Fertility treatment is stressful, partly due to the lack of emotional support available from your clinic (unless you opt in for counselling, which most of us don’t)
As a result of more patients speaking out, over the last few years we’ve seen a significant rise in external support, whether through social media platforms, patient support groups or independent coaching.
Support during treatment is key, and the good news is, it’s finally being recognised by actual fertility treatment providers
When I heard that Apricity puts support at the forefront of its service, I was keen to learn more about their approach. From before you even start treatment with Apricity, you have a fertility advisor available to you seven days a week, a go-to, dedicated person there every step of the way. Imagine that, a friendly voice that answers every time you get in touch.
“We often refer to the fertility advisors as fertility allies,” Apricity CEO Caroline Noublanche explains to me. The idea is that they’re there as a fertility nurse for support and guidance, as an assistant for arranging appointments and handling admin, and as a good friend when you want a chat or vent.
“IVF has been around for 40 years, yet the way care is accessed hasn’t really changed – given how many pain points are present in the average IVF journey, that seemed crazy to me. This is why I founded Apricity,” Caroline said. “To reinvent fertility care, giving more choice, control and clarity to people trying to conceive”.
Apricity sounds like an expensive add-on, but they actually include fertility advisors (and all of their benefits) within their treatment packages. If you’re having IVF, for example, you’d pay the average price of IVF in London, but gain access to the Apricity suite of benefits at no additional cost.
Caroline also explained how you can customise your journey with Apricity. On average, we visit a clinic nine times during a regular IVF cycle, but sometimes you only need three visits (initial consultation, egg collection and transfer). With Apricity, you can opt for home blood tests or scans more local to you to avoid unnecessary trips. The advisors manage and track your results, ensuring all information is consolidated, and arrange things to be as convenient as possible to avoid disrupting your private and professional life.
This really resonated with me. Taking the angst out of IVF is vital – it’s a daunting and emotionally exhausting process which too many of us go through alone. I spoke to someone the other day, who was spotting post embryo transfer yet unable to get through to her clinic. Another lady told me how triggering the on-hold messaging of her clinic was after having had a failed cycle. She found herself in a state of panic when calling to book appointments, and being on hold all too often, so has since decided to change clinic.
Last but certainly not least, is the app. When I saw how it worked it seemed ludicrous that an app for IVF didn’t already exist. Once you sign up with Apricity, the app comes loaded with your cycle’s details. From there, you’re prompted with discreet reminders for medication and appointments. Another cool feature is the overview – a rainbow pinpointing where you are within treatment and advises what’s coming next. There’s a library of medically certified videos and content, so you know what to expect at every step. As well as preparing you for upcoming decisions, it offers advice on what to do before appointments and explains what side effects are ‘normal’. I know if we’d had access to an app like this, we would have felt much more informed and supported. It’s such a simple truth that knowing what to expect is comforting, yet until now, no one had taken steps to make it happen.
The 2016 Fertility Network UK study on the Impact of fertility treatment discovered that 75 percent of respondents would like to have counselling if it were free. Which is why doing things the Apricity way ticks all the support boxes. If I was going through treatment today, I’d be much more demanding with my questioning, rather than being a rabbit in the headlights. We didn’t make a fuss when our paperwork was lost or push for more information when we were told we had male factor infertility.
Having access to someone you can talk to about your treatment at every step of the way, alongside transparency and choice, makes a huge difference. Apricity’s attention to detail here is something I hope everyone can learn from.
Apricity offer all types of fertility care, from home diagnostics to IVF and ICSI. To find out more or book a free consultation, click here
by Natalie Silverman, host of The Fertility Podcast on behalf of Apricity