Stop the NHS forcing people with infertility to wait for appointments with pregnant women

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In 2014, I was diagnosed with endometriosis - an incurable condition with symptoms including pain, fatigue and infertility. At the time I was desperate to have a baby. 

Now imagine the heartache and torture of waiting to discuss my possible infertility in a waiting room filled with pregnant women, lovingly caressing their blooming bumps. 

It might sound too cruel to be true, but unfortunately this is the reality in many hospitals across the country, including my hospital in Basingstoke, run by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

I sat in that waiting room from hell and my heart broke as I watched a couple excitedly discuss possible names for their baby. I fought back tears as I saw another couple beaming over their scan pictures. And I tried not to listen as two women next to me struck up a conversation about how many weeks gone they were. The worst part was when a pregnant woman sat down next to me and asked me my due date. I don't blame her - the entire waiting room was focused on pregnancy and babies, so she automatically assumed that's what we were all there for. I suspect my severe bloating didn't help either.

Looking for a distraction, I went to pick up a magazine only to find they were all about babies. The television was showing information about having a baby and even the notice board was solely about babies. It was torturous, at a time when I had no idea if I would ever be able to conceive myself. 

I understand that pregnant women cannot be hidden away. But to force those with possible infertility problems to wait in an area focused entirely on babies is incredibly insensitive. 

Thankfully, this doesn't affect me currently as I went on to have a little boy through IVF. But I am launching this petition to help all the other people with infertility problems who are forced to sit in such waiting rooms. 

As a leader of a support group for women with endometriosis,  I know of others who have complained directly to their hospital about this matter, myself included. But we are not being listened to and our concerns are not being taken seriously.

This might seem like a minor issue compared to other problems. But it is an issue which could be resolved quickly and easily. The NHS needs to listen to the concerns of its patients with infertility and stop treating them with such cruelty and insensitivity. 

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