IN THE NEWS: Infertility huge source of stress…

Against a background of an exploding world population, days from hitting the seven billion mark, research published today shows that infertility is one of the greatest sources of stress amongst those in the UK. Infertility causes stress

The results of a survey of those booking tickets to next week’s Fertility Show, staged over 2 days at London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre, Hammersmith, confirms that 77% of those sampled think that the difficulties they have faced are probably or definitely the most stressful thing they have ever experienced.

1 in 6 couples in the UK are known to face problems conceiving at some stage. For them, finding knowledge and solutions becomes a mission. Last year over 3,500 visited the Fertility Show on their quest to start a family.

Whilst infertility remains a taboo for many, most people answering the survey weren’t suffering in silence. 78% had confided in at least one person and over 80% had consulted their GP.

Backed by Britain’s leading infertility charity, Infertility Network UK, the Fertility Show runs nearly 60 seminars hosted by experts and includes, this year, a number of talks offering advice on coping as well as managing relationships through the stresses and strains of infertility.

Because of the intense pressures people experience, the charity runs a quiet room at the event for people who become upset or distraught during their visit where they can talk to a counsellor.

Jonathan Scott, organiser of the show, said “Over 50 of Britain’s leading fertility experts run seminars to help infertile couples. We often find visitors turn up first thing and stay all day”.

Susan Seenan, Deputy Chief Executive of sponsoring charity Infertility Network UK, who is presenting a seminar at the event on dealing with work issues through infertility, told Sell Your Story UK, “This research shows that when couples discover that starting a family is not as easy as they’d imagined, it can take over their lives”.

Are you battling with infertility or maybe against all the odds you’ve managed to have a longed-for baby. To tell your story contact us here: Sell Your Story UK

Why we donated our eggs…

Story in THE SUN newspaper today about women donating their eggs…

Story about egg donation in The Sun

Jackie and Jodie talk about donating their eggs

This week it was announced that egg donors could get up to £750 for a donation and sperm donors could also be paid around £35. Currently there is a huge shortage of people willing to donate their eggs and sperm – but there is a big demand from childless couples who could not have a longed for child any other way.
For this follow-up feature in The Sun I spoke to two women who both donated their eggs for free. First up was Jackie Barr. Although husband Stephen wasn’t keen on her donating, the mum of two really wanted to help another couple. At the same time she felt a desire to have more children and felt this was a way of doing just that. Although recipients of egg and sperm do not know the identity of those who’ve donated to them, if a baby results, when that child is 18, he or she allowed to know who their biological parent is and can be put in contact with them. It is thought this is what puts a lot of people off donating – but for Jackie the thought of donated children turning up on her doorstep in 18 years time is a welcome one and in fact she admits she will be disappointed if no-one knocks at her door.
The second interviewee was Jodie Michalska. Jodie already has a baby with wife Carmen, conceived with anonymous donor sperm from a regulated clinic. But in order to get a discount at the same time as going through the treatment, she donated 18 eggs. She has since donated again – and in fact admits it isn’t for financial reasons. She recently received a card from a couple who’ve received her eggs saying thank you. Jodie doesn’t know if this woman is having her baby but she says the knowledge that she is giving a childless couple hope is an amazing feeling. And baby Faye has brought so much joy into their lives that she wants anyone who is desperate for a child to know that feeling.

This is the third time I have placed Jackie Barr’s story in a national publication. It is the first time for Jodie who was delighted with today’s ‘lovely feature’.

If you have a story about egg or sperm donation, then do contact me via my Sell My Story website to see if your story could be saleable.

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Triplets make front page of Take a Break magazine…

Abby Drinkell’s gorgeous triplets make the cover of TAKE A BREAK magazine this week and the miraculous real life story of how they were conceived against all the odds after an ectopic pregnancy and nine miscarriages is told over two pages.

Real life story in a magazine

Abby's beautiful family in Take a Break

After suffering from nine miscarriages Abby believed she’d never have kids. But having been diagnosed with an unusual condition that causes miscarriage, she saw a specialist and after taking aspirin, finally had two little boys.
Sadly her marriage broke down but she met Lee, who didn’t have any children, and they also both longed for a family together. Only when she got pregnant, it turned out to be ectopic. She had to have one fallopian tube removed, halving her chance of having a baby.
Abby had just about given up on having more children when she found out she was pregnant again. Incredibly, when she went for a scan she was then given the news she was having triplets!
She recalls ringing Lee at work to tell him and he didn’t believe her so she drove to his office to show him the scan…
After a rollercoaster pregnancy when her two sons – Sullivan and Malachi and daughter Tilly – were born very premature at 27 weeks, it was touch and go whether the precious threesome would survive.
But incredibly they did and are now all home and healthy. Abby’s doctor has since said her chances of conceiving triplets – there is no history of twins in the family – were about 33 million to one.
Abby’s amazing real-life story has also appeared through Featureworld in the Daily Mirror newspaper and she was thrilled when Take a Break also wanted her story.
And that joy was trebled! when she went into the shops this week to see her triplets starring on the cover of the magazine.

Do you have a real-life story to share? Have you been on an incredible journey? Newspapers and magazines love to hear a happy real life story so do let me know about your story here: Sell Your Story

Read more about Abby’s true life story here and see it in the Daily Mirror.

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Custody battle over frozen embryos…

Sarah Robinson’s story about how she might face a custody battle over frozen embryos with her ex appears in THE SUN newspaper today.

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Sarah talks in The Sun about the difficulties she and her ex face over their frozen embryos...

When Sarah got breast cancer and was told treatment might make her infertile, she and her then boyfriend Carl, decided to have embryos frozen.
So shortly before she underwent chemo and radiotherapy, her eggs were harvested and fertilised with Carl’s sperm.
But now the couple have split up – and although the embryos might be Sarah’s only chance of having a family – she is worried she will never be able to use them.
Legally, both of them need one another’s consent before they could use the embryos. Her concerns are that any new man she meets will never be happy about her having her ex-boyfriend’s baby and that any new girlfriend Carl has will be equally unhappy. And Sarah does not know how she would react if it were Carl wanted to use them. Could she be happy knowing another woman was bringing up her biological child.
In fact, both of them realise when they went into this, they did not have enough counselling about the issues involved.
I have followed Sarah’s story for approximately a year now and in line with other interviewees, who come through my website, Featureworld I always endeavour to sell stories again.
Hence, Sarah’s story about how she got cancer in her twenties has already appeared in Fabulous magazine and the Daily Mail newspaper. However, since those stories, the situation between Carl and Sarah has changed and now they’ve split, they face this new dilemma.

Sarah said: “I wanted to get this story out there as I am sure it must be happening with other couples.”

Meanwhile, Carl said: “The story reads well. Thank you very much!”

Do you have an unusual dilemma or angle to a story and want to get it out there in a national newspaper? Do contact me here: Selling my Story

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Why we’re donating our last embryos – story sold to Daily Mirror

Tracy and Michael Williams’ emotional real life story about how they are giving away their embryos to another couple was printed in the DAILY MIRROR newspaper yesterday.

Selling your story to a newspaper or magazine is often about more than just how much money you can earn.
For Tracy and her husband Michael it was about promoting something that is sometimes a taboo subject – what to do with embryos left over from IVF.
The couple, who have no children, had always hoped that they would see these two embryos – created ten years ago when they had IVF treatment – develop into two children of their own. But sadly a few months ago Tracy underwent a hysterectomy. It spelt the end of any hopes of giving birth herself.
But rather than have their embryos destroyed or donated for scientific research (which are the other options) the couple have decided to give them to another infertile couple.

Says Tracy: “Even if she becomes pregnant, we will be giving up all rights to what are essentially our own flesh and blood babies. But under UK laws any children will have the right to trace us. So we still hope that this way not only can we give our embryos a chance of life but they will give hope to another couple. And who knows maybe we will still become parents and our children will come knocking at our door one day.”

Do you have a health story to sell? Do let me know here.