Wednesday, 21 September 2011

So mad I could spit!

I woke up today with a quick reminder of my current state of infertility. Canada AM was showing a story about how at a conference for fertility specialists in Ottawa, they are considering making it impossible for women with a BMI over 30 to get fertility treatments.

They claim that:
"Some studies find obese women face higher risks of medical complications while trying to become pregnant through in-vitro fertilization (IVF)."

Due to this, they say that there are some women who are at an increased risk when undergoing treatments. The main part of the article deals with IVF, but there has been mention of including any type of fertility medication because of how the hormones work against the body when it's overweight.

What really bothers me is the claim that is made by someone who is supposed to be raising awareness for infertility:

“If you are more than 100 pounds overweight, that issue must be addressed before you start a family,” said Beverly Hanck, executive director of the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada. “Get off your 50 pounds or so and exercise and then see where your fertility is at. A woman can lose 20 pounds and conceivably become pregnant…It could take a year, but it could result in getting pregnant naturally and save thousands of dollars.”

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???? It's not bad enough that women have to deal with others out there who don't understand how horrible and emotionally crippling infertility is - how it's often due to an uncontrollable issue or condition. Yes, it's true that sometimes simply losing a few pounds can fix everything, but let's be honest, would any of us choose to go through the painful procedures and waiting and failures if all we had to do was lose a few pounds. For Beverly Hanck to say something as insensitive as lose 50 lbs and you might be pregnant naturally, while representing the Infertility Awareness Association... it's complete bullshit.

There is no line that says 'if you are over this number then you are unhealthy - guaranteed'. My BMI is over 30. I have had bone scans and numerous body scans for density and due to my skeletal size, it would actually be unhealthy for me to have a BMI much below 30. For me to be at 30, I would need to be 210 lbs. I have had three doctors tell me that if I drop below 200 lbs, they would be concerned because I would be unhealthy. Right now, I know that I need to lose weight. I'm not an idiot. I'm fat. I admit it. But here's the thing... my blood pressure is perfect, my cholesterol is perfect, every blood test (other than my iron levels) are perfect, and the anemia is something that I've dealt with since childhood on and off.

When I started the treatments with the OB/GYN I purposely asked if my weight would be an issue with regard to fertility. She told me that she would never tell me not to lose weight, but that she didn't see it as a barrier to conception. She said that she has had numerous thin women who can't conceive, and has had numerous patients who were not nearly as healthy as me who she treated. She said that she does not consider my weight to be an issue at all. So if the doctor who treats me regularly doesn't consider my weight/BMI to be a problem, why the hell should a stupid, random policy consider it to be so.

One of the comments in the article was about how people who are overweight have a lot of difficulty with anesthetic. Well, again, it's not a guarantee. When I had my D&C in January, the nurses said that they hadn't seen anyone who took anesthetic so well with no side-effects. I went under easily and came out easily, and had no lasting effects. So there!

I made the mistake of reading the comments on the Globe and Mail article. How stupid could I be. I went to work feeling like a completely loser. If the comments are representative of society - I will make a horrible parent and don't deserve to live... simply because I'm fat. I know that often people who post in those comments sections are extremists, but it still hurts to think that anyone thinks that way.

I just can't believe that in this century we are still judged on how we look. I can't believe that the target group is overweight people. We allow fertility treatments for those who are dangerously underweight, for those who smoke, for those women who's husband's use drugs, for those women who use drugs themselves - yes, I can't imagine a doctor treating a crack addict, but I personally know of one woman who was undergoing treatments all the while smoking pot nearly every night.

I'm just feeling really low right now.



Yeah, that's pretty messed up. For one thing, I've had several medical professionals tell me that BMI isn't a very good measure of wellness or a healthy weight (as you already know). Also, I know of plenty of women with a BMI over 30 who have gotten pregnant and had healthy pregnancies.

These doctors also need to recognize that some medical conditions - PCOS, for example - make it VERY difficult for the patient to lose weight. Sure, it's easy to say "lose 50 pounds," but it's just not that simple for some women. For some reason, no matter what they try, the pounds don't fall off.

I don't blame you for feeling low. :(

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