As always, at SGF our goal is to do what is best for the patient. With that in mind, back in 2008, we realized something was missing – a place for our patients; current, past and perspective, to share their experiences. We turned to Facebook in hopes of creating a ‘safe place’ for patients to discuss and learn more about infertility, share experiences, and seek advice. Over the years, our patients have exceeded our expectations and have transformed the SGF Facebook Page into an interactive, patient-driven community of over 15,000 members.
Infertility is very personal. It is often described as a journey that can be challenging at times, and gratifying at others. It requires support, hope, motivation, determination, and at times, encouragement from others to take the next step or remain positive when it seems a positive outlook is impossible.
“The Facebook Page – or our Facebook Community – offers a safe place for patients to seek advice and share experiences with others who have walked the same path, overcoming the isolation felt by many patients.”
-Michael J. Levy, M.D.
Through positive stories and testimonials about overcoming infertility, past patients encourage other women to keep the end goal in mind – a baby – which is exactly what has happened for Kristen:
“Prior to my first cycle, it was comforting to be able to talk to other women who were walking the same path and see the success stories. I’ll be undergoing my second cycle late this fall (we became pregnant on the first attempt, but lost him at 21 weeks and five days due to an issue with my cervix) and have received so much support from women I’ve connected with through the SGF Facebook page. I’m hopeful and optimistic that I’ll be one of the women sharing a photo of my Shady Grove Fertility miracle, soon.” – Kristen, SGF patient and FB Community Member
The online community offers men and women the opportunity to learn from a reliable medical resource about diagnosis, treatment, informational events, latest technologies, or general infertility awareness.
In addition to the education we are able to provide, members of the Facebook Community are able to provide a two-sided conversation with other community members. As a result patients have the ability to learn from each other about their experiences and seek help when making crucial decisions. While it is imperative to listen to your physician and nurse, we understand how important it is to hear from others who have had to make similar decisions. For example, often times, women seek advice from others regarding how many embryos to put back. This was the case for anonymous SGF sister:
What is the benefit?
We know that the women who come to Shady Grove Fertility are strong and brave openly discussing their experiences no matter how trying their journey may be.
Sandi was so open with her situation, and through her openness, she not only found a life-long friend through Facebook, but a friend who later volunteered to be her gestational carrier! Read their story.
- A place for all patients – current, past and perspective – to celebrate infertility milestones: pregnancies, tranferversaries, and birthdays.
“After 6 infertility treatments (4 IUIs and 2 IVFs) I was ready to give up but Dr. McKeeby wouldn’t let me. He gave me hope. Lucky #7 gave us our miracle. Thank you Dr. McKeeby and the entire Shady Grove Fertility Family!” – Jena Lynn Lentz, SGF Patient and Community Member
Encouragement. Everyone needs positive encouragement every once in awhile. Facebook community favorites are quotes about hope, faith, and never giving up.
- Tameenah used Facebook as a support group while struggling with weightless in order to conceive. In addition to utilizing My Fitness Pal, she relied on the SGF Facebook page – where “SGF Sisters” would post their steps in the infertility journey and cheer each other on. Read Tamenah’s Story.
If you are ready to schedule an appointment at Shady Grove Fertility, please call 1-877-971-7755 to talk with one of our New Patient Liaisons.