‘Red letter day’ for IVF in the UK

‘Red letter day’ for IVF in the UK


More than 100,000 people are heading to Downing Street to end the ‘post-code lottery’ on IVF treatment.

Jessica Hepburn, activist and author of The Pursuit of Motherhood, and theatre producer Gabby Vautier, marked it ‘red letter day’ as part of the official launch of their 2019 ‘Fertility Fest’, this morning. This has seen UK couples signing up to the #Scream4IVF petition for fairer access to fertility treatment on the National Health Service.

IVF babble magazine launched the appeal with Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness advertising agency after it was found that women have been offered different levels of IVF treatment across the country.

The petition is backed by The Fertility Fest, hosted at the Barbican, and they will feature a myriad of multimedia; film, literature and visual arts in workshops to explore childbirth in the modern world. From breaking the taboos of IVF, childlessness for men, to bridging the gap between patients and medical experts.

It will transform into a hub of creativity from April 23rd – May 18th, with childcare specialists, mothers and authors hosting interviews about making babies. For example, Fertility Network UK is set to hold an event on why ‘There’s More to Life Than Children’, whilst other artists will discuss ‘The Queer Family’ and LGBTQ+ in the family, intimate stories of miscarriage, ‘The Invisible Man’ which gives a voice to male infertility, and addresses the historic feelings of shame and guilt which have been associated with these experiences.

Angela, an artist collaborating with this year’s ‘Life Rewired’, commented on the success of the annual festival:

“It is the most uplifting and mindset changing experience of my year.

“Being in a place where people properly understand your experience is a rare and very special thing.”

They immediately made clear their personal connections with the cause, with a member of Fertility Network UK sharing her own experience of pregnancy after six years of IVF.

One in six are affected by the infertility disease, according to the charity.

Francesca Steyn, Head of Nursing, Quality and Compliance at the Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health (CRGH), will be attending to hear these intimate accounts which can help her provide the ‘best care (she) possibly can’ in the future.

‘I think the benefits of theatre to encourage this conversation on medical issues are undeniable,’ Kate Cranfield, Writer and Director, claimed. She has previously explored premature menopause in her production Flushed at Manchester’s 53two theatre and will be hosting an event at ‘Life Rewired’.

Life Rewired is this year’s installment of Fertility Fest and will be running from 23rd April- May 18th, Barbican, London, Manchester on the 23rd-24th March and 2-3rd November, Olympia, London.

Please see the official website for more information: https://www.fertilityfest.com/

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