Often people ask me Golda, why infertility? You are not married, you don’t seem to be trying for a baby. So why this passion for women struggling to conceive? I say why not?
I am a Biomedical Scientist by profession. In 2014 the hospital where I worked decided to set up an IVF (in-vitro fertilization) unit. I was chosen to travel to India for a short course in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). I came back and we started the unit.
A lot of clients came in, with varying stories and conditions. Many were at their wit’s end. I witnessed a lot of emotions great and not so great. Many came in tears and left with smiles on their faces and joy in their arms. Some yet still, had to try again and their disappointment was palpable.
One peculiar thing I noticed about almost all the women was that, they were clueless about their situation. They didn’t know what got them into that situation or how to get out. Whether it was preventable or not. Many plainly just waited too long to see a specialist. Some roamed the wrong places before finding the right kind of help.
The truth is, many of the conditions could have been easy to rectify, if they had come in earlier.
It broke my heart how, sheer ignorance could throw people into such a state of desperation. I thought to myself if people get the right kind of information, and are nudged towards the experts their situation can be improved.
Fast forward in 2017 as part of requirements for an MPH, I decided to conduct research on “Awareness of Male infertility in Ghana” ( I’ll make a detailed post on this soon). I was flabbergasted when I realized almost 70% of the respondents had little knowledge about male infertility and for that matter infertility. This explained why many cases that came in were almost helpless. How do you fight what you don’t know?
This got me thinking, that was when I decided to put this blog together. A one-stop-shop for all reproductive health and infertility information. Right down to which doctors to see and more. One thing that was my desire was not only to give information but support through whatever means. Infertility is a lonely journey. Many who suffer cannot tell their stories. Their tears have to be hidden under a cloak of smiles. Many just want a listening ear and a comforting smile from someone who understands. No advice or suggestions or worse blame.
So I decided to name it fertilitysidekick, sidekick as in buddy or best friend. That is what we want to be to our readers especially women facing infertility. Because of the blog, people call me up, some just to talk and some for recommendations. We already have twins daughters to the glory of God.
I hope in the near future this venture that has started as a blog will grow into a mighty organization, that will even provide funding for couples who cannot afford the expensive infertility treatments. We also hope to move from virtual to physical awareness creation and provide professional counselling services to couples. The future is bright!
Prior to you chancing upon this post, what had you heard about infertility? what did you know really? Share with me in the comments section.
My name is Golda Ataa Akuffo BSc.MPH.