Just to send you all my very best wishes for 2014 – and to remind you that if you’ve been having difficulty getting pregnant and are going into the new year hoping that this will be the year that things move on, you don’t need to feel lonely and isolated on your journey. There are lots of organisations and charities offering support and advice which is honest, reliable and often completely free.
The charity Infertility Network UK is one of the best sources of general advice and support for anyone trying unsuccessfully to conceive – yes, I’m biased as I’m the charity’s regional organiser for London and the South East but I do the job because I think the charity has so much to offer to anyone experiencing fertility problems. There is online support, but also regional meetings and support groups, telephone support from peers and medical professionals and the charity also plays a key role in raising awareness of infertility and in campaigning for better NHS funding and for fair access to fertility treatment.
If you are thinking of using donor sperm and/or eggs, the Donor Conception Network should be your first port of call – a fantastic charity that offers so much help and support at every stage. There are meetings, workshops, books and advice for all those who may consider using donor gametes for whatever reason, and the charity works with families who have used donor conception and adults who were donor conceived.
For those who have polycystic ovary syndrome, Verity-PCOS is fantastic source of information and advice – run by the dedication of a small band of volunteers it offers a highly professional service covering all aspects of PCOS. The Daisy Network is another excellent organisation, offering help to those who have experienced an early menopause.
If you’re thinking of a future without children, there are two fabulous organisations that can offer help. More to Life is for those who are involuntarily childless and offers a support network across the country with regional groups, meetings and a support line. Gateway Women is run by the dynamic Jody Day who runs a range of workshops, local groups and offers online support for those who are childless by circumstance. For emotional support, you may also want to consider Lesley Pyne who offers support to childless women.
So don’t let yourself feel isolated – there are 3.5 million people out there who are having difficulty conceiving in the UK right now, and being in touch with others who understand just how you feel can make all the difference. I hope that 2014 will bring happiness to you all.