In most cultures women are leading a very different life to our mothers and grandmothers.  We are becoming more educated, travelling the world, pursuing careers and enjoying life to the full rather than concentrating our life on getting married and raising a family.  But with empowerment comes an increase in social and health issues.  One of the biggest issues facing women is delaying motherhood. Joyce herself had five years of fertility treatment before she had her first child.  She has three IVF children, including twins born after frozen embryo transfer.

Joyce is very passionate about fertility awareness education.  In 2016 she became deputy lead of the fertility education initiative which is a project involving the key stakeholders involved in fertility and sex education in the UK.  She is helped set up a web site to deliver information on fertility awareness to children, adults, parents and health professionals –  In 2018, the FEI did a Facebook Live to summarise their activities.

The FEI is led by the British Fertility Society in partnership with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), UCL Institute for Women’s Health, Cardiff Fertility Studies Research Group, Cardiff University, Fertility Fest, Sex Education Forum, Brook, Sexpression, Teenage Pregnancy Knowledge Exchange, Fertility Network UK, Marie Stopes and Public Health England.

The FEI aims to deliver fertility education under three themes:

Understanding human fertility

  1. human reproduction
  2. male and female reproductive health

This should include the reproductive life cycle (puberty to menopause), fertility and infertility, signs, symptoms and preventable causes of fertility issues and planning for a healthy pregnancy

Understanding modern families

    1. Societal and cultural variations in family building
    2. Routes to parenthood

This would include information on heterosexual, LGBTQ+ and single people with and without fertility issues, assisted conception techniques for family building, other routes to parenthood (such as adoption, fostering, step families) and living a life without children

Understanding reproductive technologies

What it can and cannot do and how might it impact on how human beings are made in the future.

We have had a lot of media coverage of the work of the Fertility Education Initiative – please see press and media for a full list.

We have published a paper outlining our aims.

In 2018/2019 Joyce is working on a project with the founders of Fertility Fest, Jessica Hepburn and Gabby Vautier called Modern Families.

In Feb/March 2018 the Modern Families team ran a week long workshop at the National Theatre to start the development of an arts based fertility education project that will hopefully be delivered in schools across the UK.