Washington, D.C. – Ask anyone who is struggling to conceive and they will tell you, people often don’t hesitate to share their two cents on what worked for them. Social media, chat rooms, and message boards are flooded with “do this, do that … wait, don’t do that!” And often, people wanting to conceive try it all, because they so badly want a baby.
A 2019 national survey of SGF patients with infertility revealed that nearly 100 percent of respondents said they had received some form of unsolicited advice on how to get pregnant, ranging from get more exercise, exercise less, wear looser underwear, eat gluten-free, practice abstinence unless it’s a full moon, just relax, eliminate stress, eat deer placenta … the list goes on and on.
“While social support is important and giving advice is normal and has been going on throughout the ages, we want people to know from our campaign that infertility is real and it’s caused by a breakdown of the reproductive system or a natural age-related reduction of fertility,” shares Patty Stull, Chief Marketing Officer, former SGF patient and mother of three.
“All the fertility myths and advice from friends may seem to work for those without infertility. Keeping your legs up after sex or eating a pineapple core isn’t going to help if there is an underlying condition that’s making it difficult to get pregnant,” says Anate Brauer, M.D., of SGF New York’s Manhattan location.
SGF’s new, multi-channel “Better Approach” campaign uses sometimes humorous patient storiesto highlight the absurdity behind some of the home-grown approaches people have tried in order to conceive. An online fertility quiz lets people see if it’s time to see a fertility specialist based on their answers, in context with the established medical criteria for infertility.
People are often hesitant to consult a fertility specialist or fertility center and the reasons vary widely, from a comfort level with their current doctor or being unsure if they actually need a specialist, to concerns about cost or the worry they will be pushed into in vitro fertilization (IVF). But delaying a consultation could have broader implications if it’s put off too long.
“While the advice is generally meant to encourage, it can be harmful when people delay seeking real help. When time is such a major factor, wasting it on unproven methods or following bad advice, frankly, often leads to delay and frustration. Creating a plan with a fertility specialist, which may range from trying on your own or moving into treatment, is anxiety relieving,” said Brauer.
According to a 2018 SGF survey of women and men with diagnosed infertility, 65 percent said they wished they hadn’t delayed and sought the counsel of a fertility specialist sooner to help them overcome infertility—a condition defined by the length of time a couple has been having unprotected intercourse without conception based on the woman’s age. Respondents believe they could have saved time, money, and heartache if they had come directly to SGF.
What is a better approach? “At SGF, we believe it is arming people with knowledge about their reproductive systems, raising awareness that infertility is a real disease that affects both men and women equally, and encouraging people to seek help from a specialist sooner than later so they can make informed decisions about their care and make progress toward their dream of parenthood,” adds Stull.
To learn more about SGF’s ‘better approach,’ schedule a consultation with an SGF physician by calling 1-888-761-1967 or fill out this brief form.
About Shady Grove Fertility (SGF)
SGF is a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence with more than 85,000 babies born and counting. With 38 locations throughout FL, GA, MD, NY, PA, VA, D.C., and Santiago, Chile, we offer patients individualized care, accept most insurance plans, and make treatment affordable through innovative financial options, including treatment guarantees. More physicians refer their patients to SGF than any other center. Call 1-888-761-1967 or visit ShadyGroveFertility.com.