By Lisa Manterfield
If you’ve dealt with infertility, odds are you’ve had experience with the fertility industry. You’ve also probably come to realize that the glossy brochures and promises of miracle babies are only a small part of the whole story.
I had my first experience with a fertility clinic about a year after we started trying to conceive. Without ordering any kind of tests to root out the cause of our fertility issues, this particular doctor tried to shunt us into a series of invasive and expensive IVF treatments. Only later, when we finally found our way to a more ethical doctor, who conducted a string of tests to get an accurate diagnosis, did we learn that IVF would not have been an appropriate course of treatment for my condition. I can only imagine the heartbreak we would have endured—not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars and unnecessary hormone shots—had we blithely gone along with the first doctor’s scheme.
I don’t use the word “scheme” lightly in this case. Looking back, I do not feel that this man was practicing medicine. He was running a highly profitable business and picking up desperate clients at their most vulnerable. Lest anyone think I’m being paranoid (and I doubt many on this site would) this clinic is now under investigation for unethical practices. I’m only glad we crossed paths while I was still “hopeful” and hadn’t progressed to “obsessed”, and we still had the wherewithal to sniff out a rat and run. I am sure that hundreds, if not thousands, of couples were not so lucky. Hopefully this man will be brought to account soon.
That’s my story and I know that many of you have similar stories of slick marketing and misleading statistics. For most of us here, IVF and its related treatments, do not hold the secret elixir to motherhood. And yet, it’s still perceived as the surefire way for the infertile to make their dreams come true.
The Truth About IVF
Now, my dear friend Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos is working to rectify this misinformation. You probably already know Pamela from her website, Silent Sorority, and her book of the same title. Pamela has just launched a new project and she needs your help.
Pamela is on a mission to unmask the truth about IVF and the fertility industry, and to provide a reliable resource for people considering fertility treatments. The site will provide studies and accurate statistics, along with real stories of people who have undergone treatment. And that’s where you come in.
If you’ve undergone IVF and would like to share your story and experience with Pamela and her team, please take a look at her new website, ReproTechTruths. You can contact her there or email her directly at info [at] reprotechtruths [dot] org.
I hope you’ll help contribute to this important conversation.