In this article we thought it timely to discuss “information – gathering and sharing”. As the fertility journey we are going through is, for the majority, for the first time. Therefore, support and information is invaluable at each new stage as the fertility process is an incredibly steep learning curve.
I know personally that just as I get the terminology and treatment process down pat and learn about the process involved….I then have to move onto another stage. This then means we have to learn a whole new set of terminology and treatments and the process about to be undertaken.
This is incredibly frustrating, as I have looked back and often thought “if I only knew what I know now”, I would have made a few different decisions. Also, knowing exactly what is about to happen is a comfort that is usually lacking in this process. I have often spoken to specialists, clinics or others in the same journey and felt like they were speaking another language. This lack of knowledge makes an already scary journey, even more daunting.
As the learning is ongoing, I have personally found it really helpful to do some research prior to each step. There is a wealth of information available on the web and in books, and I recommend to do some research before appointments, as this helps you prepare any questions.
Being Overhwhelmed and Confused
However, I must admit there is a fine line between being informed and being overwhelmed. I stumbled into a few US websites – and the huge wave of advice and opinions just caused even more confusion. I also found the US chat-rooms so absolutely full of abbreviations and terminology – and I could not understand the postings.
The first point of contact I would suggest would be FertilityNZ. Without the tireless actions of FertilityNZ, we would not be receiving funded treatment. One of the results they have achieved is increasing funding for infertility treatments, as well as being advocates for increased assistance and constantly striving for improvements for fertility support.
Visit their website www.fertilitynz.org.nz and join, as the more members they have, the more pressure they can put on government to increase fertility awareness and support.
Also, once you have joined you will get the “Pathways” newsletters, which includes pages and pages of fertility articles recently published. Additionally, as a member you will have access to the library of information on their website. Their link is included on our chat room page.
Helpful Infertility Books
Additionally, some books that have been helpful along the way include:
- Infertility: A guide for New Zealanders by Sue Saunders (who is the counsellor at Fertility Associates Hamilton)
- Love and Infertility by Kristen Magnacca
- Swimming Upstream by David Rawlings
- Conquering Infertility by Dr Alice Domar.
As there are a raft of books available, maybe get a recommended book from the chat-room here, FertilityNZ, your Fertility clinic or a friend. This may save you buying an overwhelming collection of books – which hopefully you won’t need in the not to distant future!
Another website www.nurture.org.nz for information has recently been set up by a charity organisation that funds research into reproductive health.
As mentioned, www.fertilitynz.org.nz has a wealth of information for you to access.
Clinics and Counsellors
The counsellor at your Fertility Clinic is a wealth of information. Yes, there is a stigma of going to see a “counsellor”, but they are more-so information hubs. They know the processes and terminology (sometimes even from a personal view), and they have the time and skill to pass on the details you need, without causing further confusion, which may happen in a very busy clinic with fantastic, but very busy Nurses and Doctors.
Some useful articles and resources
Investigating Infertility explains the most common investigations that couples undergo when they’re experiencing infertility.