Once a year, National Infertility Awareness Week honors the struggle hundreds of thousands of people go through as they try to build their families. For those who are in the midst of that pain and frustration, though, it can be a daily battle.
As the agency I founded turns 15 this year, I can’t help but reflect on my own experience – not only as the proud director of a program that assists in this struggle, but as an egg donor myself. This dual role has given me a unique look into the world of infertility. I have witnessed both the pain and the triumph that comes with trying to conceive.
I first walked into a fertility clinic’s laboratory in 1992 with a fresh degree in biology. While working as a lab technologist I learned about a relatively new procedure being implemented to help women conceive – oocyte donation. With the help of healthy young eggs being donated by other women, success rates were beginning to climb. Within a few years it became clear that this option was a much better route for patients over 25.
While the procedure was giving new hope to couples, I quickly realized that the actual recruitment process was in critical need of higher standards. And though I felt a personal fulfillment in assisting another woman in this way, I knew the experience could have gone more smoothly. With that realization, the idea that would eventually become a thriving egg donor and surrogacy agency was conceived. Today, our staff includes other former egg donors and women who have struggled with infertility themselves – and have each overcome it in their own unique ways.
I could not be more proud of the work this agency has done in assisting not only recipients, but also the amazing women who choose to become egg donors and gestational surrogates. It is one of my most ardent goals to use my own experience as an example for other young women. I believe it is this passion that has helped set ConceiveAbilities apart for 15 years. As we wrap up National Infertility Awareness Week, we celebrate the many women and families we have been fortunate enough to assist in the most personal of ways.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.