Our aim is to support people in Jersey who are experiencing problems in conceiving by sharing our experiences through group meetings. We are not doctors nor counsellors - but past patients of the Jersey General Hospital and Fertility Clinics such as the Zita West clinic in London, the Lister in London, CARE in Nottingham and Barcelona IVF.
Most importantly - we are friends who want to help other people by sharing in our experiences to help your journeys be as short and painless as possible whilst appreciating the challenges that fertility issues can bring. We hope to see you soon at one of our coffee evenings which usually take place every first Monday of each month.
We look forward to you contacting us by email for details. In the meantime - thank you for visiting us and Good Luck and remember you are not on your own :)
There is the belief that the majority of couples with fertility issues comes from women who are choosing their careers over having children.
As a woman gets older she produces less fertile eggs leading to problems in conceiving. So logically the answer to fertility issues is for everyone to start having babies earlier in life between 20 and 23, as stated by Hans Rudolf Tinneberg . But is this simple advice correct?
It probably is for those women who do leave childbearing to later in life who have a perfectly healthy reproductive system. But we cannot look at the problem in such a simplistic way. The fact is infertility is on the rise affecting people in all age groups of 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. So we have to look deeper as to the reason why.
Infertility is not just about age; so many factors affect your reproductive system. In our support group we are encountering many women in their 20’s diagnosed with for example early menopause and polycystic ovaries. They suffer a real medical condition and should be treated through funding even if the only available treatment is IVF. Very often the woman is to blame but men make up 30% to 40% of male factor infertility. And also lifestyle can have such a big impact on reproductive health. Malnutrition from a high processed food diet topped up with high sugar chocolate consumption and fizzy drinks together with some of our teenagers starving themselves, suffering from eating disorders to maybe reach an unrealistic size zero destroys fertility. Education at an early age is key here.
In today’s society, the thought of having children at a younger age is discriminated upon because at a younger age it is difficult to support yourself let alone a child who in turn places a burden on taxpayers’ money to support a young family through income support. Once you become pregnant services are at your disposal to offer help, again at the taxpayers’ funding.
But what about the fertility challenged individual?
Around 1 in 6 couples will at some point suffer from the effects of having fertility issues affecting their mental health and well-being.
Infertility is an illness which affects you physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. It is likened to cancer in terms of the level of stress people suffering from this illness endure.
If you have never suffered from the illness of infertility it is difficult to convey to the reader/provider of service the rawness of the medical condition you are suffering from and the vulnerability of the patient.
There is no guarantee of success and for the average 4-5 years that people are going through various intimate interrogation and investigation – you are doing so in the knowledge you may never have a child – you are ‘suspended’ in grief whilst trying to be positive and believe the next round of treatment, operations, investigations, expense and counseling may help you to fulfill what for those not suffering from this debilitating disease never have to consider – a life which ends when you do - without your child/children to continue your family - no flutters in your tummy, no stories at bed time, no watching their first steps, first smile, waiting by the school gates, pride in that school play…
The illness of infertility affects you mentally to the point you become depressed, sadly for some to the point of breakdown and considering suicide.
Many get to a point where they are unable to leave the home for fear of seeing another pregnant woman and/or seeing children playing/shopping etc. with parents. You become withdrawn and isolated and stop seeing ‘friends’ who have children. Slowly but surely infertility can affect you to the point you become completely isolated from friends/family/colleagues/society.
You avoid social engagement – you cannot handle seeing the ‘offspring’ of your relatives and being constantly asked ‘ so come on then, where’s the grandchild, child etc.’ – the pain of another ‘announcement’ of pregnancy cuts through you like a steel blade straight in the heart.
And in Jersey, so many people are suffering in silence from the effects of desperately wanting to bring children to this world, they are living a dark secret world trying to find a way out of a nightmare, they feel alone. We were such people and now that we have survived our ordeal have found the energy to set up this charity to help others along their journey.