As a former fertility patient, I know only too well how difficult it can be having to accept that you need treatment. On reflection, that is the easy part. After acceptance comes consideration and twenty years ago when my partner and I had to consider our options we knew nothing about those opportunities that sat further than a radius of ten miles outside our home, let alone those sitting in different countries.

Fast forward twenty years and how things have changed. Fertility patients literally have the world at their fingertips. From our living rooms we can order home test kits; send samples safely, undergo nurse and medical consultations, access virtual clinics and only really need to leave the room physically for the ‘business’ end of the journey, namely the egg retrieval and embryo transfer.

Would this have made things much easier for my partner and I? You would assume so, and in many ways, I think it would. Certainly, I would have appreciated doing a home sperm test rather than hurrying through rush hour traffic to hand over the sample at my local hospital and it would have been great to have had those difficult conversations from my armchair.

Then, unlike now, three major things were missing. We didn’t have the sophisticated internet we have now, and relatively few clinics had an online presence. Secondly, we didn’t have access to support. Just type ‘fertility support’ into any search engine today and you can access support for every conceivable need you might have. Thirdly, and as a direct result of the first two, we didn’t really have choice. For us, this meant our local NHS hospital after a private consultation, undertaken by the same consultant, only with the clock ticking.

Today, fertility patients have access to each of these things in abundance. Surely, that makes things so much easier.

Well, firstly, who do you trust? Do all clinics provide treatments with success rates ‘well above average’ and do all provide a ‘personalised’ service like no other? Marketing makes the world go around, and although reading between the lines takes some time, it is time you should spend.

The number of support platforms has ballooned over the last decade. With their roots in the philanthropic field where support came free, they have grown into a significant business opportunity for some. Fortunately, there are good ones out there, many created from personal experience, but you do have to be careful to select the ‘wheat from the chaff’, as my mother used to say.

Finally, Fertility patients now have choice. The world seems to be getting smaller and we now view travel as a way of accessing and addressing our medical needs as well as our leisure needs. Despite the best efforts of Covid-19, we are free to travel once more and this has enabled fertility patients to consider many different paths, offered by different providers in different countries. But once again, with literally thousands of options, which is the one for you?

The fertility journey for my partner and I is over but for all of you coming behind us, there are plus points, you finally have choice albeit with certain caveats. Choose wisely and the majority of you, I am sure, will have a successful end to your journey just like ours.

I have recently chosen to work with the talented, modest and very capable Eddie Kuan (The Fertility Medication Centre, Mediserve Clinic) to help set up Donor International to act as a trusted gatekeeper for those offering and requiring donor treatment. We are using our combined knowledge and networks of international treatment providers to offer patients access to the best, and for the providers themselves, we provide an opportunity to showcase the services they offer.

I hope the new platform will make donor identification and access easier, will allow the best clinics and banks to share availability and ensure that wherever you may travel, and whatever treatment you decide upon, it will be based on the transparent and qualified information which is offered by  Donor International.

Contact for more information about Donor International.

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