Launch of National Campaign for Greater Fertility Awareness in the UK

There have been many stories in the press recently about the lack of awareness about fertility and its decline with age. Indeed there have been calls to change the school PHSE curriculum, and introduce ‘Fertility MOT’s’ at 25, to make sure people are aware of the facts, before it’s too late.

As a consultant at one of the busiest reproductive medicine units in the UK, I am acutely aware of the sheer numbers of women (and men) who are shocked when faced with the reality that it might not be as easy to start a family as they first thought it might.

Of course, as specialists in the field, it is our job to do all we can to help and there are several options of assisted conception available. Nevertheless, I think it is important to be as realistic as possible before treatment options are started upon, so that expectations are managed and informed choices made.

Information about Fertility Choices Needed at Younger Age

At the risk of doing myself and my colleagues out of a job, the time for sharing information about fertility needs to come at a much earlier stage than an IVF clinic. That’s why I announced the launch of a new working party this week, to create greater awareness for the fertility journey and the various choices available to a female and her partner.

New Working Party Launched by BFS, RCOG and FSRH

The new working party was launched at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) in London. It is a joint partnership between the British Fertility Society (BFS), RCOG and the Faculty for Sexual and Reproductive Health (FSRH). We’ve gathered key influencers from reproductive medicine, education and government who will be able to deliver a number of high-level initiatives to ensure young people (aged 16-24) receive consistent messages about their fertility, health and wellbeing, at the right time.

National Survey amongst Young People; 16-24

We want schools, the primary care sector, youth groups, parents and friends to know how to advise young people. We also want young people to know more about their health, the choices they have and where to go for support. Exactly what our list of actions will be is still in discussion. Our starting point is to commission a national survey and work closely with young people to understand their needs and views.

Fertility Health Summit: 15th April 2016

Our findings will be discussed at a national, Fertility Health Summit on Friday 15th April in London.

If you have any views or suggestions on this subject I would very much like to hear from you in the comments section below. You can also follow me for updates on twitter: @balenadam.

3 Responses to Launch of National Campaign for Greater Fertility Awareness in the UK

  • Dr Fiona Kisby Littleton says:

    This is a really great and exciting initiative which is long overdue. Hopefully, at the heart of the campaign will be the concept that women, and men, should not be _told_ what to do at any given age. Instead, they should be appropriately educated in the right contexts and at appropriate times in their lives, so they become empowered to make fully-informed choices for themselves so the best possible outcome is obtained.

  • lontecu says:

    Indeed there have been calls to change the school PHSE curriculum, and introduce ‘Fertility MOT’s’ at 25, to make sure people are aware of the facts, before it’s too late. Where is this information?

    • Adam Balen says:

      This is a very important point and an issue that we are raising at our Fertility Health Summit at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) on Friday April 15th, during which we will be covering all aspects of reproductive education and highlighting the lack of teaching about fertility in Sex and Relationship Education or PHSE classes. I’m not calling for a “Fertility MOT” but I am wanting to improve the information that is available so that young people can make an informed decision about their life choices to include developing relationships, careers and starting a family, which should not be mutually exclusive. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *