5 Tools I Wish I Had On My Fertility Journey

By Kristyn Hodgdon

When I was going through fertility treatments the first time around, I was blissfully unaware that there were so many things that were lacking when it came to patient care for infertility. Now, having shared thousands of fertility patients’ stories and listened to their concerns, I can confidently say that there are several things that could greatly enhance the patient experience, or at least would have improved mine! 

Community

The first rule of the fertility clinic waiting room is you do NOT talk in the fertility clinic waiting room. The second rule of the fertility clinic waiting room is you do NOT make eye contact in the fertility clinic waiting room. 

Being the outgoing, bubbly person that I am, when I walked into the fertility clinic waiting room for the first time, I was searching for someone--anyone--to make me feel less alone. At the time, I was 27 years young, and none of my friends were even trying to conceive, let alone dealing with fertility issues. I needed reassurance that I wasn’t the only one. Instead, I was met with blank stares from some, and others were looking down at their phones avoiding eye contact altogether. 

I remember thinking to myself, “Why is it that in the one place you can actually find others going through the same heart-wrenching experience, no one is talking to each other?” Thankfully, I had an amazing support system at home, but I realized later that I had been in search of stories and connections from others dealing with infertility. And now I know I wasn’t the only one.

Through Rescripted's free infertility support community, women have been able to come together in a safe space off of traditional social media to share stories, experiences, questions, answers, and recommendations, all without judgment. It’s been pretty amazing to watch friendships being formed and women supporting each other through a difficult journey. I only wish it existed a few years ago.
 

Medication Management

“What’s the difference between Gonal-F and Follistim?” “What do Menopur and Cetrotide actually do?” “Are the Progesterone shots in the butt as painful as they look?”

Fertility medications can be one of the most confusing and frustrating parts of the IVF process. You have your IVF consultation, you get your medication protocol, you choose a pharmacy, you pay way too much money for more meds than you could actually ever need, and then you’re left to figure out how to administer several different types of medications that you’ve never dealt with before, all without a medical degree. Sounds fun, right?

To be transparent, when I was going through IVF I left my husband in charge when it came to medication. I figured if I had to be a human pin cushion, the least he could do was keep track of when I needed to take each shot, mix the medications, and administer them at the correct times. I found that it was a great way to get him more involved, and it took a lot of additional stress off of my own plate. 

Still, it was a lot for him to remember, and fertility clinics don’t necessarily provide all of the tools patients need to stay organized as a pseudo-nurse/hormone-hype-person. In hindsight, I realize now that what we needed then was a tool to help us track our medications, set reminders, manage appointments, and keep us in check when it came to our IVF protocol. When you’re spending thousands of dollars and putting all of your hope and faith into something, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for error. So why risk it?

Library of Content 

If I have learned anything over the past couple of years of running The Fertility Tribe, and now Rescripted, it’s that people crave stories and connections when they are going through a difficult time. Not only do they want to know they are not alone, but they also want to know others have walked that same path, and that it all ended up okay in the end. 

I’ll give you an example: let's say you have poor egg quality, and your Reproductive Endocrinologist recommends that you pursue donor egg IVF to grow your family. You are devastated. You don’t know anyone else who has used donor eggs, and you have no idea where to start. You yearn to speak with someone--anyone--else who has been in this situation so that they can reassure you that DNA doesn’t make a mother; love does. 

That’s why at Rescripted, we publish stories about every unique path to parenthood, from IUI and IVF to surrogacy and adoption. Whatever you’re going through, I can guarantee there is someone else out there who has been there before. In times of darkness, what people need is to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter which way their story might end. And that’s what we hope to provide.
 

Therapy

For me, infertility was the greatest life lesson on controlling what I could and letting go of the rest. To that point, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to take care of your mental health on your fertility journey. Therapy is an amazing way to do that, and it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. I learned way too late in the game that infertility is trauma, and learning how to cope with that trauma is a process that changes all the time. What you need one day might be different than what you need the next, so don’t be afraid to set boundaries and put yourself first. 

Marketplace

Knowing what products to buy and which ones can actually help when trying to conceive can be incredibly overwhelming. A simple Amazon search for prenatal vitamins yields over 450 results. There are nutritionists on Instagram who claim they can cure PCOS. For fertility patients, conflicting information can feel like it’s coming at you from all angles. That’s why it’s so important to have a trusted source where you can find a curated selection of fertility products that are actually backed by science.

They say if you can’t find it, create it, so that’s what I did. Now, along with my two brilliant Co-Founders, I am so excited to let you know that all 5 of these tools will be available for fertility patients on our new platform, Rescripted. Head to fertility.rescripted.com to join us in rescripting fertility, together.