Going through fertility investigations and treatment can be emotionally and physically challenging.
We believe that supporting you psychologically can ease the process and improve outcomes. We offer free confidential counselling to all our patients as part of our service.
Some may think that fertility problems have affected them individually; their self- esteem, identity and confidence. Others might believe it has an impact on their relationship; how they now find it difficult to talk, or that life seems to be in limbo and their sex life has taken a nose dive.
What does counselling involve?
Counselling involves talking in strict confidence with a qualified Counsellor about fertility and treatment. Our Counsellors will offer a safe and non-judgemental space for you to explore your worries and experiences and find a positive way forward. We will listen, help you to straighten out your thoughts, and where relevant, suggest useful strategies.
Who benefits from counselling?
Last year around half of all patients attended counselling, where the majority had not attended counselling anywhere before. For certain procedures we require that you attend counselling, to ensure that you have the support you need, and the space to consider the treatment you have chosen. Typically, counselling may be sought or offered for one or more reasons:
- Support counselling offers help to patients before, during and after treatment, so that you can cope with the uncertainties and stresses of fertility issues
- Implications counselling can help both you and your partner to understand more about the treatment you plan to have – what it involves practically, legally and emotionally, and how it may affect you, those close to you, and the child who may be born. If your treatment will use donated eggs, sperm, embryos or surrogacy, our policy requires at least one session of counselling, prior to treatment
- Therapeutic counselling may be appropriate for people who feel they need more intensive help to deal with depression, sexual difficulties or relationship matters which may arise from subfertility. We will try to help you consider strategies and discuss ideas for support, and signpost to specialist organisations as relevant
Whatever is discussed will remain confidential unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as concerns around your safety. Nothing will be shared with other members of staff without your permission. You will be given full details of our Confidentiality Policy when you are at the clinic.
How to book an appointment with a Counsellor
Appointments with our Fertility Counsellors, Gill Aldridge and Kate Linton can either be made by phone or when you come to the clinic, and are currently available on Wednesday afternoons and evenings, Thursday mornings and afternoons, and some Saturdays.
Gill and Kate work in quiet, private rooms. They are here to help you with or without a partner, at any stage before, during or after treatment. During the appointment, you will be able to explore the impact of treatment on you and your relationship, and can discuss strategies to help you cope. We recommend that you allow over an hour when coming for a counselling visit.
We offer up to three sessions of counselling on a complimentary basis. The service is free and available to you either individually or as a couple. If you feel talking would be helpful, please call our Patient Advisors on 01761 434464 to book an appointment.