The beginning of lockdown saw a great opportunity in the male fertility support world thanks to the wonderful work of Fertility Network UK
In April 2020 FNUK launched the UK’s first online male fertility support group hosted by Ian Stones and Toby Trice.
Ian, a fertility and wellness expert paired with Toby a racing driver and FNUK ambassador seem to have hit a magical formula supporting men. The online group meet monthly via Zoom and its proving incredibly popular with men.
What’s been great is that it’s bringing together men from all across the UK and even overseas and has created a really supportive community. Importantly it’s allowing men to realise that they’re not alone with their struggles.
With so little support for men out there the group has really helped change that and its helping create bigger conversations about the importance of male fertility support
The group doesn’t tend to have any fixed agenda and is kept very informal. Guys are welcome to join with or without their camera and can choose whether to join the conversation or not. For some guys it’s enough just to sit and listen whilst others are more vocal and have stuff to get off their chest. And for some guys the group has allowed them to share their story for the first time ever.
As a group we’ve covered all sorts of subjects and sometimes we have a laugh about it and other times it gets a bit more serious. We never really know where it’s going to go but it’s always amazing and the feedback from the guys has been awesome.
But it’s not just guys chatting. We’ve been very lucky to have a few guests joining us too. This has allowed the guys attending to get information, advice and pointers from industry experts that they haven’t been able to get online anywhere else. So not only are we creating a community we’re also helping educate men about their fertility and on some occasions moving them forward with their treatment decisions.
Since starting the group it’s really helped bring male fertility more into the limelight and there’s a real sense of change bubbling up about male fertility support. The fertility community is in some ways incredibly small and we’re finding that the group is spreading little ripples throughout that community which is amazing and we are really hoping that we can continue to build on our success.
Why should men join?
For many men they often feel isolated throughout the fertility journey. They find that they carry the burden of the treatment and feel the pressure of supporting their partner with nowhere to let off steam. One of the biggest challenges for men is actually having the confidence to speak out; taking that step of admitting that there is a problem can be really hard. Coming along to a group where you can remain anonymous, join in or not join in and still feel part of a “tribe” has huge value for men and I’d urge any guy to come and give it a shot. Here’s what a couple of our regulars had to say about the group.
“Before joining the group my thought was that all support was for females but after attending it was clear that they welcomed men just as much. For me hearing professionals and people who had been through treatment made things a lot clearer for me and this is down to face to face and talking in layman’s terms. Now being part of groups and FNUK and sharing my story I like to think it helps other men with the journey that they are on”
“I find the Support group run by FNUK to be pretty amazing to be fair! The hosts Ian stones and Toby trice are great and make you feel welcomed every time.
It’s nice to be part of something special and lovely to know you’re not alone.”
If you’d like to find out more about the group or chat with Toby or Ian their contact details are below
Read more about male fertility here