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Fertility information day to help cut through ‘confusing and contradictory’ advice

We have teamed up with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) to host the first ever non-commercial fertility information event, after new figures from the RCOG show that many women struggle with confusing and contradictory fertility advice.

The Fertility Forum takes place on Saturday 30 March at the RCOG and is an opportunity for women, their partners and those who want to find out more about fertility, to speak to experts and find out the latest accurate, evidence-based, unbiased information.

The RCOG spoke to more than 1,000 women aged 18-65 from across the UK and even though 60% of women said they find information from us reliable, four out of five (86%) said information from different sources seems contradictory. More than three quarters (76%) also said they are not sure if fertility information is impartial and unbiased and three out of five women (62%) said they feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information on offer.

Organised by the RCOG, the British Fertility Society (BFS), and us, the Fertility Forum brings together the public and professionals for a full day of information sessions and discussion to help patients, and those who are considering fertility treatment, make informed choices about the right treatment for them. Trained fertility counsellors will also be on site at a special ‘Time Out Space’ which will offer emotional support to anyone who might need it.

Sally Cheshire, Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, said:

“As the fertility regulator, we collect data about every treatment cycle across the UK to provide patients with clear, unbiased information and to prepare them for what they will face at their clinic.

“I know from personal experience as a former patient how difficult it is to find impartial, evidence-based information so that you can make informed choices about the right fertility treatment for you.

“We are delighted to be joining the Fertility Forum, giving patients the opportunity to ask questions, hear from experts and find out about our latest data on all aspects of fertility treatment and donation.”

Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:

“Trying for a baby can be an incredibly stressful time for some. This new data echoes what we have been hearing from women and patients for many years.

“It is vital that women and couples have access to accurate, evidence-based, impartial and expert advice which is why we have brought together renowned experts, patients and partners together in one location for our very first Fertility Forum event.”

Katy Lindemann, 37, who felt desperate whilst seeking fertility treatment, said:

“When going through fertility treatment it can feel like clinics are the merchants of hope, but if different specialists are telling you, and selling you, different things, deciding what to do can be overwhelming.  There's also a wealth of weird, wonderful and downright crazy stuff to try, that someone on the internet swears worked for them, which of course you end up doing, because you're desperate - and don't want to feel guilty that you didn't try hard enough.

“I think the Fertility Forum is a terrific opportunity to access independent, impartial information from experts in an environment where no one's trying to sell you anything. It will really help couples to navigate this maelstrom of different options to decide what's right for them.”

For more information about the Fertility Forum and to register for the event, visit the RCOG website.

The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 1,002 UK women aged 18-65 who have not yet started menopause. The survey was carried out from 20 February to 25 February 2019.

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Publication date: 22 May 2019

Review date: 22 May 2021