Sunday 25 September 2016

I did not realise fertility could be a problem, says One Show's Alex Jones

Published 15/04/2016 | 14:41

Alex Jones, now 39, said that until she got married last year, she had not realised the potential complications in fertility associated with her age
Alex Jones, now 39, said that until she got married last year, she had not realised the potential complications in fertility associated with her age

One Show presenter Alex Jones has told a conference on fertility that she did not realise she might have problems having a family in her late 30s.

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The 39-year-old said that until she married her husband Charlie Thompson in December last year, she had not realised the potential complications in fertility associated with her age.

The BBC host was speaking at a conference with leading fertility experts, who said young adults were putting their future chances of parenthood at risk by a lack of knowledge about their fertility.

Jones said she and her husband have not yet started trying for a baby "in earnest" but it had taken a while for the reality of her age to sink in.

"For me the penny didn't drop. I thought, I've just met this boy, I've got this lovely job, that I absolutely, to this day, adore, although it's not more important than a family - I'd like to be really clear about that," she said.

The remarks came during the Fertility Health Summit which has heard that young women's desire for a career is one of the main factors in delaying pregnancy.

Jones complained she has been labelled a "career girl" and added: "I just happen to have a career and, while you're waiting for a family, why wouldn't you try your best and do the job to the best of your advantage?"

Speaking at the conference at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, in London, which was convened by the British Fertility Society and the college's Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, Jones said there was a lack of information available to young women.

She said the topic was "a bit of a murky pond" and criticised the lack of action taken by those in the NHS to ask about family planning, and educate patients about IVF and fertility.

She added that some doctors were too embarrassed to ask questions about sex: "You have to have those honest conversations in order to establish where people are.

"(My husband and I) haven't started trying in earnest, so we don't know."

The Welsh host also criticised the IVF "postcode lottery" saying it was "unfair" that in her hometown of Carmarthenshire, south Wales, people got multiple attempts at IVF on the NHS, while in her current home in West London, people were rarely given any.

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