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Are you letting this “infertility” battle take control of your life and ruin it? Are you losing sleep over your fertility issues and withdrawing from life?  Don’t worry, I have been there too. 

There so many people who may not know if they are infertile. However, chances are high that if you have had some problems getting pregnant, then thoughts of whether you can really conceive and give birth to a child must have crossed your mind, at least at some point in your life. You will surely question why, or what’s wrong and wonder whether you could be infertile.

You ask, yourself what the signs of infertility may be or think I am over 35 and my odds are going against me. Time is running out!  You begin to think that your dreams of having children may never happen. Your emotions can really get to its worst and then you become desperate, mad, totally stressed out and go into despair. For God’s sake, don’t let that happen to you! If you think that you are infertile, what you should do is try to learn everything you can on this subject.  The trick is to not let this consume you and ruin your life. Easier said then done, right. Not really, only if you “think” it is too hard will it be.

In my Oakland bi-weekly “fertility” group we are working on “letting go” and to not continue to focus on what we are lacking but more on what we have now, today.  All we have is today and if we are in our heads about tomorrow or yesterday then we are missing the beauty of life today.  I truly believe that being mindful during this process is the key to being able to handle it and successfully getting pregnant.  But you need to come to a place where you are okay with either way it works out. You don’t “need” a child, you only “want” one…that is the goal that I want the women in my group to walk away remembering.  I am a licensed MFT therapist in the East Bay area who has been practice since 2000 and have had a personal journey with fertility issues.  Trust me, I get it. 

If you are interested in more information about this topic, individual therpay, or our groups, please contact Amoreena Berg at 650-224-1796 or email amoreena@gmail.comwww.amoreenabergmft.com

Baby Dust to you all in 2010!

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It’s winter and many of us are dealing with the weather challenges, travel, visiting relatives, eating unhealthy food and not getting enough exercise. Plus, we have the daily challenges of life, relationships, financial challenges, our job (or lack of one).

It’s easy to get scattered, overwhelmed, or stressed out. It’s easy to forget to take good care of your precious self.

We bring this up because mastery over any fertility issue is very much a mental game.

Sometimes even the best of us need to retreat to refocus our thoughts, energies and resources.

I personally struggle like everyone else to live a balanced and successful life. I have to take the time to remind myself that being in a bad mood or feeling stressed out is a choice, and that I can choose to look at my life and situation differently.

When you realize that you are experiencing burnout from the reality of life, it’s time for you to bring to mind “the skill of awareness.”

What this means is that you have an awareness that you are not in a resourceful mindset or mental state. You need to give yourself permission to nurture yourself and honor your emotions.

It’s important to remember that feelings are energy and they need to be acknowledged.

Do yourself a big favor and create an outlet that allows you to get out of your negative state of mind and honor your feelings.

I love to talk walks at the nearby forest reserve. It’s immensely calming to look out onto the trees and smell the fresh air.  Squirrels and other critters play and it is quiet and peaceful. All of my problems and concerns become insignificant for this moment. I give myself permission to quiet my mind and become totally immersed in the Present Moment. When I come home, I feel like a different person. I have a different perspective on my problems and often come up with a creative solution.

What can you do to play hooky and do something that will renew your soul, give you temporary escape from life’s challenges and demands, and give you some resourceful insights?

Write down some of the ways you will reset your stress button. And then schedule some time to make it happen!

By the way you are not dealing with infertility issues anymore, please stop telling that story!  Your are fertile and have no more issues, you are healing as we speak and your body knows exactly what to do.  Trust and have faith that is it healing.

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My practice is fortunate enough to be in a holistic wellness center that has wonderful practioners of all types.  Because of this I am able to offer unique packages to my clients at reduced rates.  Currently I am running a great special on first time clients with an intial consult for 1.5 hrs and a 30 minute massage (by a professional massage therapist) following our appointment!! This package is $130!  Ongoing massages from any of the therapists will be discounted if you are a client of mine.  So take advantage of this opportunity.

There are a variety of ways to relieve stress, depression, and anxiety. Traditionally talk therapy is extremely helpful, but along with other modalities the recovery rate is much higher.  I believe in treating the body as a whole instead of parts which is why I practice at a center that offers all these options.  If you are interested give me a call or email at 650-224-1796 or amoreena@gmail.com.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Our first support group for women going through infertility issues is starting November 21 from 12-1pm.  That is a Saturday and this group will meet bi-weekly for 6 sessions.  My goal is for this group to be a safe supportive environment for you to be able to express yourself as well as learn mindfulness tools to help cope through your journey.  Women in all phases of the infertility process are welcome, whether you are doing natural, IUI, IVF, or deciding what is next we would love for you to join us.  We are meeting at the Integrative Women’s Health Center in Oakland, 3300 Webster Street. If you would like more information please email or call me, 650-224-1796 amoreena@gmail.com.

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Clinic adopts new standards to fight infertility


BANGALORE: With the abortion rate going up rapidly in India, educating couples, especially the young ones, has become a necessity. Assisting couples with a state-of-the-art facility using global standards and practices, Sure Fertility, based in JP Nagar, has opened its door recently to such couples.  According to Dr R Kishore Kumar, CEO, Sure Fertility, “Infertility is a major concern in cities like Bangalore, due to constant spikes in stress levels triggered by work pressures and working conditions that upset the body clock. Added to this are issues like faulty eating habits and lifestyle, obesity, lack of exercise and late marriages.” When a woman is unable to conceive after a few years of marriage, the pressure on her increases and the couple gets emotionally distraught. “We are dealing with not just a medical issue but also a highly emotional and personal one. There are various milestones to be crossed before high-end and clinically sensitive procedures are used,” he added.
If India is having a problem then the United States obviously falls right behind them with the stressful lifestyles! One of the things I work on myself as well as with my clients is how to deal with the stress.  Normal stress with everyday life is bad enough, but when you add in the infertility stress and the medications that make you feel like an alien…then the question becomes how to deal with that?!  My advice is definitely get on board with some acupuncture right away, it does miracles.  Plus studies have proven the effects to raise the pregnancy rate during IUI/IVF’s dramatically.  Also it is important to be exercising regularly to deal with the stress….now obviously don’t run a marathon and don’t enter a fitness competition, but exercise at a moderate pace several times a week.  I encourage most of clients to stay in therapy to deal with the emotional component or find a local support group.  Just know that you are not alone…more women than you realize are silently going through this and many women in their 30’s/40’s are still single and have no idea that it could be a possibility.  Don’t do this alone, it is just too challenging.  Contact me if you ever want advice, need resources, or you are local and would like to join one of my support groups or see me individually.  http://www.amoreenabergmft.com

First Published : 03 Oct 2009 04:22:06 AM IST

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What is considered infertile? If a couple has been actively trying to conceive a child for a year or more without success then it is possible one (or both) of them is infertile. Realistically a couple must also ensure they’ve tracked the woman’s cycle correctly and had the proper timing of intercourse around ovulation.
When a woman is faced with infertility it can be very stressful and she may find it difficult to believe she will ever become a mother. It may even put a strain on her marriage since it tends to take over a couples’ life. It is common that everything in their lives revolves around getting pregnant. The rollercoaster of emotions is tiresome especially if she has gone through multiple fertility treatments and hormone testing and still sees negative pregnancy tests month after month. This process is very disheartening and can discourage a couple.
Primary infertility refers to the inability to conceive or maintain a pregnancy.  If a woman has experienced a miscarriage or recurrent miscarriages then this may play a role in determining her fertility. Secondary infertility means a couple is having those same concerns after having a successful pregnancy.
There are several fertility treatments that a woman may receive which includes in-vitro fertilization (IVF), fertility drugs, surgery, and intra-uterine insemination (IUI). Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been around for thousands of years and can be used solely as an alternative treatment for infertility or used in combination with those mentioned above.
Women in the Bay Area who have been struggling with infertility may find it reassuring to visit East Bay Acupuncture Clinic who specializes in fertility care. They are compassionate towards women who are dealing with this challenge. Their facility is located in Oakland near Kaiser and Alta Bates Hospital.  Within the next few weeks they will be launching an infertility support group that I will be facilitating along with individual therapy sessions as part of the clinic’s optional treatments.
Kim Shaieb

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The pressure to raise a family can be enormous, and the thought of not being able to have children can make many people feel something is wrong with them. We talked to respected psychologists who work with couples with fertility problems to find out which coping strategies really work.

Recognize that a fertility problem is a crisis. A fertility problem may be one of the most difficult challenges you’ll ever face. Acknowledging this is a key to coping, says Kate Marosek, who’s counseled couples with fertility complications in the Washington, D.C., area for more than ten years.

“It’s normal to feel a monumental sense of loss, to feel stressed, sad, or overwhelmed,” says Marosek. “Don’t chastise yourself for feeling this way.” Facing and accepting your emotions can help you move beyond them.

Don’t blame yourself. Resist the temptation to get angry at yourself or to listen to the little voice in your head that’s saying, “I shouldn’t have waited; I’m being punished for having that abortion; I should have lost more weight or taken better care of my health; I shouldn’t have assumed that I could have children when I wanted” or whatever negative thoughts you may be having.

People can get caught in negative thinking patterns that only make matters worse, says Yakov M. Epstein, a psychologist at Rutgers University and co-author of Getting Pregnant When You Thought You Couldn’t: “Instead of berating yourself, look forward to how you and your partner are going to manage the situation.”

When you start feeling like you “should have” or “could have,” remind yourself that your fertility problem is not your fault. Even if you could have made different decisions in the past, they’re behind you. Concentrate on your future.

Work as a team with your partner. You and your mate should help each other through this time (and definitely not blame each other for your difficulty getting pregnant).

This doesn’t mean you need to feel the same thing at the same time — that’s one of the most common pitfalls for couples facing fertility problems. It does mean paying attention to what your partner’s going through. “If you’re taking care of each other emotionally, you can unite to fight the problem,” says Marosek.

Work together to find practical ways to share the burden. If you’re undergoing treatment, he can take care of the insurance papers. Or if he needs injected therapy, you can administer the shots.

Educate yourself. Read as much as you can about fertility problems and ask questions of your doctor and other couples in your situation.

Staying educated is especially important when you’re dealing with a fertility problem because the technologies behind the treatments are complicated and change quickly. “You’ve got to understand what’s happening medically,” says Epstein, “or you won’t be able to make informed choices.”

See our resource guide for a list of books, Web sites, and organizations that can help. Learn the basics by starting at the beginning of our Fertility Problems area.

Set limits on how long you’re willing to try. Some couples decide from the get-go that they won’t go to extreme measures to have a baby. Others spend years and thousands of dollars exhausting all of their treatment options.

No one can tell you when to stop trying to conceive — that’s a decision you need to make with your partner and doctor — but you’ll feel more in control of your life if you start thinking in advance about how far you’re willing to go to get pregnant.

Start by discussing your medical odds of getting pregnant, which treatments you’re not willing to try, and your end goal. (For more help with this choice, read about making the decision to end fertility treatment.)

Decide how much you’re willing to pay. With in vitro fertilization (IVF) averaging $12,400 a cycle, it’s no wonder couples feel anxious about money, especially since women often need to go through multiple cycles before becoming pregnant.

To cope with the anxiety caused by the high costs of treatment, sit down and develop a financial plan. Start with your insurance: Find out exactly what it does and doesn’t cover. If it covers some or all of your treatments, decide which one of you will monitor the paperwork and negotiate with the insurance company.

Then look at all your assets and determine how much you can spend and on which treatments. “You should always have a plan B,” says Alice Domar, a psychologist and assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard University Medical School who specializes in helping couples with fertility problems. “Because nothing, especially with fertility treatments, is certain.”

Get support from professionals and others with fertility problems. Society often fails to recognize the grief caused by infertility, so those denied parenthood tend to hide their sorrow, which only increases their feelings of shame and isolation.

“Finding other people who are going through the same thing can help you see that fertility problems are widespread and your disappointment is understandable,” says Linda Klempner, a clinical psychologist and mental health consultant at Women’s Health Counseling and Psychotherapy in Teaneck, New Jersey.

Connect with others who can relate on one of our Fertility Problems bulletin boards.

If you’d like to talk to a therapist, look for one who understands reproductive medicine. “Fertility problems are very complex, and if a therapist does not understand the medical issues, he or she won’t be able to help,” says Epstein. Look for a referral through RESOLVE, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, or the InterNational Council on Infertility Information.

Just say no to baby-focused activities. If certain gatherings or celebrations are too painful for you — if all your siblings had babies in the last two years, say, or you keep getting invited to baby showers — give yourself permission to decline the invitation or at least to have a good cry afterward.

To avoid hurt feelings, send a gift but choose children’s books or an online gift certificate to save yourself a troubling trip to the toy store or baby boutique.

Balance optimism and realism. “You need to be optimistic to go through a procedure,” says Epstein, “but if you’re too hopeful — if your hope is unrealistic — you’ll be setting yourself up for a huge fall.” By keeping current on the technology and your diagnosis, you can get a good handle on what chance of success you have with each treatment.

The array of medical technologies available today leads many couples to keep trying month after month, year after year. But about a third of couples treated for fertility problems won’t go on to have a biological child, and often they must make peace with that before they can move on with their lives. Staying realistic can help you make smart choices as you work your way through the emotional minefield of treatment.

Take care of yourself by pursuing other interests. Being treated for a fertility problem can feel like a full- or at least part-time job, so it’s important to keep up with some of the activities or hobbies that bring you pleasure.

“It won’t be easy,” says Marosek, “especially if you’re doing something like going in for a blood test every other day, but look for ways to take care of yourself.” She recommends that people get a massage, have a manicure — anything that can give them relief from the focus on fertility treatment.

If your old activities are painful — maybe all your friends are parents now — look for new diversions. If hiking sounds appealing, do that. Or take a class — painting, dance, or something else that’s always tempted you.

And remember, laughter is one of the best healers. See a funny movie, head out to a comedy club, and reread your favorite funny novel.

by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board
Last updated: August 2006

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