Infertility is cruel. We know because infertility stole years of our lives. We had wanted to be mothers as soon as we hit our thirties, but life had other plans
We spent years fighting the emotional and physical pain of not being able to conceive naturally. Infertility was our barrier to parenthood and we were determined to break it down.
Across the world, there are millions of men and women all facing their own personal barriers
The fortunate ones, with savings, are able to smash through them easier than others, by going private – but others who desperately need the help of funding or the NHS are restricted by rules such as “your partner must not have any other children with another partner, your BMI has to be a certain level”, or “you’re just not eligible because you live in the wrong borough”
Here, we look at some of the barriers, that are holding people back from achieving their dreams of parenthood.
Women have the highest number of good quality eggs and are most fertile in their 20s, which is quite annoying to hear, as your twenties are when you are just starting to explore life. Your twenties are for starting careers, traveling, having fun. For so many of us, starting a family is increasingly on the agenda once we hit our thirties and early forties nowadays
Tragically though, your chances of conceiving in your forties are very low.
According to the HFEA, the chances of you conceiving in your 40’s are as follows:
9% for women aged 40 to 42
3% for women aged 43 to 44
2% for women aged over 44
Add to that the fact that the NHS will only support treatment for women up to the age of 42, citing health issues for the mother and child after this deadline, and this barrier can seem enormous if you do not have the funds to go private.
So what do you do if you are a woman in your 40s with a 2% chance of conceiving with your own eggs?
If this is the situation you are in, please don’t think you have to write off your chances of becoming a mother
Speak to your consultant. Make sure you have all the right tests and discuss PGS testing. Ask them to be open and honest with you. They may say that it is a risk spending up to £10,000 on treatment, depending on your age and AMH levels, but it is ultimately your decision.
For some, taking the risk is an option, but for others, using donor eggs offers a more secure chance of conceiving, as your chances of conception rise. Success rates are typically 10 to 15% higher than with the woman’s own eggs on average.
For more information on IVF with donor eggs, take a look at this article.
So what do you do if you want to take the risk, but you don’t have the finances? This is one of the main barriers that our readers tell us about. The very high cost of IVF.
IVF is one of the most emotionally and physically draining experiences you will ever encounter. Adding financial pressure on top of that will make life even more difficult, so please do as much research as you can. Understand the real cost, be realistic about how many rounds you might need, and make sure you have explored all of your options to see if you can get financial cover from insurers, employers, grants, or the NHS.
For more information about coping with the cost of IVF, take a look at this article.
Cultural and religion
Religion and cultural beliefs can cause huge barriers to couples. In fact, infertility is seen as a curse in some cultures, leaving many couples with either no choice but to hide their fertility treatment plans or abandon their dreams to become parents.
Within the BAME community, infertility is not commonly discussed.
Our lovely IVF babble ambassador Vanessa Haye has spoken about the cultural pressure within African-Caribbean communities
“The beliefs and values surrounding motherhood that are strongly held within the African-Caribbean communities made me feel less of a woman, and after finally accepting that we would need fertility treatment I actually felt like my body was defective.
One hurdle in my community has been the fact that the conversations at peer level and generational levels barely exist due to differences in our knowledge and beliefs about fertility, and so the only way to break the stigma and silence is to talk more and open up.
My best advice around this is to talk with someone you’re comfortable with and trust
And, most importantly, what helped me initially was the online community, some of whom I’ve made friends with.”
There are so many more elements that are holding people back from thinking about starting a family – male infertility, being single, being LGBTQ. having a serious illness, We know the path to parenthood is not easy when you are faced with barriers, but we want you to know that there are options out there. They might not be right for you, but they are worth exploring, just so that you can tell yourself you tried.
We wish you so much love and hope that you find a way to break through your barrier. Remember, we are always here for you. Info@ivfbabble.com