Reality TV star Megan McKenna recently opened up about her challenging experience with IVF, shedding light on the emotional and physical hurdles.

Megan, best known for her appearances on "The Only Way Is Essex," has been sharing her pregnancy with fans on her Instagram, including a recent, frightening allergic reaction to medication. Megan first announced her pregnancy earlier in April, marking an important milestone in her journey towards parenthood with fiancé, Oliver Burke.

Their journey began with an IVF transfer, a process commonly used by individuals and couples facing infertility challenges. This procedure involves the fertilisation of eggs outside the body, followed by the transfer of resulting embryos into the uterus. 

The process itself involves multiple steps, including hormone stimulation, egg retrieval, fertilisation, embryo culture and embryo transfer. For most people 1 cycle of IVF will take between 3 and 6 weeks.

Megan explained, "We did a medicated IVF cycle transfer. Before you have a transfer we had our embryos frozen and so we had loads of eggs and 15 turned into embryos so we would literally have a football team we freeze.

'"And then a couple of days later you have the thawing process like day two, day three, day four, and our embryos didn't survive we were only left with two which is one of them which I had put into me. I had been injecting myself before to get my womb lining thick. I would inject myself with a progesterone and I had to do it at the same time every single day."

For Megan, who also battles Crohn's disease, this journey became particularly challenging when she experienced a severe allergic reaction to a medication she was taking for a urine infection, leading to a visit to A&E with Oliver by her side.

Reflecting on her experience, Megan expressed her fears about the potential impact of her hypersensitivity on her baby.

"I was really not well. My belly was double the size and it was a nightmare so definitely not taking that medication anymore." she began.

"My body is hypersensitive and it is more scarier having that because I worry about it affecting the baby but, after speaking to the doctors at the hospital, they said it can't actually affect the baby having an allergic reaction. So that's why I haven't been on here, but I feel so much better and I'll be back cooking my dinners for everyone."

Megan has also shared the intense regimen of medications and procedures she underwent during the IVF process.

"It was so many hormones and it was intense. And I was taking a baby aspirin in the evening with all my vitamins as well. I was also doing acupuncture like every week and when I went to the clinic they had their own special person and proper acupuncture thing. I took all my medication and vitamins until I was 10 weeks and carried on taking baby aspirin until 12 weeks."

Navigating IVF Treatment

Megan's journey highlights the emotional toll of IVF treatment, prompting discussions about coping strategies and support systems for individuals undergoing similar experiences. Coping during IVF can be immensely challenging, but there are resources available to provide guidance and support. Here In the UK, organisations like Fertility Network UK and Fertility Friends offer advice, including online forums where you can find other people who understand. Your doctor may be able to give you details of a local support group, too.

From all of us here at Kicks Count, we wish Megan well on her path to motherhood, and extend our love and support to anyone navigating our embarking on their IVF journey.

Further Resources

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is the UK’s independent regulator of fertility treatment and research using human embryos. They also provide free, clear and impartial information about fertility treatment, clinics, and egg, sperm and embryo donation.

Tommy's provide extensive resources on planning a pregnancy.

The British Infertility Counselling Association has a directory of accredited, specialist therapists.