Archive for January, 2013
By Tracey Minella
January 31st, 2013 at 9:04 pm
Tagged with coping with infertility, donor egg, East Coast Fertility, fertility coverage by state, Health, Infertility, infertility coverage, infertility coverage by state, infertility help, infertility information, Infertility Support, Infertility Treatment, IUI, IVF Long island, LI-IVF, Long Island IVF, male infertility, Micro-IVF, Reproductive Endocrinologist, stress of infertility, Trying to Conceive, what states cover infertility
If you ask an infertile couple what they’d be willing to do to have a baby, they’d probably say “Anything”. What would they be willing to spend? “Every last dime”. What would they sacrifice? “Whatever they need to”.
How far would they be willing to go to have a baby? “The ends of the earth”.
No, I don’t mean that philosophically. I mean it literally.
How far would you be willing to physically travel on your infertility journey?
If you live in a very rural or remote area, you have no choice but to travel extensively just to get to the nearest infertility clinic. Maybe it’s an hour or two in each direction. Many days per week, when cycling. And that’s just to access the nearest reproductive endocrinologist, not necessarily the best one.
Did location factor in to your decision for an R.E.? Did you choose the closest? Are you willing to travel farther for a clinic with the best reputation and success rates? If so, how far would you be willing to go? An hour? Two?
And on a related note, would you… or have you…relocated to another state to pursue IVF?
If the state you live in is not one of the 15 states that mandates some level of infertility coverage, and you do not have private medical insurance for infertility treatment, would you move to a state that does in order to pursue treatment? Here is a list of the states which do mandate some level of infertility coverage: http://bit.ly/Vmh6n2.
This list, provided by RESOLVE, is an invaluable asset for anyone willing to consider relocating, especially due to a job transfer or new employment opportunity. There are many variables, conditions, limitations, and exclusions on the coverage. Some states cover diagnostic testing only, others will allow certain treatments but exclude IVF, and some cover IVF but limit the number of cycles. Massachusetts has a very generous mandate which would certainly tempt infertile couples to consider relocating under the right circumstances. But it’s important to do your research since, even in Massachusetts, employers who self-insure are exempt.
Long Island IVF has treated patients who have traveled here from distant states and other countries, attracted by success rates and/or programs like our Micro-IVF and Donor Egg programs.
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Would you…or have you… traveled far, or even relocated to another state to pursue your dream of having a baby?
Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?id=10032766
By David Kreiner MD
January 28th, 2013 at 11:57 pm
First Octomom. Then a fertility doctor is denounced for claims of human cloning*. I get the impression there are fertility specialists out to ruin the reputation of IVF for the rest of us.
In the case of Octomom, there is some question as to how the patient was counseled. We focus on high success with least risk as possible. It is unfortunate that a few others aspire to something other than their patient’s best interests. It is very difficulty for a fertility specialist to deal with patients who insist on using up all their embryos in one attempt. We share with the patient a desire not to discard embryos but retain responsibility for not allowing for potentially dangerous outcomes.
Cloning is an ethical dilemma yet to be solved by society. Until then we do not participate in cloning since we are unsure whether to do so is ethically sound. Benefits of modified forms of cloning have been proposed. Multiplying high quality embryos in patients would theoretically increase their success rates. Women who had poor quality eggs (cytoplasm) could have their nuclei transplanted into the egg of a healthy young woman. Again, theoretically, this can improve success rates. Another proposed clinical use is to produce tissue for transplantation say in a child with cancer who requires chemotherapy.
The form of cloning that usually comes to mind however, is the creation of an identical being whether it be to replace a loved lost child or in our common vernacular a “mini-me”. It is this possible use of the technology that causes almost universal disdain in our society. We have yet to figure out whether there is a place for any of the aforementioned forms of cloning that is potentially more palatable.
IVF is a clinically useful form of technology that is allowing for greater than 40,000 more babies to be born each year who may otherwise never have been given life. But, as with all technology there are risks and potential downsides that need to be considered. Today, cloning as well as high ordered multiple embryo transfers moves the IVF technology beyond our comfort zone with our assessment of the potential risks and downsides. Let us not distort the relative benefit vs. risk of IVF technology by wrongfully applying it to cloning or high order multiple embryo transfer.
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Do you think cloning should be available, and if so, in what circumstances?
Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/search.php?search=cloning&cat=
By Tracey Minella
January 25th, 2013 at 9:31 pm
What better time than Healthy Weight Week to examine whether your weight may be affecting your fertility?
January is synonymous with New Year’s resolutions of weight loss or getting healthier. As we approach the end of the month, some will be on their way to a fitter, healthier self. Others may be struggling to follow through with their plan.
Here’s reason to forge ahead on the path to a healthier, fertility-friendly weight.
While being just a couple of pounds over the ideal weight for your height and bone structure should not derail your baby-making plan, being grossly overweight…or even significantly underweight… can stop your plan in its tracks. Why?
Weight issues can cause imbalances in hormone levels which play a part in pregnancy, including estrogen. Very heavy women may produce too much estrogen; very thin women may produce too little. Sometimes, being very overweight or underweight can interfere with ovulation and cause women to have irregular or absent periods. These hormonal and/or ovulatory problems can be barriers to conceiving without either medical intervention or a correction of the underlying weight issue. Sometimes, an overweight woman may be suffering from PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a common cause of infertility. http://bit.ly/WWA7xL.
Long Island IVF physicians sympathize with and make every effort to provide treatment to overweight patients, so long as it is medically advisable. Many reproductive endocrinologists refuse to even consider grossly overweight patients for IVF until they lose a recommended amount of weight. Perhaps they fear their IVF success rates/stats will suffer.
Having a healthy BMI, or body-mass index, is important in maintaining optimum fertility. If you feel your weight could be a factor in your inability to conceive, ask your doctor for an evaluation. Consider a nutritionist and/or a personal trainer to help you gain or lose the recommended amount of weight and to get your body in top fertility shape.
Sometimes, a moderate weight adjustment may be all you need to conceive naturally. And even if you still need some medical assistance to get pregnant, each pound you did conquer can only increase your chances for a healthier pregnancy.
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Is your weight a factor in your infertility? What tips do you have to get in fighting reproductive shape?
photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Healthy_Living_g284-African_Lady_Holding_Weighing_Scale_p92773.html
By Bina Benisch, MS, RN
January 23rd, 2013 at 10:01 pm
Tagged with Bina Benisch, coping with infertility, cortisol and fertility, Fertility, Health, Infertility, infertility help, infertility information, Infertility Support, Infertility Treatment, IVF, IVF Long island, Long Island IVF, Reproductive Endocrinologist, stress of infertility, Trying to Conceive
Life changes. You’ve had your intentions, your hopes, and your dreams of where life would take you. What you may not have envisioned is suddenly being a member of the population that struggles with infertility. Being diagnosed with infertility – for any reason – “unexplained,” male factor, or female factor, can feel like a lonely, isolating experience for many reasons. The fact is that most women never expected to be in this position, and this is often one of the most stressful times in a woman’s life. Feelings of anxiety, depression, isolation, and anger can be overwhelming during infertility. Often, anger masks the feelings of loss experienced month after month of trying to conceive without success. Infertility impacts on one’s marriage, self-esteem, sexual relationship, family, friends, job, and financial security.
Our Mind Body Program provides a space where you can relax, a place where you are free to express whatever it is you are feeling … a sacred circle of connection and support. I have been told by women who have participated in the Mind Body Support Group that they experience a huge relief by connecting with other women who really “get it,” who understand these unique feelings. During the sessions, I take part of the time to teach Mind Body methods to elicit the relaxation response (emotional and physiological relaxation). In this way, you can learn to practice these methods on your own on a daily basis.
In our Mind Body support group, patients experience the opportunity to share information, feelings, or their own personal stories. You may be surprised to see how your support can help others or you may be relieved to hear others experiencing the same type of thoughts and feelings as you experience. Often, the supportive nature of this group, and the connection that develops between members, fosters a healing process.
Feelings of isolation, anger, and stress are slowly relieved. Our Mind Body program focuses on symptom reduction and developing a sense of control over one’s life by utilizing Mind Body strategies and interventions which elicit the relaxation response. The relaxation response is actually a physical state that counteracts the stress response. You can think of it as the physiological opposite of the body’s stress response. We cannot be stressed and relaxed at the same time.
Therefore when a person elicits the relaxation response, the body’s stress response is halted, stress hormones diminish. It is important to understand fertility holistically. Your mind and body work together, not separately. Therefore your thoughts have a direct effect on your physiology. When you are experiencing stress, your brain releases stress hormones. These stress hormones function in many ways. One of the stress hormones, cortisol, has been documented to interfere with the release of the reproductive hormones, GnRH (gonadatropin releasing hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone), FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), estrogen, and progesterone. In fact, severe enough stress can completely inhibit the reproductive system. Cortisol levels have also been linked to very early pregnancy loss. For this reason, it has been found extremely helpful when treating infertility, to include mind body strategies which help to alleviate the stress responses which may inhibit fertility.
All mind body methods ultimately cause the breathing to become deeper and slower. This causes stress responses such as heart rate, metabolic rate, and blood pressure to decrease. The way in which you are taught to elicit the relaxation response is through methods such as: breath focus, guided visual imagery, muscle relaxation and learned mindfulness, and meditation. Awareness of the mind body connection allows us to use our minds to make changes in our physiology. This holistic treatment – combining bio-medical science with mind body medicine deals with the treatment of the whole individual rather than looking only at the physical aspect. The fact is, body and mind work together.
Let’s not forget the men. Men often feel uncertain about the ‘right’ way to support their partners, and don’t realize how they themselves are affected. We now offer our “Just For Guys Group.” In sharing how infertility affects the men, their relationships, and each man’s deepest sense of self, these men gain insight, and experience support during what can be an isolating and difficult time.
We invite and encourage you to take advantage of this unique area of support provided by The Mind Body Program at Long Island IVF.
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Ever consider putting the power of the Mind-Body program to work for you?
By Tracey Minella
January 22nd, 2013 at 7:07 pm
Tagged with Blog for Choice, coping with infertility, Fertility, Infertility, infertility help, infertility information, Infertility Support, Infertility Treatment, IUI, IVF, IVF Long island, Long Island IVF, Roe v. Wade, Roe v. Wade Anniversary, stress of infertility, Trying to Conceive
It’s also the Eighth Annual “Blog for Choice” Day which is designed to get people talking about reproductive rights online in their blogs and social media. Bloggers and activists have been encouraged to tell their stories about what reproductive choice means to them.
Let me start by saying that this is my personal opinion, and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of Long Island IVF doctors, staff, or patients. And let me follow that quickly with a promise that this blog will focus not on the right to an abortion, but rather on the right to choose to have an abortion or to choose not to have an abortion. It’s about reproductive choice, in general.
Most of today’s infertility patients are too young to remember this case and have consequently grown up enjoying…and possibly taking for granted… the freedom of choice they’ve always known existed. Some infertility patients are vehemently opposed to abortion; others may lean against it, but find it acceptable in limited circumstances. Some patients admit they’d have considered abortion if they’d accidentally gotten pregnant before they were ready to. Other patients have exercised that very right at some prior point in their lives.
We are all entitled to our opinions and should do our best not to judge those whose views differ from our own. But on this important anniversary, regardless of whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, I invite you all to think about two things:
First, as infertile women, can we afford to have any of our reproductive rights taken away? Can we afford to lose ground just when we are gaining momentum with legislation like the recent Family Act bill (that’s being tweaked for reconsideration) which may finally give infertile couples a substantial federal tax credit to assist with the costs of IVF?
Second, can we sit back silently and assume that the flurry of recent so-called “Personhood Amendments” proposed in several states will continue to be defeated? Such amendments seek to do more than affect the right to choose an abortion. By redefining when life begins, and pushing that moment back in time…prior to implantation even… these amendments would effectively make procedures like IVF and cryopreservation not only inaccessible, but illegal. The momentum of those movements on the state level has not subsided as we see from this week’s news that Oklahoma has filed the first proposed “Personhood Amendment” of the spring session http://bit.ly/10FHKyd. Such social issues were a big part of this past presidential election and, for some people, they were the deciding factor.
Women need to have reproductive rights and choices. They are entitled to choose how and when…and if or if not… to build their families. Anything that seeks to limit or remove reproductive rights is a threat to the future of those who will need to use assisted reproductive technologies like IVF in order to become mothers. I’m thankful for the choices I had.
I can’t imagine how I’d face my (IVF) daughter if she too should need IVF to get pregnant someday…and her right to choose to access the very technology that created her own life was no longer available. Or if your right to IVF was taken away tomorrow.
There was a saying during the women’s rights movement: “You’ve come a long way, baby.” And they had no idea back then just how far we’d continue to go.
Why in the world would we turn back now?
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How do you feel about Roe v. Wade? How do you feel about reproductive choice? Would you ever consider becoming an advocate for reproductive choice or for legislation supporting infertile couples?
By Tracey Minella
January 21st, 2013 at 10:18 pm
Tagged with advocating for infertility coverage, coping with infertility, Fertility, I have a dream, Infertility, Infertility advocate, infertility help, infertility information, Infertility Support, Infertility Treatment, IVF, IVF Long island, Long Island IVF, Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King Jr., MKL and infertility, MLK, stress of infertility, Trying to Conceive
As Americans celebrate the late, great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we usually remember his most famous quotation from his 1963 speech for racial equality.
“I Have a Dream…”
Those trying to conceive a baby live by these same words. They are the mantra of the suffering, infertile woman.
To be clear, infertility is not on the same “life-and-death” level as the civil rights movement. Yet there is no mistaking the parallels that do exist between the passion MLK felt for his cause and the passion infertile women feel for their quest for motherhood.
When you are infertile, you are ever-aware of a different unfairness and inequality in the world. How fertile couples take their fertility for granted. How others have what you’ve been denied. You suffer unimaginable pain and despair at what is effectively a denial of your right to the pursuit of happiness. And you passionately dream your dream…of a day when you will hold a baby in your arms.
MLK’s peaceful protesting of the injustices of segregation and racial inequality ultimately changed a nation. But for the infertile woman, there is no protest that can make that dream of motherhood come true. Sure, we can and must demand the government do more to help infertile women… such as re-grouping and continually advocating for legislation like the Family Act tax credit, or mandating more comprehensive medical insurance for infertility treatment. But ultimately, your plight is based on individual circumstance, not oppression by others. New legislation may help financially, but it alone won’t guarantee you get pregnant. So how do you deal with the frustration over the situation? How do you keep your dream alive?
Dr. King…a spiritual man and motivational speaker…gave us more than that one famous quote. Here’s another one, which speaks to the heart of the infertile woman:
“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
So when you remember the courage of this great man, think about becoming an advocate for political change that will advance the cause for infertile women. Keep the faith.
And never give up on your dream.
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How do you keep your dream alive? What’s the biggest obstacle?
Photo credit: Image creator’s user name: “papaija2008″
By David Kreiner MD
January 17th, 2013 at 8:45 pm
Tagged with clomid, clomid and cervical mucus, clomid and infertility, Clomid and intercourse, clomid and IUI, clomid and uterine lining, clomid explained, Clomid Side Effects, clomid success rates, clomid therapy, clomiphene citrate, conceiving with clomid, David Kreiner MD, estrogen inhibitor, Fertility, Infertility, IUI, IVF, IVF Long island, Long Island IVF, Trying to Conceive
It has become commonplace for women who have been frustrated with repeated unsuccessful attempts to conceive naturally on their own to see their gynecologist who often times will try clomid therapy on them.
Clomid, the traditional brand name for clomiphene citrate, is a competitive inhibitor of estrogen. It stimulates the pituitary gland to produce follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which in turn will stimulate the ovaries to mature follicle(s) containing eggs. Estrogen normally has a negative effect on the pituitary: Clomid blocks estrogen and leads to pituitary FSH production and ovarian stimulation.
Infertility patients — those under 35 having one year of unprotected intercourse without a resulting pregnancy and those over 35 having six months without pregnancy — have a two to five percent pregnancy rate each month trying on their own without treatment.
Clomid therapy increases a couple’s fertility by increasing the number of eggs matured in a cycle and by producing a healthier egg and follicle. The pregnancy rate with clomid therapy alone is approximately ten percent per cycle and 12 -15 percent when combined with intrauterine insemination (IUI). Women who are unable to ovulate on their own experience a 20 percent pregnancy rate per cycle with clomid, the equivalent to that of a fertile couple trying on their own.
Clomid and Your Cervical Mucus
Women who are likely to conceive with clomid usually do so in the first three months of therapy, with very few conceiving after six months. As clomid has an anti-estrogen effect, the cervical mucus and endometrial lining may be adversely affected.
Cervical mucus is normally produced just prior to ovulation and may be noticed as a stringy egg white-like discharge unique to the middle of a woman’s cycle just prior to and during ovulation. It provides the perfect environment for the sperm to swim through to gain access to a woman’s reproductive tract and find her egg. Unfortunately, clomid may thin out her cervical mucus, preventing the sperm’s entrance into her womb. IUI overcomes this issue through bypassing the cervical barrier and depositing the sperm directly into the uterus.
However, when the uterine lining or endometrium is affected by the anti-estrogenic properties of clomid, an egg may be fertilized but implantation is unsuccessful due to the lack of secretory gland development in the uterus. The lining does not thicken as it normally would during the cycle. Attempts to overcome this problem with estrogen therapy are rarely successful.
Many women who take clomid experience no side effects. Others have complained of headache, mood changes, spots in front of their eyes, blurry vision, hot flashes and occasional cyst development (which normally resolves on its own). Most of these effects last no longer than the five or seven days that you take the clomid and have no permanent side effect. The incidence of twins is eight to ten percent with a one percent risk of triplet development.
Limit Your Clomid Cycles
Yet another deterrent to clomid use was a study performed years ago that suggested that women who used clomid for more than twelve cycles developed an increased incidence of ovarian tumors. It is therefore recommended by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine as well as the manufacturer of clomiphene that clomid be used for no more than six months after which it is recommended by both groups that patients proceed with treatment including gonadotropins (injectable hormones containing FSH and LH) to stimulate the ovaries in combination with intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization.
For patients who fail to ovulate, clomid is successful in achieving a pregnancy in nearly 70 percent of cases. All other patients average close to a 50 percent pregnancy rate if they attempt six cycles with clomid, especially when they combine it with IUI. After six months, the success is less than five percent per month.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a successful alternative therapy when other pelvic factors such as tubal disease, tubal ligation, adhesions or scar tissue and endometriosis exist or there is a deficient number, volume or motility of sperm. Success rates with IVF are age, exam and history dependent. The average pregnancy rate with a single fresh IVF cycle is greater than 50 percent. For women under 35, the pregnancy rate for women after a single stimulation and retrieval is greater than 70 percent with a greater than 60 percent live birth rate at Long Island IVF.
Young patients sometimes choose a minimal stimulation IVF or MicroIVF as an alternative to clomid/IUI cycles as a more successful and cost effective option as many of these patients experience a 40 percent pregnancy rate per retrieval at a cost today of about $3,900.
Today, with all these options available to patients, a woman desiring to build her family will usually succeed in becoming a mom.
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Did you start out with Clomid? Did you have success with it or did you move on to IVF?
By Dr. David Kreiner and Tracey Minella
January 15th, 2013 at 10:23 pm
Tagged with coping with infertility, David Kreiner MD, Health, Infertility, infertility help, infertility information, Infertility Support, Infertility Treatment, IVF, LI-IVF, Long Island IVF, metformin and infertility, metformin and weight loss, overweight and infertile, PCOS, PCOS and infertility, prolactin and infertility, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Reproductive specialists on Long Island, thyroid and infertility, too fat to get pregnant, Trying to Conceive, weight and fertility, weight and infertility, weight and IVF
To a woman TTC, nothing is worse than being told you can’t have a baby without medical intervention…unless you’re then told you’re too overweight to have the treatments.
For some, infertility and depression go hand-in-hand with overeating. And the longer the infertility journey takes, the bigger the gap can get in the back of one’s hospital gown.
In a perfect world, we’d all be a healthy weight. None of us would be infertile, or have thyroid issues or diabetes, or PCOS, or just plain-old, depression-induced obesity to fill the void where our baby is supposed to be.
But the world is not perfect.
Fortunately, there are compassionate Reproductive Endocrinologists out there who are willing to give overweight patients the respect and the treatment they deserve. They’re just not easy to find. Maybe they even felt the sting of the public’s disdain for the obese on a personal level. Whatever their motivation, it’s worth the extra effort to find this kind of support on your infertility journey.
You need a doctor who is willing to potentially sacrifice his program’s IVF stats to make you a mom, because he believes he can do it…today…not after sending you home to lose loads of weight first. Today.
Dr. Kreiner brings this prejudice and injustice to the forefront in his thoughtful, compassionate post:
The most shocking thing I’ve experienced in my 30 year career in Reproductive Endocrinology has been the consistent “resistance” among specialists to treat women with obesity. This “resistance” has felt at times to both me and many patients to be more like a prejudice. I have heard other REI specialists say that it is harder for women to conceive until they shed their excess weight. “Come back to my office when you have lost 20, 30 or more pounds,” is a typical remark heard by many at their REI’s office. “It’s not healthy to be pregnant at your weight and you risk your health and the health of the baby.” Closing the door to fertility treatment is what most women in this condition experience.
An article in Medical News Today, “Obese Women Undergoing Infertility Treatment Advised Not To Attempt Rapid Weight Loss”, suggested that weight loss just prior to conception may have adverse effects on the pregnancy, either by disrupting normal physiology or by releasing environmental pollutants stored in the fat. The article points out what is obvious to many who share the lifelong struggle to maintain a reasonable Body Mass Index (BMI): Weight loss is difficult to achieve. Few people adhere to lifestyle intervention and diets which may have no benefit in improving pregnancy in subfertile obese women.
The bias in the field is so strong that when I submitted a research paper demonstrating equivalent IVF pregnancy rates for women with excessive BMIs greater than 35 to the ASRM for presentation, it was rejected based on the notion that there was clear evidence to the contrary. Here’s the point I was trying to prove: IVF care must be customized to optimize the potential for this group.
Women with high BMI need a higher dose of medication. Those with PCOS benefit from treatment with Metformin. Their ultrasounds and retrievals need to be performed by the most experienced personnel. Often their follicles will be larger than in women of lower weight. Strategies to retrieve follicles in high BMI women include using a suture in the cervix to manipulate the uterus and an abdominal hand to push the ovaries into view.
Most importantly, a two-stage embryo transfer with the cervical suture can insure in utero placement of the transfer catheter and embryos without contamination caused by inadvertent touching of the catheter to the vaginal wall before insertion through the cervical canal. Visualization of the cervix is facilitated by pulling on the cervical suture, straightening the canal and allowing for easier passage of the catheter. The technique calls for placement of one catheter into the cervix through which a separate catheter, loaded with the patient’s embryo, is inserted.
Using this strategy, IVF with high BMI patients is extremely successful. With regard to the health of the high BMI woman and her fetus, it’s critical to counsel patients just as it is when dealing with women who live with diabetes or any other chronic situation that adds risk.
We refuse to share in the prejudice that is nearly universal in this field. It’s horrible and hypocritical to refuse these patients treatment. Clearly, with close attention to the needs of this population, their success is like any others.
Women who have time and motivation to lose significant weight prior to fertility therapy are encouraged to do so and I try to support their efforts. Unfortunately, many have tried and are unable to significantly reduce prior to conception.
What right do we have to deny these women the right to build their families?
It can be hard to deal with obesity and even more so when combined with infertility. If you are feeling sad or depressed, it may help to talk to a counselor or to others who have the condition. I advise you to ask your doctor about support groups and for treatment that can help you including fertility treatment.
Remember, though this condition can be annoying, aggravating and even depressing, seek an REI who is interested in supporting you and helping you build your family and reject those who simply tell you to return after you have lost sufficient weight.
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Have you been told you’re too overweight for infertility treatment? What did you do? If you have a success story, please share it to support others.
By Tracey Minella
January 14th, 2013 at 4:11 pm
Tagged with coping with infertility, dogs and infertility, Dress up your pet day, Fertility, fur baby, furbabies, Infertility, Infertility Support, IVF Long island, LI-IVF, Long Island IVF, loving a pet, Miscarriage, pet lovers, pet owners, pets and infertility, pets are family, stress of infertility, Trying to Conceive, TTC
Today is National Dress Up Your Pet Day. The majority of the population may dismiss it as something goofy and of little real significance. But infertile people know otherwise.
On the whole, pet owners are a generally-loving and nurturing group. They have chosen to care for and love a pet. They’ve willingly taken on the financial and emotional responsibility of raising an animal that is dependent upon them for food, shelter, guidance, and affection. Most pet owners, particularly those who own dogs and cats, consider their pets to be members of their family.
Never is that more evident than in the home of childless or infertile women.
The maternal instinct is amazingly strong. Just look at what infertile women subject themselves to in order to conceive. Many will leave no avenue unexplored on the journey to become a mother. For these women especially, having a pet can be a lifesaver.
Forgive me. I meant to say “Fur Baby”.
As a woman who raised five consecutive guide dog puppies during my own long infertility journey, I totally “get” the fur baby psychology. I can’t explain the sanity-saver having a puppy to care for and love was for me. Someone small and warm to hold and hug, especially when the news was bad. To cuddle, feed, play with, teach, and take care of 24/7. Someone to throw a birthday party for, dress up on Halloween, and put a present under the tree for. Someone to drag to the mall and get professional photos taken of…yes, guide dogs are allowed in the mall! Someone who I could love unconditionally and who loved me back the same. A baby…of fur.
Someone who’d be waiting with a wagging tail on the day we all welcomed the actual baby home.
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How many of you have fur babies and how do they help you through? Any special stories to share?
Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/search.php?search=dog+in+clothes&cat=
By Tracey Minella
January 11th, 2013 at 12:00 pm
Tagged with Dept of Health IVF grant, DOH Grant for IVF, DOH Grant Programs, Fertility, financial help with IVF, Infertility, Infertility Demonstration Program, infertility help, infertility information, Infertility Support, Infertility Treatment, IVF, IVF Long island, LI-IVF, LI-IVF Grants for IVF, Long Island IVF, Long Island IVF grant, male infertility, Reproductive Endocrinologist, stress of infertility, Trying to Conceive
We are proud and pleased to announce that Long Island IVF has again been selected by the New York State Department of Health to be a provider in their Infertility Demonstration Program. And we are currently accepting patient applications.
What does this mean for Long Island IVF patients?
It means financial support to insured patients without coverage for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). This could be the opportunity that many infertile women have been waiting for. It could be the difference between being able to financially afford IVF or not.
The grant funds allocated to Long Island IVF are substantial, but demand for them is understandably high each year, so do not delay. You must already be, or must become, a Long Island IVF patient in order to apply for this grant program.
Patients might be eligible for the Program if they have a combined gross household income under $195,000 annually, as determined by their most recent tax returns, and are:
• privately insured but insurance coverage for IVF procedures is not a covered benefit
• no longer covered for infertility services because their benefit is exhausted
• a resident of New York State
• between the ages of 21 and 44
• clinically infertile and meet other health criteria.
IVF services covered in the Program are paid by New York State after reimbursement of any insurance coverage available, and after a cost sharing amount that the patient is required to pay. This cost sharing amount varies by the patient’s household income and the cost of the procedures, but cannot exceed ten percent of the patient’s gross household income in any one year; therefore, financial support is available on a sliding scale basis.
Long Island IVF offers personalized services at several convenient locations throughout Long Island, in addition to Melville, where the state of the art IVF laboratory is located.
Patients interested in determining whether they are eligible for participation in the Program should contact our Financial Counselor at (631) 752-0606 as soon as possible.
Do not delay. Get yourself on the list for consideration today. If you are not yet a patient, call for your free initial consultation.
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Would a DOH grant make the difference between doing IVF or not doing it?
Image creator’s user name: “imagerymajestic”