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…

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…

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…

Grief Is a Form of Love

Grief Is a Form of Love

It’s been a few years since I first began to pick up the pieces broken and splintered off in the tempest of infertility. Because there were no instructions for reassembly, no “how to cope with infertility” imparted by elders or learned through societal observation, I’ve had my fair share of trial and error. There were times when I tried to force a piece into place in a well-intended but bungled attempt to hurry the rebuilding process. For instance, feigning happiness at pregnancy and birth announcements before I’d fully come to terms…

Keeping It Real

Keeping It Real

Oh to have the charm and confidence that Jennifer Lawrence exhibited this past week as she tripped and then recovered on her way to accepting the Oscar for Best Actress. I marveled at the grittiness she showed in Winter’s Bone. I admired her stoicism and determination as Katniss in The Hunger Games, and I became a bona fide fan watching her light up the screen in Silver Lining’s Playbook. Her best performance, hands down, though was the press conference after securing her Oscar.  Jennifer kept it real and reminded me…

Born With Us vs. Them Tendencies, We Can Overcome Differences

Born With Us vs. Them Tendencies, We Can Overcome Differences

The older I get the more intrigued I become with where we derive knowledge and what shapes our view of the world. Apparently we are born with an innate predisposition to favor those who are similar to us (more on that later in this post). Fortunately we also have the capacity to expand our thinking, as evidenced by the friendship of these two smiling women. That’s me on the left. On the right, J, one of my best friends. We met nearly 25 years ago before we had any inkling…

If You Think You’ve Changed, Just Wait

If You Think You’ve Changed, Just Wait

“At every age we think we’re having the last laugh, and at every age we’re wrong.” -Daniel T. Gilbert, Harvard Psychologist How good are you at predicting who you will become? If you’re like most people you’ll underestimate how much change awaits you. This conclusion was born out in a research paper published in Science and covered in a recent New York Times piece, titled, “Why You Won’t Be the Person You Expect to Be.” Researchers measured the personalities, values, and preferences of more than 19,000 people who ranged in…

You’re Welcome, Gene Pool!

You’re Welcome, Gene Pool!

We homo sapiens have a love affair with our DNA. How else can you explain our fascination with our genes? More than a few industries have formed around exploring, propagating and tracking our DNA. While most humans are focused on ensuring their DNA’s future, those of us who are unable (or elected not) to procreate can only look back. The junior genealogists among us can delve into our past using all sorts of extraordinary new tools. The image here shows the migration route that my father’s DNA took some 60,000 years ago from Africa into Ireland….

Ending Fertility Treatment Equated with Madness?

Ending Fertility Treatment Equated with Madness?

Halloween may be over, but the chance to really scare the living daylights out of someone remains real 365 days a year. How you ask? Declare that you’re stepping away from the path to motherhood — and to really induce shrieks wave around a copy of Silent Sorority. That will seal the deal. Horrors! Of course, the scariness quotient depends on your vantage point. This morning over coffee I read a comment in response to last week’s open salon between a mom-to-be using donor eggs (Keiko) and moi, a woman…