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About Mensfe

The Founders

Mensfe has been founded because two men had concerns that male fertility issues were not being dealt with as prominently as they should be. One of the Founders, Pip Reilly, is a professional fertility Counsellor and has been involved with fertility charities and various organistaions for more than 15 years. The other is Rob Barlow a medical scientist and company Director who was diagnosed with azoospermia more than 25 years ago. Both Pip and Rob are passionate in their advocacy of the issues in and around male fertility and believe that it is necessary to highlight them by setting up a male only organisation. In an age of political correctness and awareness of sexist attitudes both men are keen to say that Mensfe is not about being divisive, in fact a major goal is to promote male-female gender communication to help relationships that are so often blighted by infertility and its consequences.

Picture of Mr Pip ReillyMr Pip Reilly MA, AdvPgD.

Pip started his career in business managment but after 10 years he realised he was more a peoples person and so took himself back to university studying psychotherapy. His new career started at St. Batholomews Hospital, London as a trainee fertility counsellor and soon obtained his accreditation. However after working here for some time he felt that the clinical setting for fertility treatment was often centred around females and little attention was paid to the plight of the male, although male fertility issues were at least comparable to those of female. Pip decided to attempt to throw some light on this through researching the needs of the male in contrast to their female partners. This led to a Masters degree on Male Infertility which had some bearing on changing attitudes to male infertility in the fertility world. He also joined a number of fertility support organisations, worked as a trustee/chairperson and also sat on the commitee of advisors to an all parlimentory group off MP's on fertility who ultimately set government policy and ledgislation. Pip is also a member of two international fertility organisations, one within the field of psychology and the other in support of fertility patient groups world wide.

He met his (Mensfe) co-founder Rob through a support group he worked for and quickly realised they shared a common interest in male infertility and a friendship developed. Pip had always felt through the groups he had been involved in, that these were often geared up to give a voice to the female, but because of gender communication differences it appeared to be more difficult for the men to express themselves and have their voice (after all fertility is a 50/50 thing). Rob agreed, and between the two of them the idea of Mensfe was born. One of the key concepts to Pip's work is gender communication especially for those couples going through fertility treatment, and the male is actually often the first line of support for their partner. However gender communication differences are often difficult through this period and each partner may have differnet support needs. Pip's hope is that by creating Mensfe it may help bridge this gap. He also hopes that his personal and professional activities through Mensfe will ultimately help couples to obtain the quality of life they seek.

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