The Adia Interview: Our new Fertility Nurse, Liz Harrison
11th February 2020
Liz Harrison is an amazing fertility nurse and one of the latest women to join our ever-expanding circle of Adia experts. With over a decade of experience, Liz is well placed to offer support to our community. She can’t wait to hear from you!
From the practical to the emotional, she is here to answer your questions. But today we had a few questions for Liz ourselves… We sat down with the newest member of the Adia team to find out a bit more about her experience, her approach and why she is so excited to be working with Adia.
After graduating from the University of Nottingham, Liz set out on her mission to work in women’s health. She has had a rich and varied journey, her career has taken her to almost every corner of female healthcare. From ectopic pregnancy and IVF, to sexual health and cancer treatment, Liz has experienced it all! She has worked at some of London’s most prestigious hospitals including Guy’s and St Thomas’ and Chelsea and Westminster.
“Guy’s was a really interesting place to work. They do lots of fertility preservation – working with people who have cancer, preserving their eggs before treatment” she tells me. “They also have a PGD (Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) centre. This means they can test IVF embryos for genes that might lead to diseases. Things like the BRCA gene. They then only implant the embryos that don’t carry it. So lot’s of exciting things happen there.” Last September, Liz was also awarded a 2:1 in a Public Health Nursing degree from the South Bank University.
The IVF process is something Liz has spent a lot of her career working with. As a fertility nurse, her role involves helping women and couple’s plan their cycles and preparing them for each stage of the procedure – from building up the follicles to egg collection. It also allows her to be a consistent point of contact and offer emotional support to couples navigating infertility. “It’s amazing when people get a positive result, but it is heartbreaking when they don’t or when they miscarry. It can also put a huge strain on relationships.” Liz says.
Liz has now been working as a nurse for just over 12 years and continues to specialise in women’s health. Like so many people who work in healthcare, Liz was drawn to the profession by a desire to be there for people who need support. “I just always wanted to do something that was going to help other people because I find that so rewarding, and I’ve consistently been interested in women’s health.” She tells me. “My work is so rewarding because you’re witnessing life. It can be sad and hard at times but there are many positives too”
In 2017, Liz spent some time working in Dubai, as a patient support manager for another health-tech platform – Health and Hand. This is also where she gave birth to her first child. As a mother herself, Liz understands how complex the emotional journey of trying for a baby can be. “Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a mum, but when I finally became one, I think I just realised how important it was,” she says. “I truly understood how heartbreaking it would have been if I had been unable to conceive, and how tough it can be when everyone around you is getting pregnant and you’re not. That gives me greater empathy with the women I’m speaking to.”
Over the last decade, Liz has witnessed first hand the evolution of women’s healthcare. She believes at-home testing is one of the most important ways technology has positively impacted the sector. “Testing is one area that has really changed. I remember when you started to see people having sexual health testing kits through the post. That was quite a revolutionary thing, and now Adia are doing hormone tests at home.” she explains. “You can now get those results so easily and be better informed about your body. I think that’s really great.”
This dedication to accessibility is one of the reasons that Liz wanted to work with Adia. “I really like the fact that with Adia, you could be anywhere in the world and still access great advice.” So far Liz has been able to help women from Sweden and Africa as well as the UK. She supports with empathy, professionalism and a desire to make everyone feel heard and cared about. “The best thing about speaking to the community is being able to put people in touch with the right resources. Sometimes that’s another expert, articles that have been written by Adia, or other trusted sources, so they can access the information they need to make informed choices. I can’t wait to support more people in the Adia community!”
If you would like to connect with Liz, or any of our experts, join Adia for free today! From fertility nurses to OBGYNs, nutritionists, and mental health experts there is someone available to answer your questions and offer support whenever you need it.