A woman lost two and a half stone in a matter of months after being told her BMI was too high to have IVF.

Stacie Quirk and her husband Matt said they "would give up everything we've got just to have one child."

The couple from Tranmere, Wirral, have been trying for the last five years to have a baby and have endured two failed cycles of IVF.

Stacie said she has followed doctors' advice to lose weight and lower her BMI, while her husband Matt has undergone multiple hospital procedures.

But the couple feel they are running out of options to start a family of their own.

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Stacie's sister, Ashleigh Perry, has set up a Gofundme page with the aim of raising enough money for a third round of IVF, which is only available to them through private healthcare.

Stacie told the ECHO: "We started trying [for a baby] after we got married in 2017, so it's been about five years now.

"After about two years of trying we started looking at going to the doctors and started having checks done.

"I had my bloods taken and then they started to realise it might be a male factor which we didn't even consider, I always blamed myself."

After undergoing tests, Matt was told he had a low sperm count and the couple were referred to the Hewitt Centre at Liverpool Women's Hospital.

Stacie Quirk and her husband Matt from Tranmere, Wirral
Stacie Quirk and her husband Matt from Tranmere, Wirral

Stacie said: "We went through all of our checks with them and through those checks we realised my BMI was a bit high.

"I needed to lose two and a half stone to reach the bracket for the NHS, so we could be approved to have some rounds [of IVF] through the NHS."

Stacie, who weighed 14 stone at the time, lost two and a half stone in the space of six months in order to give her a BMI under 29.9.

Following her weight loss, the couple were approved for two rounds of IVF through the NHS.

Stacie said: "We were about to start our first cycle and then lockdown hit so it was delayed."

The treatment was put on hold for 12 months due to restrictions imposed on the health service during lockdown.

During this time, the couple went to see a specialist in Crosby, who found Matt had Varicocele - a condition where the veins near the testicles become enlarged which can cause low sperm production.

The 29-year-old was referred for an operation at Aintree Hospital to remove the varicocele before they could begin their first round of IVF.

Stacie said: "After that, we went ahead with the first cycle and it failed. We didn't even get an embryo out of it.

"[Doctors] said for our age and my age especially, it should have been fine and we should have been able to at least get an embryo, so they needed to look into it further."

The couple's second cycle of IVF also proved unsuccessful but they refuse to give up their dream of becoming parents.

They now have no choice but to try a third round of IVF through private healthcare at a cost of around £10,000.

This time round doctors have told Stacie she will need the "highest dose of stimulation" for her ovaries and she sees this as her final chance of becoming a mum.

Stacie said: "It's hard not to with them saying that they're going to put me on really high dose of stimulation.

"There's only so many times I can put my body through that and the fact of how heartbreaking it is when it doesn't work.

"I don't think emotionally we could recover from anymore and obviously financially as well."

Stacie said her and Matt, who are both self-employed, are throwing "every spare penny" into the cost of a third round of IVF.

By sharing their story, Stacie hopes to raise awareness of the difficulties people can encounter when trying to conceive and the need for more andrologists - doctors who specialise in male reproductive issues.

Stacie said: "It's heartbreaking. You try not to get your hopes up but you just do any way. There's no words for it really.

"When we started trying to have a baby it was never in my mind that we would struggle. Every woman in my family has a baby no problem - you move along in life thinking that's how it is.

"We've always said we would give up everything we've got just to have one child."

If you would like to donate to the Gofundme page you can visit it here.