I had some big ideas about my 100th post, but they all kind of went by the wayside this morning. I was watching the Today Show, as is my wont, and there was this bittersweet story about a family who lost their 3 children in a car accident, and are now expecting triplets from IVF. Well, Meredith said "implant" about a million times, so I decided to email the show. Of course I just got the standard, automatic reply, but hoepfully someone will actually read it and they'll get it right. I know, once again I'm whining about semantics, but...not really. This is a big deal (to me) and it chaps me everytime!
So, here's my letter.
This morning I was touched by the story of the California family who lost their three children in a car accident and are now expecting triplets. While it was encouraging to see a woman who was so willing to discuss the fact that she used in-vitro fertilization ("IVF"), I was dismayed by Meredith's repeated use of the term "implanted" regarding the embryos. I have noted this during other stories on infertility, not just on your show. Use of the term "implanted" supports a common belief that IVF is a cure-all for infertility problems - that the embryos are simply "implanted" and nine months later, the family is complete. Unfortunately IVF is not an automatic solution for many women and in fact, whether or not the transferred embryos implant is one of the biggest variables. For the two weeks between the transfer procedure and the pregnancy test, IVF patients spend all their waking hours hoping and praying for the embryos to implant. So often they don't and women are forced to go through several expensive and emotionally draining IVF cycles before either finding success, finding other paths to parenthood, or deciding to live child-free.
Hopefully you can understand that using the word "implant" to describe the procedure itself is incorrect and gives a false sense of the procedure and its potential outcomes. I hope in the future you will be diligent in using the word "transfer" when describing this part of the IVF process. And I also hope you will continue to talk about this topic, as it affects millions of women.
About me - I have been struggling with infertility for the past four years and consider myself very lucky to have found success on my second IVF cycle. I'm expecting twins in May.
Stepping off soapbox...
Now go visit Watson! She's on bedrest and needs some diversion. Also, I have my first regular OB appointment tomorrow at 11:30. We're hoping for a good look at the Wonder Twins and good news all around. Wish me luck!