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Let’s all Talk Fertility Diary: February. By Sophie Sulehria

Hello and welcome to February's Diary.

I’m Sophie from The Fertility Show and I am so excited that tickets to our next real life show are now LIVE and ready to be bought, that I am dedicating this newsletter pretty much entirely to that fact! Because we are back! On the 7th & 8th May we will be filling up London's Olympia after a COVID-19 enforced hiatus of two whole years. Two whole years since we’ve been able to attend The Show in person! We are just so happy that's about to be rectified.

The renowned Fertility Show is the only live event that lets you meet with so many top fertility experts, clinics and doctors in one place at one time, in a safe and discreet environment.

Our mission is, and always has been, to make sure that people embarking on a new or ongoing fertility journey get the most accurate advice, support and information around.

So what can you expect from this year's Fertility Show?

For our guests at Olympia, there will be three seminar rooms running hosted talks with world leading fertility experts, back-to-back, throughout the weekend, complete with live audience Q&A included within every discussion. The 36 live seminars will cover fantastic topics. See here for the full list: Seminars

Our hall of exhibitors will also be back and ready for action. Over 100 doctors, clinicians and practitioners, including UK & overseas clinics, advice groups, charities, acupuncturists, dieticians, nutritional & lifestyle advisors, holistic therapists and more. You can meet the best experts in the industry 1-2-1 to discuss your next steps.  

Plus we are dedicating a whole stage and section of the room to some of the best patient advocates in the industry. I shall be hosting live conversation on our “Let’s All Talk” stage with people who have either dealt with, or who are dealing with their own struggle with fertility and have used their experience to help others.

During lockdown, like many people, The Fertility Show was forced to adapt. We moved online with our ‘Let’s all Talk Fertility’ webinars and Online Fertility Summit. After their success, we decided to introduce digital elements to this year's Fertility Show. Now, if you can’t make it to The Show in person, an online attendee can watch some of our seminars, interact with exhibitors and download videos and brochures from the comfort of their home. Plus visitors to The Fertility Show will be able to access our online platform for 6 weeks post Show, allowing all visitors to catch up with seminar recordings and keep conversations going with our exhibitors and clinics.

On a personal note, I have met some amazing people and have learnt a vast deal from The Fertility Show in my past, so I very much look forward to welcoming you all back in person and hope we can go some way towards helping you find the starting point to your family.

To book your tickets and claim 20% OFF, quote DIARY. But hurry, the code expires on the 6th March. (valid only on entrance tickets).

Meanwhile, on Let's all Talk Fertility online...

This month we welcomed Professor Sheena Lewis from Examen Lab back for a Let’s all Talk Fertility FREE online webinar. Sheena gave us an explanation into male fertility. It’s always a pleasure listening to her on this topic, she is so passionate about the subject. As ever, she was quick to let us know just how important it is to get all the tests done on the men as well as the women, and to remember that a problem with your fertility doesn’t totally lay with the woman. Men are 50% of the problem, and in fact the percentage is likely to be higher even than that. 

Prof Lewis reminded us all of the importance of seeing a urologist and listed all the important tests a man should have before embarking on fertility treatment. To watch this important webinar again for free, head HERE

Next month on Let's all Talk Fertility...

We have another wonderful expert, Mr Raef Faris from the Lister Clinic this month giving us an Introduction to IVF. Raef will be on hand to discuss the things you need to know before starting treatment, what to consider, and what to expect.

There will also be a good chunk of time dedicated to answering your important questions. To register for your free place, head HERE

This month's Q&A

The National charity, Fertility Network UK, work to provide information, support and solutions to all those struggling to conceive. This month I caught up with Gwenda Burns, FNUK's CEO, to find out a little more about the charity... 

1. What is Fertility Network UK and what do you stand for in the world of fertility?

Fertility Network UK is the nation’s leading patient-focused fertility charity. We are here on a practical and emotional level. We provide free and impartial support, advice, information and understanding and have staff who offer a range of support across all four countries in the UK. We can help if you are considering your future fertility; if you are trying to become parents; if you are facing the challenges of childlessness or if you are successful after fertility problems. We are the patient voice in the campaign for equitable access to NHS fertility treatment in the UK – based on medical need and not postcode. We offer a wide range of support and information on our website including resources such as our webinars, factsheets, our groups, regional staff, health and wellbeing programmes, plus our free Support Line which is run by two former fertility nurses, who offer a unique fertility support service, 5 days per week. We also believe it is essential that employers support employees facing fertility challenges. Our ‘Fertility in the Workplace’ initiative can help employers implement a policy, which also enables other staff and managers to understand the impact of infertility, and what fertility treatment is really like so they are equipped to support those around them. 

2. What are you most proud of since becoming Chief Exec of the charity?

Without a shadow of a doubt this would be how we managed to continue and significantly increase not only our support but all our services over the past 2 years whilst navigating our way through the COVID-19 Pandemic. Which of course has been extremely challenging at times. At Fertility Network UK we work as a team, and I am extremely proud of all of the hard work and extra hours we have dedicated to our charity during this time, to try to make a difference to our community. So many people have felt more isolated and distressed than ever before, and have reported an impact to their mental health and wellbeing. It is difficult to pinpoint one specific area with the introduction of so many different successful initiatives but the HIM Fertility campaign, our Health and Wellbeing programmes, specialist support groups, our continued work with the HFEA, BFS, Clinics and governments to try to minimise the impact of the pandemic for patients, plus also the huge success of our ‘Fertility in the Workplace’ initiative have been stand out moments.


3. What are you looking forward to / excited about for the charity in the year ahead?

Getting back to some normality, where we get to meet lots of people from our community, stakeholders and partners in person. Most of us have been working from home or have had to isolate, which becomes very difficult after a long period. I have really missed seeing and speaking to people, and being able to give a hug to those who need it. We are so excited about the work we have planned for this year, so please visit our website for updates for more information.

 

4. What will your role be at The Fertility Show this year?

We will be there to meet, chat to and support people coming to the show. It can be a little overwhelming when you first get there, so knowing the charity is around to give impartial advice and support is vital. We will be hosting some events and are looking forward to hearing from the professional speakers, meeting up with our partners who support our work and chatting with the other exhibitors. What will make this show extra special this year is the hybrid element. It will be amazing to physically see and speak to people face to face, however it’s also fantastic to have a digital platform option - it’s a great way to ensure no one has to miss out, whatever their situation. 

 

5. What’s your message to people reading this, who need support this 2022...

However hard things seem sometimes, we are here to help you in any way we can. We have an amazing team, dedicated to supporting you. You can access us through our groups, webinars, email, phone, text, support line and even pigeon post. We are your charity, we are here for you and #YouAreNotAlone. The past two years have been so difficult, with such uncertainty for everyone, so we are looking forward to a much brighter year ahead.

Every ticket sale for entry to The Fertility Show will automatically give a contribution towards FNUK. Find out more about the charity here: Fertility Network UK

 

TIP OF THE MONTH:

Seeing as this edition has been about our live show, I am keeping to the theme! We love science, and of course live events, so the New Scientist Live festival next month looks amazing. This isn’t the first time New Scientist has been live - its London show has won multiple awards. However it’s the first time it’s gone up north! The team will be at Manchester Central venue 12th-14th March for three days. 

There you can see thought-provoking talks, have interactive experiences and get involved with hands-on activities, workshops and performances. The speaker line up for NSL Manchester is available here and it’s set to be great. I particularly like the look of the mental heath conversations:

- The Expectation Effect: how your mindset shapes your health, happiness, and longevity
- Be Extraordinary: 7 Key Tools to Tackle Stress & Fear
- What’s eating men? The battle for male mental health

For anyone interested in science and why it matters, this place is teeming with info.

 

A word from our sponsor..

This year’s Show partner has been announced as Gaia. Gaia offers patients a new way to pay for fertility treatment: monthly if you have a baby.  A fraction of the cost if you don’t.  You will be able to meet the Gaia team at The Fertility Show, to see if they can help you finance your next treatment cycle. 

Friend of The Fertility Show, Amber Izzo is a prominent figure in the TTC community. She is one half of the podcast “Am I ovary acting?” and the founder of @fightforIVF - a campaign against the IVF Postcode Lottery across the U.K, fighting for fairness and equality.  Gaia caught up with her about their finance plans…

“I wish something like Gaia existed when I first started my IVF journey in 2019. There are no words to explain how much of a relief it would have been to know that I could have funded our cycles in a much more affordable way. Having hindsight knowledge that we wouldn't have had to pay more than an initial fee is frustrating. Back when we first started, we did look at other funding options. We found all of them required hefty upfront payments. The result of this is that we often pay far more than we need to if our treatment is successful. We find this hard to accept. I was concerned about clinic refund programs, as I feared that the safety could be compromised. There wasn't a single one that felt right for us as a couple. The Gaia plans, in my view, avoid all that and are a big blessing for IVF.” - Amber Izzo

Thank you Amber, and for more information about Gaia head HERE

 

Until next time...

So that’s your lot for this month! Needless to say, we here at The Fertility Show HQ are excitedly continuing with our planning - more back stage info from me next month! But until then, go get your tickets for this year’s show -  click here to book. We can’t wait to see you there.

Meanwhile please be sure to follow us on our Social Media channels @thefertilityshow where you’ll find regular posts, tips and updates about what we’re doing. Please also share our work with others you feel may benefit. 

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next month!

Sophie