To celebrate 40 years of IVF I decided to expose myself at work. Not physically, although post IVF egg collection I repeatedly wandered around the office with my trousers undone because, quite frankly, the stubborn blighters refused to button up around my bloat. Instead I exposed myself emotionally, with a post on the work intranet informing the few thousand people I work with that I struggled with infertility and had IVF (you can read what I wrote on my website - link in bio). This morning the intranet opened up to a photo of me from the day of egg collection, wearing my hospital issue wizards outfit. It was a topical piece given IVF's birthday and not at all out of place for the intranet considering that I work for the Department of Health and Social Care. But prior to today's exposure I had told a total of 4 work colleagues about my infertility. Just 4. I knew that there must be others in the office who had been through similar experiences and by the end of the day I'd received half a dozen emails from colleagues who had also struggled to conceive. I knew it! (Slap hand on desk). We, the infertility community, are EVERYWHERE. So here is a copy of my IVF post for my work intranet, suffering slightly from the devastatingly restrictive 500 word count.Read More
It's fair to say that when going through IVF most of the focus seems to be on the woman - the drugs, egg collection, hormonal outrage and heavy bloating. But do we forget about the men? Being forced into a little room for a compulsory orgasm whilst a waiting room of people are sat just outside the door, all of whom know EXACTLY what you are doing, sounds like a nightmare to me. So what is it really like to give a sperm sample?
A brilliant and funny insight in to what occurs in THAT ROOM has been provided by Mans' IVF View.Read More
IVF is emotionally tough and no aspect of it more so than the tortuous two week wait. Fighting bloating, severe blues, the temptation of Google searching (no good comes from that, you naughty temptress) and endless symptom spotting. It is a real arse. There is no way round it, we all have to endure it. I'd love to provide advice on how to ace the two week wait but unfortunately, to be honest, I didn't. Not even close. This article covers my two week wait, when to do a home pregnancy test (and not to test), what the blooming heck is a Beta, why you are p*ssing your money away by obsessing over line progression and what to expect at the callously named 'viability scan'.Read More
From laughing at a face erection to being touched by the best description of infertility ever written, this fertility book review gets stuck in to Get a Life: His and Hers Survival Guide to IVF. The review takes a look at what the book covers (and what is doesn't), its best bits and who would benefit from a good old read.Read More
Egg collection is the time in the IVF process that everything is totally out of your hands and you have to surrender to the consultants. You've done everything that you can and for this one day, what will be will be. But what will be? This article sets out a day in the life of a person being harvested.Read More
Sirena Bergman wrote an article in The Independent suggesting that IVF should not be offered at all on the NHS, claiming that IVF is "whimsical". In this guest post from Penguin and Pineapples, Kay explores the arguments advocated by Sirena and provides facts and thoughts which go to the age old question: 'Should IVF be funded by the NHS?'Read More
Have you ever wanted to surprise a friend or relative going through IVF with a little something, just to let them know that you are thinking of them? Not sure what to buy that would be useful or thoughtful, but won’t make them burst into tears or be left wondering as to the relevance? Or maybe you want to treat yourself in the run up to an IVF cycle, because goodness knows you deserve it. Here are some IVF appropriate gift suggestions to induce a smile.Read More
My estimated IVF timings were wrong, oh so very wrong. In fact, they were out by 4 months and if I hadn’t pushed for an earlier initial consultation, they would have been out by 6. How did I get it so wrong? A failure to fully understand the process and making overly optimistic assumptions about efficiency and timeframes that bore no resemblance to the previous 3 years of long drawn out fertility investigations.
To avoid my mistakes and to help others to capitalise on my learning in order to avoid sinking into a pit frustration and despair (that joy comes later during the IVF two week wait), I’ve shared my IVF experience in a series of articles, beginning with a question I am frequently asked: How long does it take to get referred for IVF?Read More
I am obsessive, always have been, and my preparation for my first round of IVF is no different. There are so many do's and don't's with fertility that I easily lose track of what I am meant to doing, adding, avoiding each week. The end of the day arrives and as I head up the stairs to Bedfordshire I think 'damn it, Inositol!' or 'algae shots. Must remember my algae shot tomorrow'.
So as an aide memoire I have created a daily checklist of fertility friendly food and lifestyle activities that I aim to do each day between now and my first round of IVF, beginning in July. I thought I would share it, with the rather large caveat that this is what I am finding helpful for my body, right now, in its current state of health and hormone balance.Read More