New data has revealed the widespread concern and worry UK women feel in the face of conflicting fertility information
According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), four out of five (86%) UK women say information from different sources seems contradictory, while more than three quarters (76%) are not sure if fertility information is impartial and unbiased.
To address these concerns, the first ever Fertility Forum information day will take place at the RCOG at the end of March, bringing together experts, professionals and the public.
Organised by the RCOG, the UK’s fertility regulator the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and British Fertility Society (BFS), in partnership with experts in the field, it brings together the public and professionals for a full day of information sessions and discussion about fertility, and will be held on Saturday, March 30.
Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “Trying for a baby can be an incredibly stressful time for some. This new data echoes what we have been hearing from women and patients for many years.
“It is vital that women and couples have access to accurate, evidence-based, impartial and expert advice which is why we have brought together renowned experts, patients and partners together in one location for our very first Fertility Forum event.”
Sally Cheshire, chairwoman of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), said: “The HFEA collects data about every treatment cycle across the UK to provide patients with clear, unbiased information and to prepare them for what they will face at their clinic.
“I know from personal experience as a former patient how difficult it is to find impartial, evidence-based information so that you can make informed choices about the right fertility treatment for you. The HFEA is delighted to join the Fertility Forum, giving patients the opportunity to ask questions, hear from experts and find out about our latest data on all aspects of fertility treatment and donation.”
More than half of UK women (54%) think that online forums are unreliable, and some 74 per cent of women said Facebook groups were unreliable. Almost half of women (47%) stated that advice from friends and family is unreliable.
Londoner Katy Lindemann, 37, said she felt a sense of desperation while seeking fertility treatment
She said: “When going through fertility treatment it can feel like clinics are the merchants of hope, but if different specialists are telling you, and selling you, different things, deciding what to do can be overwhelming. There’s also a wealth of weird, wonderful and downright crazy stuff to try, that someone on the internet swears worked for them, which of course you end up doing, because you’re desperate – and don’t want to feel guilty that you didn’t try hard enough.
“I think the Fertility Forum is a terrific opportunity to access independent, impartial information from experts in an environment where no one’s trying to sell you anything. It will really help couples to navigate this maelstrom of different options to decide what’s right for them.”
In addition to a selection of renowned leading experts giving the latest evidence-based advice at the Fertility Forum, key patient support organisations will be represented on the day. Trained fertility counsellors will be providing a Time Out Space and offering emotional support at the Fertility Forum.
To book tickets for the event, click here