Emily is a single woman now in her late forties. During her late thirties and forties, Emily experienced recurrent miscarriages both with a male partner and using donor sperm as a single person. Emily has a genetic condition which has meant that regardless of her current age, donor eggs have always been something she should consider.

We first met at her local support group when she was about to embark on a frozen embryo transfer (FET), her fresh cycle of IVF using donor eggs and donor sperm having failed the previous summer.

We went on to meet informally every few weeks in local cafes. We also communicated by text and email throughout her frozen embryo treatment cycle. Unfortunately Emily’s treatment didn’t work out but we continue to meet every two to three weeks for an evening meal while she works out her next steps in her pursuit of motherhood.

In addition to exploring adoption, Emily has asked me to investigate surrogacy options on her behalf. Surrogacy in England is particularly difficult for a single person to do. Emily is also aware that her genetic condition gives her a moderately increased risk of developing a particular type of cancer. I have contacted experts in the field on her behalf to explore whether her genetic condition in combination with medication used for IVF further increases her risk of developing this cancer. She has also requested that I contact fertility clinics around the country and abroad to discover their stance on a potential cause as to her previous cycle failures before she decides what to do next.

Emily is currently at a crossroads.