Archive for June, 2011

If you’re like me, you encounter many challenges in life. As a woman who is dealing with infertility in additional to all the other important issues in life, you are more likely to be faced with challenging situations than many others.

The question we need to ask ourselves is, do we have a defeatist attitude, or do we have a “can do” attitude?

You can only use your life energy effectively to solve problems if you are in a state of mind of being solution-oriented.

No one can make decisions for you or find the best solutions to your situations. You can make better decisions if you are in a positive frame of mind.

The way you label yourself and think about yourself with your self talk will determine how you make good decisions about critical issues in your life.

For example, negative thoughts about yourself are like having somebody sit on your shoulder whispering bad things in your ear about your inability to be successful.

We are self-fulfilling prophecies. What you say and think about yourself does come true. I know you want to debate this topic, but research is now proving that we can change the molecules in our body by our thoughts.

It’s as if we unconsciously believe that we can say negative things about ourselves and get away with it. We mistakenly believe negative thoughts won’t have an effect on our future. But the truth is all those thoughts, self-talk, and labels keep us stuck with old behavior patterns.

You are now the sum total of all the programming others have given you and that you have reinforced through the thoughts you have had about yourself.

You have the power to train your mind to choose what you think, instead of allowing random thoughts to hold you hostage.

Your goal is to become inner-directed and focused, so that you decide what you want to think, rather than have your thoughts and emotions determined by the world around you. An untrained mind will have more emotional ups and downs because it is reacting to random thoughts. Focus on what you want with joy and enthusiasm.

Just like the earth, your brain does not discern what you plant. It will work just as hard to grow weeds as it will to grow beautiful flowers. You determine the seeds that are planted by what you say to yourself over and over.

To increase your self-awareness, take a notebook around with you for the next 2 weeks and jot down all the negative things you say and believe about yourself. If you’re not having the results in your life you want, it’s because you are holding yourself back with negative self-talk.

To move to the next level of success you must take responsibility for the caliber of information that you feed your mental computer daily. Sure, it’s a challenging task, but the rewards will amaze you!

This can be applied to anything in life, not just your infertility struggle!  Looking back I see how my infertility struggle has helped me become more aware of my thoughts and stay focused on the things I want rather then the negative.  Once I finally understood the power of my thoughts things started to work and finally there wasn’t a struggle anymore.  It’s a practice like anything, so you just have to keep working at it.

Source: PCO Review


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Frequently I get phone calls about whether a group or individual counseling would be appropriate.  And when is it time to get the support for infertility issues?

The sooner the better…as soon as you realize infertility might be an issue call around and get some support.  Unfortunately many of the clinics around do not mention how emotional and isolating infertility can be for a couple.  Usually they have resources if you ask for them, but most couples in the beginning don’t realize they need support.  What I typically see is the couple or individual who come to me after months and even years of battling infertility by themselves.  I realize treatments are expensive, but counseling should be considered as part of the package and journey.  Most of my clients wished they had gotten support sooner and feel not alone once they do get the support. Ironically, or not, most usually get pregnant within a few months of joining a group or getting individual counseling.

Group or individual?  I think this depends on you and the couple.  I think it is important for the couple to be seen either in a group or individually right away.  It is a couple’s issue not just the woman’s problem…unless you are of course doing this alone, which many women are these days.  Some people are uncomfortable in a group setting and need time to warm up to the idea of just sharing their story with a stranger. Or maybe they just have experienced a traumatic miscarriage and need individual time to process those feelings before entering a group setting. Those people should start with a therapist first.  The group experience is very powerful and healing. It offers something individual work cannot.  Try both is what I suggest, when appropriate.  Most groups are only a 4-6 session commitment and individual work is done on a per session basis.  Whatever you do definitely get support because infertility can be a lonely journey and it doesn’t have to be.

My group is Fridays in Oakland at 6:30 biweekly.  Half of the group just got pregnant on the same cycle!  So now we have some newcomers and I look forward to their good news in the next few months as well. That is how it works.  80% of the group gets pregnant eventually!

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Make sure the men are getting tested as well!  You don’t know how many times I have heard couples come to me when only a basic semen analysis has been done. Years later they uncover the main reason for their infertility because of tests not done on the male.  There are other semen analysis and you need to ask about them, as well as genetic tests.  Apparently there is also a new male test out there as well to help determine the success of treatment…read on.

A new test for male infertility which will save time, money and heartache for couples, has been developed at Queen’s University Belfast.

The breakthrough is the result of 10 years research by Professor Sheena Lewis who leads the reproductive medicine research group.

It provides unique data by measuring damaged DNA in individual sperm.

This is used to predict the success of infertility treatments and highlight the treatment most likely to succeed.

Professor Lewis said the SpermComet test would also significantly reduce waiting times and improve chances of conception.

“One in six couples has difficulty in having a family. In 40% of cases, the problems are related to the man,” she said.

“Until now, there have been few accurate ways of measuring a man’s fertility.

“Good quality sperm DNA is closely associated with getting pregnant and having a healthy baby, and the SpermComet test is the most sensitive test available for sperm DNA testing.”

Professor Lewis, in partnership with Queen’s venture spin out company, QUBIS, has now set up a new company to market the test, which is already available through fertility clinics in Glasgow, Dublin and Galway.

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