As I said in Episode 1, I started my fertility treatment journey after a trip to the Fertility Show in 2015. It was an eye-opener, let me tell you! I remember at the time I couldn’t believe just how difficult it could be to conceive, I thought it would be simple, straightforward and quick... but then I ended up at a fertility show. Was I naive?
The average time to conceive varies by couple, but statistics show that 92% will get pregnant after 24 months of 'trying' and 84% after 12 months. So sometimes it's about patience.
It is estimated that infertility issues affects 1 in 6 heterosexual couples in the UK.
25% of infertility in the UK is unexplained.
Male infertility actually only makes up 30% of all infertility disorders in the UK but contributes to at least half of all cases.
How to choose your fertility clinic
So, you’ve got what seems like 20 different routes to get you a baby, apart from the one you want... and 200 clinics. How on earth do you choose? Actually, there are 134 fertility clinics in the UK, so I was close.
The first thing we did was use HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) to help assist our decision. The website breaks down what you are or are not able to receive through the NHS, funding and destinations. Destinations, not quite the typical holiday destination I was used to, but it did end up substituting. Truthfully, the site was very useful and helped Trish and I make our final fertility clinic decision. It's not something that your mates are offering loads of recommendations on, so some clear stats are helpful and lacking in this area, in my opinion.
The next step is meeting your consultant and having the ‘first chat’. There’s more on this in Episode 2.
It’s all about delving into your past and working out what you can and cannot do, what you can and cannot eat, when to exercise, when to have sex, what tests you need and how to be prepared. It wasn't as bad as it sounds and it did end up changing my life. So have a listen if you haven't already.
The IVFDad Insight
The beginning can be difficult, and it's not long before you realise that it's a female orientated world. And of course, the female is receiving the treatment so that is completely understandable. But it's easy to get lost and I'd like to know how I fit into this, please. Is that selfish? Well, to be honest, it’s all difficult, for both of you. My focus in the podcast though is on the partner who is not directly on the receiving end of the needles. Bringing me back to the exact reason I created IVFDad, you are not alone. Many other men and partners have felt it too, even though men don't like to talk about fertility much.
Top Tip - Be patient during IVF
Now it’s time for my top tip from the lessons I learnt - BE PATIENT and BE OPEN.