No one wants to be seen as the "problem patient." We fear that if we ask too many questions, need too much help, have a complaint, or need reassurance on our fertility journey, that we will be seen as needy or annoying. We may even worry that we'll get lower quality care instead of the professional and humane treatment we deserve. So how can we advocate for ourselves to ensure we're getting the best care possible? Keep reading for 20 actionable tips straight from experienced fertility advocates - and stay tuned for the third part in this series about being an effective and empowered patient, which will include perspectives from health care providers on what they want and need from us as patients!
When faced with fertility struggles, people rarely feel empowered or effective. Infertility challenges everyone. Regardless of who you are and how you are trying to build your family, if it’s not happening easily, it’s frustrating and difficult! So how can you communicate your preferences, concerns and questions more effectively to your Care Team and feel like you're being heard and understood? Let's explore some ideas together. Note: In any conversation, communication needs to go both ways. There will be a follow-up article that explores the perspectives of our fertility care team (including doctors) with their thoughts about these fertility patient do's and don't and ways to be an effective patient. You may be surprised by their responses!
In the aftermath of the United States' Supreme Court ruling on June 24, 2022, many questions have been raised about reproductive rights and the impact of this decision on fertility treatment. As a fertility doctor, I echo my patients' concerns and want to offer some clarity. Let's talk about what we do (and don't) know regarding the overturning of Roe v. Wade and its implications for fertility and family-building care like IVF.
Even with 1 in 8 couples facing infertility, many health insurance providers exclude or limit coverage for this treatable condition - meaning many people don't even get the chance to grow their family. Organizations like the Nest Egg Foundation are stepping up to help.
Mother’s Day can be an extremely difficult day for the one in eight people who want so badly to be a mother but haven't become one yet. It can also be exceptionally challenging for those who identify as women but often get excluded from the conversation and those who have tenuous relationships with their own mothers (or none at all). Learning to advocate for myself and others who struggle with this holiday has changed me and shown just how important it is to be inclusive and aware of what others may be going through.
As awareness around infertility and fertility treatment grows, many people are becoming more familiar with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). But what about all the other ways to make a family? While IVF is a great pathway to parenthood for many parents, it's not the only one!