I’ve decided that March must be the month for fertility events. Maybe because it’s supposed to be Spring. Things grow in Spring, but instead we’ve got snow. Already this month, I’ve been at the Southbank Centre’s WOW Festival (where I convened a panel on fertility education), the HFEA annual conference (where I gave a speech about the importance of accurate fertility data – I know, I know!) and yesterday I was at the Royal College of Nurses Fertility Forum.
A wonderful nurse came and threw her arms around me in a massive hug after my speech and said how sorry she was that my IVF hadn’t worked. That level of empathy from a member of the fertility profession is rather rare. I wish she’d been my nurse. Two days earlier at the HFEA conference, they had released a staggering statistic. In 2016, there were 82,000 IVF cycles in the UK. 20,340 of these resulted in a live birth and 61,660 didn’t. That means three quarters of all treatment cycles failed. There are a lot of hugs needed out there.
I think this sort of data is really important for the world to know (hence my speech at the HFEA). It will help people go into IVF with their eyes open and prepare themselves for the physical, emotional and financial strain of what lies ahead – even when it works and we must remember that one quarter of patients did take home their longed for baby. If I have my way young people will also have their eyes opened much earlier on. I was arguing for this at WOW. All my events are connected in a way.
Next up I’ll be in Manchester for the Fertility Show this coming weekend (something I highly recommend if you live in the North West and you’re considering your fertility options and want to hear from the best). And after that I’m involved in a Progress Educational Trust event on The Real Cost of IVF.
All my events – past and present – can be viewed here: https://www.jessicahepburn.com/events-appearances Do come along if you’re interested. And most importantly, don’t miss Fertility Fest in May. Because with snow in March, maybe May is set to become the most fertile time of the year. Even if it’s not, there will be hugs aplenty for everyone there.