In the United States, the topic of infertility and pregnancy loss is so highly stigmatized that it can feel like there’s a cone of silence surrounding it, which can lead to feelings of shame, embarrassment, and aloneness for those who struggle to get pregnant. Despite the isolation felt by many people experiencing infertility, it is a common issue in the United States and globally. The CDC reports that around 1 in 5 heterosexual women aged 15 to 49 years with no prior births are unable to get pregnant after one year of trying (infertility). On a global scale, the WHO estimates that 60–80 million couples worldwide currently suffer from infertility.
Jennifer Aniston recently opened up about her struggles with fertility and her unsuccessful experience with IVF. This interview was one of the rare occasions someone in the limelight has broken their silence on the challenging road of trying to conceive. The topic of infertility remains under-discussed, leaving many women still feeling stigmatized as a result.
In today’s episode of the Your Health Unlocked Podcast, we speak with Anna Frank about her experiences with infertility, IVF, and pregnancy loss. In this candid and eye-opening conversation, Anna highlights some of the most challenging aspects of her fertility journey.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- The stages that can precede IVF treatment, such as fertility drugs and IUIs
- What Anna’s IVF journey looked like, including pregnancy loss
- How Anna used Viagra as a fertility aid
- The complications Anna faced, including the discovery of Asherman’s syndrome
- The importance of accessing a second opinion
- How to remain hopeful throughout the process of trying to conceive
More about Anna:
Anna lives in Dallas with her husband, Steve, and two daughters. She works in risk management and compliance for a large bank. Anna is also on the Board of The Ruth Cheatham Foundation – a non-profit that supports teens who have fought or are fighting cancer and provides scholarships and support for college.
Anna and Steve suffered five agonizing years of infertility, which included a mixture of medications, IUIs, IVF cycles, a miscarriage at eight weeks, and the loss of a daughter at 24.5 weeks as a result of early onset pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome.
Following this, they began exploring alternative options, including domestic infant adoption and surrogacy. While Anna and Steve found success through surrogacy, they are aware that not everyone battling with infertility has the same happy ending that they did.
Anna’s journey and experiences ignited her passion for supporting, helping, and acting as a sounding board for friends and strangers who may be suffering infertility or pregnancy loss. Through sharing the intimate details of her story, she wants to give hope to others going through the same and help them feel less alone.
Resources for Episode 013:
Some Terms and Linked Definitions:
- Lupron Shots
- PGS testing
- Trilaminar uterine lining
- Asherman's syndrome
- Ectopic Pregnancy
- Dilatation and Curettage (D&C) Procedures
Learn more about Anna’s fertility doctor, Samuel Chantilis, M.D
The primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and entertain. All views expressed by the persons featured on the Your Health Unlocked podcast are their own and do not reflect the opinions of the NWHN or its affiliates. Information provided in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Consult your own provider for any medical issues that you may be experiencing.