#BaseCampforFertility

1 Mar 2022

Well known to be one of the most gruelling challenges in the world, a test of physical and mental strength and endurance, Everest is a climb that tests you to the limits.

Base Camp Altitude: 5,364m | Oxygen Level: 50% | Day temperature: 15 degrees | Night temperature: -1 degree | Trek duration: 9 – 12 days | Trek distance: 130 – 140km

In March 2022 a team of 15 – 20 men from the FNUK Male Support Group will climb to Base Camp, raising funds for Fertility Network UK along the way. Why? To raise awareness of a little talked about issue: male fertility. Each man in the expedition has suffered due to male fertility, but not always as you’d expect. Read the issues below to find out more.

 

THE ISSUES

While fertility is as much about a man as a woman, often men receive far less support throughout treatment. Fertility treatment can be a gruelling process for couples and it can have a huge effect on men too. Many men feel isolated during fertility treatment and often feel like a spare part as treatment is heavily focussed on the woman. There is a lack of support for men around lifestyle, diet and stress, and it can be more difficult for men to find a space to talk about their personal challenges. For some men, this can lead to serious mental health issues, depression and even suicidal thoughts.

Our men-only 2020 survey showed that:

  • 42% of respondents who had undergone fertility treatment did not feel fully involved alongside their partner
  • 41% did not feel supported by family and friends
  • 78% felt that fertility challenges have impacted their mental health
  • 95% would like to see more support made available for men

 

SUPPORTING FERTILITY NETWORK UK

Fertility Network UK provides free and impartial support, advice, information and understanding for anyone affected by fertility issues.

FNUK is the nation’s leading patient-focused fertility charity, offering practical and emotional support whatever your experience of fertility issues.

Ian Stones and Toby Trice have been running a monthly support group for men on behalf of Fertility Network UK for some time now, creating a space where men can share their experiences and support each other. These, and others suffering from male fertility issues are the men invited to join the challenge.

 

MEET THE TEAM & DONATE

 

About Ian Stones

Ian is a leading fertility and wellness expert with extensive experience supporting couples through their fertility journey. Ian is especially passionate about offering support to men and raising awareness of male fertility issues. Ian co-hosts FNUK’s monthly male fertility support group which has proved incredibly popular and is breaking down the barriers and stigma around male fertility. The Everest challenge was Ian’s slightly crazy idea however he’s super excited to be doing something that is getting peoples attention about male fertility whilst also raising money for FNUK. You can donate to Ian’s fundraising pot here

About Kevin Button

Hi I’m Kevin Button, I’m 35 years old and from Tonyrefail in South Wales. Several years ago I was told I was unable to have children. Over the last year, via my Instagram and website @them_ancave, I have spread awareness around male infertility and mental health as I believe they go hand in hand. As an ambassador for Fertility Network UK I jumped at the chance to be involved and can’t wait for the journey to break the stigma around male infertility!

See Kevin’s Go Fund Me page

About Carl Shone

Hello everyone, ever since I did a tandem parachute jump two years ago for a local charity, I’ve been looking at other charities and ways to raise money and awareness.

A few months back before COVID I came across FNUK so I thought I would show my interest. Within a few weeks, I became a volunteer with the charity. This involves helping out with peer to peer support groups and hosting a “male-only support group” which is accessed through Zoom each month.

See Carl’s JustGiving Page

  About Rob Meredith

My wife and I have been pursuing parenthood since 2016. We have had three unsuccessful rounds of IVF and are about to embark on three rounds of embryo banking, two with a sperm donor and one with surgically extracted semen from myself. Over the years and numerous tests it has become clear that I have a low sperm count, poor sperm morphology and high levels of DNA fragmentation, which have resulted in arrested embryo development during previous rounds of IVF.

I am taking on this challenge for two reasons, firstly to raise some money for a charity which has helped support me through this difficult period, secondly to spend some time and get to know a group of guys who are going through a similar experience to myself and hopefully grow through the shared experience.

See Robert’s Go Fund Me page

 

SHARE THE CHALLENGE

We’re actively engaging with the press to raise as much awareness as possible, but the more noise we can make, the more money we can raise and the more impact we can have. Sharing to your circles will help drive the change.