12 Tips to Optimise your Fertility over The Festive Season

2020 has been a long and fatiguing year with multiple National lockdowns due to Covid-19. Fertility patients have endured an incredibly stressful year as their plans have been turned upside down with fertility clinic closures. This climate has added uncertainty to an already difficult journey. It has been a tragic year for those who have lost family and friends but a difficult year for those trying to start a family or endured pregnancy loss alone and isolated. Our new modern ways of working and socialising though means our lifestyles will probably never feel the same again. Fertility clinics have adapted wonderfully well in most cases to help keep patients plans alive. Finally as a vaccine is now on the horizon, we find ourselves hurtling into the season of excesses, merriment and trying to plan 2021. Total Fertility want to help you a spring into the New Year feeling energised, optimistic and ready to plan the next steps of your fertility journey. Today is the 12th day …
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Jennifer Saunders calls attention to ‘chronically underfunded’ women’s health research

Jennifer Saunders warned BBC Radio 4 listeners today that women’s health research is “chronically underfunded” as she delivered her first Charity Appeal on the station. On Sunday 29th November, the comedian said that "reproductive health doesn’t always receive the attention or investment it deserves” as she expressed her support for Wellbeing of Women, a charity that invests in women’s health research. Telling the story of Amy, whose ovarian cancer tumour was the size of a mango by the time it was detected when she was just 36, Jennifer explained that the lack of priority given to women’s health research means that women are suffering in silence. “Women play such an incredibly important part in our society; we make up more than half of our population, after all,” she said. “Yet many women’s health issues are often overlooked.” She explained that Amy’s cancer is particularly difficult to treat as it has become resistant to chemotherapy, a common occurrence with ovari…
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Jheni Osman on “Fertility Education”

Jheni Osman is a science journalist, author and presenter. She is adept at making tricky science topics understandable and entertaining to non-experts. She is the former editor of the award winning science and technology magazine “BBC Science Focus’. She is also a former Great Britain Tennis player who played at Junior Wimbledon. Jheni’s personal experiences of infertility led her to write the book “Conceivable” teaching patients everything they need to know about fertility and IVF. Jheni is passionate about raising awareness around Fertility Education. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFRmZPEOoq8 Follow Jheni on her website & on Twitter
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Male Fertility MOT

Men considering their fertility might also be wondering where to begin. More than 40% of the problems that cause infertility are related to male factors. Around 1 in 20 men will struggle to conceive yet public awareness of this is not high.   Self-examination   The first place to start is self-examination, which is an important part of understanding your own fertility. All men should be aware of their bodies and be able to identify problems early. Each testicle should be examined separately rolling it gently between the thumb and forefinger. The surface to the testicle will feel smooth and should not have any lumps or bumps or tenderness. Familiarise yourself with your own anatomy and the structures of the epididymis and the spermatic cord. Always ask a specialist if you are uncertain or if you notice any unusual lumps or bumps. Testicular size is an important marker of normal function. However, most men will not have anything to compare their testicular si…
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Steve Parry on ‘Male Fertility’

Steve Parry is British Swimmer and Olympian who won Bronze in the 200m Butterfly at Olympic Games in Athens 2004. Steve is a dad and friend of Total Fertility and wants to raise awareness of the importance of Male Fertility and Testicular cancer. He shares his very personal story of surviving testicular cancer and his fears around fertility.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6Zo1hloqdw  
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When IVF Doesn’t Work

When IVF fails it is devastating. Fertility treatments offers hope to many, so to engage physically and emotionally with such a demanding and expensive treatment can leave you feeling very empty when it doesn’t work. The reality of fertility treatments is that they don’t have a 100% guarantee of success. It is often not fully appreciated that the majority of IVF cycles will not work. About two-thirds of fertility treatment cycles fail. Obviously this statement is a huge generalisation and some patients will have higher chances of success than others. If you are embarking on fertility treatment for the first time, or have had an unsuccessful cycle already, how should you prepare for the day when treatment doesn’t work? The inevitable sadness that comes when a cycle fails is normal. The best advice is not to panic but to begin to talk constructively to someone about how you are feeling and agree on the next steps. If you are going through treatment with a partner it may …
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Mental Health and Life after Fertility Treatment

By Kelly Da Silva - The Dovecote: Childless Support Organisation After spending years trying to conceive, undergoing various rounds of fertility treatment, I know only too well that realising that you are never going to have children is absolutely heart-breaking - and has a significant impact on one’s mental health. Loss, grief, anxiety, sadness and feeling like a failure are just some of the feelings associated with unsuccessful treatment. For me, and many whose childlessness has not been a choice, the prospect of facing life without children was initially all-consuming, challenging and utterly devastating. Therefore, faced with the prospect of having to live a ‘life without children’… being able to live a happy, fulfilling and purposeful life can seem like an impossible task. From challenging your identity, wondering what to do with your life now treatment has finished, dealing with social exclusion to healing the deep sadness which lies within your heart and soul; …
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Kelly Da Silva on ‘Coping with Fertility Treatment’

Kelly Da Silva is a Fertility Support Expert and founder of The Dovecote: Childless Support Organisation. Inspired by her own personal experience of infertility, miscarriages and involuntary childlessness of over a decade, Kelly now supports people at any stage of their fertility journey and beyond. Sharing knowledge, strategies, research and tools gained through her own personal journey, Kelly offers a range of support helping others dealing with the challenges of childlessness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iuIdGSiJMY For more information on The Dovecote: Childless Support Organisation, visit: Facebook Twitter Instagram - Kelly Da Silva Instagram - Dovecote Org
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Dr Ed Coats on ‘Fertility Inequalities’

Dr Ed Coats is a Reproductive Medicine & Surgery Consultant working in Oxford and London and is the co-founder of Total Fertility. Ed will discuss the NICE recommendations for fertility treatment, the differences in NHS funding geographically and the postcode lottery that exists across the UK currently. Increased healthcare rationing means more and more patients are potentially have to self-fund fertility treatment and in the future. Ed will explain more about fertility inequality and how to start looking for a fertility clinic near you.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqHHuWxnwYQ  
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London Lockdown Round 2 and Lessons from Covid-19

UPDATED: 1ST NOVEMBER 2020 A second wave of coronavirus was inevitable but are we better prepared a second time? Faced with no better choice we are now just days away from a second lockdown in England. After much criticism of government strategy on managing the virus we follow in the footsteps of France, Belgium, Wales and other neighbouring countries that have already done this. Whilst the weeks and months ahead still offer uncertainty for life in general, many embarking on IVF treatment will wonder what lies ahead for them.   Fertility clinics have adapted well and most have returned to a new way of normal. However, several months after the easing of the first lockdown, the UK economy is straining to restart. It feels as though we are still picking up the pieces from the effects of the first wave of coronavirus, and without drawing breath we are facing a further 4-weeks of economic inactivity. So what does Round 2 mean for fertility clinics and your access to tr…
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‘Conceivable’ Jheni Osman and Dr Ed Coats on IVF – Webinar

'Conceivable' Jheni Osman and Dr Ed Coats on IVF - Webinar   Women's health charity Wellbeing of Women recently hosted another excellent webinar where Jheni Osman and Dr Ed Coats discussed what Osman had learnt during her career both as an experienced science journalist and as someone who has been through the IVF process herself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Meg9qM7uG08 Video Transcription Janet: Hello, everybody, I am Janet Lindsey, from Wellbeing of Women, I’m going to wait a few minutes before we start. I’m just looking at the bar at the bottom of my screen and it tells me that participants are joining at this very moment. So, let’s give it a couple of minutes, and we’ll wait for more people to join. I’m working remotely from home, so, that’s London for me in Clapper. What about my two lovely panelists? What about you, Jheni? Jheni: I’m in Bristol, at home in my small but cozy office. Janet: Small is good. Dr. Ed: I’m in Oxford Janet, today. Ja…
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1 in 20 Babies Born Via IVF in Australia

The latest report by The University of New South Wales, Assisted Reproductive Technology in Australia and New Zealand 2018 found that during 2018, 14,355 babies were born via IVF which represents one in twenty of all babies born in Australia. With 84,064 initiated IVF cycles and 14,355 babies born, this gave a live birth rate per embryo transfer of 27.3%. This is significantly greater than the one in fifty of all babies born in Britain. It is estimated that in the last 40 years, more than eight million babies have been born through IVF globally.  
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