Have a Story to Tell? #UnmaskingIVF

Have a Story to Tell? #UnmaskingIVF

One story will forever mark a turning point for me. It ran June 10, 2008 so that date now has special significance. It’s the day I crossed over from a blogger writing under a pseudonym to my reveal on The New York Times homepage (yeah, I know, it still blows my mind, too). In the nine years since I’ve had the good fortune to connect with many amazing women and men who have generously shared their stories. This year, June 10 also marks the debut of a new project —…

It’s Performance Review Time, Fertility Industry!

It’s Performance Review Time, Fertility Industry!

Performance review time, already, for the fertility industry? Yes, it’s mid-October so let’s check in on the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) confab. This year it’s billed as a Scientific Congress and EXPO. Per usual, there are a few eyebrow raisers. I followed #ASRM2016 on Twitter over coffee this morning. (A decision made easier as it was raining buckets here in California). Before long I engaged, respectfully, in a few discussions. Below are some of the highlights and observations. You can find more on Healthcare in America, which published…

Conflict of Interest?

Conflict of Interest?

Most of us take non-profits and their causes at face value and assume the people leading the charge are straight arrows. This is not always the case.  The most recent example of things not quite being what they seem came from the recent CBS News investigation into the Wounded Warrior Project. Non-profits formed around diseases are also ending up in the hot seat. A few years back Susan G. Komen (formerly known as Susan G. Komen for the Cure and originally as The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation) got…

Treasure Trove of Truth: Blogging Infertility

Treasure Trove of Truth: Blogging Infertility

Nine years ago tonight the blog Coming2Terms arrived on the scene. It started with a hesitant point and click … PUBLISH. The blogosphere in 2007 was still relatively new and more than a bit wild and disordered. It seemed the perfect place to explore taboo topics. Discussion about infertility and failed fertility treatment was, indeed, not discussed in polite society. It’s not altogether different today, but then most reproductive subjects are hard to broach.  Complicating matters further in the aughts: who can forget the cultural smothering emanating from the ‘mommy movement?’ …

Fertility Industry’s Troubling History of Omission, Growth Over Health, Safety

Fertility Industry’s Troubling History of Omission, Growth Over Health, Safety

In a powerful new essay, Questioning the Cult of Repro Tech, health advocate and author Miriam Zoll reveals little publicized details behind today’s now seemingly ubiquitous fertility procedure: in vitro fertilization (IVF).  Her research and writing make for a compelling read.  Zoll raises important questions about bioethics and the way fertility medicine is marketed and dispensed. This is yet another strong case for greater scrutiny around the practices of the fast-growing fertility industry. Among the takeaways: from its earliest days the scientists and developers of fertility medicine have systematically downplayed…

Why Do We Look the Other Way On IVF Addiction?

Why Do We Look the Other Way On IVF Addiction?

  My reaction to the picture distributed by the fertility clinic was shock. Plain and simple. In fact, my stomach turned queasy while my mind tried to process just what exactly I was looking at. The first word that popped to mind: Addiction The breathless articles, though, on what led to the now ‘viral’ photograph — on the TODAY Parents website and on other news and feature sites — never mentioned addiction and that’s troubling in and of itself. Instead the TODAY article noted: The photo features a baby girl…

Fertility Industry Conning Patients?

Fertility Industry Conning Patients?

Doctor, con and IVF are not words you want to see in the same sentence. Yet that’s what you’ll find in this strongly worded piece written by Professor Robert Winston, author of a new guide on fertility.  Winston’s scathing analysis of his brethren and the fertility industry that has grown up around treatments is all the more noteworthy since he was a pioneer of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Profiteering and exploitation are not what we usually associate with those who take the Hippocratic oath. Rather we’ve been socialized to view…

Bioethicists in U.S. and Australia Call for Fertility Industry Regulation, More Transparency

Bioethicists in U.S. and Australia Call for Fertility Industry Regulation, More Transparency

When a former member of the ethics committee for the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) calls for fertility industry regulation we should sit up and pay attention. Earlier this month George Annas, a Boston University School of Public Health professor and chair of health law, wrote a blistering opinion piece, It’s Time to Regulate the Fertility Industry, to combat what he sees as a fertility industry run amok. While he acknowledges that some people have been helped to have children they could not otherwise have, we can no longer…

Oh, Betty! I So Get You

Oh, Betty! I So Get You

“I don’t want you to think I’m a quitter. I’ve fought for plenty in my life. That’s how I know when it’s over. To know when to move on…” The dialogue from Mad Men this week struck like a thunder clap. I nodded instinctively. While cancer is the elephant in the room for Betty, I couldn’t help but see parallels for infertility. Her rationale is what I came to understand a decade ago: harsh reality is better than false hope. Betty’s cool Zen-like acceptance felt familiar. It is clearly not…