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Monday, August 8, 2022

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There’s a misconception that infertility is a woman's concern - it’s not

The Fertility Show Africa’s (FSA) role is to facilitate the conversation and provide the necessary information from top specialists in the field. Picture: PxHere

The Fertility Show Africa’s (FSA) role is to facilitate the conversation and provide the necessary information from top specialists in the field. Picture: PxHere

Published Jul 15, 2022

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Fertility is a highly stigmatised topic, with many taboos, misinformation and misunderstandings surrounding it.

The Fertility Show Africa’s (FSA) role is to facilitate the conversation and provide the necessary information from top specialists in the field. It aids in dispelling myths, breaking down barriers, destigmatising fertility and allowing people to have the conversation earlier.

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The Fertility Show is scheduled to take place in the Focus Rooms in Sandton, Johannesburg, on July 23 and 24, both in person and virtually. It is a hybrid show for geographical reasons, or for those who do not want to attend for personal reasons.

“It’s an excellent platform for people who are experiencing infertility to offer them both conventional medical treatments and alternative treatments like dietary changes or the various options available now, such as IVF, surrogacy, egg and sperm donation, and adoption. Just understanding in general what you can do to facilitate that naturally,” said Heidi Warricker, a spokesperson for the FSA, in an interview with IOL.

“Or career people. I was one of those people who wanted children later in life, and if we had known that we could freeze eggs and do social egg freezing and all those other options that are available, it would have been very helpful.”

Infertility can be avoided if we recognise the signs earlier in life, such as when you’re having your period and things aren’t happening as they should, or the body isn’t functioning as it should, shares Warricker.

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“These are possible warning signs that should be taken seriously. Furthermore, if education begins early, the problems can be avoided before they become life-threatening/altering issues in the future.”

FSA will be a fully interactive two-day event that will provide those struggling to conceive and those on the path to parenthood with an opportunity to speak to some of the best specialists, embryologists, fertility nurses, psychologists, social workers, and wellness support experts and ask questions, find answers and gather all the information they need to start their path to parenthood. The second day is more of a support zone, with people sharing their stories and offering personal support.

Warricker acknowledges that despite our differences, we are all still only human, and that some of the doctors may provide support from a personal perspective since some have experienced infertility.

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The show gives you the opportunity to meet top specialists in the country because a consultation normally costs a lot of money, while this gives you the opportunity to see them free of charge.

Going through the fertility journey can have significant financial implications as costs vary between clinics. However, there are public hospitals that provide fertility treatments, such as Steve Biko, Groote Schuur and Tygerberg. Because this is such a personal journey, not everyone will connect with a specific specialist; therefore, you have the option of meeting with multiple specialists to find the best fit for you.

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