becomes the more common problem as you experience a higher number of miscarriages. His treatment involved working to maintain the pregnancy.
Mary Hughes advises other women to take their fertility seriously and to put a plan in place to ensure that they leave enough time for starting a family, time that includes recovery from adversity such as miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Don’t leave it too late, is her message.
Mary and Howard are now proud parents of two children – Sam and Aoibheann.