The Fertility Show’s “Let’s All Talk” Free Webinar Series
Starting Your Fertility Treatment - January 2021
By Sophie Sulehria
Hello, I’m Sophie, one of the hosts for The Fertility Show’s new “Let’s All Talk” webinar series. I am so pleased to see the launch of our free webinar series do so well! If you haven’t already discovered us, here’s some background…
As we all know, it’s been a tough year in the world of fertility and events. I have personally attended The Fertility Show every year since 2015, and was sad to hear it would not be running in 2020. All that help and support unable to be accessed at a time when it is most needed.
So when Laura Biggs (MD of the show) called and told me she was putting together a free online platform of events, dedicated to providing great expert advice for free each week, I was delighted for the community. What’s more, she had teamed up with Peanut (the social networking app where you can meet, chat to and learn from other women trying to conceive) who were going to sponsor the event. Laura then asked if I would host two of the webinars a week, and of course I jumped at the chance. I would be working alongside Jessica Hepburn (who I’m sure you all know but for those who don’t, she’s an author, founder of Fertility Fest, and content creator at The Fertility Show) and we would host four webinars a month between us. Each month would have its own topic, and we’d talk to experts in that area five important questions to start, followed by space for the audience to ask their questions afterwards, anonymously should they wish.
So now we’re in full swing, I am going to write about some of the things I have learnt from our experts each month, in the hope it can help others, and help me remember for the future!
1) How to choose a clinic – it’s a minefield! Anya Sizer from Fertility Network UK spoke to Jessica about how to choose – one of the hardest questions faced by fertility patients straight off the bat – and she advised people to stay local, as the amount you’d have to be at the clinic was significant, and travel would increase the delays.
2) Find Support. So important and very much needed when facing a struggle with fertility. Of course Fertility Network UK are always there for anyone who need them. With advice, great contacts, and a wealth of experience, the national charity was a must for advice. Then there’s Peanut, a wonderful tool for women, the Peanut app is free and with you any time you need a community who understands you. And of course the squares! Instagram has become an extremely important space for those facing the struggle. I have met so many people myself, facing all sorts of TTC roads – many of them I can now I call my friends. If you haven’t already, do follow The Fertility Show on Instagram – I am behind the content and often the one talking to you, so come say hi.
3) Male Factor. Did you know the second most common issue in fertility is male infertility? No, neither did I. For this reason we have dedicated February’s seminars to the male factor, and will be speaking to a range of great experts in this field.
4) COVID Vaccine. The consensus from our experts was to have the COVID vaccine, as the delays faced will be nothing compared to getting COVID. The fear out there is the vaccine can impact fertility, understandably a big concern for those trying to get pregnant, but the experts are dispelling this fear and urging people to be vaccinated when they are offered it. Watch this webinar with the HFEA and the British Fertility Society to understand more about the vaccine, filmed late January 2021.
5) Treatment Abroad. When flights resume! I learnt it was a lot more accessible than I realised. The doctors and staff at the clinics speak English, and all the tests and checks you need can happen here in the UK, so when you then go abroad for treatment it’s for the final bits like retrieval and implantation. And while there you can have a mini break!
6) Success Rates. Another minefield. All the clinics have their own take on these stats, it’s a hard one to navigate. We have all decided here at The Fertility Show that it’s always important to check stats and information with the HFEA – the government regulator responsible for making sure fertility clinics and research centres comply with the guidelines.
7) Books. There are some wonderful resources out there to choose from. We finished January’s sessions with our first “Let’s All Talk” Book Club. This month Jessica spoke to Sarah Banks – a fertility patient and Life Coach. Sarah had created a journal called “The IVF Positivity Planner” which combines coping strategies, coaching questions to support you through treatment, daily journaling and exercises to help you feel in control. A wonderful way to end the month.
8) Webinar Love. It’s been a tricky old year, but one of the great things about taking our content online is being able to reach an audience from the comfort and privacy of their home. People can now access these talks from a great variety of speakers, and ask questions without fear. Here’s to more in the coming weeks.
For those of you who missed this month’s sessions, we have uploaded them all to The Fertility Show’s YouTube Channel for you to watch back.
Meanwhile we head into February’s series covering Male Fertility: 50% of the problem. We have a lineup of great speakers who will tell us all we need to know when it comes to sperm and fertility treatment. To book this plus see all the content from The Fertility Show use this link: https://linktr.ee/TheFertilityShow – we hope to see you there.