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Archive for the ‘Mind and Body’ Category

Reiki for Fertility Free Sessions at Long Island IVF

By Tracey Minella

June 1st, 2017 at 9:50 am

 

Are you ready for four weeks of free Reiki therapy to reduce the stress of infertility and possibly increase your chances of conceiving?

 

As anyone who has melted down monthly over negative pregnancy tests knows all too well, infertility is beyond stressful—as in constant, unrelentingly awful levels of stressful. But there are holistic ways to reduce stress and potentially increase the odds of conceiving that longed-for pregnancy.

 

The Mind-Body Medicine Program at Long Island IVF has long-offered specialized group and individual therapy sessions for infertiles, led by our infertility specialist and psychologist Bina Benisch, MS, RN. In addition to these wildly popular sessions, Bina also conducts occasional workshops on keeping the romance in lovemaking while trying to conceive, and on how to “come out” of the infertility closet to family and friends.

 

Bina is also an experienced Reiki Master and now, she’s offering something else that’s really exciting. Or should we say really relaxing?

 

It’s Reiki. Only at Long Island IVF. Open to all—you don’t have to be a patient of the practice. Get in on this 4-week free program while spots are available. Pre-registration is required so click here to sign up now.

 

Reiki is a “simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement.” It’s a stress reduction and relaxation technique from Japan founded on the belief that a “life force energy” flows through the body and that our health is connected to its strength. If the energy is low, we may be stressed or sickly and raising it may make us feel happier or healthier. Meditative in nature, Reiki “feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you” and “treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing.”*

 

Whether you are trying to conceive naturally or are using assisted reproductive technology like IVF to conceive, the holistic Reiki therapy may enhance your efforts by helping you to relax.

 

In an effort to bring attention to Reiki therapy through Long Island IVF’s Mind-Body Medicine program, we are offering this limited-time, free four-week Reiki series. With such positive feedback from our innovative Acupuncture for Fertility program and our recent free Yoga for Fertility Night, patients seeking holistic alternatives to complement their Western medicine fertility treatment protocols have found all of these options under one roof.

 

Do something relaxing for yourself this summer and come down for Reiki with Bina.

 

The four (4) Reiki sessions will be held at Long Island IVF’s Melville office 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York on the following Monday nights from 6:30-7:30 pm:

 

  • Monday June 12
  • Monday June 19
  • Monday June 26
  • Monday July 10

 

Remember, the sessions are free but spots are limited, so pre-register now here.

 

Can’t wait to see 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 Reiki?

 

 

 

* http://www.reiki.org/faq/WhatIsReiki.html

 

 


 

 

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A Day of Hope 2015

By Tracey Minella

August 19th, 2015 at 5:21 pm

 

photo credit: carlymarie


Losing a baby. Unspeakable pain.

The world will never be the same after losing a baby or child, born alive or still. Or miscarried. The surviving family…parents, siblings, grandparents, and others…embark on a journey of grief over the innocent life that ended too soon. And while life does…must…somehow go on, it’s never truly the same again.

I miscarried IVF twins just before the end of the first trimester. They’d be 20 this fall. On September 5th. You never stop thinking about what they’d be doing today. Even if you’re lucky enough to have other children. And let’s not forget the very real grief over the very many embryos that never made it, either before or after transfer.

Today is a day of healing. It’s a day of hope. It’s a recognition and celebration of all those lives lost. Of lives that mattered…and still matter. Children whose names people awkwardly no longer mention.

Across the world, on a beach in Australia, a woman named CarlyMarie, mourning the loss of her son Christian who was “born sleeping” started a global movement to celebrate all these lives. It’s called a Day of Hope and Project Heal. And it is today, August 19th. I’ve mentioned this in the past. https://www.facebook.com/events/923511941049863/

Participants who’ve lost children create their own personalized “prayer flags” in honor of the babies’ memories. But despite the name, it is not religious in nature and all are welcome to join in. People create their personal flags out of fabric or paper or whatever materials they want…even a simple drawing is fine if they aren’t crafty. The main thing is to be part of this movement, not to win a prize for art. Then, they hang or display them on this date and share photos of their flags so others who are suffering can feel a collective support. This year, it’s estimated that about 17,000 flags were made in the name of healing.

If you’ve suffered a loss, I strongly recommend you check out CarlyMarie’s site or Facebook page, which is full of support by one who walks in your shoes. Not just today, but each day.

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Do you participate in the Day of Hope? Do you have any tips ways to honor the memory of your child?

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How to Survive the Two Week Wait for Your Pregnancy Result

By Bina Benisch, MS, RN

May 1st, 2015 at 8:54 pm

photo: peter kratochvil/ publicdomainimages.com

 

It seems interminable.

 

You’ve finally made it through your IVF stimulation. You’ve survived your injections and all those early morning monitoring visits…not to mention being poked and prodded for blood and vaginal ultrasounds. You’ve undergone your retrieval procedure, sweated out the fertilization results, and here it is – the day of your embryo transfer.  Or, if you’re doing IUI, you’ve made it through your insemination.

 

What a relief!  You can finally relax…. NOT so fast!

 

The next 10-14 days can seem like an eternity when you’re waiting for your pregnancy result.

 

Your emotions may ride that roller coaster … slow ascending hope, with glimmers of joy at the prospect that this time you actually may be pregnant … only to be violently interrupted by thunderous pangs of fear that this may not have worked, and then falling into despair.

 

How do you regulate your feelings and create a sense of balance so that you’re not held hostage by every emotion and negative thought that grips you?  Here is your mission for the next 10-14 days, should you choose to accept it:

 

  • Create a list of leisure activities that you and your partner have always enjoyed doing, and set a plan into action.  Yes, there are jobs and responsibilities, but schedule some “special” time together for these activities… whether it’s watching movies together, outdoor activities, date nights, music, or working together on a project that embodies a sense of satisfaction.  Not only does this help keep your relationship close – which in itself is emotionally enriching – but it may distract your attention and maintain some perspective on your life so that you are not feverishly focused on your fertility status.

 

  • Talk to your partner about your feelings.  There are no pat solutions which will stop your anxiety. However, making room for all feelings – even the darker ones – and knowing you will get through it as you ride this wave, will relieve the stress of suppressing these feelings. This will also keep the lines of communication open between you and your partner.

 

  • Restructure your thoughts! This is not to advise Pollyanna or positive thinking.  Let’s face it, the last thing you need is to be told to “be positive” or “relax.” It’s extremely difficult to feel “positive” when you’re struggling with infertility.  However, take a moment to look at the thoughts you are telling yourself – the thoughts that are causing your fear and anxiety to escalate: “I know I’m not pregnant.”  “It probably didn’t work this time.” “What if it doesn’t work this time?” “What if I never become pregnant?”   These thoughts and statements are not etched in truth, and are only fear-based. Better thoughts… which may be equally true, but are not fear based…are: “I could very well be pregnant.” “The possibility that I will become pregnant is just as much a reality.”  Don’t fear that allowing yourself to entertain these hopeful thoughts will cause greater disappointment from a negative result. You will be disappointed or devastated either way, whether you’ve been fearful, anxious, and negative, or you’ve had the perspective that you may very well become pregnant.  Here is a mental framework that is absolutely realistic, true, and can go a long way to helping you maintain peace of mind:  “I am doing everything in my power to become pregnant, and therefore, I can emotionally let go for now, and leave this in the hands of (God, the universe, my doctors).”

 

  • Selectively avoid situations that you know will trigger your fear or anxiety.   Learn to say “NO”.  People will forgive you for not attending a family function, social event, or any situation where you find pregnant people, or people with babies, or people who will ask you when you are going to have children.  YOU come first at this time in your life. YOUR emotional health takes precedence.

 

  • Nurture yourself. Whatever that means for you. Massage, Reiki, reading, movies, shopping, yoga (not hot yoga), — what do you find to be a relaxing, self-nurturing activity?

 

  • Remember proper breathing. Slow, deep breathing will cause a physiological reversal of the body’s stress response.  This will reduce anxiety and stress.  Learn to practice breath work every day.

 

In essence, have compassion for yourself.  Talk about your feelings with your partner.  If you find it difficult to restructure your thoughts, practice the mantra that you have done everything in your power, and now it’s time to let go.  This takes practice, but you can do it if you take on this mission for self-balance, peace of mind, and equilibrium.

 

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=14919&picture=your-are-late

 

 

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NIAW Special Promo on Long Island IVF Event with Free IVF Door Prize!

By Tracey Minella

April 22nd, 2015 at 1:34 pm

In celebration of National Infertility Awareness Week, Long Island IVF is offering a special now through April 25, 2015…

During National Infertility Awareness Week, if you buy a regular admission ticket to the Brew for the Family event that we are hosting with The Tinina Q. Cade Foundation, you will receive two (2) entries into the drawing for the Free IVF cycle door prize instead of one!!! That’s two chances to win a Free IVF cycle for only a $55 admission ticket.

So on Thursday, June 4th,  from 7:30-10:00 pm you get a great night out at the Great South Bay Brewery which includes plenty of great food and music, plus beer sampling of several craft beers, a brewery tour, souvenir glass, silent auction for additional great prizes, and more.

Click here for more information http://bit.ly/1yvDBit.

To purchase tickets please visit: www.librewforthefamily.eventbrite.com. The promo is automatically applied so no code is required.

And if you’re into getting out during the week, join us for the last two fun NIAW events from 7-9 pm in our Melville office:

Fertile Yoga Night Tonight

Yoga with a Baby Goal! Created for both newbies and yoga devotes, this is your chance to participate in a yoga session specifically geared to potentially enhance your fertility. Bring your mat or a towel (and yoga pants or gym wear) and experience mediation, breathing and stretching designed to reduce stress, lessen muscle tension and increase blood flow to the pelvis. You’ll be guided by Lisa Pineda, an instructor experienced in yoga for fertility who will leave you relaxed and wanting more. Light refreshments.

 

Alternative Medicine & Holistic Approaches to Fertility Enhancement Night Tomorrow

This interactive evening will highlight Mind-Body and holistic medicine practices including meditation techniques, breath work, Reiki, massage therapy and a live demonstration of fertility-focused acupuncture. LIIVF’s own Dr. David Kreiner will discuss acupuncture and Bina Benisch, MS RN and other affiliated local practitioners will lead the other discussions/demos. Additionally, Rachel Liberatore, LMT, from Nu Touch Therapy will be providing free chair massages. Jim Vitale of Suffolk County Acupuncture will give a live demo of fertility-focused acupuncture, too. Don’t miss this chance to learn how to help yourself reduce stress and improve your own fertility. Light refreshments.

The events are FREE, but pre-registration is required. If you’ve been trying to conceive without success, please RSVP immediately to reserve your spot by contacting our Patient Services Coordinator, Lindsay Montello at 631-386-5509 or lmontello@liivf.com. You do not have to be a Long Island IVF patient to attend. Feel free to bring your partner or a friend.

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Are you coming?

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Happy National Infertility Awareness Week #NIAW

By Tracey Minella

April 20th, 2015 at 10:55 am

 

 

Well, it’s the biggest week of the year in the infertile world… National Infertility Awareness Week. NIAW, for short.

I confess I hate saying “Happy” before “National Infertility Awareness Week”. Those suffering know there’s nothing “happy” about it. Not a club anyone wants to belong to. No reason to buy balloons or a cake.

But celebrate we will. We must. Because we are celebrating you.

We celebrate you for your strength and resolve in the face of what may be the greatest challenge of your life so far. In overcoming great emotional, physical, and financial stress. We recognize that no matter what pain and losses you’ve faced to date, you find the strength to get out of bed each day and continue to fight for your dream of a family.

This week, Long Island IVF has both educational and fun events to celebrate you, distract you,  and to help spread infertility awareness. All events are from 7:00pm-9:00pm at the Melville office and will offer light refreshments.

 

Here is the lineup of FREE events:

 

Donor Egg Recipient Seminar (Tuesday):

Learn everything you need to know about the Donor Egg process. Learn why some women can benefit from donor eggs, how egg donors are thoroughly screened, how the process works, the competitive success rates of our program, and so much more. Meet the Donor Egg Team and hear a testimonial from one of our many successful and happy moms. Light refreshments.

 

Fertile Yoga Night (Wednesday):

Yoga with a Baby Goal! Created for both newbies and yoga devotes, this is your chance to participate in a yoga session specifically geared to potentially enhance your fertility. Bring your mat or a towel (and yoga pants or gym wear) and experience mediation, breathing and stretching designed to reduce stress, lessen muscle tension and increase blood flow to the pelvis. You’ll be guided by Lisa Pineda, an instructor experienced in yoga for fertility who will leave you relaxed and wanting more. Light refreshments.

 

Alternative Medicine and Holistic Approaches to Enhancing Fertility Night (Thursday):

This interactive evening will highlight Mind-Body and holistic medicine practices including meditation techniques, breath work, Reiki, massage therapy and a live demonstration of fertility-focused acupuncture. LIIVF’s own Dr. David Kreiner will discuss acupuncture and Bina Benisch, MS RN and other affiliated local practitioners will lead the other discussions/demos. Additionally, Rachel Liberatore, LMT, from Nu Touch Therapy will be providing free chair massages. Jim Vitale of Suffolk County Acupuncture will give a live demo of fertility-focused acupuncture, too. Don’t miss this chance to learn how to help yourself reduce stress and improve your own fertility. Light refreshments, including Dr. Kreiner’s special secret fertility friendly trail mix!!!

 

 

Again, all events are FREE, but pre-registration is required. If you’ve been trying to conceive without success, please RSVP immediately to reserve your spot by contacting our Patient Services Coordinator, Lindsay Montello at 631-386-5509 or lmontello@liivf.com. You do not have to be a Long Island IVF patient to attend. Feel free to bring your partner or a friend.

Please come out to one or all of these events. Please help us raise awareness of infertility this week by sharing this post. Someone you know is suffering. You can help.

Did I mention the secret trail mix?

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Will we see you at one of these events? Can you guess what’s in the secret trail mix?

 

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Infertility and TCM Part 13: Why TCM Thrives in a Sick Western Society

By David Kreiner, MD

March 19th, 2015 at 12:41 pm

 

image courtesy of stuart miles/freedigitalphotos.net


Why is it that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has survived for some 2500 years and in fact remains a viable medical option for common health complaints in many contemporary societies?

Few other medical methodologies and treatments experience as much use as TCM even in the US which shares no common tradition, history or beliefs that may otherwise explain its popularity. Need I compare it to the history of Western Medicine, the bulk of which has been thankfully replaced by more contemporary scientific and technological advances?  These new innovations truly appear to be offering more good benefit than the dangerous, risky and unethical medicine popularly practiced in the West as recently as 85 years ago.

In fact, Western Medicine caused much iatrogenic illness until Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis introduced the importance of sterility in medical procedures and Dr. Joseph Lister did the same for surgery in the mid and late 1800’s respectively. It took until 1928 that Penicillin, the first antibiotic, was invented and it was not until 1953 that Jonas Salk invented the first vaccine to prevent polio.

Medical science has made great advances in immunizations which have been enormously successful in preventing disease.  These vaccinations have saved millions from life-threatening diseases.  So why is this not universally accepted as the medical panacea some of us perceive it to be?  The latest knock on this 20th century medical miracle thought by many to be worthy of the Nobel Prize in health and medicine is believable reports that autism is somehow related to these magic vaccines.  After all the experience and research, reasonably scientific folk are having difficulty completely ruling out a relationship.

Antibiotics and immunizations have saved more lives in the past 85 years than the compilation of all infectious deaths comprised from the beginning of time.  We have come a long way from the original discovery of the antibiotic benefits of some moldy bread transmuted to penicillin. However, a malady we face with modern medicine is that Western medical treatment has been developed in total disregard for our society, culture, traditions and environment.  A potential cure must be acceptable with not just proper use but strict disallowance of its improper use.

In the years that we have been blessed by the antibiotic revolution, we have seen commercial abuse in the form of common treatment on farm animals essentially creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria that destroys the effectiveness of that magic bullet that proved the savior against devastating disease making it oft times worthless.  Common overuse of antibiotics among physicians adds to this conundrum.

Environmental pathogens are making people ill including tobacco, stress, and recreational drugs as well as unhealthy diets rich in chemicals, medications, sugar, animal fats, and excess carbohydrates lacking nutritional value.  Food is over-processed and is often eaten to such excess that in combination with sedentary lifestyles in Western Medicine leads to obesity, diabetes and hypertension and in TCM to pathology related to stagnation of Qi, development of damp and other pathogens.

TCM is unique in that it works to improve these underlying factors responsible for making our society so sick.  This is why, though ancient, Traditional Chinese Medicine thrives in our modern albeit sick society.

Prior to the invention of the modern day antibiotic, TCM doctors discovered over the ages the “antibiotic” properties of certain herbs they discovered in their environment.  These ancient medicinals were derived from plants, animals, and minerals.  Other herbal decoctions were created to treat common complaints such as headache, pain, cough, cold, etc. as well as diseases such as gallstones, diabetes, hypertension, menstrual disorders and infertility. Dietary prescriptions are given by TCM practitioners and result in effective diminution of patient symptoms as well as acupuncture treatments aimed to eliminate pathology and correct unhealthy constitutions.

The goal of the TCM practitioner is to improve the individual’s health and well-being by focusing attention on the potential hazards of his/her environment such as stresses, emotions, bad habits, sleep, rest and activity, and diet.  An acupuncture treatment may help nourish deficiencies in the individual’s constitution that can put one at risk of contracting illness.  Herbal remedies can do same as well as eliminate pathologies before they turn into serious disease.

These TCM treatments are not only helping patients live healthier in their environment, the remedies themselves are actually coming from nature without artificial chemical contamination and are much less likely to have deleterious side effects.  It stands to reason that though the science behind TCM precedes the precision offered by the tools available with modern technology, the potential benefits are very much real today.

If you’d like to know more about TCM and how it may enhance your fertility, Long Island IVF is offering a free event on April 23, 2015, during National Infertility Awareness Week, entitled AN Evening of Alternative Medicine and Holistic Approaches to Enhancing Fertility.

All events during NIAW are FREE, but pre-registration is required. Events will fill up quickly. Attendance is limited. If you’ve been trying to conceive without success, please RSVP immediately to reserve your spot by contacting our Patient Services Coordinator, Lindsay Montello at 631-386-5509 or lmontello@liivf.com. You do not have to be a Long Island IVF patient to attend. Please feel free to bring your partner or a friend.

 

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Have you considered TCM for fertility enhancement or any other health issues?

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Long Island IVF Celebrates National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) 2015

By Tracey Minella

March 11th, 2015 at 7:19 pm

NIAW is April 19-25 this year and Long Island IVF has several fun and educational events planned. Egg Donation, Fertile Yoga, Stress reduction techniques, Acupuncture and more! All events are FREE…and you don’t have to be a patient to attend. It’s our part in the movement to increase Infertility Awareness.

Here’s what’s going on all week long:

Tuesday 4/21: Donor Egg Recipient Program Night:

Thinking about using an egg donor to build your family? Then we’ve got the night for you. Learn everything you ever wanted need to know about the Donor Egg process. Learn why some women can benefit from donor eggs, how egg donors are thoroughly screened, how the process works, the competitive success rates of our program, and so much more. Meet the Donor Egg Team and hear a testimonial from one of our many successful and happy moms.

When you’re ready to move forward with egg donation, we have pre-screened egg donors of many ethnicities just waiting to help you! Come see what it’s all about. Light refreshments.

 

Wednesday 4/22: Fertile Yoga Night:

Yoga with a Baby Goal!

Created for both newbies and yoga devotes, this is your chance to participate in a yoga session specifically geared to potentially enhance your fertility. Bring your mat or a towel (and yoga pants or gym wear) and experience meditation, breathing and stretching designed to reduce stress, lessen muscle tension and increase blood flow to the pelvis.

You’ll be guided by Lisa Pineda, of Yoga For Fertility, an instructor experienced in yoga for fertility who will leave you relaxed and wanting more. Light refreshments.

 

Thursday 4/23: Alternative Medicine & Holistic Approaches to Fertility Enhancement Night:

Stress reduction is the name of the game tonight!

This interactive evening will highlight Mind-Body and holistic medicine practices including meditation techniques, breath work, Reiki, massage therapy and a live demonstration of fertility-focused acupuncture. Learn how fertility-focused alternative medicine options  may complement traditional medical fertility protocols.

LIIVF’s own Dr. David Kreiner will discuss acupuncture and Bina Benisch, MS RN and other affiliated local practitioners will lead the other discussions/demos. Additionally, Rachel Liberatore, LMT, from Nu Touch Therapy will be providing free chair massages. And Jim Vitale, licensed acupuncturist and owner of Suffolk County Acupuncture will fascinate you with a live fertility acupuncture demonstration!

Don’t miss this chance to learn how to help yourself reduce stress and improve your own fertility. Light refreshments.

You’ll leave all these events feeling more empowered and relaxed, knowing ways you can optimize your chances of conceiving. Take back some control over your fertility.

 

Please join us from 7:00- 9:00 each evening at:

Long Island IVF

8 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 101

Melville, NY

 

All events are FREE, but pre-registration is required. Events will fill up quickly. Attendance is limited. If you’ve been trying to conceive without success, please RSVP immediately to reserve your spot by contacting our Patient Services Coordinator, Lindsay Montello at 631-386-5509 or lmontello@liivf.com. You do not have to be a Long Island IVF patient to attend. Please feel free to bring your partner or a friend. Come to any or all of these great events.

We’re looking forward to seeing you!

 

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Which of these events do you find interesting? What other kinds of events would you like to see us host?

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Age and Fertility

By David Kreiner MD

February 2nd, 2015 at 4:23 pm

 

credit: photostock/free digital photos.net


You’ve heard the “Reproductive Bell” toll and may question “Is it real?”…

You see celebrities getting pregnant well into their 40’s and think “Then why can’t I?” So, is your reproductive clock as critical as modern doctors say?

I have come across fertility advice from non-physician practitioners, such as acupuncturists and Chinese herbalists, who encourage their patients to “question the Western dogma” when it comes to age and fertility. They claim the effect of aging and fertility is “exaggerated by the Medical profession and can be overcome with a shift in an individual’s health and lifestyle”.

Unfortunately, this advice comes without any cited research or statistics in support of it.  According to the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology, as published on SART.org, a review of the 2012 national statistics, those most recently published of IVF cycles started, the age breakdown for IVF live birth rates are the following:

 

Age <35= 40.2%

 

Age 35-37=31.3%

 

Age 38-40=22.2%

 

Age 41-42=11.8%

 

Age >42=3.2%

 

It is true that a woman’s health and physiology gets worse as she gets older.  Some of these non- physician practitioners argue that perhaps if this can be improved then the diminishing fertility commonly seen with aging can be reversed. But though improving a woman’s general health may help it is not sufficient in most cases.  Fertility rates decrease with increasing age in large part because there is an increase in genetic abnormalities found in gametes (eggs and sperm) as patients (women in particular) age.  This is the result of long-term environmental exposure to toxins, in addition to the increased likelihood of genetic damage over time.  Miscarriage rates increase with age for the same reason in large part due to the greater likelihood of embryos having chromosomal abnormalities.

Many women as they age also will experience a significant drop in their ovarian activity, referred to as diminished ovarian reserve.  This activity can be assessed by your physician with a blood level of Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH) and day 3 FSH and estradiol levels.  Women with lower AMH levels and elevated FSH in the presence of a normal low estradiol have fewer ovarian follicles, and hence eggs, that will respond to ovarian stimulation.  Since the likelihood of these eggs being genetically normal is less, then fertility is reduced and the probability of IVF and other fertility treatments resulting in a live birth becomes significantly lower.

The challenge to any practitioner dealing with an aging patient attempting to conceive is to optimize their patient’s chance to have a healthy baby which optimally would include an integration of multiple modalities.  Therefore, ideally a physician specially trained in the fertility process (a Reproductive Endocrinologist), should implement state-of-the-art Western therapies with a complementary holistic approach that aims to shift their patient’s health and fertility.  These holistic approaches include diet and lifestyle changes as well as fertility-directed acupuncture and herbal therapy treatments.

Lifestyle changes that may improve fertility primarily include those that reduce stress and improve diet and activity.  Stress at work, at home, and with family and friends can create pathology from both Eastern and Western perspectives.  Diets that do not support adequate blood production or create Eastern patterns of cold or heat can affect fertility.  Excesses or deficiencies of particular foods…such as dairy, fat, or grains… can create imbalances or pathology that may affect fertility or result in obesity or malnutrition which also impact reproduction.

Inactivity may impair fertility. Therefore some level of exercise, combined with an improved diet directed at improving fertility, stress reduction techniques, acupuncture, and supplements (which may include Chinese Herbs as well as Western supplements) will optimize your chances of successfully building your family.

The first step is to seek help from a reproductive endocrinologist skilled in state-of-the-art fertility therapies who can coordinate a program which is ideal for you. But if you are hearing the “Reproductive Bell” tolling, it is important to take that first step soon, because, while these many complementary approaches can optimize your fertility, they may not be enough to overcome the reality of the negative effect of advanced age in fertility.

Long Island IVF offers complementary holistic approaches to achieving pregnancy (See our Mind-Body Program http://www.longislandivf.com/mind_body.cfm ) as well as a well-respected Donor Egg Program http://www.longislandivf.com/donor_programs.cfm  with no wait for pre-screened, multi-ethnic donor eggs, or Donor Embryos.

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Has the increased visibility of older celebrity moms getting pregnant made you think you have more time? Have you considered combining Western and Eastern medicine in your family-building treatment?

 

 

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Younger_Women_g57-Young_Woman_Holding_Clock_p49428.html

 

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Too Fat for Fertility Treatment?

By David Kreiner MD

January 2nd, 2015 at 9:01 am

credit: Ohmega1982/ freedigitalphotos.net

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”, once 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 pointed 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. Long Island IVF has a complete Mind-Body program with counselors for men and women suffering from infertility and we welcome those who are not yet our patients. See http://www.longislandivf.com/mind_body.cfm

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 turned away from an RE because you’re overweight or obese? Do you think that’s fair?

 

Photo credit: Ohmega 1982 http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?id=10073481

 

 

 

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New Year’s Day Challenge: The Gratitude Jar Project

By Tracey A. Minella

January 1st, 2015 at 9:32 am


“This could be the year.”

No matter how you spend your evening on New Year’s Eve…brave-facing it through a big party or sleeping through the ball-drop…there is still a new year to face this morning. How will you meet it?

If you’ve been saying “this could be the year” for more New Year’s than you care to remember, it gets harder to believe it will happen. It gets harder to think of anything except having a baby. Your mind is laser-focused on the baby goal, while the rest of your life, well, is sort of just out there passing by in the blur of your peripheral vision. And you’re missing or forgetting some good things while you wait.

I’ve been there. I suffered for more than 7 empty New Years. I let it make me miserable. But you don’t have to make the same mistake.

Sure I can tell you to have hope and to believe. But those words tend to ring hollow on pivotal days like New Year’s Day.  So I’m going to give you one simple, but concrete job to do instead.

I’m challenging you to make a Gratitude Jar for 2015. I did this and promise it will be worth it. Get a mason jar from a craft, hardware, or grocery store. Decorate it (or not), depending on your mood and your talents. (I’m not crafty, so mine’s embarrassingly and totally plain as you can see).

Make a point to make a small note as good things happen throughout the year. Anything that makes you smile or laugh. Something nice someone did for or with you. Fun outings or events. Cherished notes or letters you receive. Basically, anything good. It’s so easy to forget. Toss those notes into the jar all year long.

Then, next New Year’s Eve or Day, (or any time you’re particularly hurting), you open the jar and read all the notes. It’s guaranteed to jog your memory and make you smile and focus on what you do have to be grateful for…at a time when it’s so hard to do so.

And who knows? Maybe you’ll be reading those little scraps to your newborn next year at this time…

Wishing you all a magical 2015 full of hope and dreams come true.

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What, if anything, do you do on New Year’s Day as far as your family-planning journey is concerned?

 

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