I'm 39 now, and I've had a lot of late effects as a result of cancer treatment, for example, it weakened my heart. But for me, by far the most devastating effect of treatment was the impact that it had on my fertility. I was just 13 when a doctor casually informed me I'd never have children. The big part of my future that I assumed I would have had was taken away.
These add-ons include pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS); endometrial scratch (which was the only add-on clinically proven to show some benefit); and additional bloods and immunology testing, to name but a few. New, experimental treatments with a significant or growing body of anecdotal evidence behind them are how many of these treatments could best be described
As evidenced by the tears of the women in last night's programme, infertility is brutal, physically and emotionally, and affects 1 in 7 couples. If my doctor had asked me for twice the price on the promise of heightened chances, I'd have handed it over without a moment's thought. That is why the ethics at play in last night's TV made for such unsettling viewing.
For the 1 in 6 couples facing fertility problems in the UK, finance plays a very important role in choosing fertility treatments. There has been much debate recently surrounding fertility add-ons, essentially new technologies and procedures which may be offered by clinics to help boost the chances of successful IVF.
As a whole, we are living longer and we are healthier than any generation before us. However, unfortunately this is leading women into a false sense of security by thinking their eggs are healthy, therefore leaving motherhood later. The truth is at 35 a woman's fertility begins to decline with her fertility having almost halved by the time she reaches 40
In the last 20 years much has changed in the field of fertility treatment -advances in technology we could not have dreamed of even twenty years ago. The challenge now is to harness those advances in ways that puts women's health at the heart of every decision, to ensure that current IVF treatment is made less expensive and safer for women and finally to push forward on current exciting research to slash the costs of fertility treatment to make IVF more accessible to couples across the social divide.