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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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Is fertility treatment really the emotional roller coaster I keep hearing about?

For most people, it is. While undergoing fertility treatment, many couples tend to live in month-to-month cycles of hope and disappointment that revolve around ovulation calendars and menstruation.

As they navigate a tight schedule of tests and treatments, they place their lives on hold — postponing vacations, putting off education, and short-circuiting their careers. Others find that the sorrow, anger, and frustration that can come with prolonged fertility problems invade every area of life, eroding self-confidence and straining friendships.

Realize and accept that you and your partner will have some ups and, most likely, a great many downs as you deal with your fertility problem. Examine your commitment to becoming parents and consider joining a support group if you decide to go ahead with treatment. Connecting with others in your situation is extremely important!

Why do women seem to suffer so much more than their male partners?

Most women are raised to think that they’ll become mothers someday. From the first baby doll to the last baby shower, girls and women are surrounded by images and expectations from parents, peers, religion, advertising, and the media.

For some women, motherhood is a large part of their self-image as a female. For others, it’s their highest ambition. Even women who don’t necessarily want to become mothers are aware of social expectations to do so.

The pressures to marry and raise a family can be enormous — to the extent that women who are unable to do those things can feel as though something must be deeply wrong with them or sorely lacking in their lives.

Men are not pressured in the same way to become fathers. And many men are brought up to repress their feelings or at least keep them to themselves.

A man may be feeling similar frustration and disappointment as he and his partner go through yet another treatment and yet another month without a pregnancy. But many see their role as being strong for their partner. Or they may be so used to holding in their feelings that they don’t know what they feel or that they can ask for help.

If the fertility problem is clearly his, such as poor sperm quality, then a man’s image of himself can start to suffer.

Studies show that, as a group, women with fertility problems are as anxious and depressed as women with cancer, heart disease, or HIV. One reason for this may be the physical demands of fertility treatments — blood tests, pills, daily hormone injections, ultrasounds, egg retrievals, and surgery can all be a source of stress and emotional upheaval in women.

Also, society often fails to recognize the grief caused by infertility, so people denied parenthood tend to hide their sorrow, which only increases their feelings of shame and isolation.

Our love life seems so mechanical now. Does this happen to other couples?

Yes. Many couples say that once they start worrying about having a baby, sex becomes more of a chore than a pleasure. Most fertility treatments require you to make love at very specific times — hardly an ideal way to set the mood for romance or enjoy sexual spontaneity.

If you find your sex life deteriorating and yourselves unable to remember the meaning of romance, take a break from your treatment regimen for a month or two and try to revive the love and fun that brought you together in the first place.

Keep in mind that this crisis is temporary — sooner or later, it will be resolved, and once it is, you’ll want to continue a healthy, fulfilling sexual relationship with your partner. For now, if difficulties persist, consider couple’s therapy with a counselor who has experience with fertility issues. Look for a referral through RESOLVE, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, or the InterNational Council on Infertility Information.
Learn how to avoid the most common pitfalls for couples facing fertility problems.

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When you are experiencing infertility, communicating with family and friends can be difficult and challenging. Even the most caring relative or friend may offer a “helpful” suggestion that will appear wildly insensitive to you.

Here are some tips for talking about infertility with family and friends, if you decide to do so.

  • Decide how much detail you and your partner want to share. Respect each other’s need for privacy about certain details.
  • It may help to rehearse exactly what you are going to say. Decide on specific words or phrases to use, such as of ”infertility” or “we are trying to get pregnant and seem to be having a problem”
  • Pick a time to talk when people are not rushed or distracted. Make sure it is a private place where you won’t feel embarrassed to show emotion.
  • Explain that infertility is a life crisis, and that 1 in 8 couples, or more than 7 million people experience it
  • Let them know how they can support you—whether you want phone calls, questions, etc.
  • Explain that you may need a break from family gatherings, and that it isn’t about them—it’s about using your energy wisely.
  • Tell them that you will share results about a treatment or procedure when you feel up to it, and not to ask about pregnancy tests or treatment results.

The following are scenarios that many of our members have found themselves in and responses you can use when you are asked a sensitive question.

What they said…
When are you going to stop concentrating on your career and start a family?

Response A:
“I don’t believe my job and a family are mutually exclusive. My career is advancing, and I’m very proud of my work. When we feel the time is right, we will consider starting our family.”

Response B:
“Right now I have two careers: one is my job which you know about and the other is trying to become pregnant. You probably wouldn’t believe how exhausting and time-consuming infertility treatment can be; it really feels like a second job.”

What they said…
“You used to talk about combining a career and a family. How are those plans coming along? Will we ever get to be grandparents?”

Response:
“I truly hope that someday you will have grandchildren. Whether I have children biologically or through adoption, I look forward to sharing that happiness with you.”

What they said…
“I wish you’d take one of my kids—they drive my absolutely crazy!”

Response A:
“Oh thanks, then they’d drive me crazy!”

Response B:
“I know that parenting is a really difficult job, but I’m really looking forward to that challenge and experience.”

What they said…
“You can always adopt.”

Response A:
“Adoption is an option I am considering. I have to resolve some medical issues and must grieve the loss of the possibility of not having a biological child before considering adoption.”

Response B:
“I have considered adoption very carefully and have decided it is not for me, and am considering a childfree life, if I am unable to conceive a child.”

How to deal when someone close is pregnant “Guess what? I’m pregnant!”

These are the hardest words to hear from a friend or relative. The best you can do with this one is explain why you are unable to celebrate wholeheartedly.

Response A (keep it short and sweet):
“That is great news. Congratulations.”

Response B:
“I’m happy for you, but it is difficult to hear when I cannot get pregnant. That is a really tough time for me, so please understand if I am unable to attend your shower or listen to your happy moments. I am working through my infertility, and the pain is still great.”

Resolve.org

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