BBC Woman's Hour: IVF and the Two Week Wait

I was honoured to appear on BBC Woman’s Hour this morning to discuss IVF and the Two Week Wait with with Prof Geeta Nargund and Izzy Judd - and to then continue the discussion with (the legendary!) Jane Garvey in a bonus segment for the Woman's Hour podcast.

It was brilliant to share our insight into the deep anxiety of the 2ww from the patient perspective, which I hope will help listeners to better understand what a friend or loved one having IVF may be going through - and more generally to contribute to more open and honest public conversations about infertility.

Metro: The craziest things I did in the name of infertility

My fourth article for Metro’s Fertility Diaries series is about infertility madness - the debate over add-ons, and the crazy lengths that many infertility patients go to in pursuit of trying to have a baby.

As you’ll know if you’ve ever experienced infertility or pregnancy loss, another infertility bingo classic is ‘have you tried….’ (usually followed by either ‘blatantly obvious suggestion’ or ‘miracle woo healing therapy that their sister’s neighbour tried’)

Metro: It’s not just down to infertile couples to solve the adoption crisis

My third article for Metro’s Fertility Month series examines how It’s not just down to infertile couples to solve the adoption crisis

Anthony Douglas, head of Cafcass (the public body representing children in care), said in a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph that the growing success of IVF has meant fewer people will consider adopting children

Metro: Why treatment for male infertility is failing both men and women

My second article for Metro’s Fertility Month series examines how treatment for male infertility is failing both men and women

Men are massively overlooked in the fertility experience more generally: but the inadequate care for male infertility - inadequate diagnosis, meaning inadequate treatment - is also harming women, as ICSI treatment bypasses the male problem to treat the issue in the woman’s body.

Normally I rail against articles which focus on the miracle baby success stories, but in this instance these examples - real examples, from real couples - were pretty critical for the overall argument (spoiler alert: that if treatable problems were diagnosed and treated, this might increase the chances of success, or eliminate the need for invasive ICSI altogether.) These stories are used to demonstrate tangible examples where proper care has made a tangible difference to the outcome. Which I hope will spark discussion and debate!

Metro: How to support someone with fertility problems

I’m really excited to have the opportunity to write for Metro’s Fertility Month series: the first article is about how to support a friend or loved on struggling with infertility or pregnancy loss.

There's lots of articles about what not to say (aka infertility bingo), but Metro wanted something that offered guidance for what you should say or do instead. They commissioned me to write this piece based on the hundreds of responses to my anonymous questionnaire for women (and men) to share their stories, - specifically, to the question that asks respondents what advice you would give to anyone who's supporting a friend or loved one with fertility problems.

There's no universal right or wrong thing to say or do, but these suggestions are based on the answers of several hundred different women, so they're hopefully at least a pretty decent start.

Speaking on LBC about infertility and miscarriage

I was listening to the Maajid Nawaz show on LBC on Sat 10th Nov, where he had a segment on infertility and miscarriage - following Michelle Obama’s interview where she revealed her own experience of IVF and miscarriage, and her feelings of isolation and shame.

He posed lots of questions to listeners for the phone-in: including whether we agreed with Mrs Obama that women did indeed suffer in silence - as well as the issue of delayed childbearing and egg freezing for women who wanted to prioritise their careers.

#BloomFest: The Secret Self

I was honoured to be invited to speak on a panel at BloomFest on 8th November, bringing together my work life and my infertility life - this was truly ‘coming out of the closet’!

BloomFest is a one-day conference and the flagship event for the Bloom network, a professional network for women in communications. The theme for 2018 was ‘Fighting Our Fictions: Challenging myths within the industry’, with proceeds from the day supporting Women’s Aid

I took part in a panel about the Secret Self, about hiding invisible struggles at work - concealing who we are, or what we face, in order to project a professional image of ambition and perfection.

#FertilityAtWork - The impact of infertility on your career, and the challenges of combining fertility treatment and work

This week is UK Fertility Week and today the theme is #FertilityAtWork

Infertility can affect every aspect of your life: physically, emotionally, romantically, financially, socially — professionally.

The impact of infertility on a woman’s career is often overlooked, and shouldn’t be underestimated.

(Both men and women suffer from infertility, and both men and women go through infertility treatment together as a couple: but it’s the female partner who experiences the physical side of treatment — as well as any subsequent pregnancy or pregnancy loss — therefore I’m focusing primarily on the impact of infertility on women in this instance).

We know infertility is really common — in the UK it’s 1 in 6 couples.

As is miscarriage — an estimated 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage.

Really, really common. But how many people who’ve experienced this have done so in silence — not even telling friends, let alone work?

#FertilityFellas: a brief history of male infertility

This week is UK Fertility Week — and today’s theme is #FertilityFellas.

Fertility is not solely a female issue — men are half the fertility equation too, but are often ignored. To understand a bit more about how we got to this point, I thought it would be interesting to take a trip down memory lane, and have a look at some highlights in the history of male factor infertility.

Let’s jump back a few hundred years…