On August 6, 2001, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) launched a public health campaign unlike any other before it. Its purpose: to create awareness of how to avoid having a problem with infertility in the future.
Given that a certain percentage of adult infertility cases are the result of lifestyle choices, often even those made as teens, the campaign appears to have nothing but goodwill at heart.
But try convincing a contingent of disgruntled infertility patients of that...
In response to the ASRM's infertility prevention campaign, the International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination (INCIID) issued a press release denouncing the public service announcements (PSAs) that will soon be placed in a few major cities. The PSAs will provide an 800 number and web site where people can learn more about infertility and, most importantly, how to prevent it.
In their release, issued the same day as ASRM's announcement, INCIID president Theresa Venet Grant states her disappointment that ASRM "has chosen to highlight the small percentage of preventable cases of infertility instead of increasing awareness of the large number of people who struggle with endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, poor egg quality, bad sperm motility, etc."
While the release goes on to applaud the ASRM's intention to prevent infertility, INCIID also criticizes that the ads will lead to more misunderstanding of the various causes of infertility and, from there, to more stigma.
© Tracy Morris