We're justifiably proud of our National Health Service in the UK, but when it comes to fertility treatment, there's nothing very national about it. Whether or not you qualify for medical help from the NHS for a fertility problem depends entirely on where you live, and the postcode lottery for IVF treatment causes great distress to many patients.
Different dosages of drugs are used by different clinics, with some clinics even using 600 IU of FSH per day which is very high. Some clinics also give "off label" medication during the implantation phase and early pregnancy. It is concerning that there is no regulation as to what drugs are given and in what dosages.
I was deeply concerned to read the proposal by Dr Kevin Smith last week, that young men should consider freezing their sperm, around the age of 18 with the promise of artificial fertility even in old age.
Sex and relationship education is for now and fertility education is for the future. Conception and contraception are two sides of the same coin. We need to empower our young people with education on fertility, so that they can stand a better chance of falling pregnant when they choose to. Education empowers.
There is nothing synthetic about the hideous pain that my mum went through giving birth to us (sorry, mum), there is nothing synthetic about hugs at bedtime, family holidays and first days of school. But most prominently, there is absolutely nothing synthetic about the fact that my parents loved my brother and I so much that they did absolutely everything within their power to have us.
I've met women who are overdosing themselves on painkillers trying to manage their pain, who have to sit on black bin liners during their period to protect the sofa, who have been told at the age of 25 that the only solution is a hysterectomy - even one who was told by a consultant gynaecologist that it was normal to bleed for 15 days every month.