A couple has spoken out about their heartbreaking journey to becoming parents and how it could have been a lot less painful had a simple test been carried out
Racing driver Toby Trice and partner Katie Housley had been trying for children for six years – including two rounds of IVF – and had baffled doctors before a test revealed Toby had an enlarged vein in his scrotum, known as varicocele.
The condition, which can be treated, meant there was a DNA fragmentation, causing the enlargement. But they only discovered the issue when one of Toby’s sponsors, a pharmaceutical client, suggested a progressive male test.
The tragedy is, had it been diagnosed earlier, the couple could have saved themselves a lot of pain, anguish, and heartache.
Toby, from Deal, in Kent, told the Sun: “We’ve gone through six years of treatment and two rounds of IVF, which has been horrendous and caused a huge emotional upset, which has been very challenging.
“If I’d had the same level of testing as Katie had and gone through these really simple tests, it is possible we could have had a five-year-old child already.
“We’ve had to go through all this trauma and I don’t want others to be in the same boat.”
Varicocele is a relatively common condition and often has little or no symptoms.
It can cause a dull ache in the testicles it is associated with rugby and football players.
The treatment for the condition is an operation to block blood flow to the infected vein. It is not currently available on the NHS, so Toby had to pay £3,500 for a private procedure carried out at London’s Wellington Hospital, a month after he was offered the test.
The surgery, known as embolisation, involves a surgeon inserting tiny coils of stainless steel into the lower abdomen to block blood flow to the infected area. It is believed half of the men who have the surgery are able to father a child within a year of the procedure.
Toby and Katie were shocked to discover they were having a baby just months later.
Katie is due just a few days before Christmas and the couple is beyond delighted.
Have you been diagnosed with varicocele? Did you pay privately for treatment? We’d love to hear your story, email email@example.com.