The NFS Journey
The idea of the National Fertility Society was born in Cyprus in April 2017 during a conference. When we returned home we registered the company and started writing all of the policies and procedures. We launched the first phase of our website and started promoting NFS.
We hold regular workshops for the public to attend and have been thrilled with the positive response we have received from these days.
In June 2017 we attended a really positive meeting with the HFEA, where we explained what we want to achieve. To regulate the quality and professionalism of specialist fertility counsellors.
We became organisational members of the BACP and the NCS
We had our Advanced Specialist Fertility Diploma Training recognised by the NCS and our other training courses quality checked and approved.
Which makes the NFS Head Office look really smart.
The National Fertility Society (NFS) attended the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) Ultrasound in Assisted Reproduction Technologies (ART) and early pregnancy: blended training approach.
Why did NFS want to attend this course?
NFS wants to promote the need of keeping up to date with the developing recommendations for good clinical practice, the experience of the hands on work was invaluable, to actually experience a simulated egg collection, the skill and concentration of the doctor that is needed to extract each egg one by one, and then to have a go at a simulated embryo implantation, steadily putting the embryo into the perfect place, takes a very steady hand.
Ultrasound plays and important role in management and treatment of women with gynaecological problems and couples with difficulties to conceive. the course gave us an overview of the clinical process of ultrasound in assisted reproductive treatment and early pregnancy, the course focused on controlled ovarian stimulation and hyper stimulation, endometrium and implantation.
Trying to conceive can be stressful, anyone facing the fear and uncertainty associated with invasive investigations and treatment can experience a wide range of emotions, including fear.
NFS want to keep up to date in all areas of training to be aware of any new interventions the patients may be going through, so that there is a greater understanding for the Counsellors and a greater understanding for our patients which in turn will benefit the patient.
Sandra Bateman, Chief executive of the National Fertility Society said “The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that counselling should be offered, before, during and after IVF treatment regardless of the outcome, I feel it is important that your counsellor is a specialist in this area of counselling to give the patient the right support. To understand the intervention your patients are going through, allows you to have a better understanding of how and why they feel they way they do”
We went to our first Fertility Show in November 2017 in London, we had the smallest stand, but the best time, meeting some amazing members of the public and other professionals.
We were visited by lots of people, some people who were just beginning their journey and some that have already had been through treatment.
Many times over the weekend, visitors voiced how difficult the emotional journey is, and how they felt the need to talk to someone who understands.
An IVF cycle requires an enormous emotional commitment at each stage of the cycle, this could put pressure on your relationship, from dealing with the unpredictable emotions that the fertility drugs could trigger in women to managing the financial aspects of the treatment. Each step of the journey can be difficult, some people will worry about injections; Will I have enough eggs? Will they become embryos? We now have to wait and wait and wait for test day, will I be pregnant?
If It’s a negative result; What do I do next? Do I have frozen embryos? Do I need to another cycle? Can I finance another cycle? Do I stay with the same clinic? What can we do differently to improve my next cycle?
If It’s a positive result; When do I have my first scan? Is the baby okay? What is my risk of miscarriage? Do I go to work? How much should I rest?
Finding a counsellor that specialises in fertility counselling is essential to get the right support before, during and after treatment.
Sandra said “so often I come across people who have tried to cope with fertility treatment alone and without any external help from a counselling professional who specialises within this field and they have found it very difficult, if they had only sought out someone for just one or two sessions it would have been a lot easier for them to cope”
NFS has teamed up with Family Nutrition Coach to help people start their fertility journey in the best possible health, for help with loosing or gaining weight and general well-being for men and women for optimal fertility health. By using the special NFS code clients receive a 20% discount.
We started advertising our training courses and getting counselling members.
We went to Denmark to the Cryos Symposium which was very educational and fun.
NFS supports Progress Educational Trust, and we attended their conference in London.
We attended the Surrogacy UK Conference and met the wonderful Louise Brown.
NFS are pleased to be linked with Celloxess, Fertilix Preconceptual Antioxidant, take a look at their products in the NFS shop and gain 10% off when you purchase through NFS with the special code.
We are also linked with LogixX Pharma Solutions, Proxeed Women supports female fertility and reproduction, have a look in our NFS shop and gain 10% off when your purchase through NFS using the discount code.
NFS chief exec Sandra is an expert on IVF Babble and regularly writes articles for them.
Our website has gone from strength to strength with phase four completed and phase five being planned. NFS has an incredible Executive Team of Specialists, Doctors, Embryologists, Senior Fertility Nurses, Specialist Fertility Counsellors and Counsellor Trainers who all share the same vision for quality and patient led practice.
Sandra delivered a talk at the Families Through Surrogacy Conference on ‘How Surrogacy can go Wrong’ and how to avoid problems between Intended Parents and Surrogates.
The 1st cohort of the National Fertility Society ‘Advanced Specialist Fertility Counselling Diploma’ in Birmingham 2018.
NFS attended the HFEA Conference March 2018 and we were inspired by the excellent address by HFEA Chair Sally Cheshire, a lovely talk by Louise Brown and entertaining talk by John Webster.
NFS attended another ESHRE Campus Workshop on ‘Information Provision and Communication with Patients’ a subject very close to our hearts.
NFS have written their own books to help young children from assisted reproduction treatment to understand how their journey began. The first book to be published is ‘Mummy and Mummy Want a Family’ as shown above. We are selling these through our online shop.
NFS attended our 2nd Fertility Show in Manchester, we had a bigger stand, talked to many lovely members of the public who attended the show and were surrounded by our colleagues and friends from the fertility world.
Our 1st Advanced Specialist Fertility Counselling Diploma cohort completed training in Birmingham and our Counsellor Directory map is filling up.
The Donor Conception Network invited us to attend their 25th Anniversary at the House of Lords, it was a very special evening with inspirational talks from a donor conceived young man and donor recipient.
NFS were very privileged to attend the COTS (Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy) 30th Birthday and AGM at Woburn Safari Park where NFS Chief Exec Sandra Bateman was voted on to the COTS Executive Team and is their main Senior Surrogacy Counselling Specialist.
Sandra had a lovely time for 3 days in the quiet room at Fertility Fest in London’s Bush Theatre, hearing many inspiring stories and meeting some wonderful people.
The Bristol NFS Advanced Specialist Fertility Training Diploma cohort looking very smart with their diplomas, the NFS map is filling up nicely.
We launched our Daddy and Daddy Want a Family books on our website
Fertility Network UK and NFS have joined forces to support patients and put their emotional well being first when receiving fertility treatment or dealing with issues related to fertility. With a page on the NFS website dedicated to FNUK with links to support groups within all areas and all the other support that FNUK offers, a great resource for our fertility counsellors to recommend and patients to access easily.
The National Fertility Society have been to the wonderful city of Barcelona for the ESHRE 2018 Annual Meeting
The National Fertility Society has teamed up with Donor Conception Network to support donor conceived children and their families, with a dedicated page on the NFS website, with links to support and information for all ages regarding DCN events throughout the UK. An invaluable resource for NFS fertility counsellors and patients with donor conceived children or thinking of using donor gametes to create their family.
The National Fertility Society attended the Northern Fertility Nurses Conference 2018 at the lovely art deco Queens Hotel in the centre of Leeds and we had far too much fun dancing the night away with two lovely fertility nurses from Shrewsbury.
The National Fertility Society attended the launch of the #Scream4IVF for greater funding of free NHS IVF treatment and equality across the UK and all CCG’s in London at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness UK on the 5th September.
Sandra and Joanne delivered National Fertility Society training in Johannesburg South Africa to a group of 20 fertility professionals, 2 full days of 8 hours training and a lot of role play, thoroughly enjoyed by all, what an experience for us, in total we were only there for 3 days, but they were amazing. The training was sponsored by a host of company’s below.
4 members of the National Fertility Society were invited to Turkey by the Turkish Health Tourism Board to visit 5 hospitals in Eskisehir and Hatay, it was a lot of travelling and quite a gruelling schedule be we still managed to have a fun time and see part of such a diverse country
We held our first Specialist Training Course on Counselling Donor Conceived Children and Young Adults in Birmingham this October 2018, it is always a pleasure for Sandra and Joanne to spend the day with some of NFS amazing specialist counsellors, NFS is very lucky to have such a fabulous group of dedicated people.
NFS at the Reproductive Health Group Congress in Cheshire on the 19th and 20th October 2018
The National Fertility at the Families Through Surrogacy Event in London on the 27th October 2018
We had a fabulous time at the Pineapple Ball organised by IVF Babble at the Science Museum, with Sophie Ellis-Bextor singing
Sandra speaking at the Laing Buisson Fertility Forum 2018 in London on 2nd November 2018
We then rushed across town to attend the IVF Babble World Fertility Day where we both spoke along with other fertility professionals to members of the public needing help, support and information on their fertility journey
Then the Fertility Show 2018 at London Olympia, where you can see our stand is getting bigger each year. Sandra with Kim Coton the UK first surrogate and Louise Brown the first IVF baby. Also the lovely Tracey Sainsbury of NFS talking at the show about the importance of counselling through infertility.