Monday, 12 June 2017
Why I encourage women to advocate for their own fertility
By Gail Sibert, Director of Corporate Accounts at Ferring US
Our first daughter, Madeleine, was born in 2003. Although my husband Billy and I were older parents, we didn’t think we’d have a problem conceiving again but, after trying for more than a year, we started to get concerned.
We went to an infertility specialist, who broke the news that secondary infertility and advanced maternal age gave us a 1% chance of conceiving.
We were devastated, but we soon realised that we were also extremely lucky.
It was 2005, and I had just joined Ferring US. I was able to benefit not only from the company healthcare policy, which covered expenses related to my treatment, but from the constant emotional and practical support of colleagues during my infertility journey.
And it wasn’t a smooth journey.
After four long years, multiple treatment cycles and countless negative pregnancy tests, Billy and I were ready to give up.
Then, just as we had lost all hope, I found out that I was pregnant.
Charlotte, our little miracle, was finally born in summer 2009, weighing 6lbs 14 ounces.
Today, I tell people that Ferring completed my family, and that my colleagues cheered me on, comforted me and celebrated the birth of my miracle baby.
I also encourage people, especially other women, to learn about infertility in order to empower themselves to advocate for their own fertility.
Before it happened to me, I was unaware of all of the different factors that can impact on a couple’s fertility. I was also unaware of tests that I could take to find out more about my own chances of conceiving, such as tests to determine my serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) level.
Fertility treatments can be stressful and lengthy, they can also be extremely expensive. Without the support I received, we most probably would have stopped after one round of treatment. When I look at Charlotte, it takes my breath away to think that we might not have her today.
If you’d like to become a mother someday, don’t be afraid to talk to your gynaecologist and ask for practical information about your individual fertility profile.
By empowering yourself now, you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to help yourself and your partner if or when you do decide to become parents.See more Stories