A Yorkshire mum, who launched a journal to support people undergoing IVF, has experienced a huge surge in sales during the pandemic as demand has grown for fertility support with clinics closing their doors in lockdown.
Sarah Banks from Halifax created The IVF Positivity Planner, a diary and journal that supports individuals through infertility and the IVF process, following her own struggles with IVF and after she experienced how little support there is available. Sarah underwent two rounds of IVF before she and her partner had their first child.
Launched initially in the UK in October 2019 during Fertility Awareness Week, Sarah has seen a 363% increase in sales of the planner in the past 12 months, as demand for support has grown throughout the pandemic.
She launched The IVF Positivity planner into the USA through Amazon in January this year with sales figures increasing by five times in the first six months of 2021.
Sarah says the planner is designed to help those going through the IVF process feel calmer, more informed and in control of what is happening to their body. It offers coping strategies, coaching questions, daily journaling, and exercises to help during the process.
In addition to creating the IVF Positivity Planner, Sarah recognised the lack of support for people struggling with infertility and retrained as a life coach to support others going through the same difficulties she did. She set up the Yorkshire Fertility Support Group in 2016 which today offers peer advice and support to over 850 members. She also runs national support group, TTC Support UK, which has over 1,200 members.
The groups provide a safe and non-judgmental environment for people to talk through how they are feeling in an honest way and provide a support network for those going through such an emotional and difficult time.
Sarah said: “The pandemic has really impacted those struggling with fertility issues with IVF treatment coming to a complete halt during the first lockdown. This has created delays for people who do not necessarily have time on their side.
“I’ve experienced a surge of people reaching out to my fertility support groups who are worried and anxious about the impact lockdown has had on their chances of having a family. This coupled with the rise in sales of the IVF Positivity Planner shows just how much support is required.
“After having my son and experiencing the IVF journey, I knew I wanted to help people who were experiencing the same struggle. Those going through treatment and struggling with infertility need to know that they are not alone and that their feelings are valid. My hope for the planner is that fertility clinics will offer it to all patients as a support resource, so that no-one has to go through IVF without support.”