Can you help with a survey?

The National Institute of Health Research wants to fund some research to compare different therapies offered to women with premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), also called premature ovarian failure or premature menopause.

They are a team of doctors, researchers and women with personal experience of POI who are signing a trial to compare the treatments. To ensure that the trial is all right for  women who have POI, they are seeking your opinions. The survey should take no more than a couple of minutes to complete. Your answers are completely anonymous and it is really important as it will help improve treatment for women with POI in the future. You can find the survey here 

London workshop on involuntary childlessness

If you are in or near London and are experiencing involuntary childlessness, you may be interested in a weekend workshop run by fertility counsellor Gill Tunstall.

Running in SW8 on October 18th and 19th, it is for anyone who has experienced infertility, failed fertility treatment, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, premature menopause, stillbirth, terminations for medical reasons or otherwise neonatal death, or unwanted childlessness–whatever the cause, including lack of a partner. The intention is to allow participants to explore their emotions, and to open up the possibility of moving on in their life.

Women, men and couples are welcome. Partners are particularly encouraged to attend, and all sexual orientations are welcome.

For further information  see

Can you preserve your fertility?

images-7Is it really possible to preserve your fertility? I’ve read quite a lot of advice about this recently which suggests that taking action to preserve your fertility when you are young will ensure you’ll be able to have a baby in the future, but unfortunatly fertility is not really something that you can “preserve” in this way and no amount of healthy living or thinking can mend a damaged fallopian tube or prevent a premature menopause.


My issue with the idea of fertility preservation is the that it suggests that we have the power to control our fertility and that leads to the unhelpful assumption that we must be somehow to blame for our own infertility too. I’ve met so many people who believe that their infertility may have been caused by things they have or haven’t done and although it is true that unhealthy lifestyles can impact on fertility, it is also true that many obese smokers who don’t eat well still get pregnant without any difficulty.  Fertility problems are far more complex than we are led to believe by claims that eating more sprouts or drinking more pineapple juice will boost our chances of having a baby – they won’t if you have azoospermia or blocked fallopian tubes.

Of course, there are some things that can have a negative impact on fertility, and it is worth being aware of these if you want to have a baby in the future. Weight is often an issue as being very overweight or underweight can reduce your chances of getting pregnant – and so, maintaining a healthy weight will be beneficial.  Sexually transmitted infections can lead to fertility problems too, and making sure you don’t put yourself at risk can have an impact on your future fertility. Smoking and excessive drinking are also both linked to fertility problems, and are best avoided for your general health as well as your fertility.

Leading a healthy lifestyle will make you feel better and will ensure you aren’t reducing your chances of getting pregnant – but don’t forget that infertility is a medical problem and most of us are no more to blame for our difficulty in getting pregnant than we would be for any other medical condition.