Derry group lobbying for better infertility services locally

Sharon Davidson.
Sharon Davidson.

A Derry based group which supports couples who are unable to have children is using National Infertility Awareness Week to make people in the North West aware of the lack of services available locally.

‘Tiny Feet’, which was formed 10 years ago and is based out of Altnagelvin hospital, meet once every two months to offer help and advice to anyone affected by infertility.

National Infertility Awareness Week runs from October 28 to November 3.

Sharon Davidson is Infertility UK’s Regional Organiser for the North of Ireland and she talked about the kind of support by ‘Tiny Feet’.

“‘Tiny Feet’ has strong links with the Gynae unit at Altnagelvin hospital who have provided premises free of charge for the group to meet every two months. One in six couples in N. Ireland suffer the devastating effects of infertility. At the group meetings, when grant money permits, we bring in speakers on various infertility related subjects e.g. fertility nutrition, alternative therapies, coping methods, identifying depression and fertility counselling. We also have general meetings where people just talk and share experiences in a safe environment. We also encourage the group to lobby for much needed changes in NHS fertility treatment.

“This includes writing to local MLAs about the fact that in N. Ireland couples who meet the NHS criteria get only one to IVF treatment cycle. Another major issue in Derry is the fact that there is no local fertility counselling service. There is an excellent fertility counselling service in Belfast but couples who are feeling very vulnerable sometimes are unable to make this journey as it can add more stress.”

For more information on ‘Tiny Feet’ contact Sharon Davidson at Infertility Network UK on 02890 825677.