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Research aims to support women experiencing fertility problems

01 June 2022

 

Researchers from Teesside University are helping to lead a project which aims to support women through their infertility journey.

Catherine Woods, Tees Valley Sport and Rosie Dawson, Teesside University
Catherine Woods, Tees Valley Sport and Rosie Dawson, Teesside University

The LIFT (Lifestyle, Intervention, Fertility, Togetherness) programme is aimed at women with a raised BMI (body mass index over 30) who are experiencing infertility and want to improve their health and well-being.

The focus of the 12-week scheme is on both physical and mental health, while also enabling women to connect with and offer support to other women facing the same situation.

The project has been designed with input from women and infertility teams, Teesside University and Tees Valley Sport, with funding from Sport England.

Rosie Dawson, a midwifery lecturer in the University’s School of Health & Life Sciences, will be carrying out research during the project to evaluate its effectiveness and how it could help other women in the future.

She said: “Being able to see that they are not alone and being able to speak to other women who are on the same journey is invaluable. We envisage that the women involved will help and support each other.

The project will show that it is not just physical health that is vital

Rosie Dawson, midwifery lecturer in the University’s School of Health & Life Sciences

“The project will show that it is not just physical health that is vital, as an important aspect of coping with infertility is mental health. The inability to conceive can have an immense impact on mental health.

“This project will help women to improve their overall wellbeing."

The programme will provide opportunities to get involved in a range of physical activities, ranging from walking, yoga and aerobics, to cooking sessions and advice on nutrition and healthy eating, along with opportunities to discuss and reflect on progress. Sessions will be held in small groups and online, with support from other women taking part through online discussions and informal chat sessions.

Anyone wanting to find out more about participating can contact Rosie Dawson r.dawson@tees.ac.uk.