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.

 

The date is set – National Fertility Awareness Week

200The dates have been set for this year’s National Fertility Awareness Week – which is the first week in November from the 2nd to the 8th. As usual, the week will end with the Fertility Show which will take place at London’s Olympia.

National Fertility Awareness Week is organised by fertility support charity, Infertility Network UK, and Chief Executive Susan Seenan said: ‘In the UK, one in six couples struggle to become parents – that’s over 3.5 million people experiencing the heartbreak and anguish that fertility problems wreak. Even if you are not directly affected, many people will know someone – a friend, family member or work colleague – who needs extra help to have a baby. Now is the time to show your support for the #1in6.’

 

You can find out more about the week and how you can get involved by clicking here 

Dates announced for Fertility Awareness Week

The dates have now been announced for this year’s National Fertility Awareness Week in the UK which is due to run from November 2 to November 8. The week is organised by the charity Infertility Network UK and culminates in the annual Fertility Show held at Olympia. You can read more on the Infertility Network UK website

Adoption – myths and facts

I was delighted to be asked to join First 4 Adoption for a webchat on fertility and adoption last night to mark National Fertility Awareness Week, and learnt a lot about adoption over the hour that we were online. Some common myths were dispelled about who can adopt and you can find details of all of these on the First 4 Adoption website. 

You do need to wait six months after finishing fertility treatment before starting the adoption process, but that’s time that First 4 Adoption say can be well spent researching agencies and finding out more about adoption services. If you use that space to make sure you know exactly which agency or local authority you think best suits you and getting ready to go, the adoption assessment process can often now be completed in six months, and most people are matched with a child within a year of being approved – so, it can all happen far more quickly than you may have imagined.

Of course, adoption isn’t an option for everyone – and we all know how annoying it can be when people start asking if you’ve thought about adoption before you’ve even started your first IVF cycle – but for those who are interested, it’s worth knowing the facts and busting the myths, and First 4 Adoption is a very good place to start.

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.

Want to know more about adoption?

first-4-adoption-logoFor anyone who has thought about adoption as a possible option, there’s a live web chat on Wednesday 29 October organised by First 4 Adoption along with Infertility Network UK as part of National Fertility Awareness Week.

It’s an opportunity to chat through any questions you may have about fertility and adoption, and the chat will be hosted by Gemma Gordon-Johnson and Pippa Bow from First 4 Adoption. I will be joining them on behalf of Infertility Network UK.

To find out more, and to register visit http://www.first4adoption.org.uk/

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…