‘Fess Up. What Are Your Blind Spots?

‘Fess Up. What Are Your Blind Spots?

So there are real blind spots (see the test above) and then there are social blind spots. This (fill in the blank) kind of life – good. That (fill in the blank) kind of life – not good We begin, at a very young age, to develop social blind spots, certain ideals. We embrace a set of narratives. We build upon them as we acculturate further and find comfort in their accompanying assumptions. To wit, I came across a reference to this book: “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People” in…

Customers or Patients? What Happens When Doctors See Markets Not People

Customers or Patients? What Happens When Doctors See Markets Not People

This week marks a year since Miriam Zoll and I authored The New York Times op-ed “Selling the Fantasy of Fertility.”  The piece, which has since been nominated for a 2014 EMMA Exceptional Merit in Media Award by the National Women’s Political Caucus, had a wide reach and generated lots of discussion about the unregulated “fertility” industry. Our op-ed also raised questions about whether doctors and scientists, joined by entrepreneurial business partners, were putting profits ahead of the well-being of those purchasing expensive, sometimes experimental medical services. There is a lot of…

Blogging From Bed: Is That Acceptable?

Blogging From Bed: Is That Acceptable?

It’s past 10 am on a Thursday. I’m writing this blog post in bed. Acceptable or unacceptable? On any typical Thursday my answer would be unacceptable.  Not allowed, missy!  However, I awoke this morning with stitches and pain emanating from my lower left calf.  I softly adjusted my position and gave myself permission to take it easy. This shift minimized the pressure on the troublesome limb — the one that was the focus of a three-hour Mohs surgery yesterday. The stitches will be in for two weeks. All that will…

A Look Back At How We Got From There to Here in the Blogosphere

A Look Back At How We Got From There to Here in the Blogosphere

This past weeks’ events and recent reading, as if added to blender, poured forth some new insights. In the days and weeks leading up to a busy set of family festivities (June birthdays and both a niece and nephew’s high school graduations), I received several warning emails from GoDaddy informing me that my Coming2Terms blog — all 279 posts and 5,033 comments generated since February 2007 — would go up in smoke on June 25 if I didn’t find a way to move them from a product they were discontinuing…

With ‘Fertility’ Businesses Booming, Is Now the Time to Go Long on Kleenex?

With ‘Fertility’ Businesses Booming, Is Now the Time to Go Long on Kleenex?

It’s no secret that I was unable to get pregnant during my prime child-bearing years. What I possess today (and didn’t have when I was 29 and just embarking on what became a prolonged medical mystery tour) is a healthy skepticism mixed with a dose of pragmatism. My inability to succeed with Mother Nature, and my direct experience with the deep heartbreak that accompanied promising but failed reproductive medicine makes me highly sympathetic to the plight of infertile couples and those who want to expand their families. I remember very…

Fertility Industry Brings Brave New World Closer: Are We Truly Ready?

Fertility Industry Brings Brave New World Closer: Are We Truly Ready?

There were many troubling headlines about the fertility industry this past week: Women “Exploited” by Egg-Freeze Clinics Don’t bank on IVF, warns new fertility watchdog chief Data Murky on Fertility Rates Should a Woman be Allowed to Hire a Surrogate Because She Fears Pregnancy Will Hurt Her Career? The subtext: when it comes to ‘fertility’ medicine, buyer beware The commercialization of creating new life has entered a new phase. There are certainly large markets for enterprising fertility industry service providers. The markets are made up of hopeful women and men…

Looking Out for Our Sisters In a World of False Fertility Claims

Looking Out for Our Sisters In a World of False Fertility Claims

While my gray roots benefited from a rich brunette color drenching in a new hair salon recently a younger stylist handed me a glass of champagne. She was not my usual go-to hair expert so there was the usual get-to-know-you chitchat. (Yes, I decided to splurge a bit this time around since it was the eve of my 14th anniversary to Mr. T.) It wasn’t long before that question turned up. I wasn’t in the frame of mind to go into details, so I responded simply: “unfortunately, my husband and…

When Unexplained is the Modifier Assigned To Your Infertility

When Unexplained is the Modifier Assigned To Your Infertility

I’m more convinced than ever that women born between 1960 and 1970 came of age at a particularly weird time fertility-wise. Think about it. In 1960 the birth control pill was made commercially available for the first time, and by the time we were wrapping our heads around how babies were made (or not if on the Pill), in 1978 knowledge about what was reproductively possible changed with the delivery of the first “test tube” baby conceived with the help of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Among my cohort, in the…

Casting off Chains of Infertility: Fertility Diary, The Life of Pi and Search for Peace

Casting off Chains of Infertility: Fertility Diary, The Life of Pi and Search for Peace

Each of us who confronts infertility has no idea where it will take us. We launch into turbulent seas unaware of when or if we will encounter calm water or be delivered into a safe harbor. Certain contributing reproductive conditions are more easily treated than others and some individuals have more disposal income than others to gamble on advanced and risky procedures. Read any infertility blog and you’ll get a window into how prolonged disappointment and loss combine to color decision-making, fray relationships, challenge principles and, at its worst, weaken…

The Infertility Stories No One Advertises

The Infertility Stories No One Advertises

Editor’s Note: Updates (10/26) included below from BBC Health. It’s been more than a month since the op-ed prompted by failed infertility treatments, “Selling the Fertility Fantasy,” ran in The New York Times. Infertility stories that don’t end in a baby don’t grab headlines. But this one did. It reverberated across the infertility blogosphere to the bioethics and media communities, as well as the cancer community. For many who had never stepped foot in a reproductive endocrinology practice the 70% failure rate per ART cycle from the latest CDC report and…