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By: Andrew Martin (B.Soc.Sci LL.B)
Contact: info@fertilitylaw.co.za

In recent years assisted reproductive technology (ART) has offered hope to those struggling
with infertility in South Africa. Sperm, oocytes, and embryos can now be frozen at various
stages of development, allowing for safer and more successful ART treatments as well as
allowing for the cryopreservation of gametes and embryos for fertility preservation. In addition,
the length of time that embryos and gametes can be stored in a cryopreserved state has
increased. Thus allowing for couples to keep trying for longer and longer periods. However, it
has also had some unintended consequences. One of these unintended consequences
relates to the fate of embryos or gametes that may be “surplus” or left over after couples finish
their treatment or where something happens to the patients and they are no longer able to
provide their informed consent.

Infertility doesn’t discriminate based on fame or talent. For the ten celebrities listed below, infertility came as an unwelcome surprise. Many of them suffered through heartbreak in silence, feeling that infertility was a shameful secret to hide. However, thanks to their candidness, people everywhere now have a greater understanding of this common struggle as well as the options available for medically-assisted pregnancy.

By Nadirah Angail

Somewhere there is a woman: 30, no children. People ask her, “Still no kids?” Her response varies from day to day, but it usually includes forced smiles and restraint.

“Nope, not yet,” she says with a chuckle, muffling her frustration.

“Well, don’t wait forever. That clock is ticking, you know,” the sage says before departing, happy with herself for imparting such erudite wisdom. The sage leaves. The woman holds her smile. Alone, she cries…

By Bitchless Bride

I write about weddings and weddingy things, so this is quite a departure from my typical articles about wedding behavior and perspective while planning. But, as a topic that is close to my heart and soul, I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could make some positive change simply by sharing my perspective, story and goal with you. Because, frankly? It’s fucking exhausting sitting on it all by myself. What is it? Well, “it’s“ a common “problem” that is so taboo, and so, dare I say, scandalous, that nobody discusses it; nobody talks about it. In fact, it’s so scary that network TV won’t touch it or produce a show about it because of how they will be perceived by doing so.

Infertility does not discriminate in any way. It doesn’t care if you’re financially stable and ready, it doesn’t care if it’s all you think about it, and that it’s the deepest desire of your heart. Anyone can suffer from it. People of all races, genders, religions, sexuality or economic status. Infertility can affect anyone. Remember- one in six couples experience infertility. It may not have affected anyone else in your family; you may have no idea where it came from. That is infertility, a lot of unknowns and undoubtedly, a disease.

Men and women often grieve differently.  The different kinds of reactions are all normal – there is no ‘right’ way to grieve. Often, men are problem solvers or instrumental grievers. That means they cope with grief through problem solving, such as making memorial service arrangements, helping care for the woman after she comes home from the hospital, or keeping the household running. Some men may even start a DIY project or get lost in a hobby.  For them, taking action is a way to heal.

What is a late miscarriage?

Doctors describe a late miscarriage as one that happens after 12 weeks and before 24 weeks of pregnancy. Late miscarriages are much rarer than early miscarriages. Just one or two per cent of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage in the second trimester of pregnancy. However, in reality, for many parents who have suffered a late miscarriage, the word “miscarriage” doesn’t properly capture the gravity and impact of their loss, as they may feel that they have suffered the loss of a baby, or a stillborn baby.

“I have never felt happier or more in love than I did the day my daughter was born. My whole world changed that day—just as it did the day I suffered a miscarriage.

After every storm comes a rainbow—a sentiment that couldn’t be more true for parents welcoming an infant after experiencing a loss. A “rainbow baby” is one that follows a miscarriage, neonatal death, stillbirth, or infant loss—and they’re more common than you might think. Here are the stories of 3 mothers who  tell us about their own rainbow babies: Each mother went through unimaginable pain before welcoming a unique and beautiful miracle into her family. But if there’s something every single one of these mothers agrees on, it’s that those experiencing loss need to know that they aren’t alone.

By Lindsey Kupfer and Mara Siegler

Gabrielle Union opens up about race, sexual assault, family and even her fertility struggles with her husband, Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade, in her upcoming book, “We’re Going To Need More Wine.”

“I have had eight or nine miscarriages,” the 44-year-old actress reveals. “In order to tell you the exact number, I would have to get my medical records. (I am also not sure what the number is where you start to think I must be nuts for trying.)”

Coping with your feelings and with other people’s reactions.

From: American Baby

Having a miscarriage is a physically and emotionally difficult experience under any circumstance. But if you’ve been struggling with infertility or have had one or more miscarriages in the past, the loss can feel especially painful. Though time and comfort are often the best healers, it helps sometimes to understand the grief and mourning process that can accompany a miscarriage, and to know what you can do to start coping with your loss. Here’s how to begin.

To the cheerleaders, the coaches, the fans on the sidelines, welcome.

I want to dedicate some space and time to reach out to you, the family and friends of my infertility sisters.

I know watching your loved ones deal with the pain that comes along with infertility is overwhelming, heartbreaking, even uncomfortable. I want to help. Ask me your questions, I won’t judge you. Let’s start a conversation.

By DW

When I first found out that, the reason that my wife and I weren’t conceiving, was due to me and my lack of quality sperm, it was definitely a blow. Not to my fragile male ego, or anything ridiculous like that, but more to my self-esteem. I had never smoked, or taken drugs and I didn’t drink nearly as much as youngsters do these days, so what on earth could the reason behind this possibly be? I also felt incredibly sad that I wouldn’t be able to give my wife what she dreamed of having, the natural way, that the only way we could achieve this dream would be with a barrage of tests and invasive infertility procedures. We were given less than 1% chance of conceiving naturally and so I wanted to smack the people who, for the past 6 years, have insisted on telling us to “relax and it will happen”.

Every day for the month of RHM, IFAASA would like you to meet our ‘unofficial Infertility Spokespersons’. Those in the public spotlight who have shared their struggles — with natural pregnancy, IVF, surrogacy, adoption, miscarriages, early menopause and the definition of parenthood — with the world.

Right now I have unexplained infertility. However, I am not particularly fond of that term. I prefer to think of it as “not having met my infertility yet.” Because I cannot honestly say that I have tried or tested everything, that I have done every diet and exercise regime, or that I have met with several REs on my path to my infertility discovery. I would love to try everything, meet everyone and get this situation solved for good – get me a baby already! But I also suffer from a particular sect of unexplained infertility – and that would be financial infertility.

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