Fertility Education Project Report

Working to help preserve fertility, improve awareness and educate young people

Fertility Education Project

Aim

The aim of the project is to tackle the problem of a lack of awareness of issues surrounding fertility and infertility in Scotland.   It was agreed that this would be achieved in a variety of ways i.e. by working with universities, health professionals; GP’s and employers across Scotland to introduce ways of ensuring people are better informed about how their fertility can be conserved. To reduce the instances of infertility through improved outcomes in terms of health and lifestyle both of which can be factors in preserving fertility.

The project provides open sessions within Scotland’s clinics where patients access fertility services. F N Scotland staff hold regular events at clinics and work with staff there to ensure that patients are aware of the information and support services the charity can offer and how they can make use of those and benefit from them.  It is widely recognised that those who do have ready access to such services are informed and empowered enabling them to better manage their illness.

Another area where better health outcomes may be achieved through education of fertility issues is at GP level and within family planning clinics. Through this project we work with GPs to encourage them to include a conversation about fertility as part of their general gynaecological checks such as smear tests or when women attend for contraceptive advice and to explain both the effect of lifestyle factors on their fertility and the decline of female fertility with age. We similarly work with family planning clinics where we encourage them to include these same discussions as part of their system.

 

A schedule of visits is established to Universities/Colleges in Scotland and F N Scotland liaise with the faculty to request that we have an open day where F N Scotland staff  present  information on fertility and infertility. As part of these events F N Scotland also request that we were able to address the students and give a presentation on facts related to fertility education and preserving fertility. Through this approach we believe could improve health outcomes for our young students.

It is widely recognised that there needs to be a change in people’s attitude towards the whole area of fertility, career and family. Young people in higher education/working with other organisations to gain qualifications are the employers and health professionals of the future and through the multi targeted approach of this project, we believe that we are creating a more knowledgeable fertility population and reduce infertility in future years.

Over the course of 2018/2019 the need for education surrounding future fertility has continued to be highlighted by Clinical Professionals and the media with it being widely reported for example obesity and eating disorders are on the increase in Scotland.

The Project – 2018/2019

During 2018/2019 the project distributed approximately 7558 “your future fertility” leaflets which are aimed at giving an informative overview of lifestyle, eating disorders, age, weight, smoking, STI’s etc. which are often issues many people do not consider until they discover they have a fertility problem.

Presentations were given throughout the year which had been updated to present to GP surgeries, Midwives, Family planning, Universities, Voluntary Organisations and Employers.

Universities/Colleges

In 2018/19 F N Scotland secured a place and attended the following Universities/College Fresher’s and Health event weeks.  Presentations have continued to be presented to GP surgeries, midwives, student nurses, Mental Health nurses, voluntary organisations and  universities. The charity secured places and attended 41 university/college Fresher’s, Health event weeks and Sports groups across Scotland giving presentations and supplying information.

We attended the following educational establishments:

  • Dumfries and Galloway college
  • Napier University, Edinburgh
  • Fife College Stenton Campus
  • Fife College St Brycedale Campus
  • Gardyne Campus college
  • Arbroath
  • Perth College
  • Kilwinning
  • Irvine Royal Academy College Campus
  • Abertay University
  • Napier University
  • Stow College
  • Kelvin College
  • Glasgow City
  • St Andrew’s
  • Kilmarnock College
  • Dundee  University
  • Stirling University
  • Aberdeen  University
  • Dumfries University
  • Hamilton College
  • Ayr College
  • Robert Gordon
  • Paisley University
  • Glasgow University
  • Strathclyde University
  • Caledonian University
  • Alloa College
  • Falkirk College
  • Dundee College

During Fresher’s within the Universities and Colleges F N Scotland conducted a survey of student’s knowledge of what could affect their future fertility.  1529 Students took part in the survey.

To ensure the survey gave more detailed information about the participants whilst still allowing the survey to be anonymous participants were asked to indicate their age.  52% were aged 16 – 21, 26% were aged 22 – 30 and 22% were age 30 or over.

Overall results

Males Participated      –           400

Females Participated –           1122

Other Participated       –           7

Prior to approaching the F N Scotland exhibiting area 74% of participants indicated that they were not aware of lifestyle factors that may affect their future fertility.  The remaining 26% indicated they were aware of the following factors:

  • Smoking                      –           (7.2%)
  • Eating disorders          –           (1.3%)
  • Alcohol                        –           (7.9%)
  • Illegal substances       –           (1.9%)
  • STI’s                            –           (3.5%)
  • Age                             –           (1.7%)
  • Steroid Use                 –           (2.1%)
  • PCOS                          –           (0.3%)
  • Early Menopause        –           (0.1%)

391 (98%) of participants from the 400 males who take part indicated they would give more consideration to present and ongoing lifestyle choices they make which could affect their future fertility with 9 (2%) indicating they would not give more consideration.

1026 (91.4%) of participants from the 1122 Females who take part indicated they would give more consideration to present and ongoing lifestyle choices they make which could affect their future fertility with 96 (8.6%) indicating they would not give more consideration.

6 (85.7%) of participants from the 7 Other gender who take part indicated they would give more consideration to present and ongoing lifestyle choices they make which could affect their future fertility with 1 (14.3%) indicating they would not give more consideration.

Overall 1423 (93.06%) participants indicated they would give more consideration to present and ongoing lifestyle choices they make which could affect their future fertility.

F N Scotland are currently aiding 3 students in research to help complete dissertations on Fertility.

16+ Not in Further Education

F N Scotland have continued to work with the voluntary sector to give presentations to 16+ age group.  Providing practical help to those most in need, such as the long-term unemployed, vulnerable of homelessness, young offenders and care leavers, supporting the hardest to reach young people.  We have continued to deliver Presentations to new groups of young people whilst working with the following organisations:

  • Enable
  • Street Soccer
  • Kibble
  • Sexpression, (Student LED Charity) St Andrew’s
  • Girvan Youth Trust
  • Quarriers
  • The Great Steward of Dumfries House Trust
  • LGBT Youth
  • Beat the Blues Wellbeing
  • City of Glasgow College Mental Health Team
  • North/South/East Ayrshire Social Care Team
  • Move On
  • FareShare Glasgow
  • YIP World
  • Chill and achieve awards
  • Versus Arthritis
  • Rankinston Strong Connection Community
  • Health and Social Care Alliance
  • Women Liberation Group

There were workshops presented to voluntary organisations who work with more vulnerable groups of young people.  There were 113 education fertility workshop questionnaires returned with the following out comes:

  • 96% rated the workshop as excellent
  • 4% rated the workshop as good
  • 100% felt they understood more about their fertility
  • 100% felt they understood more about what affect i.e. illegal substances, binge drinking, anorexia, bulimia, STI’s age etc. could have on their future fertility.

Some comments received:

“This is extremely useful knowledge for the future.”

“Interactive games are great for getting the message across.”

“Knew nothing about BMI.”

“This will make me think more about choices I make.”

F N Scotland will continue to work with other 3rd sector/voluntary organisation in 2019/20.  We are currently in progress of linking again with the charity BEAT who are now trying to increase their presence in Scotland and work with young people in relation to Eating Disorders.   F N Scotland are also in talks to deliver a workshop to younger people for the MS  Society.

Nursing and Midwifery

Presentations have been given to student Nurses and Midwives Napier University and Stirling University. This involved a presentation from F N Scotland combined with a presentation from a past patient giving an overview of their journey.

Following the presentations evaluation forms were given to the students with the results below:

Nurses and Midwives – 197 participants

  • 94% rated the information provided as excellent
  • 6% rated the information provided as good
  • 100% felt better informed about the patient experience
  • 100% felt better informed about the impact of infertility on mental health
  • 100% felt better informed about infertility treatments.

We received positive comments some of these are below:

  • thank you so much for taking the time to come and meet with the student nurses. I think they found your talk extremely interesting and that it will be very useful for them to have that knowledge in their future interactions with patients”
  • “Great source on information”
  • “This will help me in my role in the future”
  • “So informative”
  • “This information should be more widely available in schools”
  • “Lower chances of success with IVF than I thought”
  • “How fertility can affect your mental health is eye opening”

Health/Education events

Throughout the year we have continued to attend clinic patient evenings/days/ Health weeks/smoking cessation events  including The Gathering in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Fife, Edinburgh, Dundee, Perth, Ayr, Crosshouse Hospital, Dumfries, Cumnock, Glasgow, Girvan Hospitals etc.

General Practitioners

Presentations to 32 GP Practices/Community Link Practitioners (CLP’s)

  • 98% rated the information provided as excellent
  • 2% rated the information provided as good
  • 100% felt better informed about infertility pathways
  • 100% felt better informed about the impact of infertility on mental health
  • 100% felt better informed of the current and updated criteria
  • 100% felt better informed of the services offered by Fertility Network Scotland

F N Scotland presented a workshop to 18 CLP’s who work directly with GP’s in Glasgow.  F N Scotland will continue working with GP practices and CLP’s to deliver presentations/literature to GP’s, Nurses and Health Visitors and work with the Clinics to attend GP educational events.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinics

F N Scotland have continued to carry out visits to some of the Sexual and Reproductive Health clinics who have continued to welcome the literature and the aim of the project, F N Scotland will continue to liaise with the clinics.  There are some clinics which F N Scotland staff are unable to attend due to location, but discussions continue with these clinics via telephone and email, and literature is provided as requested.

F N Scotland have attended and exhibited at 12 College/University sexual and reproductive health update days and also a young people’s sexual health and wellbeing symposium.

Employers

F N Scotland continues to offer a service to employers by way of a presentation/workshops to staff and HR departments on the benefits of their staff’s health and wellbeing by understanding infertility. All 32 local authorities had implemented a fertility policy and we are currently working with Unison to review and improve this where needed.

Fertility Network  Scotland staff delivered a workshop HSBC in Edinburgh at their Scottish Health and Wellbeing Staff day.  This was livestreamed across the HSBC network.  A further workshop was delivered to RBS in Edinburgh which was recorded and placed on the organisations Intranet for staff to access.

We will continue to work with the relevant bodies concerned to take this forward with employers and continue to research and develop contacts with companies and provide this and other appropriate services to aid their awareness and education on infertility issues in the workplace.

Continuing Work

 

OUTCOME

 

INDICATOR LEVEL TIMESCALE
Improved awareness among student of the factors affecting fertility and how to protect fertility Number of students reached and engaged with Distribution of 5500 future fertility leaflets

 

Attending Fresher’s and other events within at least 25 universities and colleges

 

 

Use at least two interactive tools to engage students at events and which highlight how lifestyle factors affect fertility

in project year 2019/20
Hold a minimum of 6 positive thinking CBT workshops Number of people attending Minimum of 5 couples In project year

2019/20

Closer working relationships with long-term unemployed, young offenders and care leavers, supporting the hardest to reach young people Number of young people reached and engaged with and number of workers engaged with within the organisations targeted Giving presentation to at least 6 organisations

 

Distribution of 1000 future fertility leaflets

 

 

 

in project year 2019/20
Closer working relationships and improved awareness of the emotional impact of fertility problems among student Nurses and Midwives Number of student midwives and nurses engaged with Presentations given to minimum 160 student Nurses and Midwives

 

97% positive feedback from completed evaluation forms from attendees

 

 

in project year 2019/20
Improved access to information and support for those affected by fertility problems or potentially fertility limiting conditions Number of people with fertility issues engaged with and helped through information events Work in Partnership with The Great Steward of Dumfries House Charity to continue to deliver a fit for fertility programme.

 

Organisation of an event giving people access to talks and exhibition

 

Increase attendees at main information event by 25%

 

Attend and maintain 90% Local events including support groups throughout Scotland

in project year 2019/20
Closer working relationships and improved awareness of the emotional impact of fertility problems among GPs Number of GPs engaged with At least 15 Presentations given to GPs

 

95% positive feedback from completed evaluation forms from attendees

 

Increase number of GPs engaged with by 5% on 2018/19

in project year 2019/20
Closer working relationships and improved awareness of the emotional impact of fertility problems among health professionals within Sexual and Reproductive Health clinics Number of health professionals engaged with Attend and exhibit at sexual and reproductive Health update days.

Increase number of sexual health clinics engaged with by 5% on 2018/19

in project year 2019/20
Engage with HR departments of companies Number of companies engaged with Give at least 2 presentations to companies on the benefits of their staff’s health and wellbeing by better understanding fertility issues faced by employees

 

Maintain engagement with Trade Unions and Employers to ensure that companies adopt a policy on fertility issues within their workforce

in project year 2019/20