A Conversation on Infertility Misconceptions

A Conversation on Infertility Misconceptions

On the heels of her recent BBC interview (Drawing the Line: When IVF Doesn’t Work) health advocate and blogger Lesley Pyne offered to have an in-depth chat about my latest writing project, Finally Heard. Grab a cup of coffee or tea (or libation of your choice) and join Lesley and me as we launch into a conversation on what we’ve learned since stopping fertility treatments.  We address the challenges of moving forward when infertility treatments fail, the trauma we confronted, and the need for greater accountability within the fertility industry….

Infertility Community’s Black Sheep: Women Who Don’t Achieve Motherhood

Infertility Community’s Black Sheep: Women Who Don’t Achieve Motherhood

Some ‘no-holds barred’ conversations stick with you — like the one Loribeth and I engaged in on surviving infertility and the search for peace in a mommy mad world. (Listen to the podcast here).  Not achieving motherhood is a taboo topic in the infertility community, which is why we were unlikely guests on the tongue-in-cheek named podcast ‘Bitter Infertiles.’  The conversation was all the more surreal because both hosts, Cristy and Mo, were pregnant at the time of our discussion. To their credit, the hosts openly shared their fears and tackled…

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…

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…

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…

Generation I.V.F. Shares Lessons Learned

Generation I.V.F. Shares Lessons Learned

We don’t get to choose when we’re born or the era in which we live, but we can decide what  lessons we leave behind for others. Author and fellow former fertility treatment patient Miriam Zoll lays out some truths associated with what it means to be a part of Generation I.V.F. in a piece  posted to Lilith Magazine. Those of us who were mere teenagers in 1978 when the first IVF baby was introduced to the world  listened wide-eyed at what science could achieve. Just 15 years old at the…

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…

Teach and Learn: Lift the Veil on a Taboo

Teach and Learn: Lift the Veil on a Taboo

UPDATE: Hat tip to Amy McVay Abbott, the journalist behind Infertility: The Billion Dollar Business & the Heartbreaking Realities and Jody Day for thought-provoking perspectives on our upcoming event The Cycle: Living A Taboo, and the importance of participating in the conversation. Jody wrote: “I get that it’s daunting to attend something where you’ll be filmed. But before you decide you can’t be part of this, not yet… ask yourself this: What have you done wrong? What do you have to be ashamed of? Nothing, that’s what. Nothing.” ~~~ Years…