One step closer to having a baby

I finally took the leap and got my own domain. I’ve been thinking about it for some time and took the plunge last week. Have I mentioned how frustrated I get by technology? I don’t know all the lingo and have (painstakingly) worked through getting this site up. I managed up to a point and then I had to get an IT company involved. When the help forums started talking about moving folders, copying folders and ensuring that subfolders are backed up, I realised that I need help!

It ended well – and here we are! The only thing I still would have liked on my blog is a WordPress ‘follow’ button and a WordPress ‘Like’ button. Perhaps I’ll get there in the end.

Fertility treatment at Tygerberg Fertility Clinic

With the move to my own domain, I haven’t had the chance to post an update on where we are as far as the fertility treatment goes… So here it is!

After looking over our file and the information we had submitted by email, Dr Thabo Matsaseng gave us an appointment on Friday, 22 April. At this appointment KB would undergo a biopsy of the testes to ascertain whether or not there are viable ‘swimmers’.

Testes Biopsy

On 22 April we arrived at Tygerberg Hospital around 9am and it was quiet. On our last visit there were people and children everywhere. When we asked why is was so quiet, we were told that they only do the biopsy procedures on Fridays and only book 3 per Friday.

Dr Matsaseng is such a nice guy. He introduced himself simply as Thabo (no “Dr” or formal reference). He was welcoming and casual, setting us at ease. He was especially considerate of how KB might be feeling, because guys are apparently a bit weirded out by another man… um… “manhandling” them. I don’t feel weird when I have a papsmear? Wait, I take that back, it almost sounds like I’m OK with it, I’m not. A papsmear is not pleasant, but I’m not weirded out by the fact that my GP (a woman) has done it a number of times.

Anyway, Dr M was lovely and cracked a couple of jokes. He introduced us to Gerhard, an intern, who would be assisting him. Dr M made small talk in a kind way, he was pretty much telling KB, “Look, I get it. It’s probably not cool for you that I’m a guy and you’re a guy, and here I am all up in your junk. And that’s OK. I’m here to help you.

KB was an absolute trooper. He took it all in stride and remained calm and collected. I on the other hand struggled not to gag or freak out at the amount of injections and blood.

I’m not going to lie, the biopsy was quite traumatising for me (and for KB, of course). I was in the room when it was performed and had to look away a lot of the time. In a nutshell (Haha… see what I did there? Nut.Shell…?!) Anyway, there were numerous injections into the testes, a scalpel, surgical scissors, lots of sterile swabs, gauze, and sutures (+/- 7 or 8) involved. There were 3 (medical) people in the room: Dr M, Gerhard and a lovely lady from the lab waiting to whisk KB’s specimen to the lab for testing before freezing it asap, plus me.

Have a plan

When all was said and done, KB had to sign a form giving instruction on what to do with his specimen in the event of his death before we completed the procedure. You have a few choices:

  • Destroy the specimen
  • Donate it to science for research purposes
  • Donate it to a fertility programme as a donor
  • Cede it to your partner/spouse to decide

Tip: Before you start fertility treatment, give some thought to what you would like to do with your specimen. We were a bit blindsided by the question, but eventually decided that I should get the rights to it. So if KB dies, I get the rights to his sperm, if nothing else.

It’s looking good!

The lab tested the sample while KB was being stitched up –  according to them, it’s a great sample! Thankfully it’s good, otherwise KB would have to undergo this procedure again if I understand it correctly. The next steps (when we are ready to proceed) are to contact Dr M on the first day of my cycle – then we get a script for hormone injections. The injections will over stimulate my ovaries to produce a number of eggs. They will harvest the eggs on a specific day in my cycle. They then use KB’s swimmers to manually fertilise my eggs and from there once the embryos are growing and viable, they decide how many to implant.

Truth? I am completely overwhelmed by what is still to come. The process is different to how we envisioned the whole thing going down, but it is what it is. I am also concerned about a multiple birth – which is not really something we’re aiming for (although my mom’s dad was a twin, so I assume it is actually possible to a small degree that I could bear twins through natural conception?). Dr M and Gerhard assured us that they do the embryo transfer as responsibly as possible to avoid a multiple pregnancy.

For now, we’ll have to wait until after my exams mid-June before we think about going ahead. I’m not sure if I am grateful for or disappointed by the delay?

(Update: I am currently pregnant with my daughter after successful fertility treatment with Dr Thabo Matsaseng at Tygerberg Fertility Clinic in May 2017. Read all my fertility-related posts here. And you’ll find all my pregnancy-related posts here.)


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  1. Wow – quite involved and scary for both you & KB during the biopsy. Good luck, must be quite exciting.
    PS with regards to the WordPress like & follow button the “normal” like and follow button isn’t available with self-hosted but you can get it with Jet Pack.

    • Hi Dianne – It was crazy scary. It’s not what we expected, though I don’t actually know what we expected, but it wasn’t the extent of the “surgery” he had to undergo! Thanks for the info about Jetpack – I have tried to search for the follow and like options, but can’t find them. I’ve lost patience with it at this point and will try again in a day or so 🙂

  2. I am in a process of doing invitro bt I dont know what to expect ! Im looking forward though !ThAnxx for sharing

  3. Hi Nicki..I’m thinking of making my appointment for ivf soon. Dr Thabo is very good, I did a documentary a year and a half ago with him. Was you ivf procedure successful would really love to know and how much was your costs. If its possible please do send me on my email address

    • Hi Lee-Anne! I haven’t had the treatment yet, so I can’t comment on how successful it will be, however, the costs are much lower compared to going through a private clinic. I am hesitant to give you costs, as these will vary depending on what you are doing and when you are having it done. Personally, I am looking to do the ICSI procedure and not IVF. I suggest you contact the fertility clinic at Tygerberg direct for more accurate costs. Best of luck!

  4. HI,
    I went to Tygerberg last year in September for ICSI that was unsuccessful and going again in May this year. When are you scheduled for?


    • Hi Hailey

      I’m sorry to hear the ICSI you did wadn’t successful and hope that the next scheduled date goes well for you. I don’t have a scheduled date yet. I hope to do the hormones in the next month or 2. I’m hoping to get the ball rolling in May, as I’ve been concentrating on getting through studies (I work fulltime and am studying a BA degree part-time).

      • Awesome. I am scheduled for the end of April. These things happen – all the stuff you read online about how the first time is successful is really the minority in my opinion but I held onto that and was so sad when it didn’t work. I think what made me feel semi-okay with it was that we got right to Embryo Transfer successfully. I am hoping that this time will be successful but in all honesty I am prepared to do as many rounds as it takes 🙂

        • I’m excited for you for your next appointment! I will keep you in my thoughts and hope that this round is successful! That’s one of my biggest fears – that I get my hopes up only to be disappointed. But you’re right, we’ll keep at it until we have success! Kinda nice to know that there are others out there who also share the same fears and emotions, also means we can celebrate the wins (no matter how small) together x

    • Hi Hailey
      U knw i am also schedule fr may 2017 at Tygerberg hospital fertility clinic

    • Hi Hailey… U neva posted anything again after da 15 March 2017 i wanted to knw hw did yr treatment go r u Still waiting?

      • Hi Makoti, You can follow my blog – for details, my second cycle failed at the beginning of may.

  5. I’m so anxious at the prospect of starting my treatment in the first week of May 2017. I’m a week away from my cycle and must collect my treatment at dischem pharmacy on day 3. What scares me is the ER, the hospital uses local anesthesia and I’m so frightened cause I’ll be awake the whole time. Anyone out there who actually went through it because I read that sedation is the best option.

    • Hi Elmarie! It sounds like you and I are in more or less the same boat! I am also roughly a week away from my cycle and will also collect hormone treatment from the pharmacy soon. I can’t really give you any advice or reassurance regarding the ER, but I have very faith in Dr Matsaseng and his team. My partner had a testes biopsy and he was awake for the whole thing (and I was in the room to lend support). Dr Matsaseng performed it and was quite thorough and reassuring through the whole thing. So if my guy can undergo cutting & stitching, etc. then I can do what needs to be done on my side. Try not to dwell on the scary stuff – keep the end goal in sight and draw strength from that. Also dont believe or read into everything you come across. Remember that every person has a different experience. Also be sure to ask Dr all the questions you want to ask to try and put yourself at ease or to know better what to expect. Sending you all the positive vibes and hold thumbs that things go well for you! xx

      • Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. You have assisted me a great deal. I wish you and your partner the very best as well. Hoping for positive results for us. Warmest regards

        • Hi Elmarie – Thank you for deciding to leave a comment on my blog in the first place. I’m glad to have helped in some way. I will be sharing our journey here on my blog, as we go along, and it’s comforting to know that there are other women in a similar situation. I decided to share our journey because I couldn’t find much info about the process (particularly local info). This process is scary and filled with uncertainties. So I hope my blog will serve as a source of comfort and info to you and other women/couples going through a similar experience. Best wishes and warm regards to you and your family too xx

      • So happy for u guys plz share Wat happens step by step my schedule is moved to June nw iIsend u all da blessings in yr treatment… God bless u

        • Hi Makoti – Thanks for the lovely message – will hold thumbs that all goes well for you in June too! I’ll def share as much as possible, just keep an eye on the blog. You can subscribe if you like, otherwise just check in from time to time x

          • I definitely wil dis is a wonderful experience dat we are goin through and alot of people dnt even hv da knowledge of these procedures and for me i am staying positive and it is da first tym dat i am in contact with people dat is doing da same procedure

        • I’d be happy to share my experience with others in the hope it might help anyone. Patiently waiting for my cycle to start, so excited actually, I’m willing my period to come as soon as possible.

          • Hi… Elmore was jus thinking of u today hws it goin hv u got yr period yet if i may ask y are u doing the procedure… The reason y iIhv to do da ivf procedure is because both my fallopian tubes were removed due to eptopic pregnancy…

  6. Hi Makoto, the young Drs didn’t put me through the booking system after voicing my disappointment Dr Thabo came to the rescue. We met with him on 08 May and now I’m scheduled for my next period end of the May. So excited!!! On you question why I’m going this Avenue is because my husband’s sperm count was low but it miraculously went from 2% to 4%. Dr Thabo is very positive and so are we now. I’ll keep you posted.

    • Hi Elmarie – How exciting! Holding tight thumbs for you for end May x

    • Hi Naeema – you can contact the team at Tygerberg Fertility Clinic on (021) 938 4473

  7. hi Ladies, thank you all so much for sharing your experiences, I have a question to the ladies that have been through IVF with Tygerberg hospital for treatment, how many embryo’s did you transfer? I will be undergoing treatment at the end of July. I have a had one unsuccessful ICSI with Cape Fertility Clinic… I wish you all a positive outcome with your upcoming procedures xx

    • Hi Debra – I’m sorry to hear your first attempt was unsuccessful 🙁 it’s such a difficult journey. I was very fortunate to have a successful ICSI treatmentat Tygerberg on my first attempt. They harvested 3 eggs, 2 were successfully fertilised. They transferred both embryos and I am currently 5 weeks pregnant. I have a scan on 10 July with Dr Matsaseng where we’ll find out how many babies, I.e. 1 or 2, as we don’t know how many of the embryos successfully attached. Thanks for the positive wishes – also holdimg thumbs and crossing fingers, wishing you a positive outcome in July/August xx

      • I’m really happy fr yr successful cycle if u five weeks dat means yr treatment was last month… I hope all of us we be as lucky as you to hv successful cycles and feel da baby growing inside of you… U R BLESSED

        • Hi Makoti – Thank you. It’s such a difficult and emotional journey. I sincerely wish for every woman/couple who go through fertility treatment to have a positive outcome too. xx

  8. Good Day my name is Ella I did my 1st IVF last year with DR.Botha we are from P.E and 2 inseminations which also failed. I am visiting Tygerberg in September for IVF; I’ve been placed on Nordette since my cycle is very irregular. Please advice what can I eat and drink to make this a success basically I want to do something differently.
    I pray it works in Tygerberg….

    • Hi Ella – I’m sorry to hear that your last cycle failed. It really is a difficult and emotional journey 🙁 Unfortunately, I am not qualified to answer your question regarding what you can eat or do differently. Personally I didn’t change my diet or my lifestyle. I’m also extremely lucky that my cycle is regular. I think you should chat to a qualified person to see if there is anything else you can do? Wishing you every success for your September appointment x

  9. Hi Nicky,

    Firstly, a huge thank you for posting your experiences and the entire process step by step for the rest of us out there. I for one, really appreciate it! I have read, and re-read every post pertaining to the whole process you have posted, and have been secretly rooting for you along the way! Congrats! and may your pregnancy go well!

    My dilemma…

    Hubby and I have our 1st apt with Dr Matsaseng on Friday 22/09 (the same day as the testis biopsy)
    We were told to go to 1st floor and open a file… which is where my question lies… Do we open a file for hubby? or for me? #confused
    Can you please tell me what you did?

    Thank you

    • Hi Sameera! You are absolutely welcome – it really makes sharing this whole experience worthwhile knowing that other couples are benefiting from it. As I’ve mentioned in some posts, I decided to share our journey because I was overwhelmed by the whole process and couldn’t find any “local” online accounts of what it all entails, what to expect, etc. I won’t lie, it was nerve wracking putting my heart on the line so publicly, and I am eternally grateful that we had success the first time round.

      Thank you for your kind words and well wishes, it is sincerely so amazing to have all these strangers rooting for us and wishing us well, some of whom have not had success in their own attempts at IVF. It just goes to show resilient and generous women are.

      We started our journey 2 years ago, back then we first had to register as patients at Tygerberg Hospital – we did this on the ground floor at “Registrations”. This is where we were issued a patient card and were handed a file. From there we were instructed to go up to the 3rd floor where we waited our turn and handed our file in at the 3rd floor where our file was opened (this is also where they requested proof of income). But perhaps this has changed and you now have to open a file on the 1st floor? Either way, open a file for the each of you, as you will need open a file for yourself in any event. Remember to take your IDs, proof of address and proof of income (Tygerberg bill you according to your income). Actually, I can’t recall if they wanted proof of address, but take it with if you have one just to be sure. Also always take your patient card with you for every visit!

      Hope this helps and good luck! Wishing you and your husband every success!

      • Hi Nicky,
        I have been reading your posts and I just got back from Vietnam and need to get in touch with Dr Thank. Can you please provide me with email addresses and contact details. I too have been struggling for almost 7years, with two misses 🙁 and can’t afford private anymore.


        • Hi Nazy – The contact details I used for Tygerberg Fertility Clinic are:
          (021)938 4473 and email:
          Tygerberg dot FC at gmail dot com

          I’m not sure if these are the current contact details, but you can check a directory if you don’t come right with these 🙂

          Private treatment is horribly expensive (which is why we also chose to go through Tygerberg), and I’m so grateful that we had success the first time round, because as much as we don’t like to discuss the cost of trying to fall pregnant, it is a harsh reality that couples who require fertility treatment must consider. Wishing you luck on your journey x

  10. I am here at the moment having my second cycle of icsi. My husband had a vasectomy reversal which was successful but sperm count was to low. I also only had pcos at that stage.

    The fertility specialists at Tygerberg are amazing. As soul destroying as it is for us it’s also their ‘babies’ that they’re loosing.

    My first cycle was in june 2o17 with dr Norsaka. We realised at my first scan that my uterus was inverted and that my right overy wasnt reacting to stims. Anyway i got 3 follicles from 1 side, 2 of which were empty and only 1 fertilized. It was uncessssful though

    This is my second cycle…with dr TM. My stims were doubled and my script slightly different. Sadly i only made one follicle. Which was slightly immature on day of aspiration….the did the sperm injection yesterday and now we are anxiously waiting for news on fertilization …were besides ourselves.

    • Hi Cassandra! The team at Tygerberg really are wonderful – I am sorry to hear that your first attempt was unsuccessful and am sending you all the positive thoughts and hope that fertilization is successful this time round too. I know how stressful it is waiting to hear whether or not fertilization occurred.

      You are so brave… I am in awe of how strong the women (and men) are who tackle this process more than once.

      Wishing you a successful outcome – and keeping you in my thoughts. x

        • That is absolutely wonderful news!!! So excited for you – wishing you all the positive thoughts and sticky dust for the transfer! x

          • Well by transfer day the egg had only split into 4 and it was only a 3rd grade They were prepared to transfer for free saying that there was a 50%chance.

            So we never had the transfer.

            What I forgot to mention was that dr Tm suspects in have diminishing egg syndrome. I have to have that test once iv had my first period that flushes all hormones out.
            I also have a fibroid in my inverted uterous and only 1 functioning ovary!!! And now he says that I never responded to higher dose of stims anyway.

            Giving it a 6 month break….taking ionfollic and dhea supps. What can you tell me about this?

          • Oh, man… I’m sorry the news wasn’t better. I don’t have any of the challenges you’re faced with – I can only give you moral support and root for you from the sidelines. I’ve not taken any of these supplements nor heard of them before, so I’m afraid I’m not use in this department. Taking a break might be what you need; it’s emotionally draining to walk this path. Keep positive and I hope the future holds better odds for you after the supplements x

  11. Hi cassandra I have pcos and my gynae prescribed inofolic for me, I did fall pregnant naturally after using inofolic but I had a miscarriage when I was 3 months. I’m still using inofolic I help me with ovulation..It’s a good product.

    • Been taking ionofollic and dhea since my failed treatment. My cycle is 28 days now not btw 36 and 45!!!!!
      My amh is very low. 0.3 but Dr thabo is willing to try saying it could take up to 10 ivfs!!!!!
      Just trying everything to make sure i have the best chance for my next cycle in March 18

      Hope you get good news soon xxxx

  12. Hi Nicky, Thank you for sharing your exprience, i have been looking for a forum to share my exprience as well, i know a million of people out thre gets comforted or encouraged by reading other people;s experiences or by knowing someone somewhre is going through the same experience. I did IVF procedure at Tygerberg fertility Clinic, my procedure started on the 22 of March 2016 with Dr Norsaka such a caring lady. 8 eggs harvested only 2 were health, one Grade A and another B. they were both fertilised and transfered.all went well, im happy to say my twins (boy and girl) are 10months now. anyone with questions or need some encouragement you can email me.
    Keep positive there is still hope.

    • Hi Sheila! Thank you so much for your lovely message. Congratulations on the birth of your twins! I am currently 22 weeks pregnant with my daughter after a successful first round of ICSI with Dr Thabo Matsaseng. But I’m sure there are other ladies who may take you up on your offer of support by email! Thanks again for the lovely message of hope and support for all ladies walking this difficult path x

  13. Hello guys .I imagine have been there in August this year for consultation i was told to call on my first day of cycle but unfortunately Dr told me the storage for eggs are not available for icsi..I was looking forward but I will keep on trying to call him

    • Hi Pam – How disappointing to find out that there isn’t space in the incubator 🙁 Don’t be too despondent, keep trying – your turn will come! Wishing every bit of success x

  14. Good evening i would like to know how do i go about it to go for IVF at tygerberg hospital. I am at groote schuur and they said we should do IVF but there cost is about 20.000. Please advise

    • Hi Deidre

      The best would be to contact the fertility team at Tygerberg Fertility Clinic directly. You can find their contact details online, however, I used this contact number when I called them: (021) 938 4473
      I did do a post regarding the costs of doing a round of treatment at Tygerberg earlier this year. You can read it here:


        • Hi Deidre – I initially contacted Groote Schuur regarding fertility treatment in 2015, however, I was told that because we don’t fall in their catchment area we would have to apply for treatment at Tygerberg Fertility Clinic (we live in Somerset West). So, unfortunately, I can’t comment or give you insight into on how Groote Schuur is or what their costs are.

  15. Hi ladies
    I’m so glad I found this blog, I’m also in IVF process with Tygerberg Fertility clinic,we began our journey on 26 Sept 17, and I must say its a very frustrating process, to cut the story short, I did a quantitative pregnancy test on Monday at Pathcare and I’m anxiously waiting for the results, I’m also on high dose of Utrogestan tabs witb side terribly sids effects…we’ll come back and share the results..

  16. Hi Fikiswa – I am not a very patient person and I also found the waiting difficult! I didn’t have any side effects with the Utrogestan, so I’m sorry to hear that you are not feeling great. Hoping for a positive result for you! x

  17. I am so motivated reading all of this and I will like to visit tygerberg hospital as well..I will like to know how long it will to know how long it will take me to start my procedure am desperate for a child

    • Hi Judith – Unfortunately I can’t tell you how long it will take, it depends on your situation and how busy the clinic is. I think the best idea is to contact Tygerberg Fertility Clinic directly to get the process started.

  18. Hi ladies
    Got my periods yesterday, I felt soo numb and disappointed, they were very heavy, but today it was only spotting, tried to contact Dr M but in vain, this morning I went straight to Pathcare for my results and they were Negative with hcg levels less than 5…so the IVF has failed, I try not to show it but I’m very devastated right now. I ‘m a very strong person, I’ve been through a lot, I know this too shall pass…We r thinking of trying again next yr, hopefully things will work better……..For those who are still to go pls don’t be discouraged by this, not everyone will go through what I’ve been, don’t despair….I had voluntary bilateral salpingectomy (which I now regret),after giving birth to my daughter on 7 Dec 2015( On Thursday its her birthday, and I was hoping that I’ll be celebrating it holding good News) saddly she passed away on 28 June 2016, cause if death is stil unknown as she was very healthy even the night before she died, so to find closure I decided to try for another baby, bcoz I don’t have tubes I went this route (ivf) which is the only option, and on top of that I just turned 42 on the 9th of Nov which is the cut off age in Tygerberg…I can’t even share this with my friends and family as they were all against it, sharing the bad news with them will add more stress, I’ve been on antidepressant since the death of my daughter, but I stopped taking them in September, I think I ‘m gonna go back to them…I have a 13 yr old son and a 9 yr old daughter but I wanted 3 kids, (my dream since high school)…iI dont know if I’m goin crazy or not…I know some of you never fall preg but here I am bragging about having 2 kids…I ‘m sorry if I’m offending u ladies, but I just felt, this is the right platform yo pour out…All the best to those who are still in the process

    • Hi Fikiswa – I am so so sorry to hear that the IVF failed. It made my heart so heavy to read about your little daughter. No words could ever try ease the pain of her passing and you are very brave for sharing your story here. I don’t think anyone would be offended by your comment about having 2 children, and this is not a space for passing judgement or harsh comment (I won’t allow it). Love and light to you… N x

  19. Thanks Nicky today I’m feeling a bit better and tomorrow is my late daughter’s birthday, I’m trying not to focus on it too much, just keeping myself busy…

  20. Hi ladies
    I haven’t seen any post since 2017,Me and my partner are considering ivf but we not sure if we can go straight to Tygerberg fertility centre or if we must go to a doctor first,and should couples must be married.

    • Hi Tania, my sincere apologies for the delay in replying to your comment. As far as I know, thre are certain documents you need to supply when you request an appointment. For example, among other, you need to have a referral letter from your GP, as well as specific blood test done (i.e. HIV and the one for syphalis). I think it’s best to contact the Clinic direct and ask what exactly they require in order to get an appointment for a consultation with the fertility team. Sincerely, Nicky x

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