Focus on Infertility: Local Lecture Series Takes on Tough Topic

For couples struggling to conceive, the topic of infertility is scary, intimidating, and never far from the mind.  There are many reasons why it's difficult to talk about; first and foremost that it's very personal.  Sometimes people are hesitant to discuss it because saying out loud that there is a problem is often the hardest thing of all.

Billings OB/GYN Associates hosted the third in their series of Health and Wellness Lectures last Thursday night, focused on infertility.  The lecture was presented by Dr. Douglas Ezell.  Dr. Ezell has a unique practice, in that he does handle fertility issues, but he also provides prenatal care and delivers those babies he helps couples conceive.  Dr. Ezell describes his practice by saying, "I'm the luckiest guy.  I get to help make babies, and I get to bring them into the world."

Once again, as with each of these presentations, I have to tell you that I think "lecture" is a misleading term.  First of all, if you've ever met Dr. Ezell, you'll know that lecturing is not his style.  He brings a sense of humor to the whole process of fertility treatments.  Dr. Ezell provided us with a brief presentation on the most common issues that prevent conception, talked a little bit about the emotional toll of trying to conceive, and then opened the forum up to questions from the attendees.

We talked a lot about treatment plans for different types of issues.  One of the main points Dr. Ezell made is that there is no cookie cutter approach to addressing infertility.  Every couple is different, with different challenges and treatment needs to be customized to that situation.  His approach is to do only the tests and treatments he considers necessary, partially to help alleviate the high cost of fertility treatments.

There was a broad range of attendees to the lecture.  There were questions from people who were obviously familiar with their own diagnosis, and questions from people who are just now starting to accept that they may need to seek treatment. It's an emotional topic, and I saw a few teary eyes, but Dr. Ezell is excellent at alleviating concerns and lightening the mood.

As we discussed the emotional and mental impact of trying to conceive, we learned that Dr. Ezell is not only a fertility doctor, but that he and his wife conceived through fertility treatments.  He shared with us a funny personal story about the craziness of the timing involved in trying to make a baby, resulting in a room full of laughter.

Bottom line from the lecture?  Don't give up hope, consult with a doctor, and keep a sense of humor through the process.

The last in this year's lecture series will be on the topic of Robotic Surgery, and will be held on Thursday, November 7th, at 6:00 p.m. and presented by Dr. Pam Templeton.  The lectures are all held on the Billings OB/Gyn Associates campus at 1611 Zimmerman Trail.  Please visit their website at http://www.billings-obgyn.com/lecture.php to find out more information about the series and to submit questions online.  Snacks and beverages are provided at the lectures and the series is free of charge.