Happy Thursday and continuation of National Infertility Awareness Week!
Today I want to share an amazing resource that infertility-treatment seeking couples will find immensely helpful. I often get emails from ladies in the Twin Cities areas with tons of questions about the clinics I have visited and the doctors I have seen. It’s amazing when we can sit over coffee and chat about strengths, weaknesses, protocols, and physician styles. This ability to talk about clinics shouldn’t only occur when people can connect through social media with same-citied friends. It’s valuable insight that everyone should have access to!
So, I want to introduce you to Jake, his wife Deborah, and this amazing resource they have created called FertilityIQ. (No, this isn’t a paid endorsement, I just really love what they are doing and offering to the infertility community!) In fact, I asked Jake to share with y’all today a little bit about FertilityIQ – read below!
My wife, Deb, and I made every mistake in the book when it came to choosing a fertility doctor. Our first RE came on a luke-warm rec from someone we hardly we knew. For the next doctor, we tightened our criteria and went with a guy who once appeared on basic cable. And after Dr. Basic Cable made an error that sent my wife to the Emergency Room, I had to remind him his job was to help us grow our family, not shrink it. Deb and I entrusted our fertility doctors with our hopes, our prayers, and our savings. Yet we knew almost nothing about them beforehand and, unsurprisingly, the end results were heartbreaking.
Last year, Deb and I decided “enough was enough” and from our kitchen table in San Francisco, we built FertilityIQ. At FertilityIQ, fertility patients thoroughly, but anonymously, review their Reproductive Endocrinologist and hopeful parents read these reviews to help make a more informed selection. Today, 20% of all fertility patients in the U.S. come to FertilityIQ and Deb and I are doing everything possible to earn their trust. We ask reviewers to provide us a document that shows they were patients of the clinic they are evaluating, so readers can trust what they are reading. We refuse to take any advertising dollars, so there is no question about content objectivity. And yes, Global Headquarters is till our 4th floor apartment.
Going to the wrong doctors cost us three years of our lives, $75,000 of our savings and definitely sapped the excitement of marriage. But our data shows we are the rule, not the exception: the average fertility patient will give up on their first doctor, and be forced to restart with a second, or even a third. I get a sick pit in my stomach when I think about what it’s like to start completely over at a new clinic. Demoralizing is not the word.
So why is it so hard to find the right fertility doctor? For one, the existing online and offline resources are shamelessly poor. Next, the decision is highly-personal and a common phrase we read is, “I loved my doctor for the same reason my friend hated them”. Third, we know time is not on our side, so we have to make snap judgements and split decisions. If you are reading this, there is a 50% chance your first choice doctor at your clinic was not available, so you went with whoever was. In such circumstances, we settle, despite all that hangs in the balance.
For years, my job was to study communities, and I have never seen a community that is as educated, knowledgeable, empathetic and motivated, as fertility patients. And yet, when it comes to our treatment, many of us feel like we know far too little about what is actually happening, and like we don’t know where to turn for answers. It’s a cruel paradox, with tragic consequences for all of us.
Deb and I built FertilityIQ to reverse this, to harness our compassion and to pool our wisdom, so we can collectively make smarter decisions and reach parenthood with our marriages, emotions and bank accounts in tact. The more reviews we gather from fertility patients, the more we are able to help hopeful parents at the start of a lonely, and intimidating, odyssey.