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The decision to have a child is a life changing one for any individual or couple. It affects relationships with others such as parents, brothers and sisters, wider family, neighbours, colleagues, friends who may be directly or indirectly involved. Whether the difficulties in conceiving have been anticipated, or are encountered only when a couple start trying to conceive, there is a sense of loss which each person experiences and copes with in his or her own way.
Along with sadness and distress, other feelings may include anger, anxiety, helplessness envy, longing, blame and guilt. There can also be an accompanying sense of confusion and isolation, with others, even family members not fully understanding. Consequently, relationships can come under strain, adding to any difficulties.
Additionally, for a couple the time when one partner most needs the help of the other may be the time when it is least available as each is under pressure to cope and is not always able to support the other. It may also be that one partner holds back out of concern for the other, or for fear of making matters worse for them both.
Counselling can give you the time and space to explore and share your thoughts and feelings. It can also help you clarify any areas of confusion and try to find new ways of coping. Counselling gives you the opportunity to work through the feelings you are experiencing, to discuss any issues that have arisen and to look at other ways of moving forward.
For those who are considering treatment that includes the use of donated sperm, eggs or embryos, it is a requirement that anyone wishing to donate or to use donated sperm, eggs or embryos must attend implications counselling. This is also the case for those wishing to pursue surrogacy.
Counselling is for individuals, couples as well as other supportive relatives or friends, as appropriate. Sometimes an individual or a couple needs someone to talk to who is separate from the rest of their life; who has no personal preference concerning any decisions; who is willing to listen with care and respect, and to give support, but not advice. The counsellor here at the Centre is trained to be such a person, and is also informed in medical and technical procedures along with the social and psychological aspects of fertility difficulties and treatment.
Counselling is available to every individual and couple before, during and after treatment. Sessions are arranged by appointment and can be for one session or a number of sessions depending upon individual circumstances and needs.
As soon as you have been referred to the hospital for treatment you can make an appointment for counselling, if you wish. The first meeting is for a mutual exchange of information and decision about appropriate further sessions.
Justine Barrett and Linda Best,
Centre for Reproductive Medicine
Clifford Bridge Road
Coventry CV2 2DX.
Telephone: 024 7696 8879 - Centre Reception 024 7696 8886 - Direct Line
Counselling respects confidentiality, individuality and a person's responsibility to make his/her own decisions. It does not provide 'all the right answers' but offers support to help you find your own answers and the best way forward for you.
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This site uses automatic translation software provided by Google. The Trust cannot verify its accuracy and you should not rely on the information translated. If you have a query, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison team or your doctor/nurse.