Infertility has its coming-out

As you can read in one of my posts, the taboo has remained constant around Assisted Reproduction. This is demonstrated by the results of several studies we have conducted with our patients; the latest update is from 2019. They indicate that, in Europe, 63% have experienced their fertility problems in an environment of social rejection. We presented these data at the annual Congress of the ESHRE in 2020.  Well, I think something is starting to change and I am very happy about that.  You see, this year we celebrated the centenary of Institut Marquès and we dared to start the calendar of events with a Christmas party so that children could hand-deliver their letter to one of the Three Wise Men. It was in January 2021: we sent, without knowing how they would react, an email to our patients to invite them to the party. Well, it was a blast. Around 300 people came to our clinic in Barcelona to celebrate Christmas with us and to experience a reunion that was very emotional for everyone. We have just organised the Second Children’s Christmas Party at Institut Marquès and it has been another success.  Patients have once again come to our centre with their children to meet one of the Wise Men, to show them the clinic where they lived when they only had two cells and also, in some cases, to explain to them that their future little brother/sister is waiting in the laboratory’s “ice nursery”.  There have been hugs between patients and doctors, photos, games, dances, and lots of laughter. For us, it is one of the best rewards: to meet the children born thanks to our Assisted Reproduction treatments, to see how they grow up happily, give their letter to one of the three Wise Men and how they live with normality the fact of being conceived by means of In Vitro Fertilisation.

These events would have been unthinkable a few years ago, no one would have come. However, the good reception we are getting with this initiative shows that as a society we have taken a step forward in the normalisation of infertility. There is much more information about fertility and many celebrities now talk openly about their treatments on social media and in the press. This makes it easier for those who want to do so to explain that they need medical help to have a child, without fear of being judged. Infertility is a disease; I always say that. It is not right that those affected should have to live with it in secret. Today I feel hopeful and satisfied that I have done my bit to bring infertility out of the closet once and for all.

Here is the video of the party.


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