Category Archives: News

Gillian’s story #100FertilityFaces

Gillian is an FNUK support volunteer, and she is organising a fertility open evening at her local complementary therapy clinic to raise funds and awareness on November 1st.

This is Gillian’s story …

Seven years ago, I never gave my fertility a second thought, until my husband and I started trying for a baby.  I came off the pill… months went by, no period and no BFP (that’s “big fat positive” in fertility land!)…

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Barcelona IVF hosts event on assisted reproduction techniques

To celebrate NFAW Barcelona IVF have teamed up with acupuncturist Gerald Kite to offer an informal event designed to explore the complimentary interaction between acupuncture and assisted reproduction techniques.

Dr Olivares from Barcelona IVF and London based acupuncturist Gerad Kite are delighted to invite you a Q&A session on the 3rd of November.

We will be talking about the questions which usually arise within these specialties and will also be happy to answer any further queries from the audience.

What treatments are there available? How do I adjust this to my routine? Which is my best option? What kind of changes will my body experience during acupuncture? What if it doesn’t work? These are few of the many questions which cross our minds when facing a fertility issue. Our aim is to naturalize the process and help shed any lingering taboos.

For this reason we have united the opinions of two renowned and different professionals in the field as we believe the combination of both create a balanced synergy and help obtain an overall better result.

If you would like more information don’t hesitate to email us on Olivia.cerezo@bcnivf.com

The event will be held on 3 November 2017 in Harley Street, London between 6.00 pm and 8.00 pm.

Tickets are free and can be ordered HERE

 

IVF Memories from Louise Brown

It is very strange to think that those cells dividing in a petri dish 40 years ago became me! Patrick Steptoe and Bob Edwards suggested my middle name “joy” because they said IVF would bring joy to so many people.  That joy is still spreading today. My heart also goes out to those for whom it has not been successful.

Writer, speaker and broadcaster Sheridan Voysey shares IVF memories

For the couple who undertakes it, the IVF clinic and its staff will forever be part of their lives, whatever the outcome. I still remember the details of my wife’s and my first conversation with an IVF counsellor. I remember the specialist’s repeated reassurances that she’d seen “many successful pregnancies from embryos in worse shape than these”. I still remember the nurse from the clinic telling us, on our final IVF round, that all the signs were right for a pregnancy. And I still remember that same nurse calling on Christmas Eve to inform us that was sadly no longer the case.

What a gift IVF has been, bringing joy to so many couples who thought they’d never hold their own ‘little us’.  Sadly, it’s still a fallible tool and some of us return home without our hoped-for outcome. But for the scientists, specialists, nurses and support staff, know that you automatically become part of our lives for good when we walk through your door – your words and expressions forever in our memories as you bring us the best news of our lives or the worst. IVF makes that big an impression on a couple, whatever the outcome. In our case, the memories of you are all warm. And for that I’m grateful.

Sheridan Voysey is a writer, speaker and broadcaster, frequently presenting Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2. His and his wife’s story of starting again after a decade of infertility is told in his memoir, Resurrection Year: Turning Broken Dreams into New Beginnings.

Sheridan

Sheridan Voysey , Writer | Speaker | Broadcaster

 

Adam Balen, Chair of The British Fertility Society shares IVF memories

I find it amazing to think that it’s almost 40 years since the birth of Louise Brown, the first IVF baby – conceived after many years of perseverance by Bob Edwards, Patrick Steptoe and Jean Purdy. I was doing my A levels at the time , so I wasn’t really there at the beginning, but not far off. When I started working in the field of reproductive medicine in the 1980’s, the HFEA hadn’t yet been founded and IVF practices weren’t really regulated or structured as they are now. I remember being inspired by Bob Edwards who was the scientific director of the clinic that I was working in and always amazed to see babies born that I had first observed as a cluster of cells down a microscope. So much has changed – too long a list to go through in this short paragraph – and, with over 7 million babies born as a result of IVF worldwide, the technologies continue to advance – although sadly the woeful lack of funding from the NHS to provide equal and adequate access around the UK has become even worse. I love my job and the team I work with, who I consider to be like a big family all working together (scientists, embryologists, nurses, counsellors, medics and of course the administrative and support staff who keep the wheels oiled). It is humbling to have been able to help so many couples achieve their desired families and also hopefully to have done our best to support those whose dreams sadly didn’t come true. Our annual Fertility Awareness Week is an important time to shout out about the affect infertility has on people and how in reality IVF and its associated treatments are cost-effective and worthy of proper funding by the NHS.

Adam Balen MB,BS, MD, DSc, FRCOG

Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Surgery

Chair of The British Fertility Society

Leeds Fertility, Seacroft Hospital, Leeds LS14 6UH

Consultant Embryologist shares his IVF memories

I thought I would share a few memories.

I started my career in Bristol in 1994 and had the pleasure of working in a team lead by Mike Hull, Barbara Ray and Alan McDermott; quite a combination and one which impressed and motivated me from my very first day.  I will never forget the first time I looked down a microscope and saw those first signs of fertilisation; a beautiful zygote, and my shock when two days later it had failed to form an embryo worthy of transfer.  That demonstrated to me very early on in my career how the odds were not in our patients favour and how much work was still ahead of us.

I had the pleasure early in my career to hear Sir Bob Edwards lecture at the BFS/ACE meeting and was suitably inspired by his honesty, tenacity and passion.  I was so very sad, yet honoured to represent ACE at his funeral in Cambridge in 2013; a man we all owe a great debt to and always will.

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NFAW PR – 40th anniversary of IVF success

Released: 9 October 2017

November 2017: 40th anniversary of IVF success

National Fertility Awareness Week 30 Oct -5 Nov 2017

On 10 November 1977, IVF worked and nine months later Louise Joy Brown – the world’s first IVF baby – was born. Since then more than a quarter of a million UK babies have been born via IVF.

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IVF memory from an IVF child

First Christmas!

I’m Elliot, I’m 21 years old and have just left University. My twin sister, Katie is planning to return to Lancaster University to complete a masters in Geography.  I’m intending to start my career and look for work.  I have very mixed feelings about where I’m going or if I’m doing the right thing. I’m nervous as I currently don’t know where I’m headed but also excited to find out what exactly I end up doing. I’m hoping to work in broadcast radio somewhere relatively close to home.

Other than conversations with my family, the fact that I was an IVF child wasn’t brought up much through my childhood. However, growing into my mid to late teens, my friends began to take an interest. Whether that was because they had recently become aware of the treatment or aware that I had been born as a result. I never felt the need to tell people.  I’d often get asked “what’s it like to be an IVF baby” to which I’d often jokily respond with “what’s it like not being an IVF baby?”

Other than the way I was born I don’t see much difference in the way I am or the way I’ve been raised. I would envision that Katie and I are the most typical siblings! We argue like all brothers and sisters do. We have good moments like all brothers and sisters do. We’re a pretty normal family in that respect.

 

The Politics of Infertility

“Infertility is a recognised medical issue faced by thousands of people in the UK, yet treatment for this issue is increasingly being given only to those who can afford it. If we do not act now we will soon be faced with a two-tier system of those who can and those who can’t afford the right to try.” – Anya Sizer, Fertility Network UK

Fertility Network UK would like to invite you to an event to be held in Parliament discussing and exploring the issues around fair funding for IVF.
This will be followed by a drinks reception with opportunity for further discussion and networking.

1st November 2017 Portcullis House, Wilson Room 4-00 to 6-00pm

Panel speakers:

Introduction from Peter Thompson – Chief Executive HFEA

  • Paula Sherriff MP
  • Richard Clothier – patient campaigner
  • Sarah Norcross – Fertility Fairness
  • Rebecca Manson Jones – founding member and Candidate for Women’s Equality Party
  • Geeta Nargund – Director Create fertility clinics

    Please RSVP to: office@fertilitynetworkuk.org