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Practice is moving from Oakland to San Diego!.

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When you’re coping with infertility, certain comments and experiences can bring that pain to the forefront. Well-meaning remarks, family-focused events and sometimes even being around friends with babies can be painful when you’re longing to have a little one of your own.

Friends and family who have not experienced infertility have good intentions, but often don’t understand how sensitive the situation may be. Truthfully, navigating the waters can be incredibly difficult for aspiring couples, as well as their friends and family. Here are 12 tips to help all parties build strong, supportive relationships.

6 Tips for Couples Coping with Infertility:

  1. Anticipate when you might see children at events. If it’s too painful to be around youngsters, consider arriving just in time for the main event and not earlier.
  2. Consider social invitations carefully.  You have no obligation to go to parties and events heavily attended by children or pregnant women, especially if it’s too difficult emotionally. When in doubt, decline.
  3. Be prepared. Plan an answer ahead of time should someone inquire about your intentions to have children. While relatives and close friends will understand, couples are under no obligation to discuss personal details about their infertility experiences.
  4. To hold, or not to hold? Holding a baby for some can bring hope, while for others it can be incredibly painful. Everyone may want to share in the joy of a baby as do you, but you must always listen to your personal needs first.
  5. Focus on your relationship with your partner and spending quality time together without discussing family planning. It could be a ski trip or a romantic getaway, or a simple date night.
  6. Concentrate on friendships with couples who don’t have children. Surrounding yourself with couples who aren’t child-centric can ease the pressure of what you are facing personally. Plan to spend time with couples or friends who don’t have children should child-filled gatherings become too much to bear.

6 “Infertility Etiquette” Tips for Friends & Family:

  1. Show support. A helpful hug and encouraging statement can make a world of difference. Spend quality time together and make plans without children as the main focus.
  2. Don’t complain about your own past or present pregnancy. Couples dealing with infertility hope for the day they can worry about pregnancy woes.
  3. Avoid minimizing the problem by discussing parenting struggles or saying “there are worse things that could happen.” Until you are in a couple’s shoes, you are unable to understand how difficult infertility can be.
  4. Stay away from offering advice or tips for a couple looking to conceive. Topics such as exercise, food and lifestyle are off limits. If they are seeing a physician, they are already aware of your suggestions. Couples coping with infertility also often cope with the unjust blame they place upon themselves. No need to increase the burden.
  5. Never say: “Just Relax.” Everyone has heard it before – just relax, if it is meant to be, it will happen. But looking at a couple’s situation and reducing it to a simple statement is insensitive and careless. If couples have tried unsuccessfully for more than a year to conceive, doctors consider couples infertile. While stress often appears to be a contributor, the human reproductive system is complex and affected by a number of biological and physical factors.

Don’t push adoption. Each couple has their own approach to family building, and are well aware of their options. This is a tough topic to navigate, and pushing your opinion may not help them make a decision.

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Grief and Infertility

There are no words that can describe the hell of losing a baby. I have had a number of infertility patients recently who have experienced loss. They call me, despondent, frightened and scared that their loss will recur. They stop in my office, shut the door, pace or sit, and cry or rage about the unfairness of it all. Know what? They are right. One out of six of us will go through infertility. I would like to see the statistic of average length of time spent in fertility therapy, because the longer fertility treatment goes on, the more likely that the patient becomes depressed, hopeless, sad and angry.

I’d like to talk a little about grief. Of course Kubler-Ross’s work was seminal and set the stage for fantastic advances, partly by taking grief out of the closet. I have taken lots of grief courses over the years and what I have learned is no family endures it the same: some are livid, other members are sad, and some are positive. The point is that every death and grief experience is different, and the same holds true for infertility.

I get asked a lot from patients: Is what I’m feeling normal? My response is, “What is normal? You are allowed to feel any way that you do.” You see, we get so caught up in being perfectly put together, it’s alluring to think that if we try just hard enough — add another acupuncture session, eat raw food, swear off cranberry bliss bars, then we will “deserve” a baby. And what I have to tell you from the front lines of reproductive endocrinology is that there is not fairness. There is biology, and there is human reproduction which any Ob/Gyn will tell you is very inefficient. There are flawed gametes and counterintuitive hormones. So, yes, whatever you feel is normal. And whenever you feel it, it is normal. The Pampers aisle in the store is a for sure, certain commercials, women pushing carriages, Hallmark anything, and people at work who love to recount the details of their labors. All of these and many more are triggers — even years after losses.

In sum. Grief is a patient, wily beast, which will strike from a position of power and seem to render you useless. This is an abject lie. In your grief lies your strength to persevere, to protect yourself, to help others and to prepare for parenthood — however you ultimately become parents. And, yes, I really believe that if you stay the course, you will become parents one way or another.

 

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If you’re pregnant or intending to become pregnant, you may be concerned about having a successful pregnancy, since women with fertility issues have poorer pregnancy outcomes than other women.

One thing you can do for a better outcome is carefully review your use of pharmaceutical drugs while pregnant.

A Canadian study has revealed that women who take either antidepressants or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) while pregnant have a significantly higher rate of miscarriage.

Women taking an antidepressant while pregnant had up to twice the abortion rate of those who did not take antidepressants. Paroxetine, venlafaxine or the combined use of different classes of antidepressants were the most risky.

Women taking NSAIDs during the early stages of pregnancy had 2.4 times the risk of miscarriage compared to women who did not take NSAIDs.

Individual drugs have different risks. Diclofenac tripled the risk; naproxen (Aleve) had a 2.6-times increased risk, and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) doubled the risk. Combinations of drugs were associated with a 2.6-times increased risk.

We all have little aches and pains at times. This is usually caused by inflammation. You can actually reduce chronic inflammation by improving your diet. There are also many natural herbs, antioxidants and other natural products you can take as well. None of these have the side effects that NSAIDs have.

As soon as you become pregnant, please consult with your doctor about the benefits and risks of every pharmaceutical drug you take.

Some specialists prescribe baby aspirin or progesterone pills in the first trimester, but again this is something you need to consult your Dr. on because everyone’s situation is different.

Source: PCO review

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RESOLVE launched a very important initiative this week.  We need 7,300 people to sign a petition that will accompany a letter being sent directly to Secretary Sebelius at The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Right now there is an important discussion happening at HHS, and we want to make sure people with infertility are included in that discussion.  The Essential Health Benefits, part of the Affordable Care Act, will be determined this year.  We have a small window of time to ensure that infertility treatments are considered an Essential Health Benefit by our government.

Tell HHS and Secretary Sebelius that you want to make sure that infertility treatment is an essential health benefit and that people with infertility matter!

Sign the Petition NOW!

Once you sign the petition, we will add your name to the list. Don’t forget to share the petition with everyone who cares about you!

https://secure2.convio.net/res/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=367

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Whether you are facing infertility issues yourself or know someone who is, the process can be scary. There are monthly reminders of failure in the face of a strong desire to remain hopeful. These seven strategies will help you navigate this sensitive journey towards conception or along side someone who is trying. Hopefully the end result will be a beautiful new life in the end.

Rule #1. Be patient. The average time it takes a couple to get pregnant on their own is 6-12 months. Of course age and family history along with a myriad other factors such as diet, can have an impact. As challenging as it can be for someone who is used to setting goals, and achieving them quickly, getting pregnant is in part out of our control. If you’re so inclined, prayer and meditation or joining a support network can be helpful. I always encourage meditation and support groups because these are things you can control and studies have shown a positive correlation with pregnancy success and these interventions. Now this doesn’t mean it will make it happen but that correlation does exist and at the same time why not have an easier journey.

Rule #2. It’s not just in-vitro fertilization (IVF). You may be surprised to know that there are many steps and multiple options between conceiving the “old-fashion way” and IVF. On the less invasive side, there are methods such as taking your basal temperature, timing your cycle and tracking vaginal discharge. Some alternative therapies include things like acupuncture, massage and Chinese herbal medicines.  I highly recommend second opinions!  Many times you will hear something different and it may be something the first Dr missed or doesn’t have experience with so do your research!

Rule #4. Enjoy the “trying.” Have fun with it. Take the opportunity to explore new things. Discuss your needs with your partner in non-sexual moments. If not, sex can become at best mundane or worse a stressful chore. For each cycle that results in a negative pregnancy test, allow yourself a short time to mourn but also celebrate the small wins like one more month of eating sushi and drinking champagne. While it may seem like the end of the world in the moment, in the scheme of things once you have a child you will have them for the rest of your life, so try to enjoy one more month of freedom. Go for a run, get a massage or a mani/pedi and buck up for another try. This is difficult to hear when you are in the moment of getting a negative result however you do have a choice on how you feel about this.  Choose to feel better and look at what you can do today to make yourself happy…such as the things you won’t be able to do when you have a baby…take advantage of these wonderful times as well!

Rule #5. Adoption is a real option. If you choose to pursue adoption it can be done domestically or internationally and doesn’t necessarily have to take years. There are many great adoption agencies such as the Gladney Center for Adoption.

Rule #6. Lean on your support network. Infertility can be a roller coaster. It’s important to talk with close friends, your spouse, or mom about how you’re feeling. A lot of women also experience miscarriages. It’s not something that is widely discussed, but the more you confide in people or ask, the more you’ll find comfort in the many stories from people you know. Getting support from your core network can make a huge difference in sharing on the journey and they’ll be right there beside you when and if you do get pregnant. Just be careful on who you do tell and make it clear that you want to keep it private if that is what you expect from them.

Rule #7. Be mindful or your inner dialogue. Do your best to stay positive and be your own cheerleader. If you see an expecting mother or someone with their small baby – or if you have to attend a baby shower or visit a newborn – and you start to feel jealous, flip those feelings around. Tell yourself, “that’s what I want” or “that will be me soon.” It’s a simple mind-shift that keeps you focused on having your own baby while helping you to be able to be happy for others at the same time. If that is completely impossible than don’t go, send a gift and a nice card. It isn’t worth it if you are miserable at their event and it send you into a deep depression.
Hopefully you will have the family you so desire soon. Once you do all the worry, anxiety and stress of trying to conceive will become a distant memory as you focus on the new adventure of parenthood.

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About one-third of infertility issues are said to be down to the women, and struggling to conceive remains very much a taboo subject in a world where we believe we can have anything — including babies on demand. But a woman’s body must to be ready both physically and mentally in order to act as the baby’s incubator for nine months.

The most common cause of infertility is dysfunctional ovulation, the monthly releasing of eggs.
Issues such as stress or hormonal imbalances can cause irregularity or altogether stop this process.

The mounting pressure from the constant need to try for a baby can become overpowering and verging on obsessive. Going through infertility issues is stressful, and when we are stressed, some feel that their body betrays them.

It isn’t totally proven that stress can cause infertility or hinder the process in anyway, since plenty of women get pregnant in very stressful situations. However, everyone’s body is different and what your body can handle may be different than someone else.  Also we do know that cortisol is released when we are stressed and that has a potential to cause other problems.

The body may see stress as an invader, signalling to the body that now is not a good time to get pregnant. As an ancient practice developed at a time when people didn’t separate the body from the mind, yoga acts as a trigger for relaxation.

So can Yoga help you get pregnant? The answer of course isn’t clear or certain, but it definitely can’t hurt! If it helps relax you during this journey and give you some sort of peace than I would say absolutely it can help. If Yoga is one other thing you need to add to your list of things to do and you are already maxed out and stressed, then don’t bother.

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