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Infertility Podcast Series: Journey to the Crib: Chapter 2

By David Kreiner, MD

February 19th, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast. We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter.

This podcast covers Chapter Two: The Pregnancy Test is Negative Again-What Do I Do? You, the viewer, are invited to ask questions and make comments.  You can access the podcast here:  http://podcast.longislandivf.com/?p=20

A negative pregnancy test is a reminder of all the feelings of emptiness, sadness and grief over the void created by infertility.  This chapter was written to arm the reader with infertility with a strategy to fight off the potentially damaging effects that this condition can do to the afflicted individual.

The first step in dealing with the emotional onslaught that infertility brings includes focusing on breathing, meditation and seeking support from a partner or friend.  Perspective through knowledge in the fact that fertile couples only conceive every five months means that the infertile couple is in good company with many future moms and dads.

The next step is seeking help from a trained professional, a reproductive endocrinologist, whose focus is on helping infertility patients.  He/she works with infertile couples to develop a plan based on diagnosis, age, years of infertility, motivation as well as financial and emotional means to support that therapy.

Therapy may be surgical or medical.  They may include intrauterine inseminations or IVF with minimal or full stimulation.  There may be diagnostic tests, yet undone that may prove to be of value in ascertaining a cause for the problem and facilitate treatment.

Complementary and adjuvant therapies may offer additional success potential and emotional support by improving the health and wellness of an individual.  The mind body programs and acupuncture are the most popular of these.

A strategy for dealing with the negative pregnancy test is offered with the intent of helping patients take control of their lives, improve their health and well being and increase the likelihood that the next test will be a positive one.

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Please share your thoughts on the podcast and ask Dr. Kreiner any questions.

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BFN! Negative Pregnancy Test Again! Now What?

By David Kreiner MD

February 5th, 2013 at 6:30 pm

image courtesy of david castillo dominici/freedigital photos.net

Women confronted with a negative result from a pregnancy test are always disappointed, sometimes devastated. Many admit to becoming depressed and finding it hard to associate with people and go places where there are pregnant women or babies, making social situations extremely uncomfortable. A negative test is a reminder of all those feelings of emptiness, sadness and grief over the void infertility creates.

We don’t have control over these feelings and emotions. They affect our whole being and, unchecked, will continue until they have caused a complete state of depression. This article can arm you with a strategy to fight the potentially damaging effects that infertility threatens to do to you and your life.

First, upon seeing or hearing that gut-wrenching news, breathe.
Meditation — by controlling and focusing on your breathing — can help you gain control of your emotions and calm your body, slow down your heart rate and let you focus rationally on the issues. It’s best to have your partner or a special someone by your side that can help you to calm down and regain control.

Second, put this trauma into perspective.
It doesn’t always help to hear that someone else is suffering worse — whether it’s earthquake or cancer victims — but knowledge that fertile couples only conceive 20% of the time every month means that you are in good company with plenty of future moms and dads.

Third, seek help from a specialist, a reproductive endocrinologist (RE).
An RE has seven years of post-graduate training with much of it spent helping patients with the same problem you have. An RE will seek to establish a diagnosis and offer you an option of treatments. He will work with you to develop a plan to support your therapy based on your diagnosis, age, years of infertility, motivation, as well your financial and emotional means. If you are already under an RE’s care, the third step becomes developing a plan with your RE or evaluating your current plan.

Understand your odds of success per cycle are important for your treatment regimen. You want to establish why a past cycle may not have worked. It is the RE’s job to offer recommendations either for continuing the present course of therapy — explaining the odds of success, cost and risks — or for alternative more aggressive and successful treatments (again offering his opinion regarding the success, costs and risks of the other therapies).

Therapies may be surgical, such as laparoscopy or hysteroscopy to remove endometriosis, scar tissue, repair fallopian tubes or remove fibroids. They may be medical, such as using ovulation inducing agents like clomid or gonadotropin injections. They may include intrauterine insemination (IUI) with or without medications. They also may include minimal stimulation IVF or full-stimulated IVF. Age, duration of infertility, your diagnosis, ovarian condition, and financial and emotional means play a large role in determining this plan that the RE must make with your input.

There may be further diagnostic tests that may prove value in ascertaining your diagnosis and facilitate your treatment. These include a hysteroscopy or hydrosonogram to evaluate the uterine cavity, as well as the HSG (hysterosalpingogram) to evaluate the patency of the fallopian tubes as well as the uterine cavity.

Complementary therapies offer additional success potential by improving the health and wellness of an individual and, therefore, her fertility as well. These therapies — acupuncture, massage, nutrition, psychological mind and body programs, hypnotherapy –
have been associated with improved pregnancy rates seen when used as an adjunct to assisted reproductive technologies.

A negative pregnancy test can throw you off balance, out of your routine and depress you. Use my plan here to take control and not just improve your mood and life but increase the likelihood that your next test will be a positive one.

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What have you done…or what tips can you add… to get through the disappointment?

 

Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Gestures_g185-Depressed_Woman_Sitting_On_Floor__p99322.html

 

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