I just got back from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in San Francisco. ASRM this year was overflowing with great information and wonderful people. I just couldn’t wait to get back and share all that is going on. There is way too much to share everything, but here are some of the highlights….
More Resources! It seems like each year, there are more and more fantastic resources for people wanting to find out more about infertility and join communities with other like-minded people. A few of the newer patient-friendly organizations that are now ready to help people struggling to get pregnant include….
www.fertilityauthority.com -- This site won’t officially launch for a few months, but it looks great and has Alexis Stewart (Martha’s daughter) as the spokesperson. If you want to get a preview, check on Alexis’ new commercial at http://veegroup.com/samples/ (just click on the picture of Alexis Stewart on the right-hand side).
www.infertilityanswers.org -- This is THE internet resource for anything related to alternative ways to create a family, including surrogacy, egg donation, or even embryo donation.
www.myfertileground.com -- This site was started by a couple of infertility patients who were frustrated about the lack of good information out there. So they started their own site with lots of helpful information for people searching for clinics or traveling for treatments.
www.pved.org – Or Parents Via Egg Donation--This site is the only site out there that concentrates specifically on the egg donation process…from beginning to end. Are you just starting out and wondering if egg donation is right for you? Or are you the parent of children born via egg donation and now have some questions as your children are getting older? Founded by women who are parents via egg donation themselves, this site is the ultimate for anything egg donation-related.
Infertility is getting more attention from the mainstream! We all get frustrated when others just don’t get it. In hopes of changing all pf this, there will be two major events this spring (just before Mother’s Day)….
Resolve’s National Infertility Awareness Week—Usually scheduled in the Fall, Resolve has changed the date to be in the Spring just before Mother’s Day. This will surely draw more attention as well as provide women struggling with infertility with more support near this difficult holiday when most people just don’t understand. Check out www.resolve.org for more information.
National Infertility Survival Day—Again, planned around Mother’s Day, this holiday organized by Beverly Barna, author of the book Infertility Sucks!, provides an alternative to mother’s day for women to celebrate themselves. For more information, contact www.infertilitysucks-thebook.com.
Diversity is key! The infertility field consists of all kinds of people and professionals—doctors, nurses, researchers, mental health professionals, lawyers, educators and of course patients. We are all needed to make this work and make things easier for those experiencing infertility. Sometimes, this diversity is forgotten and people tend to only focus on their specific area of expertise. Several groups are working on changing this….
www.edspa.org -- For the very first time ever, the Egg Donation and Surrogacy Professional Association is bringing together everyone involved with the egg donation and surrogacy processes. It is the overall goal of EDSPA to coordinate everyone who assists with egg donation and surrogacy in order to make things easier for the patient.
www.asrm.org -- For many years, ASRM has been seen as the “Doctor’s Organization.” This is actually not true with much of their membership consisting of others who are not doctors. As we all know, fertility encompasses many people from various professions. ASRM wants to focus on this and is working hard to promote its diversity in membership and reach. We look forward to many good things to come!
Fertility Preservation. Helping patients deal with infertility is an important task. But so is helping men and women do all that they can to prevent infertility in the first place. We all know that infertility can strike anyone at anytime and usually has no warning signs. But, there are a few things we can do to increase our chances of being able to have a baby when the time comes. There are several organizations that are working on this now.
www.thefertilityadvocate.com -- Bless her heart, Pamela Madsen is working her little butt off trying to educate women about fertility preservation. She is traveling throughout the country educating women about their infertility. Check out her blog for important information about all aspects of fertility. Or better yet, give her a call and schedule her to come out and talk to your group (for free!) about this important topic.
www.reprosource.com – This is a new biotech company located outside ofBostonand is providing innovative fertility testing. These tests promise to provide more information that then the usual tests. For example, they have a new test for assessing ovarian reserve that is much more effective than just looking at FSH. Check out their site and then talk to your doctor about having one of these tests.
Cheaper fertility medications. This is an important issue given that fertility medications are so darn expensive. And given the current economic situation, many companies are trying to make it easier for patients.
www.villagepharmacy.com – While a major pharmacy for infertility medications for many, many years, Village was limited largely to theNew Englandarea until now. Village is working hard to become a national specialty pharmacy providing infertility medications to patients all over the country. Not only do they have some of the best prices, infertility medications are all that they do. So they have tons of information and support available to you 24/7. Have a question after hours? Or need a medication at2 o’clockin the morning? Don’t fear…Village can help you out…seriously!
www.cvs.com – Yes, the CVS in your hometown will soon be offering infertility medications. Still very new to the infertility field, they are currently working out all the kinks, but very soon many infertility medications will be available at your local CVS. Talk about convenience!
The BIG Pharmas are getting into the act as well. EMD Serono, Ferring, and Shering-Plough (formerly Organon) who pretty much make ALL the fertility medication out there are also working on ways to better help patients obtain medications at reasonable costs. Before you buy, you might want to check out their websites for more information about their meds.
EMD Serono– www.fertilitylifelines.com or 1-866-LETS-TRY offers a free educational service where you can talk about your infertility with a trained professional and/or benefits specialist. Also, EMD Serono offers fertility medication support resulting in cost-savings for some of their most popular medications.
Ferring– www.ferringfertility.com offers the new and improved Heart Rx Program that can save you up to $2,100 on your fertility meds.
Shering-Plough(formerly Organon) – www.fertilityjourney.com provides information on their website about all aspects of infertility along with information about the financial aspects.
WOW…I could go on and on! ASRM was an all around great conference. I think these are the major highlights. If you have any more questions about any of these new resources or about the ASRM conference in general, please do not hesitate to contact us at www.myfertilityplan.com. As always, we are here to help you!