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I have been doing Infertility Counselling with patients of the Barbados Fertility Centre (BFC) for the past 10 years. In that time, I have worked with thousands of individuals and couples who have shared their struggles with me.


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It’s that time of year again when it feels like the whole nation is off with their family to celebrate Mother’s Day, but for some women, whose only wish is to be a Mother, it is a very painful and difficult day to get through. Infertility is not only a medical condition, but also an incredibly emotional journey that can consume decades of a woman’s life. I wanted to acknowledge all the women who are still trying to be a Mother and inspire them to take action sooner rather than later. Anyone who has tried to conceive for more than 12 months under the age of 35 is medically considered to be infertile and must seek medical assistance. For women over 35 that time is shortened to only 6 months, because ovulation halves around the mid 30’s. Maternal age is very important, the biological clock really is ticking, and the younger you are the better the outcome with treatment such as IVF. Once women are in their 40’s, depending on their ovarian reserve they may have to consider using donor eggs as their best chance for a successful pregnancy. Being diagnosed with infertility is hard to digest, there can be many reasons for the cause – female factor and male factor both play a part and this can also put strain on your relationship. The other major strain is the financial one, patients in cities such as New York can be looking at $40,000 for IVF, and if they were to consider using a donor egg, agencies can charge another $30,000 on top. Infertility treatment can be really expensive, and many couples delay treatment while they arrange their finances. Most insurance companies don’t cover infertility in your healthcare plan. When you are diagnosed with infertility the key things you want to look for in choosing your fertility clinic are: 1. Success rates – if you are going to be paying out of your own pocket for treatment then you want a clinic with the highest success rates. 2. Cost – consider travelling for treatment, especially if you live in a big city, prices vary from state to state, so shop around. 3. Individualized care – no two patients are the same and many factors can cause your fertility issues, choose a clinic that tailors your treatment plan to you – do not be made to feel that you are a number and that you must fit the mold of the clinic. 4. Relaxation – when stress levels go down, pregnancy rates go up, so look for clinics that offer holistic care as well as medical. 5. Accreditation – if you are considering treatment outside of the US then choose a clinic who has JCI accreditation, assuring you that patient safety standards are as good as they would be using a US clinic. Lastly I just want to remind you that infertility is a medical condition, there is no stigma attached to it. We understand that dealing with infertility is difficult and we hope that you will find this presentation from Lauren Marshall, Clinical Psychologist at Barbados Fertility Centre – Dealing with the emotional aspects of infertility useful. You are not alone, and I also highly recommend subscribing to this blog – Always Katie, which is a community of women just like you! Some of the women on this site share their stories of leaving the US for treatment and are now proud parents, who are finally after many years celebrating this Mother’s Day. Veronica Montgomery

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