By: Andrew Martin (B.Soc.Sci LL.B)
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.
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.
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