add ons

The Sunday Times Style: Selling Hope: How Wellness Cashed In On Fertility

I was thrilled to speak to journalist Sophie Wilkinson for a brilliant article she wrote for The Sunday Times Style magazine about IVF add-ons: how the lack of NHS funding has pushed women into the private market, and how the baby business is only too happy to profit from selling us unregulated add-on treatments.

I added my own personal take, which was that it's essential that we have all the facts to make up our own minds and make a truly informed decision. My wonderful consultant didn't want to sell me tests or treatments he didn't believe were of any benefit - but I was a woman on a mission and was determined to throw everything and the kitchen sink at our treatment. And I'm glad I did, even though we weren't ultimately successful.

For me it was less about believing that these treatment would help us to have a baby, but rather than I was planning for what would happen if and when we ended up with no baby - so that I knew we couldn’t look back and think ‘what if?’

However plenty of Drs and clinics aren't so scrupulous - relying on patients to check out the HFEA website & traffic light system to find out if there's any evidence base for the treatments they're being recommended.

This is simply not good enough.

How can we give informed consent if we're not in possession of all the facts?

Check out the full article here:  Selling Hope: How Wellness Cashed In On Fertility

Check out the full article here: Selling Hope: How Wellness Cashed In On Fertility

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

HAVE YOU TRIED…

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.

It also features a rather fetching illustration whereby I’m immortalised in cartoon form alongside some viagra tablets and a tube of fertility lube (bet this article is going to do SEO for my name a world of good!!). I’ve only just managed to work out what the disembodied floating hand is - I think it’s someone with an acupuncture needle (although maybe I do have a massive third hand and have never noticed)

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’)

If a well-meaning-but-clueless friend/colleague starts the ‘have you tried…’ game with me, whilst very well intentioned, I inwardly take a deep breath, as I’m thinking ‘mate, I promise you I WILL win the ‘have you tried?’ game!

This article is a light-hearted look at some of the crazy lengths that I - and a number of other women (it’s not just me who’s lost the plot) - went to in the name of infertility. This is just a highlight of a long list of wacky infertility adventures - safe to say there’s a lot more where those came from!

Including such highlights as:

  • me pretending to be a middle-aged man with erectile dysfunction on the internet

  • my (short) career as an international drug trafficker

  • blessings by a Buddhist monk with a wooden phallus in the mountains of Bhutan 

  • a litany of fertility woo therapies

  • a whole host of other women's mad infertility adventures  



HAVE YOUR SAY

Are you fed up of being asked ‘have you tried’? What’s the craziest thing you’ve tried during your infertility journey?

I’m writing a book that challenges the fantasy infertility narrative of endless positivity and happy endings, by sharing real women’s (and men’s) stories about what it’s really like to struggle with infertility and pregnancy loss.

My goal is to represent as many different perspectives as possible: if you’ve experienced infertility or pregnancy loss — whether your journey is current or past, whether successful or not — I’d be honoured if you’d consider sharing your story anonymously.