EP 131: Just relax. What not to say to someone on their TTC journey
It’s #NIAW in the US and Resolve have a great campaign using the hashtag #flipthescript encouraging better conversations about infertility in the media as well as amongst employers, insurers, healthcare providers. How appropriate considering what happened in the UK last week on Lorraine , an breakfast TV show in the UK. I wanted to speak to some of the people who were involved in talking to the show, to get their reactions and to highlight how important it is that the mainstream media gives infertility the respect it deserves when talking about it. I don’t consider my podcast to be mainstream media, as it’s speak to and is for a niche audience, but I take my role as an interviewer very seriously and make sure i’ve done my research before I speak to people. I’m no expert, I have just spoken to a lot of people from experts to those on their #TTC journey and I hope that what you take away from my content is useful and empowering. Here’s to hoping that those in positions of authority do the same.
Cat, as you’ll see from her instagram is very honest and open about her #TTC journey and in her work with Fertility Network is a great signposter, helping you to find other useful information and events. She’s also working tirelessly to give #infertility a voice. This came to the attention of the mainstream media this week in the UK as Cat spoke on Lorraine, a morning TV show in the UK. As you’ll hear in our chat – the answer to Cat’s question which was based around her failed IVF cycles and what could she do differently – was to relax!
Not only is this information patronising, it’s unfairly putting the issue back on the individual and couple trying to get pregnant and as you’ll hear my guests explain they all feel that mainstream media has a responsibility to present information about infertility in a more thought out and better prepared way and in this example – failed to do so! Cat spoke about a couple of UK celebrities Chris Evans who has just announced he’s expecting twins after IVF treatment and Ant McPartlin who I have spoken about in a previous episode here
I also spoke to Keely’s who shared her story as she’s heading into her 6th round of treatment and gave up work 15 months ago to cope with it all. Keeley asked a question about her nutrition, as has made a lot of lifestyle changes and writes about it in her blog She explained how the information she received was OK, but still felt strongly that the who process wasn’t handled well.
The third lady on the show was a former podcast guest also, the lovely Kate Meaks who wrote a blog post about her experience as she had asked about whether IVF drugs could have any long lasting effects and didn’t really get an accurate answer. Kate was has spoken to me about her feelings on dealing with secondary infertility
As did Hollie and Alice you’ll see that the general feeling is pretty unanimous that the information wasn’t really presented as it could be. This advice isn’t a new thing, and if you google ‘infertility and relax’ you’ll see articles spanning years, so I wonder whether the message that this really isn’t helping, will ever get through.
My final guest on today’s episode is a gent called Tonky Dad who’s other half is on Insta as @tonkymum. I think Tonky Dad might have joined twitter to have this conversation with Dr Hilary who is the medical professional that has caused all of this upset. Tonky spoke about his experience of dealing with Male Factor fertility issues, he has a problem with the morphology of his sperm and have been through ICSI treatment sadly with no success yet. He’s still on the journey and gives some great advice to other guys dealing with male infertility
You only focused on a tiny demographic and your anecdote only applies to a portion of that group. I’m male with a good count but <1% morphology. My wife has polycystic ovaries and irregular cycles. Relaxation will not resolve our issues, and such anecdotes belittle our conditions
— TonkyDad (@TonkyDad) April 18, 2018
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