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Infertility and the workplace

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

Transcript below from recent podcast episode from Emma's guest appearance on Jobs for Women Podcast with Zoe Hayden Jones. The podcast episode can be found on all your usual platforms.

Jobs for Women Podcast with Your IVF Abroad (2022-11-25 10:06 GMT) - Transcript


Emma Haslam, Zoe Haydn Jones

Zoe Haydn Jones: So welcome to another episode of the Jobs for Women Podcast. I am so excited to welcome a very special guest this week. Emma Haslam. So Emma is the go to expert in fertility, treatment in Europe and following the birth of their son, Emma and husband, Adam sets up your IVF abroad. The UK's only independent reproductive agency who does not take any commission from clinics and is run by Emma, Emma has become the impartial expert that Haslam's needed, and that did not exist aiming to change the narrative. Emma is an advocate speaker, campaigner writer for the infertility community. And on donor conception Emma is able to do all of this because she has lived. It Emma's all about putting you in control and giving you the best chance of expanding your family with no regrets. And she is working to make fertility, testing and treatment globally. More transparent affordable, accessible, safe, ethical and supported for more people.

Zoe Haydn Jones: So you're ready. If you're ready to grow your family and you deserve, you deserve to understand all of the options impartially without bias or judgment. And with compassion, from people who understand and that's exactly why your IVF abroad was created to put you back in control of your fertility treatment without waiting.

Emma Haslam: It.

Zoe Haydn Jones: So, Emma writes regular blog. She's got her own podcast. And I'm gonna put all of that in the show notes and yeah, welcome to the podcast Emma. I'm so happy you're here.

Emma Haslam: Yeah, me too, thanks so much for having me. I know we've been trying to organize this family for a while so it's great to be here and…

Zoe Haydn Jones: I know. I,

Emma Haslam: chat about some really interesting topics that I think that's a lot of people.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: So thank you for having me.

Zoe Haydn Jones: No worries. And yeah, it's really important because I feel like the universe the universe always works in the in ways because we've been trying to organize it. But recently I've been sort of sharing a person experience with it. Someone close to me about their fertility journey and I feel like now I feel a bit more like clued upon it and I think we just need to talk about it more so I feel like we've been trying to organize it…

Emma Haslam: Yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: but now is the time because it's affecting so many people isn't it?

Emma Haslam: The time left.

Zoe Haydn Jones: So so interesting and…

Emma Haslam: No.

Zoe Haydn Jones: also just to let our listeners know and viewers know we met our photo shoot I interviewed Natasha who is an amazing photographer so Emma and I met it's all about networking guys, isn't it?

Emma Haslam: Those words.

Zoe Haydn Jones: You make these connections?

Emma Haslam: We did met having our photographs taken and…

Zoe Haydn Jones: And yeah. oh,

Emma Haslam: pushing each of his hair and stuff.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Okay, so let's dive straight in. Obviously I read out in your bio that, you know, you you've lived it you've breathed and the infertility journey. So can you just let's kickstart and could you tell me a little bit about your own personal journey?

Emma Haslam: Yeah sure. So and I met my husband and we began trying after our wedding, a very typically in that kind of sense. And a year later, nothing had happened. But gone from kind of casually, trying to like really trying to like doing all of the old wives tale things and it just wasn't working. So we thought, you know, perhaps there's an issue went to the GP, had some tests and it was a bit of a double whammy, really because it indicated that they thought, they were issues on both both sides and they made a referral through to gynecology and have some more investigations. And we're basically told that IVF was the only option and even with IVF, we had a three to five percent chance that it working, but I had to go away and lose six, stone in weight to qualify on the NHS and…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Gosh.

Emma Haslam: which was a big thing to kind of, he, I'm in a news overweight. But, you know,

Emma Haslam: I was healthy and, you know, He was like right, okay, but we didn't have any money or any the choice. I was I'm just gonna have to lose this weight which was very difficult and I tried to do as healthy as I as I could across a two-year period and then went back having lost the way. Adam also lost some weight kind of support me. Didn't make any difference to Tim or me in terms of our results. We did lose two years of time but went back expecting to get you know, NHS around treatment, then be told the rules have changed, but nobody's contacted me to tell me this. So I'm losing weight losing weight. Even though it has nothing to do with my diagnosis, which was basically low amh.


Emma Haslam: And so low, egg reserve and my husband had issues with this sperm which, which may have been benefited from losing weight but unfortunately, for us, that didn't happen. And so, yeah. We were just basically told that I'm really sorry, you know, it's now you've got to get your BMI down to 30. So if I have been living down the road, five miles away. I'm treated. So it's very much about…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Wow.

Emma Haslam: how the local care commissioning groups decide to spend the money. So I couldn't get treatment so they said You think you can go away and lose maybe another two two and a half stone. And that the thing that the thing was at that point. I mean I just, I just lost it at that point. I think. Because I've worked so hard to lose all this way. I you know was was exercising. I was eating all the things I felt, you know, I was very, very fit healthy.

Emma Haslam: And I knew it had nothing to do with my diagnosis. I was like, No, I can't, I can't do that without resulting to drastic measures, which is not what I kind of wanted to do. And it started to build the pressure around. So kind of left saying, like not, I didn't say screw you but you know, I was very cross and no one had kind of said anything. And we walked out with no plan, not know what we're gonna do. No money for private treatment and we began to look into things like suriga, see, and adoption. And and then it came back around to me really wanting to try to carry a baby and to to give birth So we, you know, we realize that really the only option was going to be IVF privately but we didn't have any money. So we moved in with my parents bless them and kind of our lives on. Hold stops. All the fun stuff and

Zoe Haydn Jones: Wow.

Emma Haslam: Saved and which is, you know, privilege to be in that position to do that. But it wasn't easily living in a small terrace house with your parents newly wed in thirties. And like I say all the fun stuff that we love to do like travel stops and everything was focused on kind of saying not for fertility treatment. So we started to have some consultations and some clinics in the UK. And I'm not saying it's like this for everybody, but we just didn't feel the, the gel and it felt a little bit like we were, like, conveyor belt and it was really hard. I think really hard to get transparent costings out of the clinics and prior to having consultations and in one of the cases when we finally got the costings,

Emma Haslam: We'd already paid for these consultations about 250 pounds, 350 pounds a time. Then we realized actually couldn't afford treatment there so cross…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Wow.

Emma Haslam: because I was like, we've had no map before I was wasted 350 quid on a consultation that, you know, for a clinic we couldn't afford so just felt it just didn't sit, right? So we spent only grant just on flipping, consultations that It didn't fit didn't feel right. I don't know what led me to think.

Emma Haslam: Should we look at going abroad because back then, you know, this communities of people talking about this now, which is great. But back then I didn't know anybody that anything like this and in fact, actually I'm honest, The only stories I heard back then were like, people going to some random country, having some cosmetic surgery, and it going wrong and…

Zoe Haydn Jones: and,

Emma Haslam: they, they were kind of like, some of my thoughts around. Was that what it's gonna be like, fertility treatment? And I remember telling my mom and she was horrified, Don't go abroad or figure it out. I was like, how we're gonna figure out that we haven't money Mom and actually say, We get it together, we're gonna be able to afford one round here and we've got such low challenges that I'm not willing to just throw that money at one round.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: So I began to look into going abroad and which was very stressful and isolating because like I say back then, there wasn't the information out that there is now and I didn't know anybody that had done it before but it just felt as we move through the journey in the process, it just felt like the right thing to do. We had a complete different experience with the clinics in terms of my BMI and don't get me wrong. Like I didn't want to go somewhere and do anything as I'm safe. I knew that it wasn't unsafe and it was about money in the UK and the private clinics in the UK would have, you know, treated me in my current BMI and

Emma Haslam: And yeah, I just felt just felt very different. I didn't feel like a number. It was more cost-effective. I did then put, I'd had put some weight on after being told that you haven't, you know, you need to lose more weight with the kind of stress of that and emotionally to I did actually put some weight back once my BMI, I've got about 37, so I was worried about that but they were fine and looked at things holistically, things of all your fit, your healthy, you know, that's not a problem. So I felt like I was treated like a proper person and then, yeah, we had our treatment, we ended up actually having donut treatment And because the case of Roger said, Look, you can do your own egg if you want and own sperm, it's not going to work, you know, the might be a miracle but it's very unlikely to work and we knew that we had this set amount of money when it was gone. It was gone. Couldn't even my parents forever. Didn't want to be stuck in this.


Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: Bubble of everything is so consuming forever. So we made the decision that actually that was right for us and on our third round of Done a treatment. I can see twins. Sadly lost one of the twins at when I was 10 weeks pregnant and then gave birth to the other twin for in a bit years ago and she's gone to school. So Yeah, and

Zoe Haydn Jones: oh, What?

Emma Haslam: yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: A story. Wow, that is so many ups and downs. So, how many years ago was it when you initially,…

Emma Haslam: Looking.

Zoe Haydn Jones: you know, when you were on this quest to lose weight and…

Emma Haslam: So, it was,…

Zoe Haydn Jones: trying to get it on the NHS,

Emma Haslam: I think. Maybe about seven and eight years ago. Yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Okay, do you think things have changed since then on the NHS or do you reckon that more strict the same?

Emma Haslam: I think things have got harder and because of money because of chronic underfunding and…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Gosh.

Emma Haslam: I think there are more places now that are saying BMI under 30, not everywhere, there are more places now than ever before. That don't offer any rounds or for just one, you know, one round of treatment. And I am hearing in some instances which is to me complete discrimination that in some areas some GPs are refusing to test it. Give people the right to have any fertility, basic fertility, testing to find out if there is any issues. If there BMI isn't within the right range, which There's, I can't think of any of the medical condition SIM utilities of disease where that would happen. And so, not only, you know, we understand that there are rules around kind of how they spend the money and things like that on the IVF, but not him to give people the chance to find out, if there's any issues is awful. And then I have also heard in some areas

Emma Haslam: Under the CCG rulings, if you get your BMI down to the limit, you've got to stay there for at least 12 months before, they'll treat you. Which is it's awful.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Oh my gosh, the pressure. It's

Emma Haslam: I mean, It is awful. I mean, don't get me wrong and I say this to clients. I work a lot of clients. Highly eyes. We do not want someone to treat us, if it's going to be unsafe. Absolutely not. And if, if our weight Is an issue impacting our fertility, or a reason why we can't proceed with the fertility human. Then we need to know but there's a lot of fat phobia in healthcare and there's a lot of not looking at people holistically and, you know, a lot of

Emma Haslam: Not really just saying being honest and saying, Hey, this is actually about funding and, you know, and it's it's awful. It makes people feel even more awful about themselves. And they probably already do, you know, a time where they might want my body's failing, You know, I used to think it's my fault…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: because I'm fat and it has nothing to do with it. Wait, have nothing to do with what was wrong. And in a way, I regret spending two years losing the…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Oh my gosh.

Emma Haslam: which is, thank God, and put back on anyway because it was two years of my fertility. That was lost and while I genuinely mean this one. I say, I wish for a less complicated story of my son.

Emma Haslam: But I wouldn't change how he came to be because he wouldn't be who he is but I you know that added two years of extra pain and turmoil into the mix for us, that there wasn't needed. And if my weight was an issue,…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: then I would have been willing to kind of listen to that. But they, you know, there's no, they don't give any evidence, it's just like, well, that's like computer says, no, and that's it and it's really sad, you know, it's sad that somebody else can make a decision about whether or not you can be a pet, okay? Have the opportunity to try and be a parent and who's I don't…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah. Yeah and…

Emma Haslam: I just smell wrong.

Zoe Haydn Jones: also it is the most stressful time. I mean I've spoken to loads of different people about this site. When we we got married, we had a miscarriage first time and it literally changed my life.

Emma Haslam: oh,

Zoe Haydn Jones: It rocked me it out, I ended up on antidepressants like honestly, it's like you see this, you know, you get married, don't you? And then you sort of think I'll have children and then For so many people, it doesn't go in that linear. Fashion. So like to put all that pressure, I remember then after the miscarriage It's okay ages for us because I think I put so much pressure on myself. So then if you when you thinking about fertility, like when talking about weight, you know it's it's a huge thing and then to put that pressure on that you have to then maintain a certain way. It's Yeah, it's interesting and…

Emma Haslam: No.

Zoe Haydn Jones: feel like we just haven't been speaking about it and it's the same with when I had the miscarriage. It's like this whole taboo and I feel like I literally went in on myself. I didn't I stopped like socializing Because I feel like I felt like I couldn't talk about it and it's the same, isn't it with fertility? That's what I'm a friend that I went to Uni with. I think I mentioned it to you, like she was really honest on her podcast and talked about this. Painful journey, physically, emotionally,…


Emma Haslam: Oh yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: mentally. It's it's a grueling process. So then to add pressure on to women to lose. Weight is just it's beyond me. And, but

Emma Haslam: Yeah, like when I lost one of my twins you know people some of the first things that people said to me were well at least you've got another one, at least the other ones, okay. And don't get me wrong, of course. So grateful to have one twin, but it doesn't take away the fact that you've lost another baby.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Never.

Emma Haslam: I didn't feel like I could breathe the loss of one baby because I just went in to myself as well because I was like, Oh you need you need to be good, obviously I'm not grateful.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: And of course I was grateful and you know like yourself I just miscarriages before as well and

Emma Haslam: Typically, with miscarriers, not people don't know and it's just such an awful time and you can people say, not everybody, but the kind of the worst things and well, at least it was early and things like that and it just invalidates your feelings.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: And so people end up not saying anything. And then just struggling,…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Mm-hmm.

Emma Haslam: on their own, with all these awful emotions, it's such a hard thing. And I think one in six people now are affected by infertility, which is mental madness.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Wow, that's crazy. And that links actually quite nicely because I remember and at the time when I had, when I had my miscarriage, we were on holiday on the East Coast and my I was so upset, my husband had to ring my manager at the time and I was so worried about what they think because I worked in a the TV industry and PR and it was already. You know, you didn't, you didn't have babies young and that's a whole other podcast. And I was so scared about in ringing her to tell her and because I hadn't told them, obviously, that I was trying for a baby and…

Emma Haslam: You know.

Zoe Haydn Jones: I sent you an article or I mentioned that I'd read about a Huffington Post article that described how just 15% of people going through fertility treatment, feel able to openly talk about it at work. So I just wanted to touch on. Looks obviously jobs for women. It's about women in the workplace, you know? We talk a lot about how there's gender bias and You know, there's the gender health gap, gender, pay gap. Women seem to go on this emotional roller, coaster of a journey, whether it is trying to get pregnant naturally or having a miscarriage or going through fertility. If you got any thoughts on on, you know, women managing it at work, should they be telling their managers should should companies be supporting women more if you got any thoughts on that?

Emma Haslam: Yeah, I think we've got a long way to go. I think there was, we're talking about the beginning, to talk about it more, which is great. Whenever we talk about things, we smash the taboos, we make people feel normal, you know, we open up the conversation and but I think, you know, you're already going through a really difficult time and so, for some people, it's just a private thing. They don't want to share and I think this fear around how they'll be perceived

Emma Haslam: Will they be put forward for promotion will? And people think that they are weak Will people understand? You know, what's the work-life culture? Like Is there any sort of policy in place around fertility treatment? And if there is a policy, does that match the culture of an organization to start having a bit of paper, which a lot of companies don't even have that bit of paper. So that is something that needs to be done in my opinion. But then culture to their adopt that and do they make it easy for people to go? Hey, this is what's happening and because if there isn't a clear policy and there isn't a culture that people feel comfortable to open up and then people are not going to, you know, and this you know, infertility treatment, you know, impacts people's mental health so much. You know they need that support but

Emma Haslam: I think people are scared to open up and say things because there isn't necessarily the support in place and there might be some of the really big companies, big organizations. And or if you work in an industry like you mentioned. I mean I used to work in advertising so I know what you mean. You say about PR Okay, you know, I wasn't trying to have a baby then but had I have been I would have been terrified and I was very looking when I was going through kind of fertility treatment I worked for and

Emma Haslam: Children family service, so obviously culturally and, you know, the right fit a lot of women but also we have those a clear policy around fertility treatment and I worked for two women and you know, like I say, culturally very much supported women. So I was very lucky that I felt able to speak up and receive the right support I needed. You know, there was a policy which kind of outline was entitled to. But then I also had the manager here was very reasonable in terms of making adjustments for me. And I mean, I actually preferred to be at work and doing things because that's how I work. But to know that any point in time, I could go home because actually this is before people were really doing much working from home. So that's been another shift that perhaps has.


Zoe Haydn Jones: Oh yeah.

Emma Haslam: Hopefully has helped people because, you know, trying to manage it all in and off this

Emma Haslam: And was was difficult. I was very lucky, but I do work with a lot of people that don't have that and, you know, you can go to your GP and request a sick note, you can self 35 to five days anyway, but if you've got a nice GP, you know, then they will put something ambiguous if you want them to on the esic notes. That's not. You didn't want to tell your employer, Then you could, you know, and just needed to remove yourself from word. That is an option. So, for my clients, going abroad, who perhaps need a little more time off to go away, you know, that often helps them, but I think we've still got a long way. To go. What do you think?

Zoe Haydn Jones: Oh gosh, we've got a long ways going in so many areas for supporting women at work. It's like I was I did a podcast on the gender healthcare and…

Emma Haslam: Yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: you know, like they're doing more menopause policies now. Well hello this has been going off.

Emma Haslam: Yeah, I know. I know.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Is and it just makes you wonder. And as someone that suffered with, really painful periods, query, endometriosis my whole life,…

Emma Haslam: Yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: and then I was diagnosed with pelvic congestion syndrome, and it just makes you wonder. It's like just got a grin and bear it every month. Like, this is happening every month,…

Emma Haslam: Yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: and it's like, for women going to fertility. It might gone for years and years and…

Emma Haslam: What about sale? Yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: it takes over your life because it's your, like you said, happiness mental health and so, yeah,…

Emma Haslam: Relationships.

Zoe Haydn Jones: I feel. Yeah. I feel like we've got Yeah, a really long way to go. But like you said, when we the more we talk about the more, we do things like this, we do smash the taboo, I do think our listeners would be interested to know just to jump back to your experience. What was it? Like, you know when you went abroad? Did you did you feel A sense of relief that, you know, it was actually happening or how long did it take? Like, how long did you need off work? And those sorts of things just for people listening to

Emma Haslam: Yeah. Relief that it was happening but I was also a bit terrified because while I'm a confident traveler, I didn't know anybody had done this. I'm really, you know, and I didn't really know what I was doing so as much as I am, a natural researcher. And obviously, I've now spent, you know, now I do know what I'm doing, but back then it was all a bit of a wing and a prayer and hoping, you know, and it turned out brilliantly. But so there was some excitement, a lot of anticipation, I think having an understanding employer was super helpful because it just removed another pressure that you just don't need worrying about what people might think about you, or does it mean you won't get a promotion and, you know, etc, etc? And but in terms of time off, it depends on the treatment that you need. So for own egg,

Emma Haslam: Own sperm treatment is typically sort of ten days or people could split that up into two shorter trips. They froze, a embryo and for me because I was having a frozen embryo transfer, it was two days. We went for three just to kind of see more of the sites and things because you're not actually at the clinic for very long or very many times and then people having kind of donor egg treatment, maybe seven days and So people I mean it's not the same as going on holiday obviously free and fertility but you know, as I said you're not the clinic.

Emma Haslam: He wrote the clinic, a handful of times, you've got a lot of time to go and actually can go and enjoy yourself, you know, and away from the stresses of home life and work, it felt great. It was a really special time for us and and, you know, yes, it took three attempts but, you know, it was lovely, not to be trying to balance things with work and home because we were just away. I mean, now the world has changed since covid and I'll have some clients that do a bit of both. They want to take a bit work away with them and that works them. Their employer other people take the time off. you know, as holiday or they've got a fertility policy and I'm encouraging people as well as they feel strong enough, if there isn't a fertility policy to kind of ask

Emma Haslam: And which is easier for me to speak now because I'm speaking from the scar and not the wounded at the time when you're going through, this is that sometimes too much for people to think about. You know, it's just too much, and it should kind of already be there for them. When at a time, I feel so vulnerable, don't they? And I think another reason people might not always speak,…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: as if they've got a male boss. Now, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with having a male boss, but if there's no other kind of contact for you within your organization, you just might perceive that. Perhaps, you might not feel comfortable opening up, but I'll see, you might perceive the man's gonna treat you differently than perhaps, how a woman would that may, or may not be true. But you know, that can be difficult for people as well,…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Oh yeah,…

Emma Haslam: you know.

Zoe Haydn Jones: definitely. And, and it it just depend so much on your line manager, doesn't it? And when I think back, if I'd have had a male line manager, when I experienced the miscarriage,…

Emma Haslam: Yep.

Zoe Haydn Jones: I think it would have flipped to even more. I would have But it's so important to have that lifeline, isn't it? We need that support. When we're going through such a massive, a massive life change and I think it's interesting what you said as well about, you know, will it affect promotion? Because this is what's being coming up? I did a webinar for women in property on Tuesday and we talked about, you know, the things that women have in life. Maybe it is taking time out to have kids and we had an estate agent on and and she was saying and you know, there's a lot of female estate agents…


Emma Haslam: It.

Zoe Haydn Jones: but then when they come in back after having kids, you know, the it's late evenings it's you know, weekends and that sort of thing and So it's it's tough, isn't it? You know managing what we have going on as women, so the fertility, struggle is Yeah, my heart goes out to to anyone that's struggling that can't have that contact with a manager.

Emma Haslam: Yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: You know, and be honest about…

Emma Haslam: and, And I remember like having a miscarriage and…

Zoe Haydn Jones: what their experiencing

Emma Haslam: then just going to work. And you know, and not saying anything because I just I didn't know what to say, you know, and this is with it,…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Oh, breaks my heart honestly,…

Emma Haslam: it's working in you know in a different industry…

Zoe Haydn Jones: that really breaks my heart.

Emma Haslam: but I just got up and went to work. So just like I can't find me sick. I don't want to say and it was when I was working in advertising and I just thought I can't, this will not go down well and I can't speak about it. Yes, I just went to work having having a miscarriage you know and…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Oh my goodness.

Emma Haslam: just carrying on that things are normal while breaking You know, completely apart inside and just having to kind of carry on.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Would you would you advise people? So like when you're working with your clients, do you advise them? I know you said, which I thought was brilliant. You know, it's hard. But ask if there's a policy is that your piece of advice? Would you say Be honest, be transparent with work?

Emma Haslam: And I think it depends, I mean because I think it's easy for me to say now because I know how hard it is in the moment. So I think it depends on the person. Yeah, I'll say to them, There are things for you to consider. Have you look to see if there's a fertility policy, if you haven't, maybe have a look, you could consider confiding in your GP and if you want to avoid work, knowing at all, you could go down that route. And if your line manager isn't appropriate, is there somebody else you could talk to, you know, if you don't have a fertility policy,…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: do you feel able to have that discussion? Because actually, just might be that they haven't thought about it, or no one's ever asked and just try to give them a few kind of scenarios, and then they can kind of decide what's right for that. But yes, and my husband works for and so it's co-founder of the company but he has a job. He works for another company a large company in the UK and they actually asked us for our advice.

Emma Haslam: Prove that fertility spots, which is amazing. Like That's, you know, so good. And I thought, you know, companies like that changes are happening. And sometimes it's the wording, you know, like, with this, with the company, you know, that we're looking at, some of the fertility policy was along with things like elective surgery, like cosmetic surgeon.

Zoe Haydn Jones: oh, Yeah.

Emma Haslam: I was like, he's not elected and it was just a very innocent thing but but not been for through. So but the great that they were happy to go. Look, you tell us what you think needs to change. Will change it and Yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: That's fantastic because you're the expert. So, you know, get the experts in

Emma Haslam: Yeah. And you know, so that's brilliant because we're not always gonna get everything right every time and so it's being I think willing as them as an employer to listen and support because we know that by doing that,…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah, really.

Emma Haslam: we're gonna get more out of our employees anywhere in the long run, so it's very short side to sometimes.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Really Good point.

Emma Haslam: Yeah. People think well. You're gonna have time off and it. Yes you are but then you know you're more likely to remaining work long term, you might have a more positive relationship with work, you know, value that company for looking. After you at a difficult time, all the things but sometimes people are very short-sighted and don't see it like that.

Zoe Haydn Jones: That's a really nice. It's a really nice way to look at it. Actually that isn't it? It's like

Emma Haslam: Whatever. Yes. So important Yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: You just because we're gonna close soon, but if you were going to give some advice to someone that's thinking,…

Emma Haslam: Yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: you know, there might be in the same point in time as you whether losing weight or not wet, but where they're the NHS treatment is looking like a no go. What advice would you give for someone thinking? Should I do it abroad? Should I not? What would you say?

Emma Haslam: Well, I I think you've got to look into it to see if it could be an option for you. We might not be the right option for you and I'm not gonna sit here and say it's for everybody. You know, some people are safe, for example, if you're a teacher and you can only go away once a year and you don't want to wait, wait a year until you summer holidays. It might not be for you, or if you've got a pen you've got no one to look after that pet. It might not work for you but loads of clients have got pets and they figure out, you know, I think don't close it down as not being an option because it's more accessible, it's more affordable.

Emma Haslam: And you know you get that clear time away which actually is really nice. You can go somewhere that perhaps you haven't been before or maybe someone that you love and you know if you have a partner you can you can take them or if you don't you go by yourself or you can take a friend or family member and you know, the customer service is awesome and you know, by stretching your budget further, you're gonna give yourself more chances to get to where you kind of want to go. And, you know, there are tons of resources out there. Now, I write a blog as you mentioned, I've got a podcast so it's your idea abroad with Emma Haslam which, you know, you're gonna link in the show notes. Thank you. And so, read up about it, you know, and if you need more help then obviously, you know, come and talk to me because I offer lots of services to support people.


Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: Wherever they're at, you know, whether that's just kind of information gathering. So they want to work out with, it's right for them or whether they want to help with things like planning a clinic or having and having kind of planning having treatment abroad. And so

Emma Haslam: I'd say Look at it as an as an option and you know there's a lot more people doing it. I'm not saying every clinic abroad is safe. You've got to know what you're doing, but you know, you can do it and it's quite nice to put your It was nice of me to put my energy into something that felt like,…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: I was moving things forward because being stuck in a cycle of I mean, I love the NHS but it's chronically underfunded being stuck in a cycle of Waiting for appointments and

Emma Haslam: BMI being used as a reason when actually, I'm an intelligent person and news that that wasn't the reason was frustrating. And, you know, I just felt so stuck and I wanted to move forward with things and, you know, by going abroad. I need things could move relatively quickly. So I'd say Go and, you know, go and check it out and have an open mind, We're not looking for cheap idea, for broad, absolutely not. We're looking for best value with a clinic that safe registered regulated That's gonna match your needs and your personality. It's gonna look after you, you know, your private client and…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: you know, you're paying money, a substantial amount of money, whether you're going abroad and saving thousands or not and you need to be treated

Emma Haslam: You know appropriately and these clinics they deal with a lot of international patients so it's big business for them you know and things have moved on so much since I started having my treatment sort of six years ago, you know. So, you…

Zoe Haydn Jones: And yeah.

Emma Haslam: it can be very smooth and like I say, I now exist to help people if they want that extra support

Zoe Haydn Jones: Amazing. I think it's interested as well. What you said about earlier, you know, spending all that money on the consultations in the UK because they weren't really transparent with,…

Emma Haslam: No.

Zoe Haydn Jones: You know, a lot of us. It's like when you buy in anything, it's kind of like, what's it gonna cost me? You need to know because wasting that money on those consultations.

Emma Haslam: No. So much.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Oh, that's so tough. So other clinics abroad a little bit more open so that you can cut out that time.

Emma Haslam: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: Yeah, absolutely. You should be able to get before your and you should be able to get the costings from the clinic transparently.

Zoe Haydn Jones: And yeah.

Emma Haslam: There might be some things that will depend on the outcome of your treatment, but they should be small things. And when you have your actual medical consultation after that, you'll get your exact price based on the treatment plan, they recommend.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: But prior to that, you should be able to say, Okay, how much is it for a cycle of donor egg? How much is it for a cycle of own egg with Ipsy? So you can get a benchmark because you need to know. And when would I need to pay? So you can work out. You don't want to sign up for something that you then can't afford to do. And so like part of what I do my clients is they'll kind of give me an idea of budget. So I'm not sending them to clinics that are out of budget for a start and they'll have a really good idea before they have the consultations with the clinics. What the cost with that clinic would be and…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: like all my privacies are transparently displayed on my website because I don't believe in getting people in and then like you know holding them into and…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: then revealing the price and and that person thinking

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: Oh, I didn't think it was gonna be that or whatever, and that's some people in the uncomfortable situation.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah.

Emma Haslam: So, thinking about everything we went through, I just everything's like clear and transparent because I think it's important. Yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Makes a different, like you said, in this different levels.

Emma Haslam: Yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: But is there a rough percentage saving that go in abroad, or does it just totally depend? You know.

Emma Haslam: You can you can say to sort of 50% including flights accommodation,…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Wow. Wow.

Emma Haslam: the whole lot and you know you can you can get IVF with XC from 2,300 euros. Yes she's having flight, she's having medication which would depend on your prescriptions. That's difficult to give you a figure for that and you'd have your you know, your accommodation But you know, the average round of fertility treatment ownag in the UK is about 10,000 pounds. So you know you typically my clients get about two for one.

Emma Haslam: Versus and…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Wow.

Emma Haslam: the UK. Yeah. So, you know,…

Zoe Haydn Jones: It's a big quest.

Emma Haslam: there are definitely savings to be made. And of course, if you do have embryos left freeze and then the next time you go, it would be as expensive because you're not paying for the drugs to kind of stimulate the eggs the collection and you're not having as much involved for the clinic. So the clinic cost comes down you're not there for as long as you accommodation costs come down. So if you need it further treatment, if it didn't work the first time or if you want to go back and try for sibling, then the cost for dramatically as well, which they would in the UK too, you know? Full transparency. But and like for like you know it is a lot, a lot cheaper. Yeah. And I think sometimes people off…


Zoe Haydn Jones: Okay. Wow. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Emma Haslam: because I think what's the catch there must be a cat and you know and there are some places where I wouldn't have fertility treatment and you've got to do your homework but if you do your homework properly, then the absolutely is a great option for lots of people and to know that you can stretch your budget further and not have to wait, you know, there's a lot of

Emma Haslam: In the UK for donor eggs, particularly, if you're not white. You know people start waiting lists people sat on NHS waiting list that actually are in a position to go privately but they don't perhaps know that. There's the option of going abroad but they haven't got the money to go in the UK and, and I get a lot of people who've had room in the UK and weren't happy with the customer service and actually have gone abroad and been treated, how they should have been treated all along. And I'm not saying it's like that,…

Zoe Haydn Jones: That's really interesting.

Emma Haslam: every clinic, it's not, there's some great clinics in the UK, of course as well. And but, you know, it's about having it's about giving people choice, I think of choice and…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah. Yeah.

Emma Haslam: that control which you know, you feel so out control. I think, going through all of the stone is nice to take some of that control back.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yes. Yeah I think that's really well said actually. Yeah, you do feel each month. You just like Oh got no control of my own body. That's amazing. I honestly when we first met at that shoe, I was just like this is genius because it's kind of like giving people that extra lifeline because you know not many people have that spare 10 grand, let's be honest. And so knowing that there's another option and…

Emma Haslam: Yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: sometimes for some people not for everyone, it might be a better option. So it's I think what you're doing is amazing and…

Emma Haslam: Yeah. Thank you.

Zoe Haydn Jones: I think the more we talk about it, the more we talk about it at work, the more we challenge companies to have these policies to support whoever it is that's going through fertility,…

Emma Haslam: Yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: you know, the men are on the journey as well. It's you…

Emma Haslam: Yes, absolutely.

Zoe Haydn Jones: it's not just the women. and, That's a whole.

Emma Haslam: That's another podcast episode itself, isn't it? I mean, But yeah,…

Zoe Haydn Jones: Yeah, let's do it. Let's get it.

Emma Haslam: yeah, and then I think men, you know, there's a long way to go for men as well.

Zoe Haydn Jones: Absolutely. Okay. So we will leave it there for today. I could I could keep talking for another half an…

Emma Haslam: I need to.

Zoe Haydn Jones: I think this is so let's let's definitely get another one book ten and talk about. Yeah, talk about maybe some, a client study or like, you…

Emma Haslam: Yeah, sure.

Zoe Haydn Jones: or definitely even the men. Yeah, let's not forget about the man. I know jobs for women is about women, but it's a two-pronged attack. It's, it's an approach that where we need the men on board for gender equality, but also we need to when it's fertility. It's It's both couple of both partners,…

Emma Haslam: Did yeah.

Zoe Haydn Jones: isn't it? Okay, amazing. That is so nice to see your face, so nice to hear…

Emma Haslam: And you.

Zoe Haydn Jones: what you've got to say. I will add everything onto the show notes and if anyone wants to reach out to you, what's the best way? What's your preferred contact method?

Emma Haslam: Yeah. So you can either shoot me an email which is hello at or visit the website as a contact US form on there. You can shoot me a message or I'm on all socials and at your IVF abroad, just drop me a DM.


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