Bourn Hall Virtual Fertility Fair

Your fertility roadmap: Navigating through testing, treatment and funding

Fertility Fair still open at

For many, lockdown has created a roadblock in their fertility journey. Now, as the road ahead begins to clear our Fertility Fair aims to put you firmly back on track – helping you move up a gear and navigate your way towards your desired destination of pregnancy and a family. 

If you have been struggling to conceive for over a year, are waiting to have a diagnosis – or you have already been told that you need fertility treatment – then this event is for you. 

The Fertility Fair offers a selection of stalls covering stages in the fertility journey.

On 10 April between 10am – 1pm there was the opportunity to chat one-on-one to fertility nurses, fertility specialists, nutritionists and members of our patient services team who were able to give guidance on the NHS pathway and the options you have if you are funding your own treatment.
Whilst the live chat is now over, you are still able to visit and view the stalls.

Our resources and videos will help you to:

  • Get the best out of your GP appointment
  • Learn about ways to improve your fertility
  • Access fast-track diagnostic fertility testing
  • Explore what type of fertility treatment might be right for you
  • Understand the fertility treatment referral pathway
  • Find out about Ovulation Induction, IUI, IVF, and ICSI
  • Ask about treatments using donated sperm or eggs
  • Discover the options for same-sex couples
  • Work out the best way to fund your treatment and the support available
  • Access emotional and practical support

Visit the Fertility Fair at

On-demand webinar: Endometriosis and fertility

“I normally have quite a high pain threshold but this time it was really bad. Initially the doctors thought I had appendicitis but then they opened me up and saw the mess. I thought the odds were stacked against me ever having a child.”

Up to half of women with endometriosis – where tissue can grow over the ovaries and fallopian tubes – are affected by fertility issues. Worryingly, few women know that surgery to alleviate the symptoms may also cause damage to their reproductive organs.

In our on-demand webinar we discuss endometriosis and the impact on fertility. We have two guest speakers: Dr Thanos Papathanasiou, Bourn Hall’s Medical Director, and former Bourn Hall patient Victoria Key.

Endometriosis and fertility 

Dr Papathanasiou is concerned that people aren’t accessing good advice

Dr Thanos Papathanasiou, Bourn Hall’s Medical Director, will explain some of the common, as well as lesser known, symptoms of endometriosis and the treatments available to women who have been unable to conceive

“Endometriosis is a progressive condition, so being aware of the options at an early stage can help improve the chances of a successful pregnancy.

“Women with severe endometriosis symptoms may need complicated and delicate hospital surgery. We are concerned that many women are not aware that this may sometimes result in long-term damage to their tubes and ovaries. So, it is important that women are informed before such a procedure that they have an option to freeze their eggs. This would preserve their fertility should they want children in the future.”

Victoria’s story: “emergency surgery uncovered a 6cm ovarian cyst”

Former Bourn Hall patient Victoria Key will talk about her experience of finally being diagnosed with endometriosis after years of painful periods culminated in emergency surgery – and how IVF enabled her to become a mum.

Victoria and Alex
Victoria and her son Alex, her endometriosis was undiagnosed for many years.

Victoria had always suffered with painful and heavy periods, but it was only when she was rushed into hospital in an ambulance in the middle of the night in excruciating pain that the cause was found. “My surgeon told me that my emergency surgery had ‘tidied things up’ but that he expected to see me again in a few years,” says Victoria.

When Victoria was admitted to hospital, she and husband Neal had already been referred for fertility tests after being unable to conceive for two years. “We thought the odds were stacked against us ever having a child, but our consultant told us we were eligible for NHS-funded IVF.”

Now mum to Alex, aged 7, Victoria recently had a hysterectomy to alleviate the pain and discomfort of her endometriosis. “I am 42 now and I wish that when I was younger I had pushed a bit harder for some answers,” she says.

She is speaking out about her experiences to encourage others to seek advice sooner.


Our on-demand webinar will help you understand the options available to you to create your family. 

Register now to watch

Please click here to register.

March is Endometriosis Awareness Week organised by Endometriosis UK – to find out more about their work 

To support the work of Endometriosis UK click here.

Free IVF open evening

Our next event is Thursday 13 May 2021 at 7:00pm

When you’re beginning your fertility journey, we know how hard it can be to choose the right clinic – even more so now during these difficult times when you are not able to visit one of our clinics in person – we are still here for you.

To help you make the right choice, we are delighted to be offering free virtual open events. Held monthly, these events are intended for couples or individuals who are looking to complete their family through fertility treatments.

Start your journey

We know how you feel – if you are interested in finding out more about fertility tests or IVF treatments at Bourn Hall, this open event will give you the opportunity to meet some of our experts, learn more about our clinics, tests, treatments and success rates, and give you an opportunity to ask any questions you might have.

The event will be run via Zoom a secure webinar platform and will last no more than an hour. 

Register now

To reserve your place at our open evening on 13 May 2021, please register through the link below and we will then send you a confirmation with your unique Zoom details to join the event.

Book now

We look forward to welcoming you into the Bourn Hall family.

Future open evenings will be held in June and July.


On-demand webinar: It’s a game of two halves – tackling male infertility

“I’ve got plenty of really close mates, but it feels almost like a taboo to talk about it down the pub. Because blokes aren’t naturally caring… the default way is to laugh it off with a bit of banter and a bit of humour. That’s great, because it alleviates that glumness, but sometimes you just need to talk to someone.”

Register now to watch

In our on-demand webinar about male infertility, Matt O’Malley talks about his experiences and how he found it helped him to open up about the issue. He is be joined by Mr Oliver Wiseman, urologist and male infertility specialist at Bourn Hall, who explains what a semen analysis reveals, how to improve poor sperm quality, and the treatment options that are available.

Mr Wiseman says: “A semen test is just the starting point of a fertility journey. Many issues with poor sperm quality or quantity can be resolved naturally or by surgery and/or medication, increasing your chances of becoming a dad.”

Matt’s story: “I was like ‘no, I’m absolutely fine’, when I knew I wasn’t…”

poor sperm quality
Matt is now a dad to baby Elle after treatment at Bourn Hall

At the age of 31, Matt O’Malley and his partner Laura found themselves in the middle of a baby boom. All around them, friends of a similar age were all starting to have children. But after 18 months of trying, the couple had still not been able to conceive.

“Laura’s cycle is irregular and we thought it was that,” says Matt. “It came as a complete shock that the issue was with my sperm. I think as a man you just automatically assume you can have children – it’s a given.

“We mentioned to friends and family ‘we were going for treatment’ but didn’t go into details.

“I’m very much a happy-go-lucky person, but after Laura suffered two miscarriages I changed… I really struggled,” he says.

“Friends had noticed I’d changed. It was only when I started talking more openly about male infertility and what I’d experienced that it made me realise that I should’ve been doing it a long time ago. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, there’s nothing to hide, it’s part of who you are.”

Male infertility specialist: overcoming poor sperm quality and quantity 

Mr Oliver Wiseman says: “In 50% of cases, there is a male factor contributing to fertility problems, so early assessment of the male side is important, and that can be done with a semen analysis.

Oliver Wiseman, specialist on male infertility
Oliver Wiseman, specialist in male fertility

“Sperm is produced in the testicles. The testis have only two jobs: to produce the male hormone testosterone and to make sperm. Unlike the female, where all her eggs are present at birth, sperm is produced continuously and even a short period of illness can impact production.

“This is why, if there are abnormalities in a semen analysis, it is important that these patients are seen by a male infertility specialist, because there may be things we can diagnose or advise that will improve sperm count.

“If we can improve sperm quality then the couple may be able to conceive naturally, or if they do need IVF treatment, it will make it more successful.” 

Our on-demand webinar will help you understand the options available to you to create your family. 

Register now to watch

Please click here to register.

On-demand webinar: Female same sex couples’ paths to parenthood

Bourn Hall gives female same sex couples the very best chance of having a baby – register now to receive a link to watch

If you are in a same sex partnership, then some type of fertility support is inevitable if you want to have a baby. 

Our on-demand webinar discusses the fertility and IVF treatment options available to you to create your family, as well as addressing some key questions: 

  • Is IUI the obvious choice for everyone?
  • The legalities: How can I guarantee my partner is going to be the legal parent?
  • The rights and duties of the sperm donor, of yourselves and of your future child.
  • Is anonymity of the sperm donor a thing of the past?
  • Can we be pregnant at the same time?
  • What does the regulatory authority say about shared motherhood?
  • How can fertility test results inform your choice of the best treatment?
  • How much do different fertility treatments options cost?

Bourn Hall has its own sperm bank and also offers single women and couples the opportunity to select  sperm from other banks where greater diversity is required, or use a known donor if they prefer.

We provide a personalised fertility pathway to help you on your journey to achieving your dream of parenthood, our experts are on hand to offer you advice and support. 

Bourn Hall was the first IVF clinic in the world, set up 40 years ago to help people create their families, and we are incredibly proud that our success rates are now consistently over 40%. Our latest live birth rate per embryo transfer for patients of all ages at our clinics is 44% and for patients aged under 38 we are achieving live birth rates of 50% and above.

Everyone we see is uniquely individual and your specific circumstances will affect the way in which you choose to start your family. 

Our on-demand webinar will help you understand the options available to you to create your family. 

Register now to watch

Fertility Support Group

Our next group meeting is 22 April at 6:30pm

The Fertility Support Group, held virtually, is led by independent fertility counsellor, Jackie Stewart, and other members of our Bourn Hall family.

For our April meeting we will be joined by Annie Cant, Nursing Development Director at Bourn Hall.

Joining the group meeting gives you the opportunity to talk to other people experiencing infertility, with members supporting each other on what can be an emotional journey.

About the group

Held monthly from 6:30pm using Zoom, for approximately an hour and a half, we invite experts to speak on a range of topics that reflect the needs of individual members.

The group offers:

  • Free attendance for all
  • Guest speakers
  • Facilitated meetings with Question & Answer sessions
  • Caring, supportive staff
  • Opportunity to meet other people who empathise
  • Helpful information

Register your place now

If you would like to join the group on the 22 April register your interest by using the form below and Sharon Harper, the Group Administrator, will be in touch with further details.

For more information about upcoming fertility support group events please contact Sharon on

We look forward to welcoming you to the group.

Coming up

22 April   Guest: Annie Cant, Nursing Development Director, Bourn Hall will be offering her expert advice with a Q&A session

20 May     Group meeting

24 June   Guest: Mark Cossey author of the bestseller “Trying: Love, Loose Pants and the Quest for a Baby”

22 July      Meeting for men

09 Sep      Special meeting: “The hidden pain of secondary infertility”

16  Sep      Group meeting

21 Oct       Guest: ‘Treatment after loss”