The yearly national fertility awareness week ensures that a regular spotlight is shone on fertility. It aims to signpost people to the right support, improve the awareness and understanding of fertility and infertility, as well as continue to fund much-needed support networks and infertility research and care.
Even though there are 3.5 million people in the UK facing fertility issues, which equates to 1:7, fertility issues still doesn’t get the awareness it so vitally needs. Therefore, awareness events such as National Fertility Awareness Week, which runs from 1 – 5 November in 2021, are essential for shining the spotlight on fertility, changing perceptions of fertility and infertility, and continuing to give support to those who need it. However, we need to be considering the impact of infertility every day, not just once a year.
National fertility awareness week is led by Fertility Network UK, the nation’s leading patient-focused fertility charity, and they have a full-on schedule planned during National Fertility Awareness Week which you can get involved with too!
What’s happening during the week?
Monday 1 November – #FertilityFairness
#FertilityFairness is all about seeing fair access to NHS-funded fertility treatment for all eligible patients regardless of postcode, race, or sexuality. Fertility Network UK will be holding a survey on access to NHS IVF, sharing information on fertility treatment and success rates for Black, Asian, and other ethnic minority fertility patients, as well as hearing the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community.
There will also be a #FertilityFairness webinar, hosted by Dr Raj Mathur, chair of the British Fertility Society. This will be a chance for you to learn and share your experiences too.
Tuesday 2 November #DonorDay
The work of the national donor recruitment campaign in Scotland is highlighted on #DonorDay, as well as awareness of the need for ethnic minority gamete and embryo donors and encouraging the public to consider gamete donation and fertility patients who have completed their IVF family to consider embryo donation.
There will be a #DonorDay webinar, hosted by Nina Barnsley, director of the Donor Conception Network. Keep an eye on the Fertility Network UK for registration details for all their awareness week events.
Wednesday 3 November #HIMFertility
#HIMFertility is all about male fertility. Men are half of the fertility equation, and their experiences, thoughts and feelings matter equally. The HIMfertility crew, founded by comedian Rhod Gilbert, and many other male voices will be taking over the Fertility Network UK Twitter for the day.
The #HimFertility webinar will be a male only fireside chat with members of HIMfertility.
Thursday 4 November #FertilityEd
Fertility education is the focus on Thursday. Fertility Network UK is highlighting its education initiatives: Your Future Fertility which aims to inform young people about the factors, including lifestyle, which can affect fertility, and Fertility in the Workplace which encourages employers to provide a supportive work environment and helps employees to know their rights.
The #FertilityEd webinar is hosted by Professor Joyce Harper, co-founder of the British Fertility Society’s Fertility Education Initiative.
Friday 5 November #TalkFertility
Friday’s #TalkFertility is all about celebrating patient voices and highlighting coping strategies for both current fertility patients and people who are childless not by choice. You will find resources on where to find help and discover the results of a Fertility Network UK survey looking at the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on fertility patients and their treatment.
Who doesn’t love a good brew? To help raise even more awareness and fundraise for such an important cause, why not take part in Fertili-Tea? Host a tea and bake sale, invite family and friends and there’s even a quiz on the Fertility Network UK website to raise awareness in a fun way.
Throughout the week there will be a variety of videos, blogs and much more on all these topics from fertility experts, health professionals, patients, and others. You can easily get involved on social media by tweeting and posting with the hashtags #YouAreNotAlone #NFAW and the daily hashtags.
At Your Fertility Journey, we will be getting involved on our socials, so come and join us if you haven’t already.