This is Infertility

There is nothing more fundamental to life than the urge to continue it. But while it may be the most natural thing in the world, childbirth is far from the easiest and no two fertility journeys are the same. For that reason, we are breaking from the typical podcast form. Each episode is hosted by a different voice who brings their own unique point of view to the complex and ever-changing world of infertility. Our hosts are licensed clinical social workers, patient care advocates, clinical psychiatrists, reproductive endocrinologists, real fertility patients, and others who are, in one way or another, experts in the world of fertility. We fuse narrative storytelling with experience and science to give you a new perspective on what it’s really like to go through this journey.

Episodes

Episode 24: Laura Perez: Taking Control of Her Future

When Laura Perez turned 35, she felt like she was running out of time. She was in a long-term relationship, but her partner already had children from a previous marriage and indicated that he didn’t want to have any more kids. So, Laura took things into her own hands and froze her eggs. For Laura, freezing her eggs was an empowering process that gave her peace of mind, and it also changed the nature of her relationship with her boyfriend (now husband!) Today’s host is Selena Campbell, Patient Care Supervisor at Progyny.

Episode 23: Heather Huhman: How She Beat Infertility

Heather Huhman and her husband struggled with infertility for years, enduring trauma after trauma, until finally they met their daughter, Aurora. But Heather wanted some good to come out of her pain, so she has dedicated herself fulltime to helping others via her twice a week podcast, Beat Infertility. In this episode we will hear about her struggle, how she got through it, and learn why she says her podcast gave her the hope and perspective she needed to carry on. Today’s host is Janelle Branch, Patient Care Advocate at Progyny.

Episode 22: Kristin Smith: Bridging Oncology and Fertility

Oncofertility Series – Part 4 of 4. Kristin Smith is the Program Manager for Fertility Preservation at Northwestern Medicine and the Oncofertility Consortium. In the final episode of our oncofertility series we hear how Kristin helps patients navigate their treatment between their oncology team and their reproductive endocrinology team. Today’s host is Lissa Kline, VP of Provider and Member Services at Progyny.

Episode 21: Megan Connolly: The Hope Fertility Preservation Can Bring

Oncofertility Series – Part 3 of 4. When Megan Connolly was 19, her whole world stopped, and she entered a fight against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Cancer threatened not only her life, but a lifelong dream of becoming a mother. In today’s episode we hear how Megan beat cancer (twice!) and with the help of patient navigator Kristin Smith of the Oncofertility Consortium, preserved her fertility. Today’s host is Lissa Kline, VP of Provider and Member Services at Progyny.

Episode 20: Amanda Rice: The Barrier of Not Being Infertile…Yet

Oncofertility Series – Part 2 of 4. When Amanda Rice was diagnosed with breast cancer her doctors recommended an aggressive treatment protocol that would potentially threaten her fertility. She had some infertility health insurance but when she called the insurance company she found that they had illogical barriers that excluded her from coverage for fertility preservation. Now, a cancer survivor, Amanda has created Chick Mission, a non-profit organization relentlessly focused on critical issues unique to cancer patients – including fertility challenges that may follow after surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and drug treatment. Today’s host is Lissa Kline, VP of Provider and Member Services at Progyny.

Episode 19: Joyce Reinecke: There Was No Checklist

Oncofertility Series – Part 1 of 4. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we are dedicating four episodes to oncofertility – the subfield of medicine that bridges oncology and reproductive research to explore and expand options for the reproductive future of cancer survivors. In today’s episode, we hear from Joyce Reinecke, who survived cancer, preserved her fertility, and is now dedicated to helping others do the same through her work with the Alliance for Fertility Preservation. Today’s host is Lissa Kline, VP of Provider and Member Services at Progyny.

Episode 18: Recurrent Pregnancy Loss: Causes, Treatments, & Future

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and this is the second of two episodes dedicated to Recurrent Pregnancy Loss. In this episode Dr. Zev Williams, Chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Columbia University Fertility Center, takes us on a deep dive into the causes, treatments, and even the future of this devastating condition. Today’s host is Taylor Burbach, Patient Care Supervisor at Progyny.

Episode 17: Emily SimpsonA Real Housewife’s Story of Loss

Emily Simpson, of the Real Housewives of Orange County, had no difficulty getting pregnant, but she did have difficulty staying pregnant. She and her husband Shane suffered 6 devastating losses before finding their way through with an extremely generous gift from Emily’s sister. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, so we are dedicating two episodes to a condition called Recurrent Pregnancy Loss. This is episode one. Today’s Host is Taylor Burbach, Patient Care Supervisor at Progyny.  

Episode 16: Jason and Alvin: Building Equity in Equality

Jason Rudman and his husband Alvin utilized a gestational surrogate to start their family, and then, two years later, utilized another one to continue their family. Along the way Jason used his voice to change his employer’s paternity leave policy and ended up helping more than just his immediate family. Today’s host is Salaia DaCruz, Sr. Account Manager at Progyny.

Episode 15: PCOS & Me: Julie Hunt

Julie Hunt had been a Patient Care Advocate for years, and in that time, she became an expert in all things related to fertility, like PCOS. How could it be that years later, at 27 years old, she discovered that she had PCOS the entire time? In the final episode of our three-part series in honor of PCOS Awareness Month, host Julie Hunt, Business Development Associate at Progyny, discusses her own experience with PCOS, and her winding road to diagnosis with her good friend and colleague Lissa Kline, Director of Member Services at Progyny. Today’s Host is Julie Hunt.

Episode 14: PCOS & Awareness: Megan Stewart

When Megan Stewart, founder of the PCOS Awareness Association (PCOSAA), was told to change her outlook on her condition she decided to change the world instead. In the second of the three-part series on PCOS, we hear from Megan who tells us about a traumatic experience that drove her to create the PCOS Awareness Association, how she’s been trying to help others with PCOS, and the different events and resources available. Today’s host is Julie Hunt, Business Development Associate at Progyny.

Episode 13: PCOS & Fertility: Satoya Foster

September is PCOS Awareness Month! Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a frustrating condition that can have symptoms like weight gain, excess hair on the face, stress, anxiety, depression, and…infertility. For this month, we’re doing a three-part series on PCOS. Today we hear from Satoya Foster, Co-Founder of the PCOS Awareness Association, who tells us about when she started experiencing symptoms, her diagnosis, and her infertility struggles. Today’s host is Julie Hunt, Business Development Associate at Progyny.

Episode 12: #SaytheFword in Action: Finding Hope by Speaking Out

So many people just don’t know what to say when they find out that someone in their life is struggling with fertility. Today we hear from Jess Moran, who just started her fertility treatment journey. She has found speaking about her experience has not only helped her through this emotional and frustrating time, but it has also been her most valued resource.  Jess’s story includes Tinder, unexplained infertility, intrauterine insemination, her good friend Johanna, and what really happens when people stop worrying about awkwardness and stigma and start saying the F word. Today’s host is Selena Campbell, Patient Care Supervisor at Progyny.

Episode 11: Matt Mira & Doree Shafrir’s Bogus Fertility Journey

It’s often crucial for people going through fertility treatments to have an outlet for their emotions. Today’s guests, Matt Mira, and Doree Shafrir have created their own outlet: their hit podcast Matt and Doree’s Eggcellent Adventure. Matt is a television writer (ABC’s The Goldbergs) and veteran podcaster, and Doree is an author (Startup), and together they share their story of male factor infertility, unexpected hurdles, and what it’s like to podcast their way through all of it. Today’s host is LaTisha Maxwell, Patient Care Advocate at Progyny.

Episode 10: Andrea Syrtash: What it Means to Be Pregnantish

Dealing with infertility can often feel like you’re living two different lives. One in public, pretending to be ok and go about life as you know it, and one behind the scenes, worrying, waiting, wondering when your dream of having a family will finally come true. Our guest came up with the perfect term that encapsulates this life in limbo: Pregnantish. Andrea Syrtash is a relationship expert, founder, and editor-in-chief of pregnantish.com, and today she’ll share her story of how she stopped focusing on getting pregnant and started focusing on becoming a parent to build the family she always wanted. Today’s host is Dr. Georgia Witkin, Head of Patient Services Development at Progyny.

BONUS: Gretchen Rossi & Slade Smiley’s Quest for the Right Doctor

In the previous episode, you heard about Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley’s fertility journey. In this episode you’ll hear their hilarious story about how they finally got to their reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Mark Surrey from SCRC. Today’s host is Lissa Kline, Director of Member Services at Progyny.

Episode 9: Gretchen Rossi & Slade Smiley: A Second Chance

There are many reasons couples go through IVF, and for Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley they first tried IVF because of Slade’s vasectomy, a procedure that keeps the sperm from reaching the seminal fluid. While the idea seemed straight forward, the journey that followed tested their relationship and threatened to bring them to their breaking point. Today’s host is Lissa Kline, Director of Member Services at Progyny.

Episode 8: Lindsey & Chrissy: Better Benefits, Clearer Decisions

According to a recent study by Reproductive Medicine Associates of NJ, almost 58% of people are forced to forego fertility treatment due to the anticipated financial burden. But what if your employer covered your treatment? We hear from Lindsey and Chrissy Callahan who were eager to start a family when they learned their employer-sponsored inclusive benefit would make their dream of having a child a reality. Today’s host is Manuela Henderson, Patient Care Advocate, Progyny.

Episode 7: Family Building & Equality for Same-Sex Couples

Any fertility journey can be complex, but for same-sex couples there are additional legal and political challenges that vary state by state. We hear from Trystan Reese, a transgender activist who works to ensure that every LGBTQ person has the right and ability to start their own family at Family Equality Council, and Theresa Witherspoon who, with her wife, found their family through reciprocal IVF. Today’s host is Parawana Yasmin, Patient Care Advocate, Progyny.

Episode 6: Benjie & Jimmy: Becoming Daddy and Papa

Surrogacy can allow same-sex male couples, or single men, to have a biological child by using the intended parent’s sperm with the assistance of an egg donor and gestational carrier. We hear from Benjie and Jimmy Hyde, who found themselves at a crossroads when their original egg donor was unable to produce embryos. Today’s host is Justin Alvis, Manager of Member Services, Progyny.

Episode 5: Katie & Hilary: Changing the Plan

For same-sex female couples, one of the first decisions to make when you decide to start a family is who will carry the baby. But sometimes those roles don’t turn out as planned. We hear from Katie Acosta and Hilary Smith, a couple who had worked through those details. But when their chosen path didn’t work, they embarked on a new fertility journey called reciprocal IVF. Today’s host is Melissa Maldonado, Patient Care Supervisor, Progyny.

Episode 4: Jenna’s Story: Sooner Than You’d think

Age is often the primary factor when it comes to fertility, but what happens when you encounter fertility struggles in your 20’s? We hear from Jenna Marinelli who shares her personal story of early menopause, difficult decisions, and a life without regret. Today’s host is Taylor Burbach, Patient Care Supervisor at Progyny.

Episode 3: #SaytheFword: It’s Time to Break the Silence

Fertility is not a dirty word. In January, the next generation women’s health company Celmatix launched the #SaytheFword campaign to shine a light on the wide spread issue of infertility, and to raise money for some pretty great non-profits. Today’s host is Selena Campbell, a Patient Care Advocate at Progyny. Guests include, Karin Ajmani, President at Progyny, Angie Lee, Chief Product Officer at Celmatix, Dr. Georgia Witkin, Head of Patient Services Development at Progyny and millennial women in New York City.

Episode 2: Karin’s Story: Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL) is a heart wrenching and physically difficult challenge many women and couples face when trying to start a family. We hear from Karin Ajmani, President at Progyny, who tells us her personal struggle with RPL. Today’s host is Dr. Georgia Witkin, Clinical Psychologist, Mount Sanai, and Head of Patient Services Development at Progyny and the guest is Karin Ajmani, President at Progyny.

Episode 1: National Infertility Awareness Week

For National Infertility Awareness Week, we examine what it’s really like to be infertile in America and uncover how people can encourage companies, policy makers and health insurance companies to cover fertility treatment. Today’s host is Lissa Kline, Director of Member Services at Progyny.