After years of trying to conceive and two failed IVF cycles, Han and his wife Lianne turned to Maven for support. When Han joined Microsoft, he started meeting with Maven’s fertility care team through his company’s benefits. Han and Lianne, who are located in the U.K., found empathetic, holistic care from Maven’s healthcare practitioners, including a nutritionist, a reproductive endocrinologist, a fertility awareness educator, and mental health specialists. And then something wonderful happened—after just four months of using Maven, Lianne found out she was pregnant. 

Han sent this message to his Maven Care Advocate: 

I am absolutely thrilled to share with you the news that my wife is now pregnant! We couldn't be happier, and I wanted to take a moment to express our deep gratitude for your Maven's expert advice and support throughout this journey so far. The fertility guidance and advice has been invaluable, and we are certain that your team's recommendations and support played a significant role in helping us achieve this wonderful news without the help of IVF treatment or any assisted reproductive technology. We tried to conceive naturally and through IVF for six years, and my wife got pregnant after only 4 months of joining Maven and getting help from your care team, we had amazing emotional support and saved around £30,000 that we were going to spend on IVF. Thank you so much.

Navigating the high cost of fertility care in the U.K. 

Prior to joining Microsoft, Han and Lianne were going through IVF after years of trying to conceive. “We went through one cycle in 2022 that didn’t work,” says Han. “We had a frozen embryo from the first cycle, and then we tried the second time with the frozen embryo and that didn’t work either.” They felt isolated and alone in their journey, burdened by the emotional and financial toll of fertility treatments. 

The NHS typically covers three IVF cycles for British citizens and people permanently in the U.K. Even though Lianne is a British citizen, they were not eligible for these free cycles because Han is not a permanent resident of the U.K. “We had to pay in the private system,” Han explains. IVF is prohibitively expensive—the average cost of one IVF cycle without NHS assistance is £5,000-£8,000 GBP ($8,000 - $11,000 USD) for the procedure and £900-£1200 GPB ($1,170-$1,560 USD) for the medication.  

Because they were paying for it themselves, Han and Lianne thoroughly researched their options. “We were on our own,” Han says. “We were spending hours researching private clinic options ” Han joined Microsoft shortly after their second IVF cycle failed. As a Microsoft employee, he learned about all of the ways Maven could support him and his wife on their family building journey.

Han's first meeting was with his Care Advocate, who helped him and his wife find clinics and get advice about how to move forward. “When I first started on Maven, my Care Advocate sent us a list of clinics local to us in the U.K. to choose from,” Han says. Han also received a list of questions from Maven to help guide the conversation with clinics, empowering him and Lianne to advocate for themselves. “We were getting to the bottom of it to understand if the clinic was good or not,” says Han. 

Accessing fertility and mental health specialists

Research shows that people struggling with their fertility face similar rates of anxiety as people with cancer or heart disease. Not only were Han and Lianne going through the stress of IVF, but Han was also starting a new job and going through a big life change. “There was a lot of stress,” he remembers. “That’s when we started using the counselors on Maven.” 

Lianne had been going to counseling sessions at the fertility clinic after the cycles of IVF failed, but then realized she didn’t need to drive to get quality mental health support or have to pay for this service herself. “She said, ‘I’ve got Maven. I can talk to the best providers at the touch of a button,’” Han remembers. Lianne and Han also connected with a mental health specialist for couple’s counseling together. With this support, Han and Lianne felt more equipped to think optimistically about their next steps.  

Fertility specialists & nutritionists that supplement the NHS 

As Han and Lianne learned more about what Maven could offer, they decided to book an appointment with a nutritionist. Lianne wanted advice on healthy eating as they tried to conceive. Her nutritionist provided a customized plan full of compassionate advice and actionable tips. As Han saw Lianne improving her diet, he was inspired to also meet with a nutritionist on Maven to learn what he should be eating while they tried to get pregnant. 

Han and Lianne also turned to Maven’s fertility specialists, such as a reproductive endocrinologist and fertility awareness educator, for additional guidance. Fertility specialists provide a holistic, educational approach to fertility, with actionable tips to help conceive naturally as well as personalized introductions to different pathways to parenthood. “The emotional support we got from the fertility specialist was also important as well as her expertise. She was really supportive and kind.” Han and his wife loved that they could reach out to their fertility specialists immediately on the app whenever they needed—they didn’t have to schedule an appointment weeks in advance. 

For Han and his wife, the Maven experts they’ve connected with have become their care team. “We’ve gotten more value from Maven than all the hospitals we’ve visited,” Han explains. “We’ve learned about nutrition, lifestyle changes, and gotten mental health support that’s given us stability and made us feel cared for during our journey.”  

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Finding out the good news

After several months of working with Maven’s fertility care team, Han and Lianne were planning to go in for a routine fertility test before starting a third cycle of IVF. But the day before the test, Lianne found out she was pregnant. “Just naturally. It happened just like that,” Han remembers. 

Han and Lianne are certain that Maven’s recommendations and support helped them achieve this exciting news without the help of IVF treatment. “We had amazing emotional support and saved around £30,000 that we were going to spend on IVF,” says Han. “The only difference was Maven. We didn’t do anything else, and now we’re pregnant.” 

Before Lianne got pregnant, Han had seen on Maven’s site that 25% of fertility members achieve pregnancy without assisted reproductive technology—and felt skeptical. “I was like, ‘Well, I don’t know how that would happen,’” Han remembers. “But now I understand. The Maven providers leave people with peace of mind. I think that helps a lot with the good results people get.” 

Continuity of care through pregnancy and beyond

Now that Lianne is pregnant, they are still working with the Maven team of experts who helped them through their fertility journey. They talk to their nutritionist to discuss dietary changes that may need to happen week to week. And meeting with their Maven couple’s counselor is still an important part of their routine because as Han puts it, “she’s part of the family right now.” Han’s wife also still meets with her own counselor, and they connect with their Maven nutritionist every month or so to check in. Han and Lianne couldn’t be happier to welcome their new baby into their family soon and will be able to use Maven for expert advice and support throughout every new step of their journey. 

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