Home Health & Wellness New Research Shows High Cost of Fertility Leads to 1 in 3 Prospective Parents Seeking Medical Treatment Abroad

New Research Shows High Cost of Fertility Leads to 1 in 3 Prospective Parents Seeking Medical Treatment Abroad

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The treatment of infertility within the UK’s healthcare system presents a challenging landscape for those seeking help, highlighted by a new study conducted by experts supporting those trying to conceive, Fertility Family.

The infertility awareness report has revealed that 1 in 2 (51%) people have felt “dismissed” by medical professionals when discussing fertility struggles, while only 33% have felt genuinely listened to.

To understand the impact on those struggling to conceive, Fertility Family gathered insights from 429 UK respondents who have experienced difficulties with infertility.

Costs of UK fertility treatments lead to prospective parents seeking treatment abroad

The cost of fertility treatment has had a huge impact on the way people are seeking help. According to the results of the survey, the high cost of fertility treatment in the UK has driven over 1 in 4 (28%) people to spend over £10,000 on both treatments and investigative procedures.

35% of people struggling with infertility have considered seeking fertility treatment abroad due to the prospect of lower costs. Despite this, of those seeking fertility treatment in a foreign country, only 14% believe that clinics abroad have a higher success rate.

Of those actively trying to conceive, almost 2 in 5 (38%) have used their life savings in the pursuit of having a child, whilst 25% have paid for their fertility treatments using a credit card.

While 34% of respondents said that they feel comfortable discussing their fertility issues with their GP, a substantial 1 in 5 (22%) feel uncomfortable, presenting a significant barrier to effective patient-doctor communication

The mental health impact of infertility 

A combination of fertility struggles and accessible healthcare have impacted people across the UK significantly, with 1 in 2 (49%) admitting to feeling “ashamed” due to their difficulties trying to conceive.

A further 31% feel that other people think “less” of them due to their fertility struggles, highlighting the need for more mental health considerations within fertility support.

Dr Gill Lockwood, consultant at Fertility Family, says: “While we tend to cast our gaze on women when it comes to infertility, case studies have shown that infertility can impact both women and men in similar ways. However, women have been observed to seek help more than men.

“Although the psychological struggles of infertility can be overwhelming, many patients ultimately reach some type of resolution. Some of the alternatives include becoming parents to a relative’s children, adopting children, or deciding to adopt a child-free lifestyle. Needless to say, this resolution is usually psychologically demanding, and patients may feel forever impacted by the experience of infertility.”

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