Counselling for IVF is invaluable, but the right skills are essential


Trying to conceive can be a stressful ordeal.

When you are undergoing invasive physical investigations and treatment, the experience can bring out so many emotions, including fear and uncertainty. That’s why the UK’s National Fertility Society (NFS) is a strong advocate for counselling before, during and after IVF treatment.

Counsellors need to understand the interventions that patients go through. For this reason, NFS attended the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) Ultrasound in Assisted Reproduction Technologies (ART) and early pregnancy: blended training approach. Where? When?

Counsellors need to know the latest IVF techniques

By staying up to date in all areas of training and new interventions, NFS can ensure that Counsellors have a greater understanding of what patients are going through and this in turn will benefit the patient.

The course showed through hands-on demonstrations how much skill is needed to perform IVF treatment. By experiencing a simulated egg collection, NFS witnessed the skill and concentration of the doctor that is needed to extract each egg one by one. Attendees were able to have a go at a simulated embryo implantation, carefully putting the embryo into the perfect place. The point made was that it takes a very steady hand!

Importance of ultrasound

Ultrasound plays an important role in management and treatment of women with gynaecological problems and couples with difficulties to conceive. The course gave NFS an overview of the clinical process of ultrasound in assisted reproductive treatment and early pregnancy, focusing on controlled ovarian stimulation and hyper stimulation, endometrium and implantation.

Sandra Bateman, Chief Executive of the National Fertility Society said: “The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that counselling should be offered, before, during and after IVF treatment regardless of the outcome.

“I feel it is important that your counsellor is a specialist in this area of counselling to give the patient the right support.  To understand the intervention your patients are going through, allows you to have a better understanding of how and why they feel they way they do.”

For any help or to find a counsellor please visit the NFS website

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