Wednesday, March 14, 2007

RA and Fertility

If you have RA or any type of immune system disorder and you are considering having a child, don’t. It is a controversial area and many Fertility Doctors refuse to recognize a connection. I wasted 2 years roaming around New York City trying to find answers. I thought my biggest problem was age (I am 42 now). Yes, that’s a huge part of my issue, but I didn’t know that my disease could play a part in my (in)fertility too. A great resource, if you need answers, is to go to my website: and read the articles. There’s also a link to my Fertility Doctor’s site which I have no doubt will help prospective parents too, even if you are not a New Yorker.
This blog about fertility and auto immune diseases is just an introduction. I plan to take you on my journey so that you can benefit from my experiences and save precious time if you are older. I had waited all my life to meet my true love. I started dating Matt when I was 38 and married him at 40. He was 31 and not keen to start a family so quickly after our marriage. So we waited, but I quietly started my search for a Fertility Doctor in New York ‘just in case’ because of my age. This search would take over 2 years. I was horrified to learn (and experience) that fertility issues in women often meant someone was making big money. Some of these clinics were like factories. Some of these places only treated couples for one cycle, especially if they had no health insurance, and that would be it. The money was ‘put down’, services offered (often with no result) and then the clients were gone. I saw this happen when I attended a fertility clinic through necessity which was in a low income earning area. Most people had no medical insurance; they’d pay for a cycle and then disappear. It was a license to print money.
My first consultation at this clinic was a disaster. The doctor had picked up the wrong file and not bothered to check my name. I was told that my only option because of my age and my husband’s motility was a donor egg. It wasn’t until I left the clinic in tears that I realized that my husband had not yet had any fertility tests done and so what the doctor had said to me didn’t make sense. During the consultation I was so numbed by his opening line of donor egg and so overcome with emotion that I didn’t really hear the motility sentence. A day later, I received an urgent voice mail telling me of the file mix up; fortunately I had worked it out by then.
My advice is: research the clinics and don’t just accept where your insurance company recommends you to go. They often suggest the clinics that are cheaper for them. Two failed artificial inseminations followed at this particular clinic. The doctor also refused to see any correlation between my RA and my apparent infertility. Finally, I trusted my instincts and decided to research other clinics in NYC. Of course, the cockroach that ran across Matt’s foot while he was in the waiting room and the lack of variety in the videos had nothing to do with it!
Next week’s blog – New Clinic, New Hope and more setbacks.