My current research reveals the personal and cultural stigmas associated with female infertility, examines Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), and underscores the prevalence of women and couples seeking these desperately needed healthcare services. This complex narrative is told through the lens of my own journey with multiple years of miscarriage, in vitro fertilization cycles, and eventual egg adoption which led to the birth of my daughter.
I have made repeated photographs of self-administered and partner administered injections, repurposed microscopic and ultrasound imagery of my body, and used historical photographic processes to reflect on broader issues associated with bodily autonomy, power, and control.
The images I share are a form of subjective documentation that is not only deeply personal, but relatable by the approximately 7.3 million women identifying patients who have received medical care for infertility in the US (1), with over 300,000 patients undergoing IVF cycles in 2020 alone (2).
Miscarriage and infertility are still taboo topics which frequently are only spoken about in private, and leave individuals feeling isolated and marginalized. IVF drug regimens are extensive and highly orchestrated. With my photographs I am attempting to subvert this procreation process which feels artificial and lacks sexual connection, with a process that celebrates intimacy and physical connection in a different way. More broadly I am commenting on the recent loss of bodily autonomy that has affected over half the US population. The ability to decide when and how one will be able to start their family is now in the hands of a select few. As my partner and I wield the power to create life through physician oversight and daily drug regimens, others are losing this fundamental right to control their own reproductive health.
1. Dusenbery, Maya. The New York Times: What we Don’t Know about IVF. April 16, 2020