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Archive for April, 2016

8 Things to #StartAsking and #KEEPAsking after #NIAW

By Tracey Minella

April 30th, 2016 at 4:43 pm

 

image courtesy of Resolve, the National Infertility Association


Honestly, my first reaction to this year’s NAIW #StartAsking theme wasn’t positive. It just didn’t sit right with me for some nagging reason I couldn’t put my finger on. So, it was hard to sit down and write a post using it. It made me have to really think about some serious and difficult things. Stuff I usually keep locked away. Some days, I just don’t have the strength to think too hard.

Start Asking.

Start Asking why? Start asking how? Start asking for something?

Start asking…what, exactly?

Should I start asking Why me? Truth be told, that was the first thing that came to mind. But there is no point in asking that question. So what is worth asking?

Then it dawned on me. We need to start asking for whatever it is we need in order to get through this journey (or to see that those who follow us can get through it). It’s that simple. And that difficult.

That means asking for help, for understanding, for respect, for answers, for kindness, for prayers, for coverage, and for action.

Start asking yourself what you need. And who can fill that need?

  1. Help: It’s hard to ask for financial help but if it’s the only barrier to treatment, you may have to ask. Loans, gifts, online fundraising sites are some ways to finance fertility treatment. Most IVF practices offer grants as well. Ask for help.
  2. Understanding: No one will truly get it unless they’ve battled infertility themselves. But they need to try to understand why it’s too hard for you to handle things like baby showers, egg hunts, and gender reveal parties for a couple’s 5th baby. Tell them you’re happy for them, but it hurts too much to participate right now. Ask them to understand.
  3. Respect: Everyone has advice on how you should be handling your infertility journey. Regardless of their personal (and usually uneducated) opinions, they need to respect the decisions you’re making…whether that involves IUI,  IVF, egg donation, donor sperm, surrogacy, egg freezing, pre-implantation genetic screening, adoption, or choosing to live child-free. Ask them to respect your right to make your own decisions.
  4. Answers: There is no such thing as a stupid question, at least when it comes to infertility treatment. So much is on the line that you owe it to yourself to understand the often complicated and ever-changing world of assisted reproductive technology. Understand what is happening to your body during any given treatment or procedure, including the medications you’re taking, how to take them, and any possible side-effects.  Knowledge is power. Ask questions if you don’t understand something.
  5. Kindness: Similar to respect, you deserve to be treated kindly. People can be mean…on purpose or innocently. “Why can’t you give me grandchildren?” “He just looks at me and I get pregnant”. “You can have one of mine.” “I’ll get her pregnant for you”. “Be thankful you have one.” Protect your heart. Ask people to stop saying hurtful things like that.
  6. Prayers: For the religious, infertility (especially a long journey filled with losses) can sometimes be a test of one’s faith. Don’t feel guilty asking why this is happening to you or questioning why your prayers are not being answered. If your faith is a source of comfort and strength to you and also to those you know, ask for their prayers or good thoughts on your behalf.
  7. Coverage: As you no doubt know, the biggest barrier to infertility treatment is often lack of health insurance coverage. Most policies offer little to no coverage for fertility treatments like IVF. The only hope for change lies in advocating for new legislation mandating better infertility coverage. Ask your elected representatives to create or support legislation mandating IVF coverage.
  8. Action: Start asking is a good start. It’s a catchy theme for NIAW. It’s good to raise awareness. One week per year. But that’s not enough. We need infertility action not just infertility awareness. The week is over. Tomorrow we risk being forgotten until next April (or at least until we resurrect Coming Out Infertile Day in November). And those baby shower invites will still flood the mailbox. Those nagging personal questions will not abate. And those uncovered infertility costs will still prevent many from accessing the treatments they need to become parents. Ask yourself and others to take action for real change.

I guess my issue with the theme this year, or maybe every year, is just a frustration over the slow pace of change. And the poor collective memory of the public. Tomorrow will not only start a new week, but a new month. A new “awareness” cause to push. By Friday, will anyone still be aware of infertility? Will they still be ASKING? We don’t need to just #StartAsking. We need to #KEEPAsking.

Let’s show our appreciation for –and join–all the tireless infertility advocates who support the infertile folks of today through activism, advocacy, blogging, and more. To the extent you can, join the fight. Consider participating in Advocacy Day . Don’t just start asking. Keep asking. Then keep acting until real change happens. Until we have babies for all.

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What did you #StartAsking? What will you #KeepAsking?

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015 AND 2016

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 and 2016 contest…two years in a row!

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 28 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. 631-752-0606.

 

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#StartAsking About National Infertility Awareness Week 2016

By Tracey Minella

April 25th, 2016 at 1:16 pm

 

National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) kicked off yesterday with this year’s theme being #StartAsking, according to Resolve, the National Infertility Association.

The sobering stats show that 1 in 8 couples suffer from infertility. Despite those significant numbers, a social stigma persists that often forces affected couples to suffer in silence. That has to change.

NIAW is an annual tradition, with a calendar of events, activities, ideas and suggestions on how to raise awareness of infertility in the hope of removing the stigma, enacting legislation to mandate better coverage for infertility/adoption services, encouraging people to “come out” of the infertility closet, and getting people the financial and emotional support they need to battle infertility.

Long Island IVF is presenting an informative FREE Symposium: “Improving IVF Success with Acupuncture”. It is jam packed with eight (8) experts, and is scheduled right after NIAW—on May 12th from 6:30-8:30 pm in our Melville office.

Long Island IVF is the only fertility practice in the region that has a reproductive endocrinologist who is also a certified acupuncturist. Co-founder, David Kreiner, MD went back to the classroom after 30 years of family-building to study and now offer this affordable, complementary therapy in an effort to potentially boost IVF success rates. Register today.

Don’t miss this exciting lineup of experts:

  • Western Medicine Approach to Infertility
    David Kreiner, MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist and NYS Certified Medical Acupuncturist
  • Acupuncture Diagnosis and How Treatment is Individualized
    James Shinol, Licensed Acupuncturist
  • Fertility Enhancement with Diminished Ovarian Reserve – Improving Ovarian Stimulation
    XinJuan Yang, PhD, MD (China), Licensed Acupuncturist
  • Fertility and Diet
    Roberta Siegelson, Licensed Acupuncturist
  • PCOS and Acupuncture
    Christine Bauer, DC, Licensed Acupuncturist
  • Enhancing Uterine Receptivity
    Ping Zhu, PhD, MD (China), Licensed Acupuncturist
  • Acupuncture to Minimize Risk of Miscarriage
    Mike Berkley, Licensed Acupuncturist
  • Japanese Acupuncture
    James Vitale, Licensed Acupuncturist

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

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What are you doing to “start talking” about infertility this week?

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015 AND 2016

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 and 2016 contest…two years in a row!

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 28 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. 631-752-0606.

 

 

 

 

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Attention Long Island Teachers and Government Employees!

By Tracey Minella

April 24th, 2016 at 2:22 pm

 

 

Long Island IVF is a designated Center of Excellence for the Empire Plan, the insurance provider for many local Teachers as well as other NY State and Local Government Employees.

 

In addition to the assurance of working with a program that has achieved high quality measures, our COE designated program affords our Empire Plan patients an additional financial advantage — once treatment is approved by the Empire Plan, you receive full benefits with no co-payments or co-insurance requirements for the services covered by their insurance plan.

 

Now is the perfect time to start planning for infertility treatment this summer—especially for teachers! Free from the stress of a teacher’s rigid schedule, the summer months offer the flexibility to do IVF (or IUI) in a more relaxed frame of mind.

 

If you are not already a Long Island IVF patient and would like to jump start your family-building plans, call us today. With six offices across Long Island and Brooklyn, there is sure to one that’s conveniently located near you.

 

We look forward to welcoming brand new patients as well as patients transferring from other practices for insurance reasons. Let’s start building that family together this summer.

 

Call our New Patient Coordinator at 877-838-BABY to schedule your initial consultation today or contact us through http://bit.ly/1OehXlr.

 

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Are you a teacher or government employee who may need help conceiving—or do you know of someone else who does? Please share. You never know if that great teacher who your child loves is secretly longing for a baby of her own.

 

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015 AND 2016

 

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 and 2016 contest…two years in a row!

 

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 28 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. 631-752-0606.


 

 

 

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Long Island IVF: New Acupuncture Program Symposium-FREE Event!

By Tracey Minella

April 22nd, 2016 at 9:02 am

Long Island IVF… the practice that brought Long Island its first IVF baby, first Donor Egg baby and First baby from a cryopreserved embryo… is pleased to announce another major “first” on Long Island:

We are the first infertility practice with a Reproductive Endocrinologist who is also a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner and certified acupuncturist.

After 30 years of creating babies, Long Island IVF co-founder and reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. David Kreiner, went back to the classroom to study TCM and become a certified acupuncturist.

Motivated by a desire to find complementary holistic approaches to enhance today’s best Western medical technologies, Dr. Kreiner is now applying that acupuncture training in the IVF procedure room, both pre- and post-IVF transfer. IVF patients… especially those for whom Western medicine alone has not yet produced a baby…may benefit from adding this ancient therapy. The treatment is available exclusively to all LIIVF patients.

Want to learn more about how this exclusive, yet very affordable, natural therapy might help increase your chances of conceiving?

 Register to attend when we launch this special program on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 6:30 pm at our Melville office at 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York. The seminar is free and light refreshments will be served, but seating is limited and seats are going fast, so pre-registration is required.

There will be presentations on several topics from several of the regions experts in acupuncture, including:

1- Western Medicine approach to Infertility – Dr. David Kreiner, MD REI and NYS Certified Medical Acupuncturist, Long Island IVF

2- Acupuncture Diagnosis and How Treatment is Individualized – James Shinol LAc

3- Fertility Enhancement with Diminished Ovarian Reserve-Improving Ovarian Stimulation – Dr. XinJuan Yang, Ph.D,MD (China), LAc

4- Fertility and Diet – Roberta Siegelson, LAc

5- PCOS and acupuncture – Dr. Christine Bauer, DC, LAc

6- Enhancing Uterine Receptivity –Dr. Ping Zhu, Ph.D, MD (China), LAc

7- Acupuncture to Minimize Risk of Miscarriage –Mike Berkley, LAc

8- Japanese Acupuncture  – James Vitale, LAc

 

 

We look forward to seeing you there. Please contact Lindsay Montello, Patient Services, at 631-752-0606 or LMontello@liivf.com with any questions.

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Are you coming to the launch of the Acupuncture Program?

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015 AND 2016

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 and 2016 contest…two years in a row!

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 28 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. 631-752-0606.

 

 

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Long Island IVF and LGBT Network Alliance

By Tracey Minella

April 7th, 2016 at 4:25 am

 

image courtesy of LGBT Network


Long Island IVF is proud to partner with the Long Island LGBT Network as the exclusive family planning service for the LGBT Network community.

On April 7, 2016, Long Island IVF physicians, Dr. David Kreiner, Dr. Steven Brenner, and Dr. Satu Kuokkanen presented a check in the sum of $17,000 to LGBT Network’s Jonathan Chenkin, Development Officer for Corporate and Business Relations and Robert Vitelli, COO – Director of Development. This donation will fund and support our mutual educational and outreach efforts here on Long Island.

Long Island IVF has been building families in the LGBT community for decades and has long practiced its belief that every person is entitle to become a parent. Not only are some staff members also members of the LGBT community, but our entire staff has been trained to be sensitive to our LGBT patients. Your needs and treatment are unique and your comfort is important to us.

Long Island IVF will again sponsor the Family Services Pavilion at the Long Island Pridefest on June 11, 2016. Be sure to come by and meet our team. Some of our patients and their little miracles often drop in, and they love to share their LIIVF family-building experience with others just starting their journeys.

If you’d like to schedule an initial consultation with one of our physicians, please call 877-838-BABY today. With six offices across Long Island and Brooklyn, there is sure to be one convenient to you.

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Will we see you at Pridefest?

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015 AND 2016

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 and 2016 contest…two years in a row!

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 28 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. 631-752-0606.

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Treating Fertility Patients from Abroad

By David Kreiner MD

April 4th, 2016 at 12:05 pm

 

image credit: wpclipart.com


My wife says I don’t show my emotions enough.  Perhaps this is a flaw in my character. However, as a reproductive endocrinologist whether it is in the midst of surgery or under the gun of treating a patient from far-away lands like Sicily or Mongolia…keeping my cool has its benefits.

With international travel very much in the news lately, it made me think of my experiences treating international patients for infertility. And the added stress and honor that comes with being chosen for the job.

The patient from Taormina, Italy had already gone through gonadotropin/IUI cycles without success in Italy.  The wife barely spoke English. She was very nervous, not just because of her fertility challenge, but being so far from home and not being able to communicate well added greatly to her angst.  For me, a patient’s anxiety level is something that I am very sensitive to, and it could raise my own stress level…which it did.  However, add to that the fact that this couple left their home, lives and jobs to come all the way here for an IVF attempt that– if it failed– would require yet another transatlantic flight and additional weeks away from their normal lives.

I suppose distance plays into the potential stress factor since another patient– from Mongolia– who came to me at Long Island IVF was travelling, according to my astute Long Island sense of geography…from the opposite end of the world.  Yes, even for an unemotional seasoned infertility specialist like myself, I have to admit my heart pounds a little stronger in these situations.

Like for all my patients, I prefer to oversee their care personally and if possible perform their procedures even though I have complete confidence in the exceptional abilities of my partners.  I think patients like to see their own doctors that they have bonded with and trusted during the preceding weeks and months.

The intervening 10-14 days of nail biting time is rough for patient and doctor alike.  Fortunately, my Mongolian patient had the most beautiful baby from her first attempt and my patients from Taormina who I have become very friendly with, now have two of the most gorgeous children from two separate embryo transfers three years apart.

I guess sometimes I do let my emotions get the best of me…when I look at the baby pictures remembering all that I have been through with my patients including when I injected the embryos that we all saw as a drop of fluid in the uterus on the ultrasound machine…I still get choked up.

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Have you traveled out of state or the country (or would you ever consider it) for medical care? If so, why, and how far would you be willing to go? Do you have any fears of traveling related to contracting infection or disease?

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