I realize it’s been a while since I did one of these so I thought between the ASRM Annual Conference this week and REDBOOK’s groundbreaking infertility Twitter chat at 2pm tomorrow (which, you’ll totally be there, right?) I thought now was as good a time as any to share some snippets of infertility news from around the web.
Celeb (Sad) News
I was particularly saddened to hear that Guiliana Rancic has revealed that she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer. A vocal spokeswoman for infertility by very publicly tackling she and husband Bill’s babymaking adventures on TV, Guiliana was awarded the Hope Award for Achievement by RESOLVE. Recently, she had announced she and Bill hoped to pursue a third round of IVF, but given her diagnosis, her family building plans have been thrown for a loop. Rancic’s news is particularly timely as it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month here in the U.S. Fertility preservation is a vital conversation that all cancer patients should engage in with their doctors upon diagnosis. Fertile Hope is an excellent resource for cancer patients worried about their future fertility. You can also watch this video about fertility preservation after cancer by Dr. Craig Sweet.
Researchers in the UK have identified an enzyme they’ve dubbed the “fertility switch“ that could shed some light on previously unexplained infertility and miscarriages. It all has to do with the SGK1 enzyme. Too much of it prevents conception. Too little, research has shown, creates a higher risk for miscarriage. So far this has all been tested in mice and researchers indicate that this is grounds for extensive further research and could pave the way to understanding unexplained infertility more. It’s a fascinating study that’s just been released, so do head over to the BBC article to read more.
Mississippi’s Personhood Amendment
Do you live in Mississippi? Registered to vote there? Good. Because on November 8, 2011, if you care about access to infertility treatment in your state, then you need to get out to the polls and VOTE NO on Initiative 26. The issue with this amendment, deemed the “Personhood Amendment” is that is can potentially wipe out all access to infertility treatment and care in the state of Mississippi. Because many procedures like IVF don’t implant all successfully fertilized embryos, Initiative 26 could potentially criminalize the destruction of those unused embryos. As such, clinics would have to pack up shop as there would be no solid legal standing for them to fall back on. Mississippi’s Personhood Amendment is a shocking slippery slope that if passed, could have devastating implications beyond just that state.
Demand that Infertility Treatment Should Be an Essential Benefit
We’re still waiting for the Secretary of Health & Human Services to release the definition of “essential benefits” under the Affordable Care Act. RESOLVE leads the charge to call on 7,300 Americans (1 for every 1000 living with infertility) to sign their petition to Kathleen Sibelius and to demand that infertility treatment be included as one of these essential benefits for all Americans. If you haven’t signed, go sign RESOLVE’s petition online right now – it literally only takes 1 minute. And when you’re finished, get 5 of your friends to sign too. This is an important petition for an important decision that rests in the hands of one official – we need to make our voice heard!
Meanwhile, to the North…
Did you hear about “Win a Baby” contest in Ottawa, Canada? No? Yeah, press coverage was hit or miss here in the United States. Essentially, Canadian radio station Hot 89.9 launched a contest to raise awareness about the high costs of infertility treatment by hosting a contest that would give away a free IVF cycle. Problem: they called it “Win a Baby.” (Because, as we all know, IVF is not a guarantee you’ll come home with a baby.) Well, the contest is over, and Hot 89.9 decided not to pick just one winner, but instead awarded all five couples a free IVF cycle. Awareness was certainly raised, all entering couples are able to walk home with a prize, but could it have been done better? Probably. Still, some nice news for these folks.
Upcoming Infertility Events
Right now, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Annual Meeting is happening in sunny Orlando. I wish I could be there!
Tomorrow at 2pm EST, I’ll be moderating a groundbreaking Twitter chat with REDBOOK Magazine. Join me and hundreds of others online to talk about all things infertility in our Twitter chat: #TruthAboutTrying. Trust me, you’ll want to tune in. (Also? That second piece of exciting news I promised? I can’t tell you until tomorrow morning now but I think you can see where this might be going ) I know the hour is going to just fly by tomorrow but please do join in on Twitter tomorrow to help show the Twittersphere what infertility is really like for millions of people.
RESOLVE of New England hosts its Annual Fertility Treatment, Donor Choices, and Adoption Conference on Saturday, November 5, 2011 in Marlborough, MA. There’s still time to register AND there’s even full financial assistance available if you can’t afford the conference fees (because believe me, RNE understands how every dollar matters when you’re going through infertility). Bonus: register by October 28th and every attendee receives a copy of Love & Infertility by Kristen Magnacca!
Also happening and new this year for the Conference: RESOLVE of New England’s Infertility Is Contest! In 500 words or less, we want bloggers to finish the phrase “Infertility is…” Winners will be announced at our Annual Conference on November 5th. If you don’t have a blog, you can still participate by entering your post right into the Infertility Is Contest Entry Form. Entries will be accepted until 11:59pm EST on Friday, October 28, 2011.
And that’s all the news that’s fit to print for today.
What other infertility news is floating out there? What are your thoughts on some of the news shared here today? Sound off in the comments.