Women who are experiencing fertility problems may find support and treatment options by visiting IVF boards while they undergo the process. Choosing to get medical help for infertility is a personal decision that often causes great emotional and financial stress and turning to an online message board dedicated to problems with getting pregnant through IVF (in vitro fertilization) can ease those burdens and fears.
Online Infertility/IVF Support
Unlike general pregnancy forums, an IVF or infertility forum will be geared specifically towards couples undergoing medical treatment in order to conceive a child. While many pregnancy forums offer a section on infertility, it may be hard for women to be virtually surrounded by hundreds of others who did not need the help. Boards dedicated to treating infertility through IVF will often have knowledgeable members and offer a safe place to work through their feelings regarding the entire infertility and IVF process.
Commonly discussed topics or sections on IVF boards might include:
- Reasons for infertility, such as endometriosis, PCOS, male infertility, or unexplained infertility
- Local group/geographical location sections, which might offer offline meet-ups and personal recommendations for local doctors
- Treatment questions and options
- Fertility drug options, including their pros and cons, success rates, and side effects
- Cycle clubs, for women who have roughly the same treatment cycle
- Two-week wait support, for those who have completed a round of treatment and are waiting to take a pregnancy test
- Emotional support
- Financing fertility treatment ideas, such as money saving tips and information on negotiating with insurance companies and clinics
- Miscarriage support
- Infant loss or grief forum
- IVF success stories
- Failed IVF rounds
- Pregnancy after IVF, which includes general frequently asked pregnancy questions and fetal development
- Options for conception after IVF
Boards may also offer threads for introductions, technical questions, off-topic conversations (i.e. movies, politics, nutrition), or personal journals. It is important to remember that on many boards, posts can be read by anyone who registers to use the forum. Do not post things that you are not comfortable with anyone reading or commenting on.
Rules for Using IVF Boards
To get started using an IVF board, it is important to read the rules before registering. Boards generally prohibit solicitations, advertisements, and profanity amongst members. Most will caution that it is important to remember that the ideas presented are only that of its members and are not to replace medical advice.
An issue that often crops up on IVF boards relates to the various costs of in vitro fertilization. Unless the board you join states explicitly that it is okay, members are usually not allowed to ask for money to fund their treatments, even through a simple signature link. Selling, trading, or simply giving away prescription medications is illegal in the United States and members who attempt to do so are often kicked off the boards.
Finally, remember that everyone who is posting has experienced sorrow or loss due to their infertility. If it is too painful to read success stories without posting a sarcastic comment, avoid reading that particular section of the board. Each person's story is their own to tell and it is important to stay respectful of everyone and their opinion.
Locate Infertility Boards
The first place to look for a supportive infertility board is to ask your doctor or fertility clinic if they support a board on their website. Not only will it connect you to others locally, but may be moderated by nurses or doctors who practice at your hospital.
Secondly, ask friends and family members who have undergone IVF treatment about online support they received. They may be able to recommend a wonderful online community that is perfect for your needs.
Finally, visit boards online that can be found through infertility websites or pregnancy support forums. Before registering with one particular community, read through some threads to find out if the people there seem helpful, encouraging, and compassionate. Ones to consider might include:
- IVF-Infertility.com Message Board
- INCIID Forums (InterNational Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc.)
Getting the right emotional support and finding information related to IVF treatment is important for women experiencing infertility. Using an IVF board can help lower stress levels and provide helpful advice to those who do not know someone in real life who has gone through infertility.