Many years ago I worked on a breakfast television news programme on Channel Four, and every morning we would have a succession of guest arriving at the studios to talk about the news stories of the day. As being a guest on our programme meant getting up very early in the morning for a fairly small audience, we didn’t always attract the big names and we had a running joke in the newsroom that you qualified as an “expert” if you’d appeared on three breakfast TV shows.
I was reminded of this recently when I was talking to some specialists in the fertility field about the number of people who are now setting themselves up as fertility coaches, consultants or holistic therapists. Some of these people may have a wealth of experience and lots to offer. There are others, however, who know no more about fertility than anyone who has been through a treatment cycle – but have realised that there is a market for “advice” which they are happy to exploit.
If you are going to pay anyone to give you advice, please think carefullly about what it is that they are going to be offering you that you can’t get elsewhere without paying anything at all. Infertility Network UK offers excellent support and information which is all completely free, and the charities working in more specific areas of fertility such as the Donor Conception Network or Verity for PCOS can offer tailored information for your situation. Your local fertility unit, the HFEA, the BFS and the RCOG are all sources of accurate medical information, and BICA has qualified fertility counsellors who can offer specialist support. These are all people with expertise in fertility who provide information you can trust.
Do be careful before parting with money to pay for fertility “support services” or consultations. Check exactly what qualifications the “consultant” or “coach” has, and make sure that you aren’t paying for services that are offered free of charge and more accurately, efficiently and honestly elsewhere.