The Fertility Show goes to Manchester

Did you know that the Fertility Show will be in Manchester next month? The event which has taken place at London’s Olympia for many years is spreading its wings and will be held at Manchester’s Central Convention Complex in Windmill St on March 25 and 26.

There will be a wide range of speakers including Allan Pacey,  Geeta Nargund, British Fertility Society Chair Adam BalenCharles KingslandSimon Fishel, John Parsons, Rachel Cutting, Jane Stewart, Raj Mathur, Tony Rutherford and Zita West. The HFEA’s Juliet Tizzard will also be speaking as well as specialist lawyer Natalie Gamble and Fertility Fest Director Jessica Hepburn. The sessions will cover a wide range of topics suitable to those just starting out and wanting to know more about their fertility through to more detailed sessions on specific fertility problems and treatment options. There will also be a separate platform for Q and A sessions and a wide range of exhibitors.

Tickets are now on sale here so do come along if you are nearby – I will be there too speaking about how to choose a fertility clinic and will be on the Fertility Network UK stand so come and say hello!

Fertility research hits the headlines again…

Today it’s a story about the ovaries of women who’ve been through an early menopause being “reawakened” by researchers in Japan and the US using a new technique.  The first baby has been born using the technique which involves taking out the ovaries, cutting them up and treating them before returning them to the top of the fallopian tubes. Apparently this has led to follicles starting to develop in 8 of the 27 women in the study, and one has now had a baby.

It sounds exciting, and the idea that there could be a way to help women whose ovaries have stopped producing eggs prematurely is fantastic – but unfortunately this is another example of a headline that will have raised the hopes of many women and yet is  highly unlikely to make any difference to their current situation. The problem with the reporting of new developments in research is that it is hard to keep them in perspective. Remember, this is a research study and it’s not something the staff at your local fertility clinic are going to be able to offer you next week – or even next year. It’s still very much at the experimental stage and only one of the 27 women in the study has actually had a baby using this technique although another is expected. We have no idea why it worked for these two women and not for the others, and far more research is needed before it would be able to be offered to on a wider scale.

Of course, we want to know about new advances, but if you monitor the headlines you’ll find news of a “breakthrough” or an “exciting new development” every few weeks – and many seem to disappear without trace afterwards. I was glad to see that the BBC had put the story into perspective by interviewing Professor Nick Macklon and Professor Charles Kingsland but it’s difficult not to get excited when research teams produce a treatment that could change your life if it worked –  try to remember that it can be a very long journey from research to reality. You can read more about the study here