Since our launch in 2016, we have seen such an enormous change in the conversation surrounding IVF
Where there was once no online community support, social media, nor online blogs for men and women to turn to for insight and comfort, the internet is now full of people offering their words, thoughts and own personal advice on infertility and fertility treatment.
If you are feeling like you are the only woman on earth who is unable to conceive, you are just three clicks away from seeing that you really are not alone – simply click on Instagram, search for IVF, and thousands upon thousands of accounts will appear, from women and indeed some men, who are documenting their fertility journeys through pictures, videos, stories, reels and lives.
However, as wonderful as it is to be able to turn to the online TTC community for support, it really is so important to be mindful that it can be overwhelming, and not always what you need to hear. You can at times be faced with conflicting words, from new TTC friends who all suggest you do things the way that they did. So, the key is to find the right balance – so that you feel supported, but not confused.
We turned to the brilliant team at Embryolab and asked for their thoughts on social media and IVF.
Would you say that most of your patients use social media to support them on their fertility journey?
Women, men and couples need IVF support and answers to their infertility issues by all means possible. Social media makes communication more direct and easier, so yes, more and more patients are communicating through social media to be supported during their IVF journey. In recent years, with the COVID pandemic, this type of communication has become necessary, especially for couples who choose to do their IVF treatment in a clinic located in another country.
Is it important for you as a clinic to maintain a presence on social media?
It is certainly very important for us to be present in every way and by all means for everyone. One of our main goals is to raise people’s awareness of fertility and to preserve the good reproductive health of young people. Although the Embryolab Team applies and seeks a personalized approach to IVF treatments, our presence on social media is very important to us.
Do you think Instagram and Facebook helps support your patients emotionally?
Instagram and Facebook are 2 popular media platforms that can really support patients emotionally. There are ways to tell the story of a couple or someone else, and the one who reads it to identify with it, find a solution to his/her problem, or feel positive about their journey to parenthood. However, in no case can media replace a live session with a qualified and certified psychologist, who can support patients by monitoring their body language, gestures, gaze or tone of voice.
In addition to this emotional support, do you encourage your patients to speak to a registered fertility counsellor?
Mrs Evi Kalouta, Psychologist-Psychotherapist in Embryolab, answer: “Instagram and Facebook are literally in everyone’s hands and they can be direct ways to communicate ideas and thoughts. So, they’ re more like inspirational and motivational means.
They also give people the space to share their stories and this can be supportive to couples who are now into their own journey to parenthood.
Social media certainly cannot replace live sessions with certified experts, but they can actually give encouragement to receive the kind of emotional support anyone needs.”
Do you think that patients are coming to you better informed and full of questions because of social media? Or are they coming to you with too much information?
Ladies and couples often tell us that the night before their egg collection or embryo transfer, they enter our You Tube channel and watch their doctor or embryologist in recent or even older interviews or appearances. They even come with their questions and queries in notes. Everyone today is better informed, as all information is available online and it is accessible to everyone. However, each case’s medical history is different, and no matter how much information patients receive from the web or social media, they will not be able to reach a solution on their own and without the guidance of one of our Assisted Reproduction Specialized Physicians in our clinic.
Do you encourage your patients to try not to listen to medical advice from people who clearly are not medical, that they meet online?
Social media are full of real cases, however often described with many exaggerations. One can see himself, get emotional or angry and even be scared, but remember that this information does not derive neither from a doctor nor an embryologist. Try not to listen to anyone who sounds like an expert or even a friend who has undergone an IVF herself, but rather focus on the credible information you will receive from a scientist with deep knowledge and specialized experience in IVF. Scientists can sometimes explain things in more difficult terms or what they say is more difficult to be applied, but only from such source can one draw reliable knowledge and information.
Do you often hold online webinars and Q&As? If yes, how can people reach you?
Yes, we often organize online webinars and Q&As with ours or yours social media platforms, IVF Babble, with Embryolab’s doctors, embryologists and IVF experts.
We have also prepared video instructions for the safe application of the injectable formulations for IVF treatment in 4 languages with the help of a specialized clinical team. Click here to watch.
Tell us more about Embryolab
Each year, EMBRYOLAB welcomes in Thessaloniki, Greece, hundreds of couples from all over Europe and around the globe.
Our long experience has created a well-organized international department which can respond immediately, at all hours of the day, and deal with any concerns that may arise.
Embryolab, since the beginning of the pandemic, has used all its know-how and in combination with all the strict protective measures it takes, offers the possibility for each couple to carry out their treatment safely from a distance.
At the same time, Embryolab’s innovation, in the field of online communication and Internet services, has led to new applications like Embryolab Connect, OnlineIVF, MyEmbryolab App, which provide remote audiovisual services to everyone.
Couples proceed to do all the requested and necessary medical tests together with their private physician at home and are always in direct contact with Embryolab.
Embryolab Connect, a pioneering private and secure online connection platform for 2 or more users so that you can directly and securely consult live with a Doctor, an Embryologist, a Psychologist and a Genetic Consultant or even with Embryolab’s specialized Assisted Reproduction Team.
My Embryolab App, a mobile app that allows users to safely store medical and diagnostic test results, communicate in real time with the clinic, the midwife and the doctor regarding your treatment, receive notifications of their appointments and to always have direct access to their medical file. Available for free in the App Store and Google Play for couples who have started their treatment at Embryolab.
At www.embryolab.eu and in 7 different languages you can find information regarding each step of each Assisted Reproduction treatment, the services provided, our team, the most frequent Q&As and Embryolab’s news.
Through our social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, You Tube, Linkedin at Embryolab Fertility Clinic, you can stay informed about all the developments and the latest updates in the field of assisted reproduction. You also can watch live Q&A sessions, interviews and seminars.
All couples who trust Embryolab, to make their dream of having a child come true, have constantly a team of dedicated experts and scientists by their side. Therefore, distance turns out to be far from an obstacle, an advantage!