Fertility Insights Blog

People, Places and Things: Simple Concepts to Empower Your Choices

Posted by Guest Contributor

Aug 27, 2014

By Theresa McNeely, EVP of Strategic Communications

At OvaScience, we are dedicated to empowering fertility patients, and our bloggers usually focus their posts on topics aligned with that mission. We recognize that many fertility patients are also juggling additional personal and professional goals while on their fertility journey. While the topics of professional development and leadership may seem like a departure for Fertility Insights, we believe that empowering women to make the best decisions for themselves — whether in their health or in their careers — is extremely important.

Recently, I had the pleasure of serving as the keynote speaker for Women in Bio (WIB) in Boston. WIB is an organization committed to promoting the careers and leadership of women in the life sciences. The purpose of my presentation was to share my path and the personal and professional lessons I’ve learned that have empowered me to make better decisions in my life and work. My hope is that in sharing this, it might help others, too. 

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If One More Person Tells My Fertility Patients to 'Just Relax'…

Posted by Guest Contributor

Jul 29, 2014

By Alice D. Domar, Ph.D.

My parents experienced both primary and secondary infertility, so I grew up hearing horror stories from my mom about how miserable she had been trying to conceive both my sister and me. She felt isolated, surrounded by pregnant friends and neighbors, and was offended by people who kept on telling her to “just adopt and you’ll get pregnant.” I have always been acutely sensitive to the emotional consequences of infertility but continue to be stunned by those who aren’t.

The attitudes of most people about infertility are shocking. A prime example is the fact that the vast majority of individuals living in the United States do not have insurance coverage for fertility treatment. It is considered by most people to be an elective medical situation, and those who pursue treatment are almost considered to be selfish for not adopting instead. Yet procreation is the strongest instinct in the animal kingdom. Males of most species will die for the chance to mate, and females of most species will die protecting their young. Thus, wanting to have a baby is not something selfish; it is the most basic of instincts. Is it any surprise that individuals experiencing infertility report high levels of depression and anxiety?

The severity of these symptoms surprises many people in the non-fertility world. I published a paper  a number of years ago in which we compared the level of psychological distress in women with infertility, cancer (most had metastatic cancer), HIV+ status, or heart disease. The infertile women were equivalent in their level of psychological distress to the other women. In other words, experiencing infertility has the same psychological impact as the diagnosis of a potentially terminal illness. There have been several subsequent studies which have shown the same thing, and one of these studies actually showed that infertile women expressed more distress than cancer patients.

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Topics: Research, Awareness

ESHRE 2014: The Global Fertility Conference and Trends in Patient Care

Posted by Michelle Dipp, M.D., Ph.D.

Jul 14, 2014

In the beginning of July, thousands of members of the global fertility community gathered in Munich, Germany for the annual conference hosted by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). Our team had the pleasure of meeting scientists, physicians and embryologists from over 20 countries. Year round, these are the people who are working to help patients grow their families, and it’s exciting when the international professional fertility community can gather in one place.

Leaving the conference I had a few distinct takeaways.  Firstly, I noted the collective enthusiasm for new research and the eagerness of attendees to share best practices. While research in reproductive medicine is thriving, it is clear that there continues to be a growing need for new technologies. According to 2010 data from the International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART), over 70% did not result in a live birth. Many of us are working to improve these odds. 

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Topics: Reproductive Medicine, Events, Awareness

My 360⁰ View on Patient Advocacy

Posted by Ronny Mosston, M.B.A.

Jun 26, 2014

I was a patient before I became a Patient Advocate. I was also a Patient Advocate before I became a patient. My personal life and my professional life have come full circle not only once, but twice. While many of us often talk about the importance of “work/life balance,” I truly cannot separate the two. My personal journey as a patient has informed my professional ability to support patients. It holds me accountable to the needs of the patients we serve, and also compels me to seek opportunities to share this message. 

Recently, I had the opportunity to share my journey at Q1 Production’s 3rd Annual Strengthening Patient Advocacy Relations Across the Life Sciences conference. This two-day event brings together Patient Advocacy leaders from the biotech and pharmaceutical industries to share best practices and priorities in support of the patient community. My presentation, however, did not focus on “how to’s,” but rather on one simple question for my corporate Patient Advocacy colleagues: Would you choose to become a “customer of your own process”?

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Topics: Awareness

Feelings of Motherhood: Reflections on Infertility, Miscarriage and Family

Posted by Guest Contributor

May 22, 2014

by Amy Demma, Esq.

Amy Demma, Esq., founder of the Law Offices of Amy Demma and former President of the Board of Directors at RESOLVE New England, shares her feelings on what makes a mother.

Someone posted a query on Facebook the other day asking whether or not a woman who had conceived several times but then suffered a loss with each pregnancy could still be considered a mother. An interesting question, I thought, with so many different ways to go about answering. From a legal perspective, of course, the answer would be no, from a medical perspective, same answer. I can’t even begin to unpack this from a mental healthperspective but I can share an answer that comes from my heart.

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Topics: Fertility, Awareness

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The official blog of OvaScienceSM, where we provide insights into important trends in fertility technologies and patient advocacy.

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