National Fertility Awareness Week will take place on 1st–5th November 2021. Make sure to catch these highlights, including three exclusive surveys revealing:
- The national picture on access to NHS-funded fertility services – see the data released today exposing all of England’s CCGs ration access to NHS-funded fertility treatment
- What it’s like to juggle IVF and employment (released on 4th November)
- The impact of Covid on fertility patients and treatment (released on 5th November)
Gwenda Burns, chief executive of Fertility Network UK said: ‘Not being able to have the family you yearn for can be an incredibly isolating experience. Far too often people struggle in silence with fertility issues but together – sharing stories and experiences – we can change perceptions, signpost support, and raise funds to help others.
‘That’s why the key message of National Fertility Awareness Week is #YouAreNotAlone. We are stronger together. This week is a chance to challenge the taboos and myths around infertility and raise awareness of the devastating physical, emotional and social impact fertility problems wreak.’
Monday 1st November: #FertilityFairness
Fertility Network’s audit of England’s clinical commissioning groups reveals a stark and damning picture of fertility care:
- The majority of CCGs (89.9%) don’t offer the recommended three full IVF cycles to clinically eligible women under 40
- The majority of CCGs (72.4%) don’t offer the recommended one full IVF cycle to clinically eligible women aged between 40–42
- 1 in 5 CCGs (20.7%) have redefined what an IVF cycle constitutes and offer partial or reduced cycles instead of full IVF cycles where all fresh and frozen viable embryos are transferred
- Over 90% of CCGs deny help if an infertile individual’s partner has a child from a previous relationship
- Approaching 1 in 4 CCGs (23.3%) have introduced additional age hurdles for women, with six CCGs refusing to offer help to women over 35
- Over two-thirds of CCGs (69%) refuse to treat single women
- Over a quarter of CCGs (26.6%) deny access to same-sex couples. Of the CCGs who do offer fertility treatment to same-sex couples, the majority withhold treatment until couples have proved their infertility by paying privately for six or 12 rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Tuesday 2nd November: #DonorDay
Raising awareness of issues around donated gametes and embryos. What is needed for the future? We highlight the need for ethnic minority gamete and embryo donors, and encourage the public to consider gamete donation and fertility patients who have completed their IVF family to consider embryo donation.
Wednesday 3rd November: #HIMFertility
#HIMFertility is all about male fertility. Men are half of the fertility equation and their experiences, thoughts and feelings matter equally. Did you know the most common reason for a couple to try IVF is because of male factor problems? Share and tweet our top five #HIMfertility facts.
Thursday 4th November: #FertilityEd
We reveal the results of major survey with fertility benefits provider Fertifa looking at fertility in the workplace. What is the reality of juggling fertility treatment and employment? How do fertility policies and fertility education make a difference? What should people expect from their employer?
Friday 5th November #TalkFertility
We reveal the impact of the Covid pandemic on fertility patients and their treatment. How did fertility clinics respond, did patients feel informed and supported and has Covid changed fertility treatment forever?