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Archive for the ‘Infertility Treatment’ tag

Long Island IVF Family Reunion Throwback Memories

By Tracey Minella

December 14th, 2016 at 11:11 am

Long Island IVF held its 28th Annual Family Reunion event recently and celebrated a bumper crop of our newest babies and new parents! What an exceptional showing of cute little miracles and beaming moms and dads. It is without a doubt our favorite day of the year!

Why? Well, because the family reunion is when the doctors and staff get to meet the newest additions to the Long Island IVF family! The last time some of these babies were held, they were only a few cells in size! And the last time we saw most of these brave and determined parents-to-be was when we sent them off– newly-pregnant with a sonogram photo– to continue their pregnancy under the care of their obstetricians.

It’s such an emotional experience for doctors and patients alike. This year, about 150 of the newest babies came out. Maybe we’re biased, but they were all gorgeous! And their parents were bursting with smiles and pride…happiness and gratitude replacing the worry and stress of the past. A photographer captured the munchkins in a pumpkin patch scene and, with their thankful parents’ permission, you can view these cuties here.

We always wish we could see all of the babies and families we helped to create for the past 28 years, but we’d have needed a sports stadium!

Attending the family reunion is a goal many of our patients look forward to as they go through their treatment cycles. It also makes it easier to say good-bye at the last office visit knowing we’ll see many of them again to celebrate once their miracles are born.

 

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Have you been to a LIIVF family reunion? If so, what was the best part? If not yet, what part do you imagine would be the most fulfilling?

 

 

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Improving IVF Success with Acupuncture at Long Island IVF

By Tracey Minella

September 8th, 2016 at 11:22 am

Would you be interested in learning about an exclusive, yet very affordable, natural therapy that might help increase your chances of conceiving with IVF –even if you’ve had prior unsuccessful cycles? What if this ancient, complementary therapy could cost less than $200 per IVF cycle?

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 a NYS certified medical acupuncturist.

Motivated by a desire to find complementary holistic approaches to enhance today’s best Western medical technologies, Long Island IVF co-founder and REI, Dr. David Kreiner, went back to school to study TCM after 30 years of making babies.

Dr. Kreiner is now applying that acupuncture training in the IVF procedure room, both pre- and post-IVF transfer–exclusively to all interested Long Island IVF patients. IVF patients… especially those for whom Western medicine alone has not yet produced a baby…may benefit from adding this ancient therapy.

Long Island IVF’s Acupuncture Program is hosting a free symposium with a panel of some of the region’s experts on fertility acupuncture to discuss topics related to improving IVF success with acupuncture.

Don’t miss this special program on Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 6:30 pm at our Melville office at 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York. The seminar is free, but seating is limited, so pre-registration is required. Preregister here.

Topics:

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, LMT

3- Fertility Enhancement with Diminished Ovarian Reserve and Preventing Miscarriage – Dr.Yang XinJuan, Ph.D, MD (China)

4- Acupuncture, Herbs, and Moxibustion to Increase IVF Success – Dr. Yali Li, Ph.D., MD (China)

 

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 Acupuncture Symposium?

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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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Back to School Infertility Blues

By Tracey Minella

September 6th, 2016 at 9:08 am

 

Image credit: Gualberto107/freedigitalphotos.net


Infertile folks are warned to stay off social media today. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are exploding all day in announcement of the beginning of the school year for the majority of schools on Long Island.  This is probably the hardest “non-holiday” day of the year for those struggling with fertility.

If you go out this morning—driving to work or taking a jog—the corners will be dotted with children of all ages. The cute little ones with the adorable matching backpacks and lunch boxes will just tear at your heartstrings. Even the sulking, brooding teens with their faces in their phones are better than…nothing. And that’s why it’s hard to be out today—because it puts your struggle right there in your face.

Yet hiding inside doesn’t work if you go online. The deluge of first-day photos and videos began at 6:00 am and will go on all day as parents will post the after school pics, too. Pics of the first day chocolate chip cookies awaiting the bus home- something you dream of baking one day.

Worse than seeing the wistful moments and posts are the ones by the complainers—who are already out in full force. Complaints about Common Core and the amount of homework. Complaints of how early the kids have to get up in the morning. Complaints about taxiing the kids to all their after school activities. Gripes by women who’ve forgotten or never realized how lucky they are to be moms. And all you can think of is how you can’t wait until it’s your turn to do all these things.

Here are a few things to get through back-to-school:

  • Do your best to avoid social media today (and the next few days as other districts open)
  • Try altering your commute to avoid certain streets at certain times
  • Avoid parents or co-workers who complain about back-to-school
  • Turn the pain around and fill a backpack or two with school supplies to donate to a local school or shelter.

And remember that your turn to stalk the school bus as it takes your precious cargo to kindergarten may be coming soon.

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What’s the hardest part of back-to-school for you? Do you have any tips on handling the challenges?

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Setting New Family-Planning Goals at Summer’s Close

By Tracey Minella

September 4th, 2016 at 12:35 pm

image credit: Yongkeit/freedigitalphotos.net


We’re closing the book on another Long Island summer. What does that mean for your family planning?

Is Labor Day like a second New Year’s Day to you? As kids, September was always the start of a new school year on Long Island. To me, it still feels like a time for a fresh start and for making (or recommitting to) resolutions.

For some, the summer is a time to take off from the stress of fertility treatment. A time to reconnect as a couple, to be playful, or to just relax. Though as we all know, “just relaxing” isn’t going to get anyone pregnant. Still, relaxing a bit in the sun never hurt anyone. What better season to just take a break?

Others may have taken advantage of the more casual atmosphere of summer… with its sometimes slower work schedules or more down time at the office… to actually ramp up their fertility treatments. To hopefully get pregnant before business picks up in the fall or, in the case of teachers* and students, before school begins.

If you’re trying to conceive, it’s important to keep setting goals and scheduling breaks as needed, so you move forward at a pace that works for you financially, emotionally, and physically. So if you took a break this summer, be sure to ask yourself if it’s time to return to treatment. The answer may be “Not yet”, but at least ask yourself the question. It’s easy for an intended short break to become a year-long hiatus when you don’t set a goal to return to treatment. That happened to me…and I wanted to kick myself.

It can be hard to get back into the routine of morning monitoring. Fertility treatments are draining in many ways. But you know what they say about getting thrown off the horse, right?

You gotta get back in those stirrups.

*Note: Teachers and government workers may want to check out this post about how choosing a Center of Excellence provider of fertility benefits on the Empire Plan–like Long Island IVF– can result in substantial financial savings. Plus, we’re the only UCOE provider with all of its facilities and laboratories on Long Island. http://bit.ly/2c76yus

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What did you do this summer? Do you have fertility treatment goals or any advice for others trying to set goals?

 

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Reflecting on the Contribution of Clomid® Chemist, Frank Palopoli

By David Kreiner MD

August 18th, 2016 at 9:50 am

 

image credit: nenetus/freedigitalphotos.net


I was cooling off in my community pool and a former patient recognized me and proudly  showed off her 13 year old daughter…”just Clomid® right?”, I asked, a trite too brash.  “Yes, and insemination after a couple of failed attempts,” she replied.

I sometimes assume if a patient doesn’t have to do IVF to conceive that they have not sufficiently suffered the infertility rites of passage.  Shame on me…for someone facing the challenge of conceiving, the pain can be most severe and if solved with fertility pills—Clomid®–then it is just as miraculous a cure as the newer technologic marvel of IVF.

I have experienced in my 31 years as a reproductive endocrinologist specializing in fertility several hundred such successes and babies born from this highly successful fertility pill that was developed by a team in the 1950’s led by Frank Palopoli who died last week at the age of 94.

Clomiphene®, the generic form of the estrogen receptor inhibitor that came on the market in 1967, works by blocking the negative feedback of estrogen resulting in an increase of pituitary hormones, FSH and LH which in turn stimulates the ovaries to ovulate.

Clomid® may be used by itself or augmented with injections of LH and/or FSH as well as HCG used as a trigger for ovulation when the ovarian follicles stimulated by Clomid® have reached maturity.  The pills are usually taken in the beginning of the cycle for five days and the response carefully monitored with serum estradiol and LH levels as well as follicular ultrasounds.

As tens of millions of babies have been born since Mr. Palopoli developed Clomid® we in the field and those who have reaped the rewards of this medication owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude.

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Did Clomid® play a part in your fertility journey?

 

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Improving IVF Success With Acupuncture

By David Kreiner MD

March 3rd, 2016 at 11:08 am

image credit: Praisaeng/ Freedigitalphotos.net

I have been studying and practicing fertility treatment since 1985.  Over the past 31 years, I’ve witnessed first-hand the enormously improved success we have been able to achieve with advancements in in-vitro fertilization (“IVF”).  Every day now, people we previously thought could never be helped to conceive are having babies as a result of today’s state-of-the-art IVF technology.  However, successful as we have been, there are those who remain unhelped and still in need despite modern technology and medicine.  For those, I went back to school to study Traditional Chinese Medicine (“TCM”) and acupuncture.

 

TCM has been successfully used for nearly all health problems since before recorded history.  In fact, approximately 2400 years ago the ancient Chinese medical text, Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine, was written dealing with the relationships among the internal organs and with the concepts of yin and yang as applied to medicine.  In TCM, the yin and yang principle proposes that the bodily organs are interdependent and support each other in harmony.  Disease is defined as a loss of this state of balance within and among the organs.  Treatment with TCM is based on the restoration of the body’s natural harmony and rebalancing of all the organs.

 

Applying TCM to conventional Western medical diagnosis mixes different worlds without a common language.  The science of TCM is based on the flow of Qi (the body’s life energy) that connect the organs through channels and runs throughout the body.  Deficiencies and stagnations of this Qi arising from the different organs result in patterns of symptomatology– including the inability to conceive.  Treatment is individualized based on the unique patterns that are evident in each patient.  These symptoms and patterns are elucidated upon taking the patient’s history and performing a physical examination.

 

Integrating TCM with state-of-the-art Western medicine involves focusing on these patterns and  connections that help us filter each patient’s story and emerge with a clear map of how to use all the tools of medicine… including the most effective TCM and high-tech Western medicine.

 

Though the West was first introduced to acupuncture and TCM when President Nixon visited China, it was not until 2002 that the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (“ASRM”) took notice when a published article in Fertility and Sterility showed that pre- and post- transfer acupuncture increased pregnancy rates.

 

The Manheimer review published in Human Reproduction in June 2013 showed statistically improved success when acupuncture was used as adjunctive therapy in IVF programs that had lower pregnancy rates.  Recently, Dr. Shahar Lev-Ari from Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine reported when combining IUI with TCM treatments, 65.5% of a test group of 29 women between ages 30 and 45 (average 39.4) were able to conceive, compared with 39.4% of the control group of 94 women between ages 28 and 46 (average 37.1) who received no herbal or acupuncture therapy.  The TCM treatment included weekly acupuncture and Chinese herbs.

 

At ASRM 2015, Dr. Paul Magarelli presented a study he performed from his program in Colorado demonstrating significantly higher pregnancy rates when acupuncture was initiated at least 6 weeks prior to embryo transfer and included pre- and post- transfer treatments.

 

How does acupuncture help fertility?  From a Western perspective, acupuncture’s successful treatment of stress is effective to improve fertility mostly by improving hormonal function.

There is evidence that acupuncture also increases blood flow to the reproductive organs and helps balance the endocrine system.

 

If we are to assume that combining TCM with modern reproductive medicine optimizes a patient’s success, then how can we best help our patients?  At Long Island IVF we work with some of the most qualified fertility acupuncturists on Long Island and, in addition, offer TCM and acupuncture on-site in the Melville office including pre- and post- transfer.

 

As a certified acupuncturist and reproductive endocrinologist with over 30 years of experience in IVF, I feel I am uniquely qualified to offer our patients the most effective fertility treatment that includes the best that Western medicine has to offer as well as TCM and acupuncture.

 

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Do you think adding acupuncture to your treatment plan could be beneficial?

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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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Resuscitating Hope When Infertile on New Year’s

By Tracey Minella

December 31st, 2015 at 9:12 pm

 

photo credit: Anoop Krishnan/ freedigitalphotos.net


Well, it’s the end of another year. If you’re not pregnant yet and desperately want to be, it is a time of frustration, despair, and sadness…especially if you’ve suffered miscarriages, losses, or failed IVF cycles.

But with the New Year comes new hope for a better outcome. Right? For that baby dream to come true. Right?

I said, “Right?”

Listen, I’ve been there. I used to have lots of hope at New Years. It was what got me through the special empty-armed pain of the holiday season with its nosy questions and its focus on the magic of children I didn’t yet have. But as several years rolled on with no baby in sight (as in 6 years and 6 IVF cycles), hope got hard to hold on to.

I got tired of hearing…from people who never had the right words…that I should have hope. I got tired of complying with that standard order. Tired of simply hoping I’d have a baby this year. I started feeling lame saying “I hope this year will be the year we finally have that baby” to those rude enough to ask. Part of me actually stopped believing. All I could think of on New Year’s Day was that if I didn’t conceive by March, I’d still not be a mom by next New Year’s! (Yes, I was that patient!) Hope began to feel like a wimpy and useless emotion that mocked me as the ball dropped.

Nothing underscores the maddening lack of control over your own body and your life that is the very definition of infertility quite like the passing of another year. The frustration can render you helpless and hopeless. The idea that whether or not you will become parents lies not in your own hands but in the skilled hands of a doctor (and your ability to afford those treatments) makes it hard to face each new day, much less a new year full of those days.

Then I realized this: Hope needs some help to survive. You must help it, because it’s one of two things you need. The other thing is an action plan.

Hope is what will get you out of bed each morning, and the steps of the plan are what you will focus on once you do get out of bed. How can you take back some control over your fertility? Is there something you can work on to improve your chances of success or something you can do to help finance the treatment? Sit down and figure out what the obstacles are and then try to make realistic plans to overcome them. Make actual steps to reach the goals and then take each step one at a time. The progress will help keep your hope alive. Even if you can’t fix everything, it’s worth trying to improve what you can.

Consider these as brainstorming starters:

  • Weight loss or gain
  • Stop smoking and drinking
  • Eat healthier or organic if you can and try fertility-friendly foods
  • Exercise and/or meditate
  • Get checkups for fertility/general doctor/dental
  • Complete routine scans and exams like mammograms and colonoscopies
  • Consolidate debt if possible
  • Investigate grants and loans for fertility treatment
  • Financial checkup: New job possible? Salary raise due? Second job possible?
  • Mental health checkup: Could you benefit from free or paid/private or group counseling or infertility support groups online?
  • Holistic options: Ask your doctor about complementary holistic options to enhance fertility, like acupuncture, Reiki, or supplements
  • Consider (or reconsider) a different family-building option like IVF with donor egg/sperm or embryo donation, surrogacy or a gestational carrier, or adoption.

 

As the New Year rolls in, take some time to reflect on what you do have in terms of supportive partners and family and friends, and what you can do to increase your chances that 2016 will be the best year yet. And keep that hope alive.

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Do you see New Year’s as mostly a new start and with hope, or is it a time of sadness for what is not yet here?

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3 Tips for Reducing Holiday Stress of Infertility

By Tracey Minella

December 10th, 2015 at 10:01 pm

 

photo credit: Stuart Miles/ freedigitalphotos.net


It’s heating up. The holiday countdown is on. Stress is rising. And then, there’s infertility to push you off the cliff you’re precariously clinging to.

You know significant, constant stress is only making things worse for you and may possibly undermine your chances of conceiving. So how can you help yourself lower the level during these next difficult weeks of holiday festivities…without breaking the bank?

 

  1. Breathe. Better yet, carve some quiet time for yourself and go sit in the dark somewhere safe and just meditate a bit. Think good thoughts, but if you have to cry it out first, then so be it. Release that tension. Take in the silence and listen to your breathing. Let it go. Just 20 minutes would do it, but go longer if you can. This can also be done in a candlelit bubble bath if that’s more your style.
  2. Consider coming out infertile. If you’ve kept your infertility a secret from friends and family, the holidays may be a good time to relieve yourself of that burden by telling all or some of them what you’re going through. Chances are they may even suspect it already. If you are ready to tell the world, you can do it with one click on social media. See Long Island IVF’s Coming Out Infertile Day Facebook page for simple instructions on how to upload a photo onto a custom graphic to share on social media. Or if you want to tell just a few people and don’t know how to begin, visit the website for sample scripts to help you start those hard face-to-face conversations.
  3. Reconnect with your partner. You know you draw strength from each other, but sometimes the daily grind of the infertility battle can make you lose sight of what an awesome team you two make. Make a date night…home or out. Celebrate what you have and remind yourselves…say it out loud…what great parents you are going to be one day. Imagine 2016 will be your year…it can’t hurt your chances to believe.

 

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How are you handling the holiday stress this season? Any other tips to add?

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Thankful for Our Patients

By Tracey Minella

November 25th, 2015 at 3:27 pm

When we count life’s blessings this time of year, we often look first to family and friends. We’re thankful for our soulmates, spouses, and partners. And most of all, we’re thankful for any children we may have, especially if the road to parenthood was difficult.

This is often the time that many of our patients who have become parents with our help reach out to us with photo holiday cards or notes of thanks. And we love and appreciate each and every one. We also ache for our patients who are still on their journeys as we know how hard the holiday season can be.

We’re especially thankful for your recommendations of us to your family and friends who are struggling to conceive, and for your public votes of confidence in forums like the Best of Long Island contest. By nominating and voting Long Island IVF as the Best In-Vitro Fertility Practice, you not only help us, but you are assisting other couples struggling with infertility find direction on where to go for help.

If you are happy with your Long Island IVF experience, we’d be grateful if you would consider voting for us again this year for Best In-Vitro Fertility Practice in the Health & Wellness category, by going here: https://bestof.longislandpress.com/voting-open/ You can vote daily through December 15th.

The doctors and staff of Long Island IVF wish you all a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by those who support and love you. And we want you to know that we are grateful for your trust in choosing us to be part of your family-building plan. Thanks to you, we get to do what we love each day…make little miracles happen.

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What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

 

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Infertility Treatment and Superstitions

By Tracey Minella

November 13th, 2015 at 9:27 am

 

image courtesy of wpclipart.com


Anyone out there ever have a transfer or retrieval or IUI or pregnancy test on a Friday the 13th? I did.

How did you feel about that? Defeated and doomed from the start? Steadfast and set to defy the day? Or was it just another day?

Do you do anything special on such days for good luck?

When I was doing IVF, I used to wear this fertility amulet. It was a pewter fertility symbol hanging on a long, thin, black leather cord around my neck. I also carried a mirrored compact with an angel on it given to me by a friend who was moving away who said I would get pregnant. (After I finally did, I passed that compact along to another friend TTC).

And I also always wore this one particular pair of jeans to my retrievals and transfers. It was the pair I wore on my first consultation appointment with Dr. Kreiner. Of course, as the years wore on, those jeans wore out. But I kept wearing them anyway. The bottoms were frayed, the knees were both shot, and the back end offered less coverage than the hospital gown I traded them in for. But I wore them to both successful retrievals and transfers.

And now they have been saved in a special drawer along with other mementos of “the infertility years”, like all of my hospital bracelets, slipper socks, souvenir unused syringes and needles, pharmacy and insurance bills, and other trinkets to remind me of the journey. Ready to pull out when I’m feeling nostalgic… or when the kids grow up and I want to make them feel guilty about misbehavin’ (“Ya see all these bracelets, Missy? Do you know I had general anesthesia 10 times to have you…?”).

 

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Do you have any routines, traditions, or superstitions regarding your treatment…on Friday the 13th or any other day? If so, please share.

 

Photo courtesy of: https://www.wpclipart.com/animals/cats/black_and_white/cat_jumps_through_glass_window.png.html

 

 

 

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