Not Brought To You By Big Pharma Or Profit-Driven Fertility Clinics

Not Brought To You By Big Pharma Or Profit-Driven Fertility Clinics

In a Telegraph newspaper column, It’s adults, not teens, who need a sex talk, UK journalist Bryony Gordon describes a friend who runs a fertility clinic in central London who is: …slack-jawed with amazement at all the highly educated, highly paid, highly functioning couples who pass through her doors every day with only the most basic notion of reproduction. ‘People honestly think IVF is a cure-all!’ she squealed the other day. ‘I want to shake them! I want to say, ‘Do you know what it involves? Do you know how…

When Did Normal Aging Become an Infertility Condition?

When Did Normal Aging Become an Infertility Condition?

Come again? Did I read that wrong? Hasn’t aging always been synonymous with losing fertility? Menopause, anyone? Seems odd to call out normal aging as though it’s a disease (infertility) or a condition that needs to be treated with procedures. In fact, the bigger question is why are women waiting until the age of menopause to try to have children? The belief (hubris even) that humans can outsmart mother nature is fostering a volatile environment with lots of money being exchanged — all for magical thinking. To make a play…

Strong At The Broken Places

Strong At The Broken Places

This week my TV viewing intersected with life in a meaningful way.  Larger than life characters reminded me that in the long march of time, it’s how we cope with what comes our way that defines us. In turbulent times, sanity and clear thinking can be in short supply. That was made abundantly clear in The Roosevelts.  More than a history lesson, it overflows with wisdom, lessons learned and inspiring tales of overcoming adversity.  Eleanor Roosevelt is a stand out. Her fearlessness, empathy and no-nonsense pragmatism make a large impression….

‘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…

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…

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…