A major new national survey from leading patient charity Fertility Network UK, released at the start of National Fertility Awareness Week, reveals that the emotional, social and economic impact of fertility problems is far greater than previously recognised.
Fertility Network UK’s survey, conducted in association with Middlesex University London, assessed the impact of failing to conceive and the subsequent impact of fertility treatment on both women and men.
Commenting on the infertility impact survey, Susan Seenan, chief executive of Fertility Network UK said: ‘Fertility Network UK’s major new national survey paints an incredibly stark, distressing picture of what it is like to experience fertility problems in this country.’
Professor Adam Balen, chair of the British Fertility Society said: “This new national survey shows the true picture of living with fertility problems for many people. It can be an incredibly distressing time and undergoing treatment and facing costs can place a huge amount of stress and pressure on couples and their families. Worryingly many clinical commissioning groups are offering fewer cycles of IVF and going against the national guidance on this. Treatment needs to be available on the NHS and this current situation is unacceptable.”
- Infertile couples spend heartbreaking average of £11,378 on IVF, with one in 10 ‘paying over £30k’.
- More than half have to pay for some or all of their medical care, with one in ten spending more than £30,000 and a desperate few up to £100,000.
- Nine in ten said their inability to have children had made them depressed.
- And almost half of those receiving fertility treatment reported feeling sad, out of control, frustrated, helpless, fearful and worried nearly all of the time.
- More worryingly, the number of infertile people feeling suicidal has more than doubled from 20 per cent in 1997 to 42 per cent now.