I’m wondering how folks feel about the word “infertility” vs. “fertility” and how you all feel about having fertility challenges considered a disease. I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings.
From my point of view, of course there are a variety of physical conditions that can impact fertility negatively and some of these are classified as diseases. However, reading and hearing the label “infertility” rubs me the wrong way. It seems to infer hopelessness.
My experience involves a long 10-year road of “unexplained infertility” and I bristle at the notion of it being a disease. On the other hand, I can see where the labels of “infertility” + “disease” bring the advantage of validating the need for insurance coverage for “treatment.”
Another question I’m pondering:
If insurance is covering fertility “treatments,” what specific treatments do you believe should be included in that coverage. For example, do you believe all physical/medical treatments/technologies should be covered? Do you believe psychological/emotional/mental treatments/technologies/therapies should be covered? Do you feel/believe that any treatments that are currently available should be classified as elective, and if so, how should that impact insurance coverage in your opinion?
Please let it rip on your most heartfelt thoughts and feelings on these ideas.
According to RESOLVE, “an estimated three to five million American women of reproductive age” experience endometriosis. It is well known that endometriosis impacts fertility, but how it actually interferes with conception is still under much investigation. Treatment for endometriosis to prepare women for conception involves surgery and has been around for many years now. However, there is improved technology now available that promises to make the surgery more accurate and thorough, and patients are finding a significant reduction in recovery time and time to conception.
Dr. Samuel Brown of Jacksonville, FL is touted as the originator of this procedure. ActionNewsJax.com covered the story and includes a video. If you know you have endometriosis, I thought it would be worthwhile to share the link with you. If you think you might have endometriosis but you’re not sure, RESOLVE has a useful Questions to Ask Series Article that will help you understand and open a discussion about it with your doctor.
Because it is a common barrier to conception and because some of the symptoms overlap with other menstrual complaints, doctors will often want to rule it out right away before pursuing fertility treatments and assisted reproductive technology. When I initially brought concerns of infertility to my primary care doctor, endometriosis was one of the first things she wanted to look for. At that stage of my fertility journey, I was still in denial that there could be something physical standing between me and conception. I wasn’t willing to accept that endometriosis could be a possibility. In the end, it was shown that I did not have endometriosis; however, I could have eliminated the doubt of it and moved down a more confident and clear path of progress if I had simply checked it out at the first suggestion. No harm in gathering data when you are completely in the dark about why you are trying so hard but not conceiving — especially if the data gathering is covered by insurance.
Not only are you struggling with getting pregnant and carrying to term, but you are now facing some tough financial choices. Or worse, you think you have no choice when it comes to the money you need to get testing, hormones, meds, procedures or maybe adoption. Fertility Within Reach has compiled a list of resources for grants and financial assistance. Included are tips for filling out applications and a list of mistakes to avoid. There may be a surprise piece to your puzzle here.
Have you found resources that have been helpful to you in paying for expenses related to becoming a parent? If so, what has worked best for you? If you have insurance, who is your carrier and does your carrier support fertility treatments and/or adoption? Please share in the comments box below. Let’s help each other find solutions.