Couples can wait up to two years if they qualify for a free round of IVF with their local NHS Trust, but the qualifying criteria varies, and usually excludes couples if one of the partners has a child already, can be age dependent for the female and is basically down to funding, which can run out at anytime regardless of where you are on the waiting list.
I have secondary infertility, in other words I had fertility issues after my first child was born. She is now six. After five and a half years of numerous procedures, operations, four rounds of IVF, a miscarriage and ending up with a fairy godmother surrogate, I got my happy ending, my complete family.
One of the many reasons that women, and occasionally men, come to see me for weight loss advice is because they want to start a family, but are struggling. Did you know that obesity is a major cause of difficulty getting pregnant - and can increase the risk of miscarriage or problems during pregnancy and childbirth?
In the end, I had to pick the outcome to the situation that would make me hate myself the least. Retrospectively, it was like picking a way you'd like to die. Obviously, you're going to go for the easiest, most painless option you can. But, in addition, you're still going to die. And all of this is quite ironic, seeing as it wasn't my life I was choosing to end.
I feel really passionate about the patients that I see suffering with the loss of their baby through miscarriage and particularly those suffering from recurrent miscarriage. It is documented that 1-in-4 women has had at least one miscarriage, which equates to around a quarter of a million women in the UK each year.
One of the problems with treating infertility in Britain is that infertile couples are often sent straight to IVF clinics. They come to expect the need for IVF. Instead, we need to get them thinking in a different, much more positive way rather than scheduling them in for three rounds of expensive treatment as soon as they've walked through the door. It is not all about IVF.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS as it is more commonly known, is not a glamorous condition. I know that sounds like quite a negative statement to open with, but it is the truth as I see it. It is something that affects a large number of women in the UK, yet only receives very limited and stereotypical media coverage.
Highly educated women do have a higher chance of not having a family. Childlessness is on the rise and has nearly doubled in the UK since the 90s, but given the extensive press coverage in recent times of high-profile or careerist women choosing to forego the child-rearing experience you could be forgiven for thinking that most of those without children are of the 'child-free by choice' variety.
Said parents have just had a baby girl. The mother is 12 and still in primary school (she was 11 when the baby was conceived and is five months younger than Britain's previous youngest mum). The father is 13. The couple are said to be 'totally in love' and have the lowest combined age of any British parents on record. So if 50 is too old to have a baby, is 12 too young?
In what can often feel like a mummy-centric world, it can be very hard for women who don't have children and particularly those who want them and are childless by circumstance. Maybe they haven't met the right person. Maybe, like me, they've struggled to conceive. But statistics suggest that up to 25% of women currently in their thirties and forties won't have children.