In this month’s edition of Fertility Road magazine, I’ve written an article entitled Fertility Clinics: the good, the bad and the ugly. I should know. I’ve been to nearly a dozen in my time – I could write the Lonely Planet guide to fertility clinics (and they can be very lonely places).
I won’t rehash the article here because I like to keep my Sunday blogs brief. Sundays in our house are for box sets (and much respect to those of you who have already finished the last series of Breaking Bad). But I do want to say that I think there’s room for improvement on many fronts: staff that need lessons in empathy; producing rooms that double as broom cupboards; and medical mistakes that could (should) be avoided. I have experienced all these things and more.
The one thing I do want to highlight though is that fertility clinics are shit at the psychological stuff. I was surprised to learn recently that under the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, it is mandatory for all clinics in the UK to offer their patients counselling before and after treatment. I have never been to a clinic that has asked what we’re doing to sort out our heads. And over the years my head has gone to some dark places where I’m pretty sure that nothing had any chance of growing.
There’s still a lot of conflicting evidence about whether infertility is purely physiological or whether psychological factors play a part. If Ladbrokes were taking bets, I’d lay money on it that the mind does have something to do with it. And even if it doesn’t, the longer you struggle the harder things get in your head. So why aren’t clinics routinely offering their patients therapeutic support? And why has no clinic – not a single one – ever contacted me after a failed round of treatment to see whether I’m actually alright. You just need to watch Series 1 of Breaking Bad to know that when things go wrong with your health, life can get very bad indeed.
So this week’s question? What are your most ugly experiences of fertility clinics?
And for my Fertility Road article click here: http://www.fertilityroad.com/blogs/fertility-news/fertility-clinics-good-bad-ugly-7848/