We understand going through fertility treatment can be emotionally and physically challenging for our patients. Here at Manchester Fertility, we provide continuous guidance and support throughout your fertility journey. Our expert counselling team are here for you to discuss with you any concerns or questions you may have and help you through this time.
Counselling sessions are available to all our Manchester Fertility patients, and we want to reassure you that sessions are highly confidential and private with you and your fertility counsellor. You can choose to see our experienced counsellor on your own or with your partner.
We sat down with Ann, one of our Fertility Counselling experts to tell us about her experience, what our patients can expect during a counselling appointment and how Ann has supported many patients through their journey and how she can support you through your fertility journey.
Meet Ann, Our Fertility Counsellor
How long have you been a counsellor?
I have been a counsellor for 21 years.
Tell us about yourself?
Approximately 23 years ago, I went through fertility treatment myself, and it was around this time that I trained to be a counsellor. As soon as I qualified, I started to work in a fertility clinic, and I have never looked back. I have absolutely loved it.
What type of counselling can you provide?
I have specialised in fertility counselling but have also worked in other areas. I worked as a school counsellor for several years and also had a private practice providing general counselling. I trained as an Integrative Counsellor.
How is fertility counselling different from other counselling?
As a fertility counsellor, we are required to have specialist knowledge about fertility investigations and treatments and have a deep understanding of the emotional impact of having fertility issues. We are trained to provide implications counselling for people considering donor fertility treatment, and we may also be asked to undertake Welfare of the Child Assessments.
What advice would you give to patients waiting to commence treatment?
When patients are waiting to start treatment, they often describe mixed emotions. They may feel excited and nervous at the same time. My advice would be to take each day at a time as there are many ups and downs during fertility treatment. Remember that you are in exceptionally good hands with the Manchester Fertility team, who have a lot of experience, who care and want to do the very best to help you.
What happens in your counselling sessions?
It will depend on why I am seeing the patient. If the patient has asked for support, I will provide a confidential setting where we can talk to each other. The patient may want to talk about how they are feeling, and we will look at ways that I can try to help. If a patient is having donor treatment, we will use our time together to talk about the implications of receiving donated eggs and/or donor sperm.
What could I get from a session?
It is most important to me that a patient feels supported, whatever their reason for requesting counselling. Patients considering donor treatment will also be given information and links to websites and networks where they can access books and leaflets about donor conception.
What is different now than pre-covid?
At the moment, most counselling takes place remotely, either by video link or telephone. This does work very well for many patients, and it is convenient but I must admit, I miss being in a room with people and seeing them face to face. Nonetheless, this does not detract from the advice and support that all patients get, I always ensure every patient gets the very best care.
What do you love about your job?
After 20 years of fertility counselling practice, I am still passionate about my job. I have met some amazing patients, and it has been a privilege to get to know and support people through what is often a very difficult stage in life. Undergoing fertility investigations and treatment can be stressful and lonely at times. I particularly love running groups so that patients can get to know and support each other. I understand that getting to know others in a similar situation would have been a massive help to me when I was going through fertility treatment.
What do you do in your spare time?
I am currently training to be an Lyengar Yoga Teacher – it takes three years, and I have just started teacher training – I love it! I also love gardening, and for years I did Latin and Ballroom dancing. I may go back to this when the current restrictions are fully lifted. I love travelling when I get the chance to do so, and there are still many places that I want to visit.
Our Fertility counsellors have many years of experience in helping patients throughout their fertility journey. Read more about of team of expert fertility counsellors Sharon, Vicky, Ann and Emma here.
Last updated: 24th September 2021