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Many infertile women not receiving support PDF Print Email

40% of women with fertility issues who visit their GP don’t feel they get an explanation as to why they are finding it difficult to get pregnant.  More concerning still is the fact that 70% are unsure if they are ovulating regularly with their cycles.

This is according to recent research carried out for a fertility monitor company.  500 women with known fertility issues were surveyed and many of the respondents were told they may have common conditions but weren’t given any formal diagnosis and left to feel in the dark.  The respondents were told they may have common issues such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis.

The latest research indicates that up to 20% of women have PCOS – the most common cause of ovulatory problems - but that up to half of all cases go undetected.   

Under the current NICE (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) guidelines, women under the age of 35 who seek help from their doctor about fertility concerns should continue trying to get pregnant for two years before they should be considered for treatment on the NHS. 

Kate Davies, Fertility Practitioner RN BSc (HONS) FP Cert, said: “I hear from scores of women who are confused, upset and frustrated. They pluck up the courage to go and talk to the GP and often leave feeling very blamed, let down by a lack of information, and without a diagnosis.”

Kate continued: “Diagnosis is the key to being able to manage any medical condition or illness, we all know that, but with something as precious as childbirth the current guidance is to keep trying. Whilst it is vital couples aim for a really healthy lifestyle and are managing their weight, it seems almost cruel to send couples away after having gone to their GP for help and proactive support. Even if they did everything recommended for NICE 'expectant management' 20% of couples of would never get pregnant, yet they are left out in the dark for up to two years - those two years could be vital"

Statistics from the IVF treatment body which regulates IVF treatment in the UK show that over 40% of couples reach the end of that pathway with 'unexplained infertility'. That is two in every five of those receiving each £5000 IVF treatment at an estimated cost of £120m to the NHS every year.  Many women don't know why they can't get pregnant naturally, and neither do their clinicians.

Delaying treatment can significantly reduce the chances of pregnancy. The vast majority of couples who visit their doctor have an issue conceiving which often will not be helped by waiting.

There are women throughout the UK, desperately trying to conceive but being left without support or advice or a proper diagnosis to help them address the issues. 

If you are having trouble conceiving go to your GP right away and get it looked into. There are a number of products available at your local pharmacy that can help identify ovulation cycles as well as pregnancy tests and other helpful accessories.  Any information you have for your doctor will be very helpful and should allow you to receive help more quickly.