Prospective patients are travelling to Bristol from as far as Plymouth, Cardiff and Birmingham to attend free advice clinics for people who are having problems getting pregnant, the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine (BCRM) reports.
The clinic, which has the highest success rate in the South West for IVF, is now holding free advice clinics every fortnight.
With around one in six couples struggling to conceive, the free and confidential one-to-one mini consultations with fertility specialists are attracting couples from across South West England and South Wales.
Dr Valentine Akande, who heads the team at BCRM, said: “We were delighted when one of the couples who attended our last event said ‘We have learnt so much tonight’ – because helping people understand why they might be having issues can be the key to resolving them.
“It is also reassuring for us as a team to receive feedback saying ‘everyone was very helpful, friendly and approachable’ because we totally understand how much people need caring support at what can be an emotional and stressful time in their lives.
“Whether people are hoping to benefit from NHS funded treatment or pay privately, the first step is finding out what help is available.”
Dr Akande, an internationally recognised fertility expert, will open the next event on Thursday 12 March with an explanation of the options open to women or couples experiencing difficulties in trying for a baby, and answer some of the questions that tend to precede people’s first steps into assisted fertility.
His talk will be followed by free personal mini-consultations, when people will be able to discuss their particular situation with an expert, and tours of the centre (the longest established fertility clinic in Bristol). This will include an opportunity to meet members of the laboratory team and view the state-of-the-art facility where their specialist IVF, ICSI and IUI treatments take place.
Information will be also available about other services, such as the use of donor sperm or donor egg treatment or freezing eggs. Counselling and treatment support services are available, and visitors will come away with a realistic overview of how the team can help and – where relevant - how much fertility services cost.
BCRM has outstanding success rates, with 33% of embryos transferred resulting in births - the best in the region. The free advice evenings are held on the Southmead Hospital site. Sessions run from 6pm to 8pm, and free parking is available.
To register for the next event on Thursday 12 March, or the following one on Thursday 26 March, or to register interest in a future event email info@BCRM.org.uk or call 0117 3018605.