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Help with infertility: Interview with Infertility Network UK

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This week, we were lucky enough to be able to interview the UKs leading infertility charity, Infertility Network UK, to find out just what support is out there for people struggling to conceive and how to make the journey to parenthood that little easier. Here’s what we talked about:

How many couples experience problems with fertility ?

“It’s thought around one in six or one in seven couples experience problems when they try to conceive – that’s around 3.5 million people.”

INfertility Network UK

When was Infertility Network UK founded and why?

“Infertility Network UK is a charity which was formed in 2003 when two charities Issue (formed in 1977) and Child (formed in 1979) joined forces. Now, Infertility Network UK is a thriving, established and nationally-respected charity, which has provided assistance to thousands of people suffering infertility and which continues to grow in strength as infertility becomes an increasingly important and widely understood issue.

We also have ACeBabes (which supports those who have become parents or parents-to-be after fertility problems) and More to Life (which works with those who are involuntarily childless) are also parts of the charity.”

 What support can Infertility Network UK give that’s different to what is currently available on the NHS?

“Infertility Network UK is the leading charity across the UK in the provision of a comprehensive support network for those affected by infertility at all stages of their journey, providing authoritative information as well as practical and emotional support.

The postcode lottery means that provision of NHS fertility treatment is patchy across the UK, and Infertility Network UK would like to see the NICE guidelines implemented so that there is fairness for all fertility patients across the UK.”

 Despite infertility being a common issue among many couples, why do you think people feel to isolated and alone when they’re struggling to conceive?

“There is still a level of stigma attached to infertility. People do not always tell their family and friends about their problems because they can find it so upsetting. It is lonely if all those around you all seem to be getting pregnant and having families and it is easy to start to feel isolated.”

 How could someone get involved with your organisation and help others in their journey?

“We welcome any volunteers who would like to help us whether it’s by lending a hand with a support group, taking our leaflets along to their local GP surgery or offering any skills that they have to help our team. We would also be hugely grateful to anyone who would like to help us raise much-needed funds by undertaking any kind of fundraising event. Click here to get involved

Do you have any ongoing campaigns or events we could help promote?Infertility Network UK

“We are part of the National Infertility Awareness Campaign which is an ongoing campaign for the implementation of the NICE guidelines.

This autumn, we also have National Fertility Awareness Week and if you able to get involved in that in any way it would be wonderful.”

Is there any particular aspect of the fertility journey that couples find particularly difficult? e.g financial costs, lack of information, the post code lottery for funding?

“Pretty much every aspect of the fertility journey can be difficult – but finding that you can’t access treatment that NICE says is clinically and cost effective just because of where you live is a particularly difficult issue for many people.”

 If someone just wants to pick up the phone and chat or get in touch with other people going through the same issues, how can they do this?

“They just need to get in touch with us.  We have a Freefone Helpline 0800 008 7464 or from a mobile 01424 732361. We have helpliners who cover a range of specific fertility problems and treatments who can help – and we have support groups across many parts of the country that they are welcome to come along to. We even have a group just for those who are already parent and have fertility problems.”

Infertility Network UK 1

What would you say your members feel is the most helpful aspect of Infertility Network UK?

“We understand, we offer advice and support, we listen and we care.”

Infertility Network UK 2

If you would like more information about infertility, please visit Infertility Network UK

 

Infertility Network UK

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