The experience of fertility difficulties is almost always distressing and disruptive for any individual or couple. Powerful feelings can emerge – shock, anger, sadness, envy, guilt, anxiety, isolation, sense of worthlessness and, particularly, fear for the future. The situation can also put a great strain on relationships which are normally loving and comfortable whether with a partner, family members or friendships. It is not always easy for others to fully understand how such a profound life crisis feels or how it affects so many aspects of day to day living. The experience of fertility problems is unique and complex and is often described as an “emotional rollercoaster.”
Counselling is available before, during and after treatment. Meeting with our counsellors can offer you a safe, discreet and quiet place where you can explore difficult feelings and find ways of making the situation more manageable. You may want to talk through your options, prepare for treatment or have support during or after treatment.
For those who are considering treatment using donor eggs, sperm or embryos or who may be considering surrogacy, it is an HFEA requirement to meet with the counsellors to look at the implications of such treatment both in the short and longer term for both the adults and for the potential children who may be born through donor conception. For those considering becoming a donor either to help known recipients or as an altruistic donor, it is also an HFEA requirement to meet with one of the counsellors to explore the implication of donation. For both donors and recipients, this is a confidential and supportive service and can greatly help in making a positive decision for your own future and reduce some of the fears and more difficult feelings which may arise.
When you have been referred to the ACS Unit and have been accepted as a patient of the service (including being on the waiting list for treatment), you can either ask to be referred to the counsellors by a member of clinical or nursing staff or you can directly refer yourself (see below). The counselling service is independent and confidential. There is no payment for counselling. You may need only one session of counselling or you may decide, with the counsellors, that further sessions would be helpful.
If you are considering treatment with donor eggs, sperm or embryos, or thinking of becoming a donor, you will be referred by a member of staff to the counselling service prior to moving forward to treatment.
Our counsellors are accredited members of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy(BACP) and accredited members of British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA). The counsellors have had many years of specialist experience providing counselling for people affected by infertility and who are seeking treatment for many different reasons. This includes single women, heterosexual and same sex couples and those planning / in the process of gender reassignment. The counsellors are aware that the challenges of fertility issues can arouse feelings about other difficult aspects of life and of past events which have not been fully resolved. It can be very helpful and liberating to have an opportunity to say some of this out loud in a neutral and non-judgmental setting and to recognise how other events or people might be making it harder to cope. Finding tools and strategies to do so may help your resilience.
Once you are accepted as a patient of the ACS Unit, you can contact our counsellors directly or you can ask a member of nursing or clinical staff to make a referral.
Counsellors - Alison Elliot - 0141 211 4952 (direct) – Wed, Thurs, Fri
Lesley Miller - 0141 211 4218 (admin) – Mon, Tues, Wed