What Fertility Network UK is all about…

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I’ve just been reading a few comments about Infertility Network UK’s new brand and logo, and it seems that some people have misunderstood what the new brand is about. Fertility Network isn’t going to be focusing on people who are pregnant or who are having babies – it’s still a charity for those who are having difficulty conceiving.

The word “infertility” is a negative one – and you may have noticed that it is very rarely used in fertility clinics any more. Most people who visit clinics aren’t technically “infertile” anyway but are experiencing fertility problems. Changing the name of the charity isn’t about forgetting people who are having trouble conceiving or about offering support instead to people who can conceive easily, it’s about being more positive and upbeat in the way the issue is dealt with.

It’s always difficult when things change – but I really think this is a positive step forward. I remember reading articles in the past which talked about people with fertility problems as “infertiles” or “barren”. Personally, I welcome the fact that Fertility Network UK is moving away from negative labelling, although it is a great shame if some people haven’t appreciated what the rebrand is about and feel that they are being excluded in some way – it’s really not the case at all.

Can you help save fertility funding in Suffolk?

images-21Ipswich and East Suffolk clinical commissioning group (CCG) and West Suffolk CCG have announced they are consulting on cutting the number of NHS-funded IVF cycles they offer from two cycles. They will either cut to one cycle or stop offering any treatment at all. The CCGs have asked for people to comment on these proposals before 5 September by filling in a feedback form on their website here .

If you live in the area, don’t forget that you can also write to your local MP about the proposals.  The local MPS are:

Rt Hon Matthew Hancock MP West Suffolk Matthew@matthewhancock.co.uk

Mr James Cartlidge MP South Suffolk james.cartlidge.mp@parliament.uk

Jo Churchill MP Bury St Edmunds jo.churchill.mp@parliament.uk

Dr Daniel Poulter MP Central Suffolk and North Ipswich daniel.poulter.mp@parliament.uk

Rt Hon Ben Gummer MP Ipswich ben@bengummer.com

Dr Therese Coffey MP Suffolk Coastal therese.coffey.mp@parliament.uk

Susan Seenan, co-chair of Fertility Fairness and chief executive of Infertility Network UK said of the proposals; ‘Why is it increasingly deemed acceptable to remove access to NHS treatment for people with fertility problems? Infertility is defined as a disease and is as deserving of NHS treatment as any other medical condition. To ignore the plight of the approximately 3.5 million people in the UK who are unable to have children without medical help is cruel and unethical.’

Ask A Consultant

800px-Woman-typing-on-laptopIf you’ve got questions you’d like to ask a fertility specialist, you may want to join Infertility Network UK’s online chat session via Skype this Thursday titled ‘Ask a Consultant’.

This month’s guest speaker is Shipra Singh Krishna, Consultant Gynecologist. Shipra will address the most commonly asked questions before those joining the group have the opportunity to ask their own questions during a Q and A session.

The session begins at 7pm and all you have to do to join the group is email your Skype username to hannahtramaseur@infertilitynetworkuk.com

New name and logo for fertility charity

Cmhc-LqWYAAWk88Infertility Network UK, the country’s support charity for anyone affected by fertility problems, is set for a change of name and logo! From mid-August, the charity will be Fertility Network rather than Infertility Network.

It’s a welcome change – the term “infertility” is no longer so widely used and in fact the majority of those experiencing difficulties getting pregnant are sub-fertile rather than truly infertile. The new name also reflects some of the wider interests of the charity, around campaigning for better fertility education for young people for example.  Here’s a preview of the new logo and colour scheme!  A new website will follow and will be launched in the Autumn at the Fertility Show.

Nutrition talk at London fertility group

637px-Cornucopia_of_fruit_and_vegetables_wedding_banquet_(cropped)If you are in or near London, you may be interested in a talk on nutrition at the Infertility Network UK Central London group on July 7 at 6pm. This will be specifically focused on healthy eating and diet for fertility. The evening is open to everyone and is completely free of charge as are all Infertility Network UK groups.

There will be time to listen, to ask any questions you may have about healthy eating and diet, and then to get together with others who are experiencing fertility problems.

If you’d like to attend, email katebrian@infertilitynetworkuk.com who will send you more details.

Hooray for Scotland!

Flag_of_Scotland.svgWhen news about fertility funding seems to focus on cuts and dwindling services here in England, the Scottish government has to be applauded – and loudly – for moving in the opposite direction, announcing plans today to fund three full cycles of IVF treatment for eligible couples. What’s more, couples will be eligible for the first time if one of them has a child from a previous relationship. The changes will be introduced gradually, but it’s still wonderful news that the Scottish government is able to offer such positive support to those with fertility problems.

Infertility Network UK’s Chief Executive Susan Seenan, who is also Co-Chair of Fertility Fairness, commented on the news saying, ‘Scotland continues to lead the way in providing equitable fertility treatment. The Scottish government brought in equity of provision in 2013 and is now committing to delivering the full clinically recommended 3 IVF cycles (for eligible women aged 40 and under). In addition, it is relaxing current access criteria and will offer fertility treatment to couples where one partner has no biological child. This increase in access to medical treatment is fantastic news for people in Scotland affected by fertility problems and we commend the Scottish Government for both recognising the importance of treating this medical condition and backing it up with action.”

Cambridgeshire cuts IVF funding

4cell_embryo.tif More cuts to fertility treatment – this time in Cambridgeshire where commissioners have decided to cut funding for IVF to just one cycle. NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) recommends three full cycles of IVF treatment and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG had only been offering two before this decision but will now reduce that to just one.

Susan Seenan, who is Co-Chair of Fertility Fairness and Chief Executive of the patient support charity Infertility Network UK said that they had not been aware of any tpublic consultation before the commissioners took the decision to cut funding.

Apparently anyone who had already been referred for treatment will not be affected by these changes which will cause huge distress and disappointment to many people who are experiencing fertility problems in the area.

 

Want to know more about reflexology?

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If you are in or near London, and are interested in knowing more about reflexology, you may want to go along to the Central London group run by Infertility Network UK this Thursday where there will be a reflexologist, Lyn Franklin, at hand to give a brief talk and to answer any questions that you may have.

As with any complementary therapy, reflexology should never replace proper medical care when it comes to fertility – but many patients do find it very relaxing and if it can help you to feel better during your fertility tests and treatment, that can only be beneficial.

If you’d like to go along to the group, you can find out more on the Infertility Network UK website here. The meeting is free and is a great opportunity to get together with others who are experiencing fertility problems.

Want to know more about nutrition?

637px-Cornucopia_of_fruit_and_vegetables_wedding_banquet_(cropped)If you are interested in nutrition and making sure you have the best possible diet for your fertility, you may want to join the Infertility Network UK online chat via Skype which will take place on Thursday 26th May at 8pm. This month’s guest speaker is Hayley Taylor, a Senior Fertility Nurse and Nutrition specialist.

Hayley’s talk will focus on nutrition but she will also discuss other things related to fertility for example stress management and lifestyle factors – looking at this from a holistic approach. Hayley will talk for approximately 30 minutes and the talk will be followed by a 15 minute question and answer session. If you would like to join this chat, all you need to do is email your Skype Username to hannahtramaseur@infertilitynetworkuk.co

How volunteering can help

Please read this brilliant piece for the Guardian Voluntary Sector Network written by Ridhi, one of Infertility Network UK’s volunteers, about how running a support group has helped her cope with her own fertility problems. Ride is an absolute star, runs a hugely popular group and has written a really honest and open piece which I hope may inspire other people to get involved – see here and if you want to volunteer for Infertility Network UK, you can find more details here