IVF wiped out my life savings and left me a mess, says TV star Lisa Faulkner
Actress, 41, spent 35,000 on four rounds of unsuccessful treatment'I was a walking mess,' said former Celebrity MasterChef winnerAdopted daughter Billie in 2008 when she was 15-months-old'I feel very blessed that I'm finally a mum' she said
22:30 GMT, 6 March 2013
21:31 GMT, 8 March 2013
'Blessed': Lisa Faulkner with adopted daughter Billie now aged six
For years, Lisa Faulkner tried everything to conceive the baby she so badly wanted.
Round after round of costly IVF treatment wiped out the actress’s savings and left her ‘a walking mess’ – all for nothing.
The 41-year-old, now the proud mother of an adopted daughter and dating MasterChef host John Torode, has spoken of her struggle to start a family and the heartbreak of failed IVF.
Miss Faulkner said: ‘It’s a really, really tough process. I don’t think people have any idea until they go through it.
‘It’s not just the physical stuff – it’s the emotions and the hormones that are pumping through your body.
‘You’re on this whole trip of desperation for a baby and you’ll do anything. I was determined that I would be a mother.’
She underwent four rounds of treatment, at a total cost of 35,000. In an interview in The Lady magazine, she added: ‘I said I’d give IVF three goes, and I ended up doing four. I spent all of my savings. But also mentally, I couldn’t go through it again.’
Miss Faulkner, who starred in BBC show Holby City and won Celebrity MasterChef in 2010, married actor Chris Coghill in 2005, three years after they met on the set of the drama Burn It.
They began trying for a child, but she suffered an ectopic pregnancy at six weeks which left her with only one working fallopian tube.
Miss Faulkner decided to seek private fertility treatment when she was in her early-30s. She would have been eligible for free NHS treatment but chose to pay to avoid long waiting lists.
Couple: Lisa has been dating MasterChef host John Torode since October last year
During IVF, an egg is removed from a woman’s ovaries. It is fertilised in a laboratory and returned to the womb. Private treatment can cost 10,000.
Miss Faulkner said: ‘Every day I was injecting myself [with medication]. I was a walking mess of hormones – crying all the time. I was emotional, sad and just desperate for it to work. It was horrendous.’
Exhausted, the couple researched surrogacy before adopting their daughter Billie in 2008 when she was 15 months old. She is now six.
Success: Lisa presents daily Channel 4 food show What's Cooking with Ben Shepherd
Miss Faulkner, who presents a daily Channel 4 food show, What’s Cooking, added: ‘I wanted to be a mum for a very, very long time and I feel very blessed that I finally am.
‘I love Billie so much and I want her to have everything that she could possibly have.’
She and Coghill split in April last year and she began dating Torode, 47, in October after they met on MasterChef.
She has spent time working at his Smiths of Smithfield restaurant in London, and they appeared together on BBC1’s science series Food Factory.
Read the full interview in The Lady magazine, out on Friday.