Does your clinic offer free fertility counselling?

It’s the 25th anniversary of BICA, the British Infertility Counselling Association, this year and I was recently talking to one of the founder members about the development of the charity for the Journal of Fertility Counselling.  One thing which came up during our conversation was access to specialist fertility counselling, and the fact that this is just as much of a postcode lottery as access to NHS treatment.  It seems that some enlightened clinics include as much counselling as their patients need in the cost of an IVF cycle, whilst others will give patients the details of a counsellor in order to comply with regulations, but will leave patients to fund any counselling themselves.

Seeing a qualified fertility counsellor can make all the difference when you are going through treatment – just being able to talk to someone impartial who can help you make sense of the way that you are feeling is invaluable.  It’s a great shame that clinics are failing to recognise that including counselling in the price of treatment can actually make things easier for them as well as helping their patients.

If you’re trying to choose a fertility clinic, do ask about counselling. You may feel you don’t want or need it at the start of your treatment, but as time goes on many people find that they can do with some emotional support.  Seeking help through counselling is never a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength – that you are doing something to help yourself through what can be a tough time.  If patients don’t ask about counselling, clinics aren’t going to bother to include it in the cost of treatment – so do make a point of finding out about it when you are looking around…

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