Response to: “Selling the Fantasy of Fertility?”

Did anyone see the Op Ed piece in the NY Times, Selling the Fantasy of Fertility? While infertility is making its way into public consciousness, this article represented a skewed opinion of the good work that fertility research and clinics are providing.

You might be interested in reading the article. Then check out my response:

On the one hand I applaud Ms Zoll and Tsigdinos for their work in challenging the “sale” of fertility treatments to “desperate and vulnerable” patients. Their work counterbalances sales pitches and, although the jury is out as to whether there is harm in repeated treatments, the truth must be exposed.

On the other hand, as a therapist who has been working with fertility patients for 34 years, I dispute their focus on hope hanging on “hype” without recognizing that hope is the engine of the human spirit, especially when it comes to nurturing the next generation.

Infertility is a bio-psycho-socio-spiritual crisis. Clinics address biology. Savvy clinics provide adjunct services to deal with the rest of the experience. NYU Fertility Center, for instance, has brought me on board to teach mind/body/spirit stress reduction classes.

Patients need support so they can put their hope through a filtration system and identify whether and how to shift gears. Crises create opportunity for healing and growth.

None of us should disparage hope, even when it seems like an addiction.

On a personal note, I would not trade my three ovum-donation granddaughters for the world.


Helen Adrienne, LCSW, BCD

© October 2013

About the Author:

Helen Adrienne, LCSW general psychotherapist, clinical hypnotherapist, and practitioner of mind/body therapy with a specialty in infertility. New York City