This is Infertility is a bi-weekly podcast where we fuse narrative storytelling with experience and science to give you a new perspective on what it’s really like to go through a family building journey. Each episode dives into the emotional, physical, and financial burdens carried by those who experience infertility on their path to parenthood. Be it IVF, IUI, egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption, etc., the path is never the same and it can be long, painful, and lonely. It’s our mission to give those struggling a platform to be heard, a community connection, and an opportunity to raise awareness of the 1 in 8 who, for many reasons, struggle with infertility.

Bonus Episode 10: Prioritizing Your Mental Health During Your Fertility Journey

Mental health awareness and prioritization are certainly on the rise.  As May was Mental Health Awareness Month, we at Progyny wanted to shed light on the serious intersection of mental health and fertility. 

Family building and fertility treatment can be incredibly stressful. In fact, 55% of people feel infertility is more stressful than unemployment and 61% feel it is more stressful than divorceThat is why, on May 26, Progyny hosted a webinar featuring Dr. Alice Domar, Mollie Walker, and Dr. Georgia Witkin, dedicated to prioritizing mental health while on a fertility journey.  

A fertility journey can feel all consuming, so in this episode, our experts emphasize putting yourself first, advise on how to maintain relationships with loved ones, and share resources for mental health support.  

While this webinar is definitely worth the listen, we understand that life gets busy and have provided a summary for you here 

Experts: Alice Domar, Executive Director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health and the Director of Mind/Body Services at Boston IVF, Mollie Walker, Co-founder of Tennessee Fertility Advocates, Dr. Georgia Witkin, Head of Member Services Development at Progyny, Assistant Professor of OB-GYN and Reproductive Sciences and Assistant Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai 

Host: Dan Bulger 

For more information, visit Progyny’s Podcast pageand Progyny’s Education page for more resources.  

Be sure to follow us on Instagram, @ThisisInfertilityPodcastand use the#ThisisInfertility.     

Have a question, comment, or want to share your story? Email us at thisisinfertility@progyny.com. 

Host

Dan Bulger, Producer at Progyny

Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the last six years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he as interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children.

Guests

Dr. Alice Domar, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health and the Director of Mind/Body Services at Boston IVF

She established the first-ever Mind/Body Center for Women’s Health ~ as well as the very first Mind/Body Program for Fertility. 

A senior staff psychologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School ~ Dr. Domar has earned an international reputation as one of the country’s top women’s health experts. 

Her cutting-edge research focuses on the relationship between stress and different women’s health conditions ~ and for creating innovative programs to help women decrease these physical and psychological symptoms. 

Over the years she has collaborated with Boston IVF on many groundbreaking studies, including anti-depressants and pregnancy, stress and fertility, acupuncture and success rates, eating disorders and pregnancy ~ and many more. 

In 1987, Dr. Domar began exploring the impact of psychological distress on fertility, culminating in her Mind/Body Program, which teaches women strategies to reduce anxiety, depression, and distress through relaxation, mindfulness, cognitive restructuring, and yoga. Research continues to show that mind/body infertility programs not only improves psychological symptoms, but also increase pregnancy rates. 

Dr. Domar received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Health Psychology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Ferkauf School of Professional Psychology of Yeshiva University. Her post-doctoral training was at Beth Israel Hospital, Deaconess Hospital, and Children’s Hospital, all in Boston. 

She is the author of numerous books, on the advisory board for Parents Magazine, Health Magazine, Shape Magazine, Resolve, sharecare.com. Two of her books have been finalists for the Books for a Better Life Award. She was also the Series Editor for a series of mind/body books by Harvard Medical Publications/Simon and Schuster. She is the narrator of the DVD’s Stress and Relaxation Explained and Infertility Explained, both of which won silver Telly Awards. 

Dr. Domar has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Dateline NBC, CNN, PBS, and the CBS and NBC Evening News, to name a few. She presents lectures and conducts workshops throughout the US and around the world and went on tour with Oprah in the spring of 2004 and 2005 with the LLuminari team. In 2004, she was named to the prestigious list of 15 “Women to Watch” by Lifetime TV. 

 

Mollie Walker, Co-founder of Tennessee Fertility Advocates

Mollie Walker is the co-founder of Tennessee Fertility Advocates. She is a proud alumni of the University of Memphis, member of Harvest Church, and currently serves as the Vice President, Collierville City Executive at Landmark Community Bank. She is also actively involved in the Collierville Chamber, Collierville Rotary, and a member of the Generosity Network. She is the wife to Taylor and a proud mother of two beautiful children but the road to having them wasn’t easy. With no insurance coverage, years of trying to conceive, and two miscarriages it felt overwhelming and hopeless at times. Now she advocates passionately for others that the disease of infertility would be covered by insurance in the state of TN so the financial barrier is removed and allows more couples the opportunity to conceive their own children. 

Dr. Georgia Witkin, Head of Member Services Development at Progyny, Assistant Professor of OB-GYN and Reproductive Sciences and Assistant Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai

Georgia is the author of 12 acclaimed books, including The Female Stress Survival Guide, The Male Stress Survival Guide, and Stress Relief for Disasters Great and Small, and is a prolific writer of research articles about women, stress, and reproductive medicine. She has been honored by the AIA, AFA, Resolve, and City of Hope. She has also served as a health reporter/host for CNBC, WNBC, and the Fox News Channel, and has been featured as a guest expert on 20/20, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and CNN.