Mrs. Obama's Comments Seen Ending 'Stigma' of Infertility

Michelle Obama's heartfelt comments about how she felt like a 'failure' after she and Barack Obama were unable to conceive children naturally is nothing unusual for Dr. Matthew Retzloff, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The fertility medicine specialist at the Fertility Center of San Antonio, says its not unusual for him to see patients who are ashamed to be undergoing fertility treatment, because 'the ability to conceive children is highly valued by our society.'

"Couples who have difficulty conceiving immediately start to reflect on themselves negatively," he said.  "They feel guilty, they feel helpless, they felling like they have no control."

And says says the fact that the former First Lady reported problems with conception after having a miscarriage made her situation even more difficult, but, he says, not uncommon.

"Miscarriages occur approximately in 20% of al pregnancies," he said.

But Dr. Retzloff says the Obamas, after undergoing traditional in vitro fertilization, had two happy and highly successful daughters, he hopes, will mainstream fertility treatment.

"We speak about infertility as an illness," he said.  "We speak about infertility as an illness so we can talk about it, and we can get it out there.  It is much for prevalent and much more common, and many of these couples feel alone."

He says it is not unusual for couples who come to his clinic to have told nobody, none of their friends and family, about undergoing fertility treatment, and he is optimistic that the candid comments by Mrs. Obama will change those attitudes.

"You'll take a couple who may be at a very low point, with feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and you can bring them to the very top."


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