Going through fertility treatment, it can feel as though your life is on hold and it is hard to move forward or plan your future. Sometimes you feel as though you cannot confide in anyone who will understand what you are going through.

Counselling is an opportunity to explore any emotional difficulty, fears and anxieties, or distress that you might experience during your fertility journey. It can help you to cope, make choices, and change aspects of your situation. It doesn’t involve giving advice or direction to take a particular course of action; at times it may involve providing information. Our counsellors are here so you can express your emotions freely in a supportive environment.

Every treatment cycle includes one free of charge counseling session as we acknowledge the benefits this can offer while on your fertility journey.

Coping with Fertility Treatment

The HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) considers fertility counselling to be a key element in the provision of fertility services for all patients. Recognising the complex psychological and social issues that can arise from infertility, and licensed treatments, the HFEA Act 1990 requires counselling to be offered to both partners before treatment starts.

We’re sensitive to the emotions you may experience, and the stress of the treatment itself. As part of our ongoing patient care, counselling is routinely offered at any time before, during or after treatment.

You can have counselling sessions with a partner, individually or in a group depending on your needs, treatment and the recommendation of the clinical consultants. It’s not just for those times when things go wrong.

You’ll come across different kinds of counselling, depending on you, and where you are on your journey. If you’d like to arrange counselling, or discuss your needs, please call on 01628 882400.

Implications Counselling

Implications counselling provides an emotionally safe place in which to reflect on and understand the proposed procedure, the variety of issues that may affect you, and the lasting implications for you and those close to you, both now and in the future. It takes into account the welfare and needs of the future child. It’s an opportunity to anticipate and plan for this conception and family formation.

Counselling is strongly recommended if you are using donated sperm, eggs or embryos, in donor-assisted conception. Implications counselling is routinely offered before treatment, to give you time to decide how to proceed.

Support counselling

Fertility treatment is a significant emotional journey, and may have an impact on your relationships with others. The emotions can be conflicting and intense. Support counselling is an opportunity to explore your feelings, coping strategies, options and relationship issues with partners, family, friends or colleagues. It can help you to adjust, and to look at both the short- and long-term consequences of infertility and treatment. You might find that you need support at different stages of treatment. You can access support counselling at any time before, during, or after treatment.

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Availability

Finding a balanced lifestyle when going through fertility treatments will help you cope better and reduce your vulnerability to stress, helping you prioritise what is important. Having a balance between work and play is something to aim for. Don’t stop seeing friends or family maintain supportive relationships.

We recommend you continue with your interests and give yourself permission to have fun regularly without feeling guilty.

However if you are feeling stressed and need support, please do not hesitate to speak to a member of the team so appropriate help and advice can be given to you through the difficult days. We want to help you prepare for any situation that may arise so we encourage the use of Counselling Services to assist you through your treatment.

For the counselling service in the Unit, the first session incurs no charge. To book an appointment please telephone us on 01628 882400.

Confidentiality

Counselling at Thames Valley Fertility is a confidential and supportive service that you can access at any time before, during or after your fertility treatment.

Counsellors follow regulatory guidelines set out by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA). Information you disclose is confidential and will not be fed back to any other member of Thames Valley Fertility staff, unless it causes concern about harm to yourself, others around you, or the welfare of the future child. In this instance, the counsellor will talk to you first, and find the best way forward.

The BACP and BICA require that your counsellor is independently supervised, outside counselling sessions. As such, they may anonymously share some information with their supervisor as part of their own continuing professional development.

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