Getting the right support can make all the difference to your experience of fertility problems and treatment, and many people find that seeing a fertility counsellor can be really useful. I know not everyone feels comfortable with the idea of counselling initially – but it shouldn’t be seen as a sign of not coping or of not being able to manage alone, but rather as a sign of strength that you are actively doing something to help yourself.
If you are having IVF, ICSI or donor treatment at a clinic in the UK, your clinic should let you know about the counselling services that they provide, Sometimes this will be free counselling at the clinic, but it may involve an extra cost and you may have to see the counsellor elsewhere. Sometimes there may be a wait to see the clinic counsellor.
If you are looking for a qualified specialist fertility counsellor – and it is worth seeing a specialist as they understand the issues relevant to your situation – the best place to go is the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA) website at www.bica.net, where you will find a list of the specialist counsellors in your area. The BICA website also has a very helpful checklist of tips for anyone looking for a counsellor.
BICA is working with the charity Infertility Network UK to try to find out more about people’s experiences of fertility counselling and the two charities are currently running a survey which anyone who has attended a UK fertility clinic can answer, whether or not you’ve had counselling. It would really help to get a clearer picture of how clinics are currently offering counselling in order to improve services for the future, so please if you have a spare five minutes do complete the survey which will help others in the future.