Male fertility awareness and Fertility Network UK

As a Fertility and Wellness  expert I have spent many years supporting couples through the stresses of fertility treatment. Much as fertility is often about a man and a woman I have found that men receive far less support throughout treatment.

As I've developed the work I do to offer more support to men I've realised how little there is out there for men and how this is impacting them.

Fertility treatment can be a gruelling process for couples and it can have a huge affect on men too. Many men feel isolated during fertility treatment and often feel like a spare part. They don't have the support they need and treatment is heavily focussed on the woman. Men don't get much support around lifestyle, diet and stress nor do they have somewhere to go to talk about how treatment is affecting them emotionally and physically. For some men this can lead to serious mental health issues, depression and even suicidal thoughts.

For too long now men have been sidelined throughout fertility treatment and I would like to see this change. This is why I'm doing what I'm doing.

I've been running a monthly support group for men on behalf of Fertility Network UK  for some time now and it's been so heart warming to see men coming together to share their experiences and support each other. The feedback has been fantastic and I know that a lot of the guys who join us have found it hugely beneficial. What this has highlighted is that men want more help. They want to be heard and to feel as part of fertility treatment as their wife / partner and they want to be able to talk about their experiences with others. Now is the time for us to build on this and create change and some new opportunities for men to get all the support and help they need.

Fertility Network UK provides free and impartial support, advice, information and understanding for anyone affected by fertility issues.

FNUK are the nation’s leading patient-focused fertility charity and are able to offer practical and emotional support whatever your experience of fertility issues are. They offer support services, information and access to a community of people affected by fertility problems.

As with many charities the recent global pandemic has had a massive impact on them yet they still continue to work tirelessly to offer this much needed support. Withouth FNUK doing what they're doing we wouldn't have developed the amazing male fertility support group that is now a regular part of their event calendar.

So I wanted to do something to help support them. However the other big objective of this fundraiser is to raise awareness of male fertility support and to create change within the fertility community. With that in mind I wanted to do something big. Something that was gonna get people's attention and something that could raise lots of much needed money for FNUK.

So the biggest thing I could find in collaboration with FNUK was an Everest base camp challenge!! By no means is that an easy challenge but it's a great way to raise the profile of FNUK and the need to get men more support. But I'm not doing this on my own. I've invited all the guys from the online support group and any other men experiencing fertility issues or who have been touched by fertility problems to join me. Our aim is to take a whole group of men (15 - 20) to Everest base camp with each of them raising money for FNUK!

This has to be the most audatious and challenging thing I've ever done but sometimes we have to play big or go home! This is an amazing opportunity to really make a difference for the charity and for men going through the emotional rollercoaster of fertility struggles. Your help and support for us going on this challenge will be massively appreciated. So please dig deep and give as much as you can to help us make a difference.

How will the money be allocated?

We'd looked at many different ways to raise the money for the charity and the safest / easiest way we decided was this way. I've set an ambitious target of £6000 and my mindblowing target would be £10,000! A percentage of the money will go towards the cost of the trip some of which I will cover personally. All money over and above this will go direct to FNUK. As I write this we're still in the middle of the whole pandemic drama and none of us know how that will play out and whether it will impact the trip. We're scheduled to go in March 2022 so we're hoping life and travel will be back to normal. If not then we will most likely reschedule the challenge however that doesn't mean we can't continue to raise money for a fantastic charity who need all the support they can get right now.


Ian Stones

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