The role of the fertility consultant
The right partner, a good job, a house, then the birth of a baby. In our society, it all seems so natural. For some couples, however, the pregnancy they long for remains elusive and the disappointment is sorely felt. Medically speaking, there is much that can be done, often - but not always - with success. Whatever the circumstances, the entire process of failing to conceive naturally, repeatedly trying and failing, seeking medical help, the whole range of medically invasive tests and the treatment phase is a long and stressful process. Some people are more stress-resistant than others. Some people also have more questions than others about the perception aspects of fertility research and treatment: why is this happening to us? Should I tell my parents, my colleagues? Should I ever tell my child how he was conceived? Are we making the right decision? Are we ready for this?
In order to help find an answer to all these questions and to support couples through this often difficult time, the team at the Leuven University Fertility Centre collaborates with fertility consultants. Firstly, they listen to all the questions raised during the research phase. They also take part in the multi-disciplinary staff meetings, at which all the research results are discussed. At these meetings, they also represent the voice of the couple with fertility problems - and this voice is essential in the search for the ideal medical and psychological treatment proposal.
During the treatment phase, fertility consultants also intervene if necessary, to provide more intensive support. This period can also be difficult and can bring many questions and a great deal of insecurity: is this really what I want? How far can and will we go? Do we agree as a couple on the strategy we are following? How do we tell our family and friends? How do we combine treatment with an already-stressful work situation? How can I relax, despite all this pressure?
Anyone who needs it can receive individual or couples counselling or can participate in group sessions dealing with various subjects, including learning stress-reducing techniques. For more information, please contact Mirjam Vervaeke, relaxation therapist, tel. 016 34 85 50.