By Guest Blogger Mindy Berkson, Infertility Expert
No doubt, infertility is on the rise. One in five couples today will struggle with infertility — the biological inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to full term. The infertility diagnosis can be devastating and demoralizing. Unable to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term, women often feel inadequate, alone and depressed. These feelings can overcome you and your life and many women fall into what I call a “paralyzed mode.” They’re almost too scared and too overwhelmed to do anything about it.
I unfortunately understand these emotions all too well, because I experienced them first hand myself 14 years ago when my husband and I tried to conceive our second child. I felt so helpless with the whole situation. I didn’t know where to look, who to talk to and what options were available to me.
While sitting in the doctor’s office, I remember feeling so completely frustrated and discouraged. I just sat there, expecting my doctor to come up with a solution and just “fix this” already! Anytime I had ever put my mind to something, I had always achieved! How come I was losing this battle? It didn’t seem fair! Little did I know at the time that our healthcare system is only as good as the questions you ask. But I was too overwhelmed at the time that I couldn’t empower myself to seek out the solutions.
So I am here to tell you that there is hope. You CAN be successful in creating a family…whether that be having your first child, or expanding your current family.
And I also learned, you have get off the fence! Stop feeling sorry for yourself! Instead, read and learn everything you can about your situation. Research the best type of questions about your current condition to ask your doctors and look for the best treatment options for you… some of which I have laid out for you below to help you.
You will be happy to know that once I had processed my emotions and taken control of the situation, I was able to conceive twin boys who are now teenagers! Knowledge is power, Women!
Below are some options which I hope will bring you lots of success in expanding your family:
- In-Vitro Fertilization – IVF is a process where the woman undergoes hormone therapy to increase egg production. At a specific point in her cycle the women or egg donor then undergoes a minor surgical procedure to remove eggs from the ovaries. These eggs are then fertilized by intended father or donor sperm. An embryo is created. The embryo is carefully monitored in the laboratory to watch for appropriate cell division and growth. Three to five days later, an embryo is transferred in to the intended mother or surrogate’s uterus in hopes that implantation will take place and a pregnancy will continue to flourish.
- Egg Donors – think about using an egg donor, a woman between the ages of 21 and 32 years of age. Using egg donors can increase success rates for pregnancy up to about 65%.
- Surrogacy – this is a wonderful and viable option for those with uterine complications who may not be able to achieve pregnancy or carry a pregnancy to term.
- Egg Banking — provides women up to the age of 38 a chance to stop their biological clock and effectively plan and preserve their fertility for the future. Also, for those undergoing cancer treatment, this is a way to freeze viable eggs before treatment begins instilling hope for a family in the future.
I know that the legal environment in Canada restricts intended parents from exploring the full range of opportunities I laid out above, but there are opportunities and resources abroad that you can take advantage of. You don’t have to suffer alone. Ladies, for those of you suffering with the inability to conceive, please don’t give up. Get out there and learn! And don’t just take what your doctor tells you, as “the law.” We sometimes have to be our own doctors, and connect with other women suffering as well, to research all our options.
I wish you success in your journey. I was there just like many of you, and I’m telling you, IT CAN HAPPEN FOR YOU!
I’d also love to hear some of your success stories, questions and/or comments on infertility.
Finally, if you are suffering with infertility, we are hosting a free seminar on Saturday, October 31st, 2009 titled, “Surrogacy, Egg Donation and Treatment Abroad” from 8:30 – noon at the Montreal Marriot Chateau Champlain. We are here to help you find hope. Please join us by RSVPing to [email protected] or call 781-438-9600.
Mindy Berkson has more than a decade of experience in the infertility field. In 2005, she founded one of the first infertility consultancies in the United States, Lotus Blossom Consulting, after her own personal battle with secondary infertility. Mindy has guided hundreds of intended parents through the stressful demands of the infertility process by providing professional and compassionate assistance in dealing with the emotional, physical, and financial barriers involved with third-party reproduction. Mindy has partnered with world-renowned infertility doctor, Vito R.S. Cardone, M.D., founder of the Cardone Reproductive Medicine and Infertility in Boston, MA to help women and couples in this situation.