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Meet the local campaigner helping break the taboo around infertility

Anya Sizer and her husband were given one in 125,000 odds of IVF working.

The Stoke Newington couple went on to conceive a little girl – Hope and, after a long struggle with secondary infertility and miscarriages, they conceived a boy – Barney. They also adopted their son Chris.

Now Anya is at the forefront of The Fertility Network - a charity helping couples experiencing infertility. Since its creation in 2016 she has helped run Fertility Fest -  a week-long arts festival dedicated to fertility, infertility, modern families and the science of making babies. 

The event, which features 150 artists and more than 40 experts, takes place this week (May 8-13) at The Bush Theatre in London and features entertainment, discussion, debate, support and solidarity. It covers topics such as adoption, surrogacy, IVF, infertility and childlessness and was set up by author Jessica Hepburn.

Anya added: “Often the infertility community can feel alone and marginalised. Fertility Fest is amazing at connecting people and helping them feel less isolated and part of a community. Our festival breaks down some of the myths around what family is – the reality of family is very far removed from the stereotypes. There’s a big focus on childlessness this time around and on how you can have a life without children that’s incredible and full of meaning.”

Describing her own battle to start a family, Anya said: “It was a horrendous time. We struggled socially and wanted to pull away from people, we found going to baby showers etc really difficult. Going through the various tests and procedures was humiliating and time consuming.

“When you’re struggling to conceive people say “adopt”, like it’s a magic solution. But adoption isn’t for everyone – often children in need of adoption have very complex needs.”

The aims of Fertility Fest include:

  • To improve understanding of the emotional journey of people who struggle to conceive – because it’s hard and horrible – and to bring about better patient care and outcomes for everyone whatever their fertility story, however it ends.

 

  • To improve the level of public discourse about reproductive science – what it can do, what it cannot do and how it’s affecting the way the human race is being made.

 

  • To improve fertility education –  giving young people a more rounded and robust understanding of human fertility than simply ‘how not to get pregnant’ so they have the best chance of creating the families they want in the future – with or without children, with or without reproductive science.

 

To book tickets or find out more visit: www.fertilityfest.com

    Our festival breaks down some of the myths around what family is

    Posted 8th May 2018