Hull parents ‘dare to share’ their IVF stories…

Parents in Hull are being ‘dared to share’ their fertility success stories as part of a new campaign by the Hull IVF Unit, supporting National Fertility Awareness Week (31st October to 6 November 2016).

Based within the Hull Women and Children’s Hospital at Hull Royal Infirmary, the Hull IVF Unit is encouraging couples across the region who have been successful in having a family to share their news openly to give hope and confidence to others who are due to embark on fertility treatment.

The #DareToShare campaign, set to run on social media, will involve former patients sharing photos of their babies conceived through treatment, using the hashtag #DareToShare, in order to help remove the stigma of IVF and other fertility treatments that assist with conception. One in every six couples in the UK (approx. 3.5 million people) are affected by infertility, and Fertility Network UK’s aim this year is to highlight the unseen, intimate, and day to day reality of fertility issues.

The Hull IVF Unit will also be holding an open evening on Friday 4th November, 4.30pm – 7.30pm, at the Mercure Grange Park Hotel, Willerby, to encourage couples who are considering fertility treatment to meet the team in informal surroundings and ask any questions.

Caroline Frost from the Hull IVF Unit says:

“We always support National Fertility Awareness Week and this year, we are asking our former patients to help us with our campaign. It is a brave, bold ask, we know that, and we understand it may have been a potentially painful time, but we hope people join in, celebrate their success, and help us change perceptions about fertility issues. We have a wall full of photos of wonderful babies in our waiting area and would love it if their parents would share their photographs on their social media pages, suing the hashtag #DareToShare, and not be afraid to talk about their treatment.”

Caroline adds:

“There are many reasons a couple may consider fertility treatment and it is great news that Fertility Network UK is focusing on those stories that aren’t stereotypical. The whole aim of the campaign and our open evening is to help couples who might be contemplating treatment, and we would encourage anyone to come along on the 4th November to ask any questions they may have.”

Helen Davies, 42, of South Newbald, successfully conceived twins after four rounds of IVF through the Hull IVF Unit. She now promotes the issue of Secondary Infertility through her website, www.secondaryinfertilitymatters.com, and her book about the journey, More Love To Give, was the first to back the #DareToShare campaign.

Helen says: “There was a time when I was ashamed that we had treatment but it was the silence of people like myself, who have now been successful, that reinforced that ridiculous stigma around fertility. Infertility is hugely common, with many causes, it is tremendously stressful and often painful, and I really believe it is the responsibility of all of us who have been successful to share our stories to help it become more accepted in society.

“I would hate for my precious children to feel any stigmatism and would like to think that, by talking about it, I can ‘normalise’ all treatment available for their sakes too.”

Members of the Hull IVF Clinic team will also be baking and preparing fertility friendly foods, and sharing ideas at the clinic and on social media during National Fertility Awareness Week, to help educate people how they can help themselves via nutrition.

Fertility Network UK is the leading patient charity helping people with any aspect of fertility problems. National Fertility Awareness Week runs from 31 October to 6 November 2016 and the focus for the national campaign is to reveal #HiddenFaces struggling with fertility problems, examining those who aren’t stereotypically infertile by shining the spotlight on untold fertility stories.

Susan Seenan, Chief Executive of Fertility Network UK says:

“National Fertility Awareness Week is about raising awareness and changing perceptions of fertility issues, as well as providing support for the one in six couples, and others, who struggle to become parents. This year we are revealing fertility’s #HiddenFaces – the real people behind fertility struggles; we hope their stories and images will help others experiencing fertility problems and help turn around common misconceptions about fertility. We would like to thank the Hull IVF Unit for supporting our campaign and the awareness week.”

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