Support group for people struggling with infertility

2019-03-13 06:00
Lynette Dean and Bea Cooper run a free infertility support group.     photo: SUPPLIED

Lynette Dean and Bea Cooper run a free infertility support group. photo: SUPPLIED

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OFTEN couples who struggle with infertility feel isolated and do not have much-needed support from their immediate circle of family and friends.

Bea Cooper, a nursing sister and patient coordinator working at the Fembryo Fertility clinic in Port Elizabeth, recognised the need and started a fertility support group in June last year.

“About nine years ago, I was a patient at the fertility clinic with Dr Danie Botha and underwent IVF myself, with a successful outcome, luckily.

“A couple of years later, I started working at the fertility clinic because I had developed a passion for this ‘disease’ that so many couples are struggling with. Having gone through the process myself, I understand the struggle, challenges and heartache and this has helped me relate to my patients,” Cooper said.

According to her, there is a great need for women (and their husbands) to receive support at this difficult stage of their lives and because so many people are embarrassed to talk about it, they just keep quiet and suffer in silence.

“This is the reason why we started the support group and while we have had a good number of people attending, I feel that there are many more out there and we would really like to introduce them to this group and give them an opportunity to be supported and support each other.”

The group meets once a month and there is no cost involved.

Lynette Dean, counselling psychologist, assists with the support group occasionally to add some extra support.

“There is definitely a need for women, and couples in general, to receive emotional and practical support if they are struggling with infertility. Presently one in six couples struggles with infertility,” Dean said.

“Unfortunately there is a stigma attached to infertility and women and couples often choose to not share their struggle with others. I have suffered from infertility myself and realise that support from others who are experiencing infertility would have been very beneficial at the time of my struggle.”

The group meets on the first Saturday of each month, at the Fembryo Fertility and Gynaecology Clinic at 18 Ascot Road, Mill Park, from 09:00 to 11:00.

For more info, contact Bea Cooper on sisterbea@fembryo.co.za or 041 374 3974.

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