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The Fertility Journey: Understanding Options and Navigating Care

March 18 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

Infertility—defined as the inability to conceive after 1 year of regular, unprotected sex—is increasingly common in the United States. Nearly 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining their pregnancy. While infertility occurs equally in men and women, women tend to bear a disproportionate focus and burden in treatment and management. Treatment options span from medications to invasive surgery and assisted reproductive technologies. About 12% of women ages 15-49 have received some type of infertility service.

Navigating fertility treatment can be complex with significant emotional, physical, and financial stressors. Factors such as cost, invasiveness of treatment options, and potential success rate can hinder women accessing the appropriate care and create disparities in reproductive health. Additional research, improved patient and clinical education, and effective policy solutions are needed to improve overall quality and access to fertility care for all women. The Society for Women’s Health Research has created resource guides for patients and providers to increase awareness and quality of fertility health concerning evaluating infertility, understanding fertility treatment options, and navigating care.

SWHR hosted a virtual public forum to share educational information about fertility options for women and feature women who will highlight ways they navigated infertility and their maternal health care journey.

This public forum is part of SWHR’s Fertility Program. It builds on SWHR’s Fertility Roundtable held in September 2021 that sought to identify gaps in research, clinical practice, policy, and education and address disparities and barriers to access. Discussion during this event included reference to the Clinician Resource Guide to Fertility Health Care and the Women’s Resource Guide to Fertility Health Care, both released in February 2022.

Details

Date:
March 18
Time:
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
Event Category:
Website:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ6sSJre2wg

Organizer

SWHR

Goals

  • Provide an overview of treatment options for infertility in women, as well as key considerations for different types of treatment
  • Increase visibility of the experiences of women who have sought fertility treatment
  • Emphasize the complexity of fertility care, highlighting the stressors involved, insights into navigating care, and ways to empower others in their fertility journey
  • Highlight information and wellness strategies from SWHR’s patient and provider resource guides to female fertility

Panelists

Tarun Jain, MD
Associate Professor and Medical Director, Northwestern University School of Medicine
Tarun Jain, MD
Associate Professor and Medical Director, Northwestern University School of Medicine

Dr. Tarun Jain is an Associate Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine & Medical Director of Northwestern Medicine Fertility & Reproductive Medicine – West Region. He completed his Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility (REI) fellowship at Brigham & Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School, and his Ob/Gyn residency at the University of Washington. He holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Biomedical & Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MD with highest distinction from the University of Southern California. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) and board-certified in REI.

Dr. Jain has over 20 years of clinical ART experience in both a private and academic setting and is recognized as a Top Doctor by Castle Connolly. For the past 18 years, he has been actively involved on numerous national committees of SART/ASRM, including most recently as the SART Clinical Director.

Dr. Jain has over 50 peer-reviewed publications (including 3 first-author publications in the New England Journal of Medicine), has authored the book The Infertility Journey, runs a popular fertility blog, and is very active on social media. He serves on the Editorial Board of Fertility & Sterility Reviews and is Section Editor of Reproductive Biology & Endocrinology Journal. He is a health services researcher who is recognized for his work on the impact of mandated insurance coverage on IVF utilization and outcomes, and on identifying and better understanding racial and socioeconomic disparities in the care of infertility patients.

 

Davina Fankhauser, MA
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Fertility Within Reach
Davina Fankhauser, MA
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Fertility Within Reach

Davina Fankhauser is the Co-Founder & Executive Director of Fertility Within Reach, a national non-profit that increases access to fertility treatment and insurance coverage by educating patients, policymakers, and service providers with evidence-based material. Davina is an expert on policy related to benefits for fertility treatment and preservation. She provides one-on-one consulting and resources for patients and professionals on effectively communicating with insurers, employers, state departments, and legislators to increase access to fertility health benefits. She formerly managed the Online Services for RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the New England Fertility Society, on the Board of Directors for the Kyle and Samantha Busch Bundle of Joy Foundation, is a member of the American Bar Association Legislative Committee and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and volunteers as an advisor for several organizations in the fertility space. Davina is passionate, tenacious, and determined to work with others to ensure policies change to increase access to IVF and fertility preservation.

Barbara Collura
President and CEO, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association
Barbara Collura
President and CEO, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association

Barbara Collura serves as the President/CEO of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association.  Barbara is a nationally recognized expert on infertility and the family building journey, with a special emphasis on advocacy, public policy, and access to care.  Barbara has worked with the World Health Organization on infertility definitions and clinical guidelines, worked with ACOG on their clinical definitions for infertility, and served a four-year term on the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at NIH.   Along with being a frequent guest speaker at medical conferences, Barbara has been a guest on the TODAY Show, MSNBC, Fox & Friends, and Nightline.  She is routinely quoted in major media outlets on a variety of topics related to infertility.  In 2014, Barbara received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Barbara received her undergraduate degree from the University of Montana and her Master of Arts degree in International Affairs from American University.

Barbara is passionate about RESOLVE’s mission as the organization was a source of support and information during her own battle with infertility.

 

Learn More About Fertility

Blog Post
Fertility Health Care Guides Offer Guidance for Patients and Providers Alike
By Monica Lefton, SWHR Communications Manager.     With nearly 1 in 8 couples having trouble getting pregnant or sustaining their pregnancy, infertility in the United States is not uncommon; conversations about fertility should not be uncommon either.  Conversations about fertility are usually initiated only when an individual reaches the age where fertility begins to naturally decline... Read more »
Blog Post
Chronic Pelvic Pain: Hope for a Solution
Guest blog by the Society of Interventional Radiology. One in six women in the United States suffers from chronic pelvic pain. Yet many experience delays in diagnosis and treatment, receive improper treatment for the condition, or no care at all. These women will often cycle through a variety of physicians over a prolonged period because there... Read more »
Blog Post
Infertility and Women’s Health Conditions: The Physician Who May be Able to Help
Guest blog by the Society of Interventional Radiology Many women struggle with infertility or with other life-altering conditions of the pelvis, such as uterine fibroids. Oftentimes, they don’t feel heard by their doctors, or they’re told they have very few options for treatment. Dealing with these issues can be heartbreaking, and many women begin to... Read more »