Friday, 01 February 2013
A family friend recently announced her fifth pregnancy on Facebook in a cute way. She had her daughter paint a picture of seven snow people and underneath, she wrote the family's last name. I guess a lot of people didn't count the snow people or didn't realize the seventh one meant a baby is on the way, because my friend had to explain the significance of the picture to everyone.
A woman I don't know left the following comment on the snow people picture: "Welcome to the baby boom of 2013! LOL." An ultrasound picture of a baby's head was this woman's profile pic. My guess is? She is expecting, too.
I rolled my eyes, cringed, and giggled when I read the comment. I giggled because babies, baby bumps, and birth announcements are cute. I cringed because I am not pregnant. I rolled my eyes because the woman's comment sounded too cheerful, too naive, and too stupid to my aching heart. Her choice of words, "baby boom," makes me think she knows nothing about infertility. My bitter and cynical half thinks she must ASSUME all women can become pregnant on their own. I wasn't part of the "baby boom" of 2010, 2011 and 2012.
This ultrasound picture of my nephew, Noah James, is the coolest one ever!
A co-worker/friend of mine turned 50 and became a grandmother for the first time last year. I enjoy looking at her pictures of her grandson. He has blonde hair and big blue eyes! I seriously think he could be a baby model. I mention my friend's age because her struggle with infertility is very similar to mine. When she was around my age (27) she endured several rounds of Clomid while struggling with her weight. She likes to remind me of my age and the ticking clock. I've told her that my doctor probably won't put me on Clomid until I lose more weight and my cycles become regular again.
She insists that I should drive down to Mexico and purchase the Clomid myself without my doctor's approval. We live two hours away from the border and many people cross over to Palomas for the cheap medicine and doctor visits. Every now and then she will ask me for an update on progress in the baby making department. Maybe she stopped asking so much because I've had nothing to report. I'm still taking weight loss pills and I haven't attempted a visit to Palomas.
Ever since she shared her story with me I've been finding all kinds of articles, blogs and comments on the controversy of overweight women receiving fertility treatments. I've been told by several doctors that I should/need to lose weight before I (can?) conceive a child, but I've never been denied fertility treatment because of my size. Well, I should say I've mentioned Clomid to my family practitioner the last two times I've seen her and she says I should concentrate on losing weight first. I haven't pushed her to prescribe it to me, but should I? How much weight do I need to lose before she'll prescribe it? What do I need to weigh to be considered healthy enough to pursue fertility treatments? Every woman is different. I just get worried when I think of my co-worker and the fact that she only had one child with the help of Clomid.
Is time running out for me?
Should Overweight Women Be Denied Fertility Treatments?
Now, this is controversial.
The Montreal Gazette is reporting that the nation’s top fertility experts believe that heavy-set women should lose some pounds before looking into in-vitro fertilization treatment. Discussions will begin this week as to whether to keep obese women from receiving the treatments.
The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, which recommends standards for Canada's fertility doctors, are hosting a debate on the issue in Toronto over the weekend to answer the question of whether a woman of a certain Body Mass Index (BMI) should be banned from getting in-vitro fertilization.
Doctors say there is an increased health risk that women have with a BMI higher than 35 (which depending on your height can range from 167 lbs–287 lbs) while trying to get pregnant and keeping the weight down to help reduce complications. Saturday’s debate moderator, Dr. Al Yuzpe said “Woman who are obese, they have a higher risk for miscarriage, lower conception rate, gestational diabetes, a whole lot of complications. If they require a C–Section, it’s more difficult on an obese patient.”
In British Columbia, where Yuzpe practices, doctors at a non-hospital clinic are not allowed to perform egg retrievals in women with a BMI over 38. The debate is not the health risks however. The debate is over whether denying obese women IVF treatment is discrimination. But obesity specialist, Dr. Arya Sharma of the University of Alberta stated, “It’s not discrimination if the health risks are real.”
Banning obese women from getting IVF treatment is not a new practice. The practice has been recommended by the British Fertility Society as well as by medical associations in New Zealand and Sweden.
Almost every woman wants to be a mother someday. Is it wrong to deny them the right due to their weight? Or is Dr. Sharma correct in saying that if the risks are real, then there's no discrimination?