National Fertility Awareness Week

This week is National Fertility Awareness Week. Here at Tommy’s we get calls and emails from women and men regarding fertility on a daily basis.

National fertility awareness banner.

by Tommy’s midwife, Anna

Life’s path simply isn’t straight forward when it comes to having a baby and it is bewildering when we finally intend to start a family and pregnancy doesn’t happen.

The stories I have the privilege of listening to are moving and meaningful. The journey towards parenthood for many couples is fraught, painful and intensely stressful. It involves agonising waiting, unlimited reserves of patience, guarded emotions: hope, courage and despair. 

Women also torture themselves and the finger of blame turns inwards.

Last night I was having a meal with a friend who has just had some preliminary investigations which show that she has some fertility issues. The first words to come out of her mouth as she returned from the GP to tell her partner were, ‘I’m so sorry, it’s my fault’. How many times do I read emails where a woman expresses her apprehension of embarking on another round of IVF, fearful that she will ‘fail’.

Following the mental and physical stresses of infertility, a much-longed for pregnancy after infertility can also be fraught with anxiety. The pressures and expectations from those around you to be happy, glowing and grateful can also take their toll. It's important, whatever stage of the journey you are at, to take time to look after yourself. We have tips for looking after your emotional wellbeing, both during pregnancy and in the conception period.

If one in six couples are affected by infertility this isn’t a little problem that will go away.

It may affect you, if not, it is definitely affecting someone you know. There are many worthy organisations out there to help to navigate and support everyone wishing to conceive. Options and treatments are available, you are not alone and we want to raise awareness of this struggle. 

For more information, Infertility Network UK provide advice, support and understanding for the #1in6 couples struggling to become parents.

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