2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 18:44
Because fertility monitoring rhymes with treatments and medications, visits to the pharmacy are commonplace. Lynn Blouin, pharmacist and owner of the pharmacy of the same name, specializes in fertility. She answered our questions.
Q. Tell us about your background. What led you to open a pharmacy specializing in fertility?
R. I myself am infertile. When I was followed in fertility, 32 years ago, I realized that there was zero help. When you are treated with hormones, it is difficult. There are many constraints and inconveniences. I started to specialize in fertility little by little. I knew it filled a need. Five years ago, I decided to dedicate myself 100% to fertility. I opened my own pharmacy, which is located next to a Jean Coutu, but which is completely independent. It is the only Quebec pharmacy entirely dedicated to the distribution of fertility drugs.
Q. What is the advantage of picking up your medication at your pharmacy?
R. Having had fertility treatment myself for seven years, I really understandhow the patients feel. Not only am I in a good position to help them with their medication, but I am also able to offer them support.
Q. What other services are offered?
R. Of course, you can find your medicines in traditional pharmacies, but often it is the advice that is lacking. Here, we have two demonstration rooms. The girls are shown how to take their medication and educated about side effects etc. I even give my personal phone number to some clients.
We also deliver the same day, anywhere in Canada. It's really convenient for girls who live in the region. Outside of urban centres, there is often a problem with the supply of specialized drugs. They are offered telephone support, or even video via Skype.
A few numbers…
- 12 to 16% of couples whose wife is of childbearing age fail to conceive a baby after a year of trying. This figure was around 5% in 1984.
- Among 18-29 year olds, the infertility rate varies between 7 and 14%; this figure was 5% in 1984.
- Among women aged 40-44, this rate is around 14 to 20%; it stood at 4.5% in 1984.
Q. What is the mood of women who come to your pharmacy?
R. It depends on each person's personality. If a woman is energetic and positive by nature, she may be in this state of mind when she comes to see us. If, on the contrary, it israther negative from the outset, she risks being so during her treatments.
It sure isn't easy taking hormones. It's like being in a constant premenstrual syndrome. At the pharmacy, since all customers have a similar background, they naturally bond in the waiting room. It always feels good to be able to talk to people who are going through the same things as us.
Q. Have you noticed a difference in your clientele since the abolition of the in vitro fertilization program?
R. With the end of free, we saw a decline in customers. Couples must now take the time to raise the necessary money before starting treatment. It requires a lot of sacrifices. We're just starting to see cycles again.
Q. Over time, what changes have you observed in the clientele?
R. There are many patients who come alone. They are single women who are tired of waiting for Prince Charming and whose desire for children is very strong. This is not a clientele we saw 32 years ago!
Q. What do you think are the biggest struggles for couples trying to conceive?
R. These couples have mostly experienced great disappointments, but the biggest difficulty they experience is stress. They know time is running out and trials aren't necessarily going to work.
Q. What are the right steps to follow for acouple trying to have a baby?
R. It is necessary to follow the recommendations for use: be in good he alth, relax, be active, reduce stress, etc. If you are between 18 and 25, you can try to conceive for a year before asking yourself questions and going for a consultation. On the other hand, if you are over 35 and you have been trying for six months, do not wait any longer and go consult now. Fertility really goes down a lot with age and some clinics stop taking patients after age 42.
Q. Are there actions to take, things to do, when thinking about getting pregnant?
R. You have to be alert and proactive. Take folic acid, lose excess pounds, eat well, cut down on alcohol and cigarettes and improve our physical condition. You also have to listen to your body to be able to understand the signals it sends us.
Q. You have met hundreds of women who were trying to have a child… Beautiful stories, sad stories. Could you share one of these stories with us?
R. At the beginning of my career, we implanted four embryos (we don't do that anymore – only one embryo is implanted). So we saw a lot of triplets. There is a lady who, after a few years of trying, finally had triplets. Two months after the birth of the latter, she fell pregnant naturally. This woman therefore had four children in the same year!
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