Support at CARE

We’ll be with you every step of the way. 

Everyone who comes to us is different. While some might prefer to rely on family or friends to support them through treatment, others might want a little extra help – and however much support you need, we’ll be there for you.

Supporting you through IVF

Throughout your fertility treatment journey, we’ll do everything we can to ensure you feel comfortable, secure, and positive, and that you fully understand your treatment and any implications it might have.

We treat every one of our patients individually, and the amount of our treatment support services you use is entirely up to you. Take a look through all our support services below, and know that when having treatment with us, we’ll also give you the details of a private emergency helpline manned by an on-call nurse, so you are always sure that we are there for you.

CARE were so supportive, they became part of the family.

CARE patient
Nottingham

Our CARE family

Our patients are part of the most inspiring community, filled with such incredible love and support. Every day, our patients remind each other of their monumental strength, helping people they may have never met through difficult days, and celebrating with them when there’s good news.

 

You can read some of our patients’ motivational words for other fertility patients below (shared from our Instagram), and you can find strength in our community by reading our Patient Stories, speaking with other patients on our CARE Forum, or by joining our community on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Counselling at CARE

Not every patient will want counselling, but if you want someone to talk to before, during or after your treatment, speaking with a specialist fertility counsellor can be a helpful way to understand and process your emotions so you are in the best possible mindset for IVF. Counselling appointments at CARE are free, and you’re welcome to as many sessions as you need. 

Our Support Events

We have a range of monthly patient support events which are accessible for all patients, regardless of your stage in the IVF journey. Meeting others going through IVF in an informal environment can help reassure you, and meet others who can support you throughout your journey.

CARE Buddy

Some patients find it helpful to speak with others having fertility treatment, whether to ask for advice or to offer support. Our CARE Buddy system matches you with another CARE patient at a similar stage of fertility treatment, so you have a safe space to share your story, hear other’s experiences, and support each other. 

CARE Buddy has been amazing. Being able to share my feeling and sometimes worries with my Buddy has made me feel much calmer during the journey

CARE patient

Stress management

Though there is some debate about whether stress directly impacts fertility, we want all our patients to feel relaxed during their treatment – though we know that staying relaxed is sometimes easier said than done! It’s normal to feel a little stressed or anxious when you’re having fertility treatment, but some of our patients use alternative therapies like massage, acupuncture and hypnotherapy to help them to feel calm, and there are lots of other ways you can keep stress down and take care of your mental health. Take a look through our resources about reducing stress during IVF below.

Coping with stress whilst trying to conceive

Diana Baranowski, Nurse Manager at CARE Tunbridge Wells, gives her tips for finding ways to be more relaxed before, during and after fertility treatment.

Does stress cause infertility?

Dr Adam Massey, researcher in Primary Care and Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of Nottingham, looks at the science of stress and the studies into stress and fertility.

Complementary therapies

Though it is yet to be scientifically determined whether complementary therapies like acupuncture or hypnotherapy help with fertility or improve treatment success rates, if you are struggling with stress or anxiety during your treatment, therapies like these might help make things easier. If you’re considering any kind of complimentary therapy, check it’s okay with your IVF clinic nurse or doctor first.

Acupuncture for fertility

Zita West, author of ten books on fertility and conception and Founder of the Zita West Clinic, takes a look at the science behind acupuncture therapy and how it can be beneficial for fertility treatment.

Acupuncture to support you through IVF

Beverley Law, specialist fertility acupuncturist at CARE Nottingham, answers the practical questions about acupuncture during IVF, including what to expect from your first appointment.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a simple, and increasingly popular, form of meditation, and you can practise it wherever you are. It’s all about bringing your mind into the present and paying attention to your surroundings, so it can be very useful when it comes to managing anxious thoughts. There’s lots of information available online, and you can even download mobile apps to get you started. Read more about mindfulness on the NHS website.

 

Self care

It’s important that you look after yourself properly during treatment. Having a happy, healthy body will help to keep your mind calm and reduce anxiety, so do your best to eat well and make time for exercise. If you’re worried about whether your chosen exercise could affect your treatment, just check with your clinic first. Also, remember to set aside time for yourself to focus on the things you enjoy, whether that’s going to the gym, reading a book or just watching your favourite programme on TV.

IVF Resources

Many of our patients find that learning about their treatment helps them feel more in control of their fertility journey. There is lots of information about all our fertility treatments on our websites, including in our IVF resources section, where you can find answers to your Frequently Asked Questions, browse our Blogs from world-leading fertility experts, and more.

Supporting your partner

If your partner, a friend, or a loved one is having fertility treatment, it can be difficult to know how to best support them, but there are lots of simple ways you can help and share their journey. By understanding their experiences, taking the time to listen, and keeping them relaxed and reassured, you can support them every step of the way.

Understanding their treatment

To help support your loved one, it might help to learn more about their treatment. We have lots of information about all our fertility treatments on our website, and we can also provide you with leaflets and other literature at your local clinic. You’re also welcome to come with your partner to appointments* or join them at support counselling sessions.

 

Also, it’s important to remember that fertility treatments can sometimes be emotionally draining, and as a result they might need a little more patience and understanding from you than usual. Try your best to stay open and talk as much as possible, support counselling at CARE may also help with this.

 

* During COVID-19, it may not be possible to accompany your partner to all appointments as we work to keep our patients and staff safe with proper social distancing and other protective measures. Please speak with the team at your local clinic for more information about whether you can accompany your partner to appointments. You can find more information about how we have adapted how we work to keep everyone safe on our IVF during the coronavirus pandemic page.

Lifestyle

If your loved one is having to make some lifestyle changes as part of their treatment, such as stopping smoking, reducing their caffeine intake, or drinking less alcohol, you can help them by joining in any changes they make. By making these small changes together, they might find it easier to get used to the new routine.

Because of CARE we have a new life. And a new family.

CARE patient
Northampton

Looking after yourself

Guiding and supporting a loved one through fertility treatment can be difficult, and it’s important to look after yourself during this time. You might find it helpful to talk to others who are supporting their friends and family through treatment, such as through our online CARE Forum, other popular online IVF support forums, or through our CARE Buddy programme.

 

You can also join your partner at their support counselling appointments, and you are also welcome to speak with one of our specialist fertility counsellors by yourself. These confidential appointments can help you both to talk through the way you’re feeling in a safe, confidential place, and our specially trained counsellors will encourage you to be open with one another. Many of our patients find that, by sharing their experiences and feelings, they feel closer and more able to deal with whatever they might face on their journey.