Speak up about infertility! Make your voice heard!

Apr 19, 2013, 18:03 ET from Barbados Fertility Centre

LONDON, April 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- National Infertility Awareness Week runs from April 21April 28, the initiative was first launched by the US infertility association RESOLVE and encourages patients suffering with infertility to share their stories through social media channels to bring the subject in to the public domain.

Infertility affects one in six couples worldwide, and is an incredibly painful and sometimes lonely journey for couples who are desperate to start a family. For couples in the US, the problem is exacerbated by very expensive treatment costs, which is usually self-funded, as fertility treatment is not covered by most medical insurance policies.

One couple, Jane & Sean Griffin from San Francisco share their story in support of National Infertility Awareness Week.

Jane is only 29 years old, which dispels the popular myth that infertility is only a problem for women who leave it too late to start a family while they pursue their career. Infertility can be caused by a number of medical issues and can affect both men and women of all ages. Jane was diagnosed with Endometriosis at the age of 16, so always knew that she might struggle to conceive naturally.

The couple decided to start a family in 2009, when Jane was 25. Her husband Sean is in the Marine Corps and therefore spends a lot of time away from home, which only added to their problem of trying to conceive naturally. They tried for 6 months and nothing happened. It was then that Jane went for tests and discovered that both of her fallopian tubes were blocked so their only option was to conceive through assisted reproduction.

At that time Jane's aunt saw a TV programme about Barbados Fertility Centre (BFC), a JCI accredited centre of excellence for IVF located on the tranquil Caribbean island of Barbados and told her to check it out. Jane was intrigued and looked up BFC on the Internet to find out more about leaving the US for treatment.

Jane said, "My job is incredibly difficult, ironically I work as a nurse on a delivery ward and have to spend every day bringing babies in to the world. The majority of my patients have drug problems and are not capable of raising these children. But I told myself God has a plan and I had to trust that one day we would have our own baby."

With Sean working away from home a lot, Jane has got used to travelling to be with him and was not afraid to look outside the US for affordable treatment. The couple have lived in a lot of US cities and consulted various IVF clinics in the US, but no other clinic impressed them as much as BFC and in January 2013 they went to BFC for treatment.

Jane said, "The treatment costs were so much cheaper at BFC than any of the clinics we had met in the US. They had very impressive success rates and the team were so friendly! We really felt a part of the process and that they genuinely cared about helping us have a child. We could afford a vacation and the treatment in Barbados, and it was still less than just treatment alone in the US. It was so wonderful not having to rush between appointments and deal with the usual busyness of everyday life. We simply relaxed, ate well, took lots of naps and lazed around on the beach all day. It made the treatment a lot less stressful."

At the end of treatment, with sandy flip flops packed, sun kissed skin and both Jane and Sean mentally and physically recharged they returned home to the US. This trip was different from all the ones before. This time Jane was carrying home an extra special package – she was carrying the gift of hope.  14 days later Jane did a pregnancy test – there it was, it was positive – she was pregnant! The couple are simply over the moon and counting down the days until their baby arrives in October. Jane's message is this: Don't give up hope! Do your research and be willing to look outside the USA for help. Dreams do become reality.

If you would like to know more about infertility, diagnosis and the treatment options then Barbados Fertility Centre are kicking off National Infertility Awareness Week with a free online seminar hosted by medical director Dr. Juliet Skinner. You can register online here - https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/221415422

The online event can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home and friends and family are welcome to join in and share your journey to parenthood. It starts at 12-noon Barbados time, which is 12 noon EDTNew York time as well. The presentation will last for about an hour and you will have the opportunity to ask questions to the medical team throughout the seminar.

For more information on the work of BFC please log on to www.wemakebabies.com.

SOURCE Barbados Fertility Centre