IVF: I know that I don't have to explain to you what it is because it is a very normal thing today. You all know someone that has gone or is going through it. You may even be going through it right now and you are reading this to seek that little bit of camaraderie at what can be a very bewildering time.
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
My partner and I are lucky. We have both worked for many years in a succession of well-paid roles and managed to live well. When we were told that the only option was IVF, and that we would have to pay, I was in the fortunate position that I had just received a bonus from work and my partner had a little saved.
Infertility has been found to impact 1 in 7 couples in the UK (National Institute for Health Care, 2013). It is a condition that impacts both men and women, however, research looking into infertility has been conducted around women. Thus, leaving men understudied when it comes to the infertility equation.
People considering fertility treatment often ask about clinical trials, and there are a couple of big multi-centre trials taking place in the UK at the moment which may be of interest. Taking part in a trial can be a really positive thing to do as you will be helping to improve understanding of techniques which may help make IVF more successful in future.
People often imagine a support group is going to be terribly gloomy and depressing, but in fact most people who do attend groups find it very helpful. There's something very empowering about being with other people who understand what it's like to live with fertility problems, to share experiences and to learn from one another
Realising that you are never going to be a mother or father is utterly heart-breaking. For many, where childlessness has not been a choice, the prospect of facing life without children is all-consuming & devastating. From wondering what to do with your life now, dealing with social exclusion to healing the deep sadness which lies within your soul, childlessness is anything but a straight forward process.
Truth is....... I just don't know how to switch that feeling off. I've got people telling me "you need another" as well as the natural born feeling of wanting babies that runs through my veins. The thought of really not wanting to have another baby, I simply can't relate to... but I know I will always, even when I'm old and wrinkly have this need for a baby.
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.