Going through fertility treatment, it can feel as though your life is on hold and it is hard to move forward or plan your future. Sometimes you feel as though you cannot confide in anyone who will understand what you are going through.
Counselling is an opportunity to explore any emotional difficulty, fears and anxieties, or distress that you might experience during your fertility journey. It can help you to cope, make choices, and change aspects of your situation. It doesn’t involve giving advice or direction to take a particular course of action; at times it may involve providing information. Our counsellors are here so you can express your emotions freely in a supportive environment.
Coping with Fertility Treatment
The HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) considers fertility counselling to be a key element in the provision of fertility services for all patients. Recognising the complex psychological and social issues that can arise from infertility, and licensed treatments, the HFEA Act 1990 requires counselling to be offered to both partners before treatment starts.
At GCRM, we’re sensitive to the emotions you may experience, and the stress of the treatment itself. As part of our ongoing patient care, counselling is routinely offered at any time before, during or after treatment.
You can have counselling sessions with partner, individually or in a group depending on your needs, treatment and the recommendation of the clinical consultants. It’s not just for those times when things go wrong.
You’ll come across different kinds of counselling, depending on you, and where you are on your journey.
Implications counselling provides an emotionally safe place in which to reflect on and understand the proposed procedure, the variety of issues that may affect you, and the lasting implications for you and those close to you, both now and in the future. It takes into account the welfare and needs of the future child. It’s an opportunity to anticipate and plan for this conception and family formation.
Counselling is strongly recommended if you are using donated sperm, eggs or embryos, in donor-assisted conception. Implications counselling is routinely offered before treatment, to give you time to decide how to proceed.
Fertility treatment is a significant emotional journey, and may have an impact on your relationships with others. The emotions can be conflicting and intense. Support counselling is an opportunity to explore your feelings, coping strategies, options and relationship issues with partners, family, friends or colleagues. It can help you to adjust, and to look at both the short- and long-term consequences of infertility and treatment. You might find that you need support at different stages of treatment. You can access support counselling at any time before, during, or after treatment.
You can have sessions with our councillors at various times throughout the week. If you’re interested in booking a session, please call us to discuss availability. If you’re receiving treatment at GCRM, three sessions with our fertility counsellor are included in your treatment costs. These sessions can be used up to two months after the end of your treatment.
The sessions usually last an hour, unless the counsellor arranges otherwise. If you are unable to attend an appointment for any reason, we would appreciate at least 24 hours notice. If you cancel too late, you may be charged, or have the missed session deducted from the three you’re entitled to.
Counselling at GCRM is a confidential and supportive service that you can access at any time before, during or after your fertility treatment.
Counsellors follow regulatory guidelines set out by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA). Information you disclose is confidential and will not be fed back to any other member of GCRM staff, unless it causes concern about harm to yourself, others around you, or the welfare of the future child. In this instance, the counsellor will talk to you first, and find the best way forward.
The BACP and BICA require that your counsellor is independently supervised, outside counselling sessions. As such, they may anonymously share some information with their supervisor as part of their own continuing professional development.