SOURCE: WMM, a 501(c)3 nonprofit

August 26, 2013 18:22 ET

Patients Reveal the Hidden Side of Fertility Treatments

Unprecedented National Forum to Reveal Under Reported Traumas, Societal Impacts and Risks Associated With Fertility Treatments and High Failure Rates

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - August 26, 2013) -  As reproductive medicine heralds the birth of an estimated five million babies born via in-vitro fertilization (I.V.F.) since 1978, a group of infertility advocates and patients are convening the nation's first independent forum to draw public attention to the millions more couples whose treatments failed, and raise much needed awareness about the hidden emotional traumas, societal impacts, risks and myths associated with infertility, childlessness and treatments--including annual global failure rates as high as 77 percent in 2012.[1]

On Friday, September 27, 2013 in Lower Manhattan at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center Theater #2, The Cycle: Living A Taboo will convene patients, doctors, authors, filmmakers, and trauma therapists familiar with infertility and treatments for this long overdue public dialogue. The 90-minute program will include dramatic readings, film segments, and intentional conversations about stigma, hype vs. hope, and trading losses in for life. The Cycle will be recorded and filmed, and segments may be used in a documentary film of the same name (

"Every year, more than two-thirds of patients undergoing advanced fertility treatments contend with failed cycles, which include I.V.F., donor eggs and surrogacy," said Irina Vodar, award-winning documentary filmmaker and co-producer of The Cycle. "Yet the vast majority of these outcomes, and the women and men affected by them, remain invisible in popular media, relegated instead to online communities or anonymous blog sites where any potential social impact and public education dissipates."

Vodar added, "For thirty-five years the $4 billion global reproductive technology industry has benefited from misleading coverage from mainstream media that suggests that technological advancements more often than not results in 'successful' endings that include delivery of a healthy baby. When treatments fail, you fall off the charts, you disappear, you don't exist."

Infertility has had a constant presence in civilization -- first revealed in ancient times -- yet the subject remains shrouded in myth and stigma. 2013 data from the U.S. National Institute of Health shows that nearly every sixth couple of childbearing age is affected by infertility -- 7.3 million people in the U.S. or 12 percent of women of childbearing age.[2] The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 60 to 80 million couples worldwide currently suffer from infertility.[3] The definition of what constitutes infertility varies across regions of the world[4] and is estimated to affect 8 to 12 per cent of couples worldwide.

"The Cycle has been created entirely through the volunteer efforts of infertility survivors and advocates. We aim to challenge conventional wisdom and foster a new, more open dialogue about infertility," said Pamela Tsigdinos, co-producer of the event and author of Silent Sorority, one of the first books to document failed treatments. "Rather than remain silent, for fear of being shamed or judged, we will give voice to what has been a profoundly misunderstood and misrepresented human experience."

People facing a diagnosis of infertility, those who have experienced fertility treatments-whether they succeeded or not--and those who have adopted children are welcome to attend this historic event. Organizers also invite friends and family members of people coping with childlessness and those whose loved ones did not become parents after treatments failed. Also welcome are fertility doctors and nurses, representatives from the mental health community, including social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists, and members of the media who interested in improving how they report on issues linked to this complex health condition.

Among the organizations and communities supporting The Cycle:

Our Bodies Ourselves (OBOS), a global nonprofit, public interest organization that promotes accurate, evidence-based information on girls' and women's reproductive health and sexuality, and addresses the social, economic and political conditions that affect health care access and quality of care.

We Are Egg Donors, the world's first self-advocacy group for egg donors.

The Seleni Institute, a New York City-based nonprofit, that provides mental health care, research and education central to women's reproductive and maternal mental well-being.

The Center for Reproductive Psychology, a San Diego-based psychological counseling and supportive services organization affiliated with the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University.

The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, Talk Radio for Fine Minds.

Gateway Women, a network set up in 2011 to support, inspire and empower childless by circumstance women.

About The Cycle: Living A Taboo

The Cycle: Living A Taboo (#TheCycleLivingATaboo) is the first independent public forum designed to honor and explore the hidden ramifications and bioethical considerations of infertility, assisted reproductive technologies and childlessness on individuals and society. The September 27, 2013 event will be recorded and filmed, and some footage may be used for a documentary film by the same name. The Cycle is fiscally sponsored by Women Make Movies (WMM), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. To make tax deductible contributions visit,

Tickets are available ($30 general admission). To secure a seat, visit:

To learn more about the Forum and the documentary, please go to The Cycle: Living A Taboo

[1], 3rd paragraph (350,000 lives births (success) out of 1.5 million treatments; 1,150,000 million failures - divide 1,150,000 failures by 1,500,000 attempts = 76.6)




[4] -- What is infertility?

The following files are available for download:

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