A Recent National Survey of Men and Women with Infertility Revealed 76% Did Not Feel Supported During Their Infertility Journey

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Shady Grove Fertility and RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, collaborative partners and strong advocates for removing the isolation that can occur with infertility by providing myriad patient support resources, launched a new national survey to gain insights about fertility isolation in an effort to improve the lives of men and women struggling with infertility.

Seeking (and accepting) support is like weaving a safety net—the more connections or stands of support someone has the stronger the net becomes to keep moving forward in pursuit of parenthood.

Shady Grove Fertility, the largest fertility center in the nation with 39 physicians, 25 full service locations, three state-of-the art laboratories, and a baby born every 3 hours, has partnered with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association to host a patient survey that was distributed nationally via their respective online communities. The goal of the survey was to better understand the isolation that often accompanies infertility and shed light on the myriad professional- and peer-led support groups, educational resources, online support communities, individual and couple professional counseling opportunities, and holistic wellness services available specifically for individuals and couples who are struggling to conceive.

Findings of the survey of nearly 200 respondents revealed that 76 percent of patients did not feel supported emotionally during their infertility journey. This finding is well supported by other research conducted in countries that provide financial coverage for infertility care, where the primary reason cited for discontinuing treatment is because of the emotional stress often associated with infertility.

A cornerstone of Shady Grove Fertility’s practice, who prides itself on innovating truly personalized treatment approaches, is to provide resources and support to reduce the stress associated with infertility from a medical, emotional, and financial perspective.

Shady Grove Fertility offers a multitude of support resources integrated into their fertility programs that span the Washington, D.C., Baltimore, MD, and Philadelphia, PA, metropolitan areas. The practice offers free monthly support groups on a number of topics, including General Infertility, Donor Egg Treatment, among others. Facilitated by professional counselors with extensive training in infertility, these groups afford Shady Grove Fertility and non-Shady Grove Fertility patients the opportunity to share, connect, and learn from others in a similar situation. The practices world-class mental health professionals also offer individuals and couples counseling to help with the stress and coping from the consequences of infertility and treatment.

Shady Grove Fertility's Facebook page is another interactive source of support, and home to an active community of nearly 22,000 followers. The ease of accessing this dynamic community and the ability to participate in the conversation makes it an ideal place to get support and connect with other people in the fertility community.

Shady Grove Fertility also shares patient stories to help others struggling to conceive feel less alone. Patient stories provide an honest, heartwarming look into the trials and triumphs that patients face, offer encouragement, and remind of the importance of connectedness to avoid isolation during infertility.

The Wellness Center at Shady Grove Fertility offers complementary therapy services such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and nutrition counseling to help men and women reduce stress and find balance. Wellness services do not replace advanced reproductive technologies but rather complement and provide additional support for the “whole” patient during treatment. Shady Grove Fertility’s holistic practitioners are specially trained by infertility experts so that their approach to treatment addresses each patient’s specific individual fertility needs.

On the educational front, Shady Grove Fertility physician experts engage in live Q&As during free online webinars and in-person seminars throughout their four-state region to educate participants and address topics and common questions. These events provide attendees with the opportunity to learn about how common infertility is, why early intervention matters, four simple tests to diagnose infertility, common fertility myths, when is the appropriate time to see a specialist, and more. Each event – live or virtual – also offers attendees the opportunity to ask questions with the physician expert.

RESOLVE also offers ongoing support resources including in-person support groups, online support communities, and a national HelpLine, 866.NOT.ALONE. For RESOLVE, access to care includes access to free support. RESOLVE recruits and trains volunteers to run more than 250 support groups across the country, serving more than 2,600 people each month. This past year, RESOLVE support group leaders provided more than 28,000 hours of their time, offering emotional support without bias and with respect for all resolutions.

“Emotional support and access to community is the foundation of RESOLVE,” says Barbara Collura, President & CEO of RESOLVE. “In 1974 a woman struggling with infertility started a support group around her kitchen table, which became RESOLVE. No one should face this journey alone. Reach out and connect with others – it will transform your family building journey.”

Experts often say that infertility is a life crisis for some couples and the emotions that often arise are real and can be difficult to navigate through, which is why Shady Grove Fertility and RESOLVE, alike, encourage individuals and couples who are struggling to conceive to establish support networks by tapping into the resources available. “Seeking (and accepting) support is like weaving a safety net—the more connections or stands of support someone has the stronger the net becomes to keep moving forward in pursuit of parenthood,” says Sharon Covington, LCSW-C, Director of Psychological Support Services at Shady Grove Fertility.

To learn more about Shady Grove Fertility’s support resources, visit their website at http://www.ShadyGroveFertility.com. To learn more about RESOLVE’S support resources, visit their website at http://www.resolve.org.

About Shady Grove Fertility
Shady Grove Fertility is a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence offering patients individualized care, innovative financial options, and pregnancy rates among the highest of all national centers. 2016 commemorated 25 years of Shady Grove Fertility providing medical and service excellence to patients from all 50 states and 35 countries around the world, and over 40,000 babies born—more than any other center in the nation. Today, 39 physicians, supported by a highly specialized team of more than 700 Ph.D. scientists, geneticists, and staff care for patients in 19 full-service offices and six satellite sites throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Shady Grove Fertility physicians actively train residents and reproductive endocrinology fellows and invest in continuous clinical research and education to advance the field of reproductive medicine through numerous academic appointments and partnerships such as Georgetown Medical School, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the University of Maryland, and the National Institutes of Health. More than 1,700 physicians refer their patients to Shady Grove Fertility each year. For more information, call 1-888-761-1967 or visit ShadyGroveFertility.com.

About RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, established in 1974, is dedicated to ensuring that all people challenged in their family building journey reach resolution through being empowered by knowledge, supported by community, united by advocacy, and inspired to act. RESOLVE exists to provide: Access to Care; Advocacy for Coverage; Access to Support & Community; Access to Education; Awareness of All Family Building Options.

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Courtney Flantzer

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