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Archive for July, 2015

Long Island IVF Hosts Holistic Approaches to Fertility Event

By Tracey Minella

July 31st, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Ever since we brought Long Island its first IVF baby over 27 years ago, we’ve always been pioneers in the field of infertility treatment. And we continue to innovate today.

Don’t miss our free event, “An Evening of Holistic Approaches to Fertility” in our Melville office on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 6:30 pm.

Keep reading for details!

You won’t find another practice on Long Island that integrates the best of Western medicine’s cutting edge assisted reproductive technology with the holistic principles of Eastern medicine and the power of a Mind-Body Program. No one else offers all this support.

Long Island IVF’s Mind-Body Program… led by our own caring psychologist, Bina Benisch M.S., R.N… is packed with an arsenal of tools to help manage the stress and frustration of infertility. Tools like breath work, meditation, and Reiki. Plus Bina offers wildly popular individual, group, and couples’ counseling specifically geared for infertility-related issues.

And you have to meet Jim. We promote fertility acupuncture to, among other things, increase blood flow to the uterus in the hope of maximizing the chances for conception. Don’t miss the live demonstration and presentation by Jim Vitale from Suffolk County Acupuncture.

We also encourage many holistic principles like massage, fertility yoga, and optimizing fertility through a healthy diet.

Are you doing everything you can to maximize your fertility?

Why not come down to this free, fun, and informative event to find out if any of these practices may complement your own fertility treatment plan. Here’s the exciting lineup:

Bina Benisch, MS, RN— Relaxation techniques, Reiki live demo!

 

Dr. Kreiner— Welcome and Western Medicine vs Eastern Medicine!

 

Jim Vitale from Suffolk County Acupuncture– Acupuncture live demo!

 

LI IVF billing team–Offering financial counseling and info and applications re: Jade grant, DOH grant, etc

 

Watch Jim do acupuncture. See Reiki with Bina. Apply for a free IVF grant. Nibble on Dr. Kreiner’s famous fertility trail mix as he explains the fascinating way holistic and Eastern medicine can complement traditional Western medicine when treating infertility. It’ll be the most fun you’ve ever had on a Tuesday night!

Please RSVP to Lindsay at lmontello@liivf.com and bring a friend or partner. All are welcome, you don’t have to be a LIIVF patient and there is no cost to attend.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there. And hey, we’ve got that trail mix…

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Is there anything you’re particularly interested in learning about at the seminar? Let us know!

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015

It is with humble yet excited hearts that we announce that Long Island IVF was voted the Best In Vitro Fertility Practice in the Best Of Long Island 2015 contest.

The doctors, nurses, embryologists, and the rest of the Long Island IVF staff are so proud of this honor and so thankful to every one of you who took the time to vote. From the moms juggling LIIVF babies… to the dads coaching LIIVF teens…to the parents sending LIIVF adults off to college or down the aisles… to the LIIVF patients still on their journeys to parenthood who are confident in the care they’re receiving…we thank you all.

We love what we’ve gotten to do every day more than 27 years…build families. If you are having trouble conceiving, please call us. Many of our nurses and staff were also our patients, so we really do understand what you’re going through. And we’d like to help.

 

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Shouldn’t Infertility Be Enough Anguish for One Lifetime?

By Tracey Minella

July 25th, 2015 at 10:30 am

photo credit: Corrie Tolliver


When I was battling infertility…for seven long years…there was an ever-present pain that hovered at a level just shy of being too great to get out of bed in the morning.

This smoldering ember that burned in my gut frequently “flared” when fanned by things like failed IVFs, miscarriage, or even bridal showers. There were many times when the pain seemed too much to bear. Times when I’d think to myself that nothing in life could be harder than infertility. Nothing could be worse than the lack of control and the worry over the possibility that (dare I speak it) maybe there would not be a baby at the end of the journey. As I lived it, that’s how I saw it. And no one would have convinced me otherwise.

I remember thinking, as many of you may, that infertility should be enough anguish for one couple to bear in one lifetime. That the resolution of infertility…whether happy or otherwise… should bring a transfer out of the darkness and into a hard-earned lifetime of light. That there should be a freedom from further grief, loss, and pain. That a bubble should forever protect the health, safety, and happiness of the people who took such extraordinary measures to have their babies. This is not to say that these babies are more valuable or more loved than those conceived naturally. It’s just that the parents have already often suffered grief and loss prior to their births. The idea that any harm should befall their children—our children– is incomprehensible.

Doesn’t that seem fair?

But wait. Life is not fair. Oh, how could I have lost sight of the one thing all us infertiles know best? If it were fair, we wouldn’t be infertile in the first place.

If it were fair, no parent would have to bury a child. No matter if that child was conceived naturally or with medical assistance.

When you’re in the business of creating life, the senseless and preventable loss of young lives hits particularly hard.

In the span of a week on Long Island, as a result of two accidents involving alleged drunk/impaired drivers and questionable driver’s judgment, a woman lost her husband and two children in a flaming wreck, and four families lost their young, vibrant, responsible daughters in a limo crash. One of those girls was my cousin.

I’ve been forced to face the fact that there actually are worse things than infertility…and that there are no bubbles to protect anyone’s children from harm. Infertility is without a doubt devastating, but thankfully it may often be overcome. But losing a beloved child can’t be overcome. It’s permanent. And from the anguished sobs of her parents, it’s clear that the depth of that unspeakable grief is bottomless.

Please don’t drink and drive (or text and drive). Slow down. Make better choices.

Every car has someone’s Baby on Board.

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Long Island IVF Announces Office Hours in the Hamptons

By Tracey Minella

July 22nd, 2015 at 9:41 am

Forget the beautiful beaches and trendy shops. There’s a bigger draw to the Hamptons. And it will last year ‘round.

Long Island IVF is happy to announce that two of its reproductive endocrinologists, Dr. Daniel Kenigsberg and Dr. Kathleen Droesch are seeing patients in the Hamptons. Until now, infertile couples in Eastern Suffolk County had to travel exceptionally long distances to reach us for fertility treatment. Now, those in the Hamptons area… for the summer and year round… will have the convenience of expert care closer to home!

For more information on the days and hours of doctor availability and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kenigsberg or Dr. Droesch in the Hamptons, please contact our Stony Brook office at (631) 331-7575.

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How long do/would you travel for fertility care?

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What is the Best Season to be Infertile?

By Tracey Minella

July 17th, 2015 at 9:46 am

 

image courtesy of suat eman/ freedigitalphotos.net


Trick question, I know. There is no good season to be infertile. But is there one that maybe suc…stings… just a bit less? Let’s see:

Spring: Flowers are cheerful and warmer weather is welcome. Plus, you can blame any wayward tears on allergies. But that whole theme of rebirth…whether religious or horticultural…can get rough sometimes. And let’s not forget the hardest day of the year: Mother’s Day. Oh, and the onslaught of dreaded baby shower invitations! Next….

Summer: Beaches and pools and fun in the sun. A season to kick back and relax. Until flying sand from the feet of a thousand minions finds your face and reminds you that your blanket doesn’t have juice boxes, pull-ups, or sand toys. They’re out of school… and in your face… for almost 3 months. Makes you want to put a hit out on Mr. Softee. Next…

Fall: Cool nights, brisk walks, crunchy leaves, and the smell of firepits. Snuggling close as the temperature drops. A time for romance, festivals, and fairs. You survive the back-to-school sales. They’re back in school, so that’s a start…as long as you can navigate the crowded bus-stops that can start your day with a tear. But there’s one day that’s a real terror…Halloween. Not only do you miss the fun of costume shopping, parties, and parading through the neighborhood collecting candy, but you cannot hide. There are thousands of gremlins everywhere. They are coming for you. They won’t be denied. They’re at the door. Don’t even pretend to be asleep. Next…

Winter: The season of hiding. Perfect to hibernate away from people…fertile or otherwise. Big, bulky sweaters bring comfort and hide bruised veins or bloated bellies. Your blue mood doesn’t stand out so much among everyone’s complaining about the cold. But wait. Snow shovels and stimulated ovaries don’t mix. And then there is the holiday season. The Thanksgiving you may not feel thankful. The winter holidays spent filling wish lists for the children of others and dodging difficult personal questions. Facing the New Year. Again. Next…

So clearly there is no season when infertility doesn’t … sting. And the above is just my take on it all. It doesn’t even factor in things like the season your birthday falls in…reminding you in an exaggerated way of your advancing age. Or all the anniversaries of the losses you’ve suffered along the journey so far. Or the vacation you’re not taking so you can save up for treatment. The list goes on and on.

Anything to add to it?

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What are the worst things about each season that makes being infertile even more difficult at that time?

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Donor Egg Recipient Seminar at Long Island IVF

By Tracey Minella

July 10th, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Thinking you might need an egg donor in order to build your family…but have a lot of questions about the process? Then we’ve got the event for you!

On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at 7:00 pm, Long Island IVF will host a free event that could potentially change the course of your family-building journey. Everything you could ever need to know about egg donation will be covered. It should last about 2 and a half hours.

There are many reasons women ultimately choose to use donor eggs to build their families. Women whose eggs have been compromised by advanced age, cancer treatment, poor general quality, or other factors, have many ways to build a family through the donor egg and donor embryo programs at Long Island IVF. For many of these women, a healthy egg is their only obstacle to pregnancy. Gay men wanting biological children also need donor eggs.

Admittedly, conceiving with donor eggs or embryos is rarely the first choice, but often is an acceptable alternative after weighing many personal physical, emotional, psychological, and financial considerations. Decades of happy moms agree that using donor eggs was the best decision they ever made. In fact, you can ask one yourself at the seminar as one of our successful recipient moms will be on hand to share her experience!

It’s okay if you may not be ready to act on all the information you’ll receive. You won’t be pressured in any way. We’re just here to offer information… and emotional support. So why not come out and just listen to our team discuss the many different egg and embryo donation options?  Victoria Loveland, RN & Donor Egg Nursing Coordinator, Aviva Zigelman, LCSW & Donor Egg Program Director, and Steven Brenner, MD will all be there to answer your questions, privately if you prefer.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised when we tell you about how affordable and stream-lined our programs can be, especially our embryo donation program. And how competitive the success rates can be, as well.

Long Island IVF offers several different egg donation options, including Sole Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, Shared Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, Frozen Egg Donation, and Frozen Embryo Donation cycles. Each option offers its own unique benefits, costs, and other considerations. We have young, healthy, pre-screened egg donors representing multiple ethnicities ready to help you build your family.

Take that first step, even if you’re hesitant. We look forward to seeing you and answering your questions about the exciting option of egg donation. Light refreshments will be served. Bring a friend.

Please RSVP to Debra Mathys at dmathys@longislandivf.com and say you’ll be there, but walk-ins are always welcome. There is no cost to attend.

Location: Long Island IVF 8 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 101, Melville, NY

Date: Tuesday July 14, 2015

Time: 7:00 pm

 

LONG ISLAND IVF: WINNER “BEST IN VITRO FERTILITY PRACTICE” in the Long Island Press’s “Best of Long Island 2015″ contest. We are humbled and excited by the honor! Can we help you build your family as well?

 

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Will you be there? If you’d like to attend but can’t, please call anyway so we can make other arrangements.

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The Male Biologic Drive to Parent

By David Kreiner MD

July 7th, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Photo credit: Valentina, proud wife and mom of Devin and Danny

Fatherhood comes in many different varieties that as a reproductive endocrinologist specializing in family building I see on a regular basis.  Whether the man is involved in a traditional heterosexual relationship or is attempting to build a family with his male partner or by himself, man… like woman… feels a biologic drive to parent.  As such, although adoption is a wonderful way to create a family, surrogacy and egg donation is appealing to male-only prospective parents because it affords them the opportunity to have a biological connection to their baby.

 

There are two types of surrogates: traditional and gestational.  A traditional surrogate supplies her own eggs and carries the baby to term.  Gestational carriers do not supply their own eggs and therefore a separate egg donor is utilized.  Unlike donated sperm, donated eggs require the in vitro fertilization (“IVF”) process involving hormonal stimulation of the female egg donor, monitoring during the 2 weeks of stimulation, and transvaginal egg retrieval which is performed under anesthesia.  Typically, the intended male father supplies the sperm and the fertilized eggs or embryos are placed into the uterus of the gestational surrogate.  Surrogates carry the pregnancy to term then surrender the baby and their parental rights to the father or male couple.  The process involves the use of assisted reproduction attorneys, and/or a donor/surrogacy agency. The entire process including IVF with egg donation, surrogacy, and obstetrical care has a cost that can be insurmountable for many men desiring to start a family, estimated to cost between $125-150,000.

 

There have been a few ways some men have successfully cut this expense.  First of all, the fee agencies charge to supply the donated eggs and the surrogates ranges from $10,000-$40,000 independent of the fee the reproductive attorney charges or the cost of psychological screening.  Some IVF programs will supply these services at a much lower cost.  In addition, these IVF programs have relationships with lesbian partners who may be interested in becoming surrogates after they have completed their own families.  Also, some income-based grants exist for male couples in need of surrogates.

 

Whatever your situation, Long Island IVF has the history, the means, the skills, and the desire to assist you in your family building journey.  We can assist you in finding the best agencies/donors/surrogates, reproductive attorneys and counselors to insure that you have the greatest chance of achieving your goal for the family of your dreams.

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How important is it to you to have a biological child and what is the greatest obstacle to you’re facing/faced in achieving that dream?

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Gay Rights Taking Baby Steps Towards Family Building

By David Kreiner MD

July 3rd, 2015 at 10:13 am

 

photo credit: Sarah Allison Photography


Today, same sex marriage is a constitutional right.

It was a long time coming with much frustration, discrimination and actual blood, sweat and tears but thanks to the recent Supreme Court landmark ruling, equal rights is now protected by the law of the nation.

Now that SCOTUS has declared same sex marriage legal in every state, what affect will that decision have on alternative family building for the LGBT community? And how quickly will any changes be implemented?

Currently, insurance companies require that lesbian couples go through 6-12 cycles of inseminations without offering their insurance benefit because they “have not been proven to be infertile”…hint-you need sperm to make a baby.  Allowing lesbian partners access to their insurance for fertility treatment without first spending thousands of dollars on inseminations to “prove infertility” would seem to be a right that follows from such legislation.

And don’t get me started on the inaccessibility of insurance for fertility for gay male couples. Currently, depending on where they live, they must obtain surrogates who receive about $25,000 as compensation and pay additional $35-60,000 agency and legal fees plus the cost of obstetrical care on top of IVF fees.  This brings the overall cost to an average of approximately $125,000.  Of interest, Apple, Google and some of the other big high tech companies have offered such coverage.

It seems to me that if we recognize that all citizens are equal regardless of sexual orientation that offering equal rights to family building is merely a logical extension of the Supreme Court decision.

Today, we rejoice for the liberating decision regarding gay marriage…tomorrow we work towards equal access to care for family building. In the meantime shall we say we are taking baby steps…

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What changes, if any, in LGBT family-building access/coverage, do you hope will come from the recognition of same-sex marriage? What roadblocks have you faced and how have they affected your family-building?

 

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015

It is with humble yet excited hearts that we announce that Long Island IVF was voted the Best In Vitro Fertility Practice in the Best Of Long Island 2015 contest.

The doctors, nurses, embryologists, and the rest of the Long Island IVF staff are so proud of this honor and so thankful to every one of you who took the time to vote. From the moms juggling LIIVF babies… to the dads coaching LIIVF teens…to the parents sending LIIVF adults off to college or down the aisles… to the LIIVF patients still on their journeys to parenthood who are confident in the care they’re receiving…we thank you all.

We love what we’ve gotten to do every day more than 27 years…build families. If you are having trouble conceiving, please call us. Many of our nurses and staff were also our patients, so we really do understand what you’re going through. And we’d like to help.

 

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What Are the Most Important Qualities in a Reproductive Endocrinologist?

By Tracey Minella

July 1st, 2015 at 8:22 am

 

credit: David Castillo Dominici/ freedigitalphotos.net


If you are having trouble getting pregnant on your own or with your gynecologist’s help and think it’s time to be evaluated by a reproductive endocrinologist… a doctor that specializes in treating infertility…what should you look for in choosing one?

First, realize that this choice may be the difference between you ultimately having a baby or not. So choose wisely. You don’t want to waste precious time and money.

No reputable doctor should guarantee that they will get you pregnant. While the vast majority of patients can and do overcome their infertility if treated by a skilled reproductive endocrinologist (even if the journey may be long), the truth is that not every patient will have a live birth. Not every medical challenge can be overcome. But the good news is that assisted reproductive technology is always changing and success rates grow more promising every day with each new development. So remain hopeful.

Having done my share of time in the stirrups, I offer these suggestions when considering a fertility specialist:

Reputation: Do your homework. How long is the doctor practicing? Where did she train? Does the practice have a good reputation? What are the success rates for live births? If they are not as high as national standards, is it because they treat (instead of refuse) patients that might negatively affect their success rates (such as older or obsese patients)? Have the doctors or the practice received any awards or other recognition by the public or their peers in the medical community? Does your OBGYN and/or family doctor recommend or know of him? Do any of your friends or family recommend her? Do they offer grants and other financing options? Do they participate in your insurance plan if you have infertility coverage? Is the practice often chosen to conduct studies of the newest breakthroughs in assisted reproductive technology? [Note: If you consider on-line review sites, realize that in any industry (not only medicine) reviews are “ranked” by readers, so negative reviews are encouraged and even rewarded. The nature of such sites results in generally more negative than positive reviews as disappointed folks can flock there anonymously to vent, while happy folks often simply don’t think to post something positive. Also, potentially unscrupulous competitors can post negative reviews as well. So consider the reviews as only a part of the picture.]

Chemistry: The right “fit” is important. And what makes it right varies. For me, I wanted a genius with a great reputation first and foremost. If he or she had a crappy personality, I’d have dealt with it (he didn’t though). But others need a doctor with a good bedside manner…more touchy-feely. Some people think straightforward doctors are too cold. Do you like to google everything and have a doctor listen to your discoveries and concerns at length or are you more the just-tell-me-what-to-do/follow-the-doctor’s-orders-without-question type? Do you feel strongly about having a doctor of a particular sex? Are they open to your particular situation (i.e. LGBT-friendly) or your challenge (i.e advanced age or obesity?) Are the office locations and hours convenient for your work or social schedule? Are the nurses and staff friendly, helpful, and professional? For me, I expected my IVF nurse to be friendly and know who I was, yet I didn’t expect her to hold my hand and talk to me at length each day. I figured that’s what my husband and friends were for. She was pretty busy ordering my meds and updating my chart and other important things like that. But I was pleasantly surprised that when I did need a bit more time and attention, she was my cheerleader when things went well and also my shoulder to cry on when they didn’t.

When I did my homework, I learned that LIIVF pioneered IVF on Long Island, with the first IVF baby, first cryo baby, and first donor egg baby. In fact, the practice founders are together today after 27 years and have added other top notch doctors. For decades, many of the doctors have been consistently recognized as Top Doctors by the public and their peers. The practice has been voted by the public as the Best In Vitro Fertility Practice 2015. The nurses are wonderful and several have been with the practice since the beginning…and many nurses and staff have been LIIVF patients themselves, so they really understand what you’re feeling. LIIVF also has LGBT staff and has a long reputation of being compassionate and supportive in treating the LGBT community. LIIVF is often chosen as a center for the studies of the newest technologies. LIIVF also offers many grant programs and participates in annual fertility fundraising events wherein it donates a free IVF cycle as a door prize to help couples afford fertility treatment.

If you do your homework, you will find the right doctor for you. Or you can just cheat off of me…

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What is the most important factor(s) in choosing a reproductive endocrinologist?

 

 

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