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 12: LGBTQ+ Family Building: Donor 101

Due to advancements in assisted reproductive technology (ART) and more inclusive employer-sponsored family building coverage, the LGBTQ+ community has more options on their paths to parenthood than ever before. One of the most utilized technologies for LGBTQ+ singles or couples is donor tissue – the use of donor egg and/or sperm.  

Tissue donation can be confusing to navigate, so Progyny recently hosted a webinar to discuss the ins and outs. Join Dr. Georgia Witkin, donor egg and sperm expert, as she explores how and why donor egg of sperm may be a good option, what to consider during the process, and the difference between a known donation vs. using an egg and sperm bank.  

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

ExpertsJaime Shamonki, Generate Life Sciences, Juan P. Alvarez, Fertility Centers of Illinois 

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

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

Dr. Georgia Witkin, Head of Patient Services Development for Progyny Georgia Witkin, Ph.D., Head of Patient Services Development for Progyny

Georgia Witkin, Ph.D., is Head of Patient Services Development for Progyny, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Ob/Gyn and Reproductive Sciences at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and Director of Psychological Services for RMA of NY.

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 other networks, 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.

Guests

Jaime Shamonki, Chief Medical Officer at Generate Life Sciences

Dr. Shamonki trained in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at New York Presbyterian Hospital – Weill Cornell Medical College, and has completed fellowships at Weill Cornell as well as the University of California, Los Angeles. 
 
Prior to joining Generate Life Sciences, Dr. Shamonki developed expertise in women’s health and clinical laboratory medicine, serving as the Director of Breast Pathology and Blood Bank Medical Director at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA, and as an Assistant Professor at the John Wayne Cancer Institute.​ 

Juan P. Alvarez, Reproductive Endocrinologist at Fertility Centers of Illinois

Dr. Juan P. Alvarez is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He completed his fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center combined program. Prior to his fellowship, he completed his residency at Emory University School of Medicine and received his medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Dr. Alvarez is passionate about all aspects of infertility but has a particular interest in obesity and its impact on fertility as well as unexplained infertility, diminished ovarian reserve and fertility preservation. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Dr. Alvarez also has a special interest in LGBTQ+ fertility care and education. Dr. Alvarez is committed to helping, treating, and advocating for the reproductive health of the LGBTQ+ community and has a specific interest in egg donation, sperm donation and surrogacy. 

His published research has centered around topics such as PCOS and miscarriage, improving egg quality, and the impact obesity has on ovarian function and fertility potential. Dr. Alvarez takes the time to form a deep connection to his patients and creates individual and personalized treatment plans for each patient in his care. In addition to speaking English, Dr. Alvarez is also fluent in Spanish.