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Time to Talk Day 2019

Time to Talk Day 2019
Time to Talk Day 2019

This years’ Time to Talk Day takes place on the 7th February with the aim of encouraging more people to talk about their mental health.  We talk to Tracey Sainsbury, Senior Fertility Counsellor at the London Women’s Clinic, to find out more about the impact of infertility and fertility treatment on mental health and how talking to others can help.

Time to Talk Day 2019

The focus of Time to Talk Day is to “put together the right ingredients to have a conversation about mental health”. At the London Women’s Clinic, those ingredients include our dedicated team of specialist fertility counsellors, fertility coaches and support groups, in addition to our medical and administration teams who all provide support throughout treatment.

The impact of infertility on mental health

Fertility counsellors have long recognised the psychological impact of infertility for heterosexual couples.  However, this can also be said for same sex couples and single women trying to conceive with the help of donor sperm who can benefit from emotional support too.  “We often see our patients who are trying to have a baby via donor conception be harder on themselves as they are choosing to conceive in this way; it can promote a sense that they should be wholly positive all the time.  Thus, promoting feelings of failing if they feel stressed, depressed or uncertain.” Says Senior Fertility Counsellor at the LWC, Tracey Sainsbury.

Dealing with a lack of control

Fertility treatment, whether Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or IVF, puts the patient in to a hopefully life changing situation, where they have no control or ability to influence the outcome. “We all like a bit of control,” says Tracey “and it’s routinely stressful when we don’t have any. Understanding this, hopefully helps to accept the stress as a routine part of treatment. We support you in managing your mental health needs well, rather than suggesting you should be able to relax or not be stressed.”

Finding someone to talk to

Fertility treatment can often lead to difficulties at work which in turn creates more stress.  Trying to conceive at home or in a clinic can also routinely impact on relationships, with friends and family as well as partners. “Being able to talk with a fertility coach or counsellor or attending a support group with other people in similar situations can give new ways of coping.  It can also provide an opportunity to explore where you can make changes to better manage difficult situations.” says Tracey.  

Support at the London Women’s Clinic

Support throughout your fertility treatment journey is always available at the LWC.  All initial consultation appointments include a complimentary counselling session which can take place in person, by phone or skype.  For more peer to peer support, the LWC Harley Street runs a support group on the last Monday of the month with February 2019’s session taking place on Monday 25th February at 7pm.  For more information and to attend please email cindy.charles@londonwomensclinic.com.

Dedicated support hub

We recognise that feelings around infertility can come at any time. Our new support hub available on the LWC website provides easy to access support when you need it.  Here you will find information about counselling, coaching and support groups at the LWC as well as useful external sources of support including the Fertility Network and Donor Conception Network.  For friends and family of those struggling with infertility, the Fertility Network’s factsheet for friends and relatives provides a useful guide to helping support loved ones. 

For more information about the counselling and support services at the London Women’s Clinic or to book in a counselling appointment at one of our clinics, please email patient.support@londonwomensclinic.com.

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