Today marks the start of Fertility Awareness Week, a week in which we talk as much and as loud as we can about fertility!
To start the week, we reached out to our trusted fertility experts and asked them what advice they would give to those who are not yet on a path to parenthood, in the hope that the guidance they receive now, might help them achieve their dreams eventually, with far more ease than so many of us who struggled to conceive due to infertility and a lack of understanding.
Here, Nurse Manager, Nicky Tolliday from TFP Fertility shares her words of advice.
What advice would you give to a man or woman in their 20’s who is not yet thinking about starting a family?
The advice I have given to my 20 year old daughter is to work hard at University, start her career and enjoy her life. She knows she wants children but not for at least 8 -10 years. I have advised her to not be on the contraceptive pill continuously for the next 10 years. In terms of lifestyle advice, it is always to drink alcohol in sensible levels, don’t take drugs and don’t smoke (its expensive and bad for you!!!!)
What would you say to a young woman in her twenties who wants to travel and have a great career, but also wants to be a mother some day?
Advice to her and any young women in her 20’s is; if you want to have a family but not ready due to relationship or career, I would advise to consider freezing eggs before the age of 30. This is as an insurance policy and hopefully they won’t need to be used. Keep enjoying a healthy lifestyle but most of all be happy.
What advice would you give to a couple who are not able to conceive naturally and are just about to start a fertility journey?
I would advise them that it is not unusual to take 2 years to conceive. Keep relaxed. Look at your lifestyle; have a healthy diet, reduce alcohol intake, reduce caffeine, maintain a healthy BMI, and do not smoke. Have regular intercourse, don’t forget to look out for each other, keep talking, and keep having fun. Remember it is not just about making a baby, remember why you fell in love. If you have been trying to conceive for over a year I would suggest an AMH and semen analysis with a follow up consultation. Above all don’t panic.
Do you have any hindsight of your own that you would like to pass on?
I had IVF/ICSI 21 years ago so I genuinely know how it feels to be told you will never conceive without the help of ICSI. I know how hard this is to take in and the pressures that you feel in every day life with people asking “when are you going to have a baby”. I know the hurt and anger you feel towards other people who seem to “have it all”.
I understand first-hand how hard it is to fit IVF into your daily life, travelling for hours before work to get to appointments and the disappointment if it fails. I am lucky enough to have had successful treatment as well as unsuccessful but know this won’t always be the case for everyone.
Look after yourself, be kind to yourself, it’s ok to feel angry and I think it’s ok to say to people when they ask I am having difficulty having a baby. Accept counselling and talk, talk talk!
Take each day as it comes – some will be good, some ok and some not so good. Avoid too much Dr Google and Keep believing it can work.
Huge love and thanks to Nurse Manager, Nicky Tolliday from TFP Fertility
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