The national organization for infertility, Resolve.org has encourage supporters to #startaskin about issues that affect the infertility community. I am more than honored to be part of this NIAW conversation, thanks to a fellow activist and blogger, MissConceptionCoach.com. Below is the link to this conference and my post regarding what needs to change for our lawmakers and legislatures.
Miss Conception Coach
niaw Bloggers Unite Conference, Day 2 – Lawmakers and Legislators
Three years, three surgeries, two doctors, four donors, one biospy, eight IUIs, one fresh IVF cycle and one frozen embryo transfer later and we are still on the road to parenthood. We knew this was not going to be easy but never in my life did I believe it would be this difficult. As we come to another fork in our journey, I am thankful for all of our TRUE family and friends who have supported Heather and I through this journey and continue to be there for us as we move to the next path on the road.
I am not writing this blog for sympathy or pity but to break the silence that surrounds infertility and the way it affects all of those that are involved. So after three years of struggle, I want people to know that infertility is : emotional, physical and mental. Not only is your body on a roller coaster but so is your bank account, mind, soul, faith, marriage, family and friends. Be kind to those around you…
How do we get cheaper healthcare costs? One way is for clinical research to develop new therapies and drugs that will have a positive affect on a disease. As someone who works in the clinical research space, I know all to well the importance of research and development to find new and/or better therapies for diseases. Often when people think of diseases, they think of cancer, diabetes, HIV, etc., so many do not realize or began to think that infertility is a disease. Dictionary.com defines a disease as “a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.” Infertility results from the body’s reproductive hormones or organs not functioning properly. Infertility is not something that people choose or that has happened to them for choices that they have made, but a disease that is developed just like cancer.
Consequently, our lawmakers, legislators and researchers need to spend more time, money and effort to try to find ways to improve infertility care. A quick search on ClinTrials.gov only lists ten infertility studies currently being conducted in the United States. That is a big difference from 4,126 clinical trials being conducted on breast cancer research. US Breast Cancer Research indicates that 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer. It is also the case that 1 in 8 couples will experience infertility. Therefore if the same percentage of people can be affected by cancer as they can be infertility, our lawmakers really need to invest in improving the treatment of this disease. We need our leaders to push the government health agencies and pharmaceuticals companies to realize that infertility is a growing disease that needs attention and funding to promote change.
Prior to starting the fertility process, I had a number of doctors tell me that my cycle, and hormones looked great and that I should not have a problem having kids. Fast forward three years, eight IUIs, one fresh IVF cycle and one frozen IVF cycle, and I am still trying to have a child. I have had hundreds of blood tests, a handful of surgeries and procedures all to receive an “unexplained” infertility diagnosis. It is beyond frustrating to be told that for whatever reason you are not getting pregnant or staying pregnant but we can’t tell you why. That should never be a medical diagnosis for someone. We need our lawmakers and legislators to work harder to develop better preliminary fertilty testing and fertility diagnostics throughout the process. People who are suffering from infertility should not continue to throw thousands of dollars at treatments not knowing if they are the answer to their disease.
Thus, let us #startasking our lawmakers, legislators and leaders to push for infertility research so that we can provide better diagnosis, treatment and cheaper care for those that are suffering from this disease.