Spermbanter

If you haven’t seen them already, do catch the brilliant videos with Professor Allan Pacey titled #spermbanter made by Dr Fertility for National Fertility Awareness Week which give the facts about sperm production and what makes a difference to your sperm count. Professor Pacey is one of the country’s leading experts on male fertility and these videos are incredibly informative and give the facts – and also address many of the common myths about factors which can influence sperm and fertility too.

Do catch them – watch them all – it won’t take long. You may find it reassuring and you will certainly find it informative.

You can catch the videos on How sperm are made

What factors affect sperm quality

 

on how diet affects fertility

does smoking affect your sperm quality

and why a man might not have any sperm

There are a number of others – you will find them all once you start watching!

National Fertility Awareness Week starts on Monday

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National Fertility Awareness Week starts on Monday 31st October and runs through to Sunday 6th November 2016. It is your week and you can help Fertility Network UK to raise awareness during the week.

Fertility issues are all too often misrepresented and misunderstood. It’s common for media attention to be focused on stereotypes of fertility struggles: the 30 – or 40 – something career woman who’s left it too late; the against-the-odds IVF success story or the woman who’s apparently easily come to terms with childlessness – but this is far from the real picture.

During National Fertility Awareness Week, Fertility Network UK aims to highlight the unseen, intimate and day-to-day reality of fertility issues, to overturn commonly-held misconceptions about fertility and to shine a spotlight on untold fertility stories.

In the UK, 1 in 6 couples experience the pain fertility issues bring. Even if you don’t have direct experience, you probably know someone who does – a family member, friend or work colleague. We hope people will join in, raise funds and help change perceptions about fertility issues.’

The five focus areas for this year’s media campaign are:

  • The myth of the middle-aged would-be-mum: fertility issues in your 20s and early 30s
  • The truth about fertility treatment: we know that 75% of individual IVF cycles are unsuccessful and that most people who become parents after treatment go through more than one cycle. What is it like to face multiple rounds of treatment?
  • The hidden half: men are just as likely as women to suffer from fertility issues
  • Facing up to childlessness: coming to terms with childlessness is too often portrayed as a straightforward process when the reality is far from that
  • Life after successful IVF: the taboo of secondary infertility and can life as the parent of an IVF miracle ever be normal?

You can find out more about how to get involved at the National Fertility Awareness Week website and on Twitter with the hashtags #NFAWUK #HiddenFaces #fertilityin5

For anyone who is trying to conceive

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If you are experiencing fertility problems and feeling lonely and isolated, I am sure you will find this video will resonate with you. The video is part of Fertility Network UK’s #HiddenFaces campaign for National Fertility Awareness Week and has been generating a lot of positive responses from people who know what it’s like to live with fertility problems. It was made by Jessica Hepburn, who is a trustee of the charity and an author – she writes a blog called after her book – The Pursuit of Motherhood – which is also worth looking at.

Jessica is an amazing woman who has swum the Channel to raise funds for Fertility Network UK and she is the brains behind the wonderful Fertility Fest which some of you may have been fortunate enough to attend in London or Birmingham earlier this year.

Thank you Jessica on behalf of everyone who knows what it is like not to be able to conceive, thank you for talking about something so personal and difficult, thank you for your courage and warmth and for all you do to raise awareness of something so many people find too difficult to talk about x

Are you doing something for National Fertility Awareness Week?

200It starts next week – and there’s still plenty of time to get involved. You can opt for the 5k challenge like me – Infertility Network UK have teamed up with Nuffield Health and they have invited anyone wanting to complete their challenge indoors to come along and use one of their gyms. Free one day membership is available to everyone wanting to participate, just go to their website and sign up for a free day pass – http://www.nuffieldhealth.com/nfaw.

What about joining the Cake Bake – you could get together with friends, family or colleagues and bake and share a cake or two together? Or perhaps you could help raise awareness through social media?

Why not have a look at the National Fertility Awareness Week website, and see all the ways that you can join in.

 

5k for National Fertility Awareness Week

120px-Flickr_-_Official_U.S._Navy_Imagery_-_Racers_cross_finish_line_in_5K_run_for_Navy_Chief_birthday.For this year’s National Fertility Awareness Week, we are encouraging people to get involved in a challenge by running, swimming or walking 5k. As we’re asking other people to take a 5k challenge, I thought I should do it myself so I am running 5k to raise funds for Infertility Network UK. If you would like to help Infertility Network UK during the week, you can sponsor me on my fundraising page which is here https://www.justgiving.com/Kate-Brian1 

Many thanks

Are you coming to the Fertility Show this weekend?

header_510_graphicIt’s not too late to get tickets if you are interested in coming along to the Fertility Show this weekend at London’s Olympia – and if you register at Infertility Network UK, which is completely free, you can get a discount on your entrance.

It’s a huge event, and can be rather overwhelming, but what it does present is a unique opportunity to hear some of the country’s leading experts in the field talking about their subject – there’s Dr Allan Pacey on male fertility, Sam Abdalla of the Lister Fertility Clinic on treating women with reduced ovarian reserve and his colleage James Nicopoullos on fertility testing,  Yacoub Khalaf of Guy’s and St Thomas’ on improving the odds of IVF working for you and his colleague Tarek El-Touhky on treatment for older women, Professor Lesley Regan of St Mary’s Hospital will talk about dealing with recurrent miscarriage, Lord Winston will discuss how to deal with a diagnosis of unexplained infertility, Stuart Lavery of IVF Hammersmith is talking about fertility basics and Zita West will cover nutrition and complementary therapies. If you want to find out about any aspect of fertility or treatment, you will find a seminar that will be useful in a schedule of more than fifty different talks from leading experts.

There are also the exhibition stands covering many different aspects of fertility. A number of UK clinics are represented – the Bourn Hall chain of clinics, the fourteen clinics in the CARE fertility chain which now cover many areas of the UK, City Fertility, Create, Guy’s Assisted Conception Unit, Herts and Essex Fertility Centre, Homerton, IVF Hammersmith, King’s College Hospital ACU, the Lister, London Fertility Centre, Newlife and Poundbury Fertility. There are also clinics from across the world, along with complementary therapists, charities and support organisations. This year for the first time the British Fertility Society will have a stand representing the professional bodies involved in fertility, and this is a very welcome development.

The Fertility Show is sometimes criticised for laying bare the commercialisation of the fertility industry, but I think it is most helpful to approach the two-day event understanding that there may well be things that aren’t for you and that you will need to sift out what is most helpful for your individual situation. Look at the list of exhibitors and think about which you might want to make time for.

One often overlooked aspect of the Fertility Show is the sheer numbers of people who come through the doors – there is something very positive to be gained from being with so many other people who are going through similar experiences and who understand how you are feeling. The fact that there are 3.5 million people at any given time in the UK experiencing fertility problems is something that it can be hard to believe if you are feeling isolated and lonely – but being in one place with so many other people who are struggling to conceive can feel unexpectedly empowering.

National Fertility Awareness Week – Day One

niaw_logo_line_bottomThe week seems to have started really well with lots of social media conversation about fertility. I marked it by going to talk to staff at a City law firm about fertility and about how to help colleagues and employees who may be affected. It was encouraging that the subject had generated so much interest, and there were a number of questions and issues which came up for discussion at the end of the talk. It’s something many more employers could consider as increasing understanding about fertility problems can make all the difference.

I was also delighted that Piatkus, who publish my books, are offering five free copies of Precious Babies (the book about pregnancy, birth and parenting after infertility) to celebrate the week – all of these things help to raise awareness.

If you haven’t got involved with National Fertility Awareness Week yet, it’s not too late – go to the website and see what you might like to get involved with from baking to the Fertility Show! 

Win a copy of Precious Babies – pregnancy, birth and parenting after fertility problems

51+JSiCIa1LIf you’re pregnant or a parent after fertility problems, Precious Babies is written just for you – and Piatkus are kindly donating a copy each day of National Fertility Awareness Week.

If you’d like to be entered into the draw for a copy – you can use the contact page on this blog or on my website giving me your details – and you may be one of the lucky winners of a free copy of the book.

It’s National Fertility Awareness Week

images-13It starts today and aims to raise awareness and get people talking about fertility – are you getting involved in this year’s National Fertility Awareness Week?

There are many different ways to get involved, including coming along to the biggest event of the week – The Fertility Show on 1st and 2nd November at London’s Olympia.

If you are on Twitter, this year’s hashtag is #nfawuk so please remember to use it whenever you mention the awareness week. The aim of the week is to get more people talking about fertility issues, to explain the options that exist for people struggling to conceive and to highlight the impact infertility has on people’s lives.

You can host an event, bake a cake, get people talking – or you can just make a donation to National Fertility Awareness Week.  Whatever you choose to do, thank you for helping to increase awareness – it’s the only way to end the stigma that too often comes along with fertility problems.

 

The great cake bake

images-13With National Fertility Awareness Week starting tomorrow, I thought I’d start thinking about baking for the cake bake – you can find some pictures of people’s cakes on Twitter using the hashtags #NFAWUK and #BunsInTheOven….

Anyway, I remembered last year people making some really amazing egg and sperm shaped cakes, and thought I’d have a look online to see how they might have made them –  I should have guessed it was a stupid idea, but it didn’t cross my mind for one second that anyone would seriously make cakes using sperm and then post the recipes online… Who was to know that semen was not only “nutritious” but also had a “wonderful texture and amazing cooking properties”? You can even buy a book of semen-based recipes…

I think maybe I’ll forget the novelty cakes and go back to a simple Victoria sponge…