WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 137 of 199

is likely to yield better health outcomes for women and their infants since high-order births are associated with higher-risk pregnancies. One of Lee's proudest advocacy wins was on behalf of wounded vet- erans. Spinal cord and other injuries can impair fertility, but since 1996 there had been a ban preventing the Veterans Administration from providing IVF when these men and women wanted to start a family. RESOLVE and other groups advocated hard, and, finally, in 2016, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs amended its fertility counseling and treatment regulations to include "IVF for eligible veterans with ser- vice-connected disabilities that result in infertility." "At last, the men and women who serve our country have the chance of a future with a fam- ily," proclaims Lee. To this day, Lee continues to fight "embryo personhood" legislation around the country because of potential interference with IVF. "I just helped update RESOLVE's Policy on Personhood Legislation because unfortunately, in 2017, ten states tried to pass 'personhood' legisla- tion, and President Trump's Health & Human Services Administration drafted a strategic plan that repeatedly references protecting human life 'at every stage of life, beginning at conception,'" Lee explains. In 2014, Lee received the RESOLVE Barbara Eck Founder's Award for her significant leadership in the field of infertility. She is honored to join the company of IVF pioneers like the esteemed Drs. Howard and Georgeanna Jones. And in 2016, she delivered a TEDxBeaconStreet talk about the politics of infertility that is available on YouTube. Whether advocating through legislative action or human compas- sion, Lee's goal is to inspire people who have resolved their infertility to: "Take up 'the obligation of the cured' and support this cause throughout their lives." No doubt that she has, and will, continue to motivate many men and women who now know the joys of parent- hood — firsthand. Fertility Facts n ONE IN EIGHT COUPLES (or 12 percent of married women) have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. (2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth, CDC) n APPROXIMATELY ONE-THIRD OF INFERTILITY is attributed to the female partner, one-third attributed to the male partner, and one-third is caused by a combination of problems in both partners or is unexplained. (www.asrm.org) n IN GENERAL, A WOMAN'S FERTILITY reaches its peak when she is in her mid-20s, then begins to decline. After age 35, the decline accelerates and miscarriage rate also increases. Men's fertility declines with age, too, although usually not until after age 40-50. (www.asrm.org) n APPROXIMATELY 85 TO 90 PERCENT OF INFERTILITY CASES are treated with drug therapy or surgical procedures. Fewer than three percent need advanced reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization. (www.asrm.org) n THE MEDIAN OUT-OF-POCKET PRICE for one cycle of IVF plus medicines in the U.S. in 2014 was $19,200, making insurance coverage essential for many people. (www.asrm.org) Lee receives the Founder's Award from RESOLVE board chair Jane Castanias for advocating on behalf of people trying to have children. C O U R T E S Y O F L E E R U B I N C O L L I N S 136 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 8 fitness & health "leadership in the field of infertility"

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