What is Trauma-Informed Fertility Care?
Navigating trauma in the context of fertility care requires a delicate and personalized approach. Certain aspects of the fertility journey may evoke intense emotions and memories in some individuals. To ensure that these concerns are handled with care, TRIO is offering the Trauma-Informed Fertility Care (TIFC) program, guided by Alexandra Blight, TRIO’s Nurse Practitioner and Trauma-Informed Care Coordinator.
“Trauma” is a term used to describe the challenging emotional consequences that living through a distressing event can have for an individual. Traumatic experiences often involve a loss of power, control, or trust. At TRIO, the TIFC program involves understanding, acknowledging, and responding to the effects of various traumas in a supportive manner. Our approach emphasizes the importance of physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both patients and providers, nurturing trust, control, and empowerment.
Our Trauma-Informed Fertility Care Approach
Although all staff members at TRIO are equipped with training in trauma-informed care, ensuring that every patient receives a high level of support and sensitivity throughout their fertility journey, some patients may benefit from additional support.
You may benefit from this program if you:
Have a history of sexual assault or have been a victim of domestic or other forms of violence
Have a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or panic disorder (PD)
Have a history of recurrent pregnancy loss (defined as >3 losses) and are struggling with the steps of ongoing fertility care emotionally
Have been diagnosed with vaginismus or have intense discomfort with penetrative sex and/or pelvic exams
Identify as transgender/non-binary or are part of the LGBQT2S+ community and have been triggered by navigating the cis-gendered/heteronormative structured health systems within fertility care
What to Expect with TIFC
Confidential one-on-one meeting to understand your past and current life experience and talk about potential trauma triggers and how we might mitigate these in your fertility journey. The initial meeting is approxiamtely 1-2 hours in length.
Creating a personalized care plan to minimize distress and enhance understanding and sensitivity during your time at TRIO. This plan will be shared with your entire care team, fostering both physical and emotional safety throughout your journey.
Careful review and discussion of the TRIO fertility experience to minimize surprises and plan for a safe and smooth journey along the way. Throughout your journey, the care coordinator may also follow up with you and/or involved parties of your team as part of a coordinated care approach.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the TIFC program available to everyone?
Only current or returning TRIO patients can apply to the TIFC program.
Do I need a medical referral to get started?
TRIO patients may self-refer to this program, or they may be referred by any TRIO clinician (MD, RN, MSW counsellor). To find out more, please email: email@example.com
Is the program a substitute for a therapist?
TIFC is designed for current TRIO patients to develop and document a plan of care that empowers them during their fertility journey. While the trauma care coordinator does have training in mental health care, this program is not meant to be a substitute for ongoing mental health counselling or crisis support. You will be provided with referrals for these services, either internally or externally, depending on your care needs.