People going through fertility treatment don't want sympathy; what we want is validation of our feelings, validation of the flurry of emotions that are stirred up in us as we embark upon one of the most difficult things we'll ever endure. We need to know that you get how hard it is, even if you haven't been through it yourself...
I once imagined that having a baby would be a pretty romantic affair. I figured that we'd conceive this baby on holiday or following a candlelit meal. I fantasised about how I would tell my husband, maybe by wrapping the pregnancy test as a gift, or spelling out the news in Alphabetti Spaghetti on his plate.
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
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.
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.
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.