June is Pride Month, and as the celebrations kick off around the country, we’re shining a light on the fertility treatment options available to LGBT+ couples, families, and individuals. We know that the path to parenthood isn’t always simple, and that members of the LGBT+ community often face many issues and challenges along the way. All of us at SCRC are committed to equality in reproductive choices and treatment for LGBT families.
All of us at SCRC are committed to education. Providing access to cutting edge research, dispelling common myths about fertility, and helping people understand how fertility treatment might be able to help them: it’s all part of our mission, and it’s important work. There’s a lot of information out there about fertility. Some of it’s great, some of it’s incomplete or outdated, and some of it is actually full of inaccuracies and misunderstandings. Sorting through it all to find out what you need to know can be a real challenge.
In our many years of speaking with and treating patients, there are some questions that our fertility doctors hear time and time again. Today, we’ll take a look at some of these queries and offer some straightforward answers.
When you’re first looking to learn about fertility treatment, the sheer volume of information available online can be a little bit overwhelming. You can (and many people do) spend countless hours reading blogs like this one, visiting online infertility communities, and scrolling through articles, trying to put together a clear picture of what’s involved, what to expect, and where you can find the help you need. All of these resources are immensely valuable, and the ability to research on your own time, in the privacy and comfort of your own home, is a huge bonus. At a certain point, however, information overload can set in. How do you sort through all of this to get the answers you need, and what’s your next move?
Dealing with the emotional fallout of infertility is hard at any time of the year, but there is one date on the calendar which can be particularly difficult. For anyone who is struggling to have the baby they want so badly, Mother’s Day can feel like a slap in the face. Not only is it a holiday that specifically excludes women without children, it’s also another reminder that time is passing while you are still waiting for your baby.
The world of reproductive medicine has many joys. Helping families of all shapes and sizes realize their dreams of bringing a new baby into the world is such a privilege, and one we never take for granted. For many LGBTQ families, the road to parenthood can be long and complex, and the obstacles they often face can be considerable. The opportunity to assist with that quest and celebrate the devotion, persistence, and courage of these families is one of the best parts of our job.
Late last year, famous TV uncle John Stamos was excited to announce that he and his then fiancée, Caitlin McHugh, are expecting their first child. At 54, Stamos falls on the older side of the scale for a new dad. He’s certainly not alone. Both men and women are delaying parenthood, with the average age of first time parents climbing all the time. Currently, in almost 10% of all U.S. births, the father is over the age of 40, a percentage which has more than doubled since 1973 when that number was only 4.1%. Fathers over 50 are still outliers, however, accounting for a little less than 1%. The links between maternal age and fertility have been deeply studied and these findings get a lot of media coverage, but are there risks that potential older fathers should be aware of?
Egg freezing has become an important part of today’s fertility conversations. New techniques and technologies in cryopreservation have made this a viable option for many young women who know that they want to have children, but are not ready to be pregnant right now.
Public opinion still sees infertility as primarily a woman’s issue. When fertility treatments are covered in the media, the articles and features you see are almost always written by and directed at women. The stories you hear through the grapevine are usually from a woman’s point of view. If men are mentioned in relation to infertility at all, it is often as an afterthought.
You’ve done the pondering, the research, and the preliminary math. You don’t want kids right now, but you do want them some day. You know that freezing your eggs while you’re young is a way to help keep your options open when you’re older. So how do you decide if egg freezing is right for you or whether you’re even a good candidate? What’s the next step?
When you’ve decided to reach out for help with your fertility, you have a huge choice ahead of you. Usually, it’s already taken a lot of soul searching, deep conversations, and painstaking research to get to this point, and now all of your hopes seem to hang on this one decision: choosing the right fertility clinic.