"Ten Things Not to Say to Someone with Infertility" is aimed at educating the loved ones of those struggling with infertility on how they can best support them through their journey because it isn't always easy to know what to say. And sometimes, despite our best intentions, we can say things that are hurtful and invalidating. This video brings some of the most common unhelpful comments to light.
Click here to watch it!
Who created this video?
Dr. Gordon and her team wrote the script in collaboration with a panel of individuals struggling with infertility. Lampblack Studios took the basic script and turned it into something wonderful!
Where is the lead character's partner?
Good question! This was something we deliberated over for quite a while! In the end, we chose to keep the identity of her partner a mystery because infertility is something that affects people of all genders and sexual identities. We wanted the focus to be on April's interactions with her loved ones rather than perpetuate heteronormative stories of infertility or focusing exclusively on a queer couple. It is also important to consider that some individuals experiencing infertility may not have a partner to walk through this journey with and so we decided to focus on the individual who was attempting to become pregnant.
But what about the partner's perspective? They suffer too!
Excellent point - though some do struggle with infertility as a single person, most face infertility as part of a couple. And while research suggests that the individual who is trying to become pregnant (regardless of their gender identity or affectional/sexual orientation) tends to experience somewhat more distress on average than their partner, this isn't always true. Partners also experience unique challenges, like lack of resources directed at them and the perception that infertility isn't as hard on them. Maybe our next project will be focused on the partner's experience!
Is IVF really $10,000?
At least! We picked an average amount but it's important to note that the cost of IVF can be even higher for lots of people - those who need to travel far to get to their nearest fertility clinic, those requiring genetic testing, or donor sperm, eggs, embryos, or a surrogate. You may see lower amounts advertised on fertility clinic websites but those figures don't typically include the cost of medications and tests, the cost of which adds up very quickly.
Do all people with infertility try IVF?
No, actually the majority of people with infertility are never able to access IVF. IVF, which stands for "in vitro fertilization", is a sophisticated medical procedure during which a woman's eggs and a man's sperm are collected and combined to create embryos in the laboratory. A healthy embryo or embryos can then be inserted into the woman's uterus, where it will hopefully implant and grow to be a fetus. Though IVF is far from fool-proof - each round of IVF is associated with an average success rate of about 30% - for many medical conditions, IVF offers the best chance at successfully conceiving a child. Unfortunately, though, because of the incredibly high cost of IVF, it's only accessible to a small subset of individuals struggling with infertility. For those who can't afford IVF, less expensive (but less effective) treatments are sometimes available, such as intrauterine insemination (IUI). However, there are many medical conditions that only IVF would be expected to help.