National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) is coming up and I encourage you to share your story. Why? Because it CAN make a difference.
My story ------------------>
If you do decide to share- I would LOVE to see your story! Tweet me @cirkatiean !
You can also change your FB and Twitter banners to spread awareness about infertility.
Here are two awesome banners created by @radkitten and @keikozoll from Infertility Voice
I thought I was being responsible- waiting until I was ready to graduate from my doctoral program to start having children. That started the adventure of two scientist PhDs trying to have a baby. We charted my basal body temperature and cervical mucus cycles trying to pinpoint ovulation, we graphed my menstrual cycles and read every PubMed article out there on fertility problems. After a year of being unsuccessful on our own- we reached out to a reproductive endocrinologist- a specialist in infertility. She told us that I had diminished ovarian reserve- too few eggs left for my age (at the time I was 27). The recommended treatment was In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). The university where I worked and went to school offered health care plans that covered all other aspects of family planning and sexual function: birth control, sterilization, pregnancy, labor and Viagra, but not infertility treatments. Because I didn’t have insurance coverage for IVF, we couldn’t dream about affording a treatment that cost over 10k that might not even work the first (or second) time. I started a letter writing campaign to my university- writing to anyone and everyone who I thought needed to know about this gap in coverage. I was surprised how many people did not know about this gap in coverage. I reached out to my community for support and to spread awareness- and that’s when I got involved with my graduate employees organization, GEO 3550. GEO represents many different types of graduate student and saw this gap in coverage as part of a bigger issue than just my inability to get covered treatments. It is important for the university to provide this coverage for women who often sacrifice their reproductive years to be competitive with their male counter parts. Also, infertility affects people from all races and socioeconomic classes- yet because it is often not a covered healthcare benefit, only the wealthy can afford to overcome this disease. Lastly, fertility treatments are important for the LGBT community if they want to build their families. Together we educated and petitioned the university for IVF coverage, and eventually the university adopted infertility treatment coverage in 2015: 20,000$ lifetime maximum for IVF. Although we haven’t yet been able to overcome my infertility diagnosis with treatments, I am thankful that through my infertility I did learn how to advocate for change