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Archive for the ‘IUI’ tag

Negative Pregnancy Test Again! Now What?!

By David Kreiner MD

November 30th, 2014 at 9:51 am

 

credit: davidcastillodominici/ freedigitlaphotos.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 who 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 to get through the disappointment?

 

photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/CouplesPartners_g216-Depressed_Young_Couple_p104407.html

 

 

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Long Island IVF Family Reunion 2014 Memories

By Tracey Minella

November 11th, 2014 at 4:26 pm


Long Island IVF just celebrated its 26th Annual Family Reunion event. With schools closed and many people off from work, we were blessed with an exceptionally high turn-out of babies and new parents. And we couldn’t have been happier!

The family reunion is the highlight event of our year because it’s when the doctors and staff get to meet the newest crop of little miracles. The last time some of these babies were held, they were only a few cells in size! It’s such an emotional experience for doctors and patients alike. This year, 99 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 was capturing the little dickens in a fall-themed pumpkin patch.

It was remarked that if we’d had all of the babies we helped to create for the past 26 years, we’d have filled the Nassau Coliseum!

We were also so lucky to have the event covered by several media outlets, including CBS, Fox, FIOS, and News 12. Not only did that coverage expose our practice’s success to potential patients who may need our family-building services, but it enabled all of our patients, past and present, to share in the reunion experience. You could feel the happiness in the air.

Please check out some of the videos of that news coverage on our Facebook page or at these links and check back often as we will update them as they are available:

http://longisland.news12.com/news/long-island-ivf-celebrates-26-years-of-helping-families-1.9608352

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/video/10839273-proud-parents-reunite-with-doctors-to-celebrate-birth-of-little-miracles/

 

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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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Long Island IVF Builds Families for GLBT Community

By Tracey Minella

November 4th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

 

credit: david castillo dominici/free digital photos.net


Long Island IVF is so excited to return to the Long Island GLBT Expo this weekend on Sunday, November 9, 2014 at the Long Island Hilton in Melville, New York. We’ll have a raffle again, too, so be sure to stop by.

Long-committed to helping the GLBT community build their families, we love being able to reach out in person in a supportive environment like the expo. It gives you a chance to get a feel for us in a casual, rather than clinical, atmosphere. Some of our staff belongs to the GLBT community, so we understand what you’re feeling. Choosing a fertility practice is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, so come over to our booth and say hello and ask us some questions.

Here’s a true story: Last year, a couple of guys (let’s call them “Max” and “Larry”~ not their real names) came by our booth at the expo. We talked. We bonded. And today, Max and Larry are a couple of proud new dads!  Their beautiful baby’s birth announcement just recently arrived. And it all started with a conversation at this expo.

There are so many options available and amazing new advances in assisted reproductive technologies that can help resolve your unique family-building challenge. We offer the most cutting edge technologies, including PGS (Pre-implantation Genetic Screening), and EEVA (Early Embryo Viability Assessment), many of which are only available at a handful of fertility centers in the country. We have pre-screened, multi-ethnic anonymous donors ready to help you, if needed. And we offer personal financial representatives to help navigate insurance issues and explain our many grant programs and flexible payment options.

We look forward to welcoming you into our family as we help you build yours.

 

LONG ISLAND IVF was nominated BEST IN VITRO FERTILITY PRACTICE in the Long Island Press’s “Best of Long Island 2015″ contest. If you’d like to vote to help us win, you can vote once per day from now through Dec 15 here: http://bestof.longislandpress.com/voting-open/

 

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Will we be seeing you at the expo on Sunday?

 

Photo credit: David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/latin-mother-with-daughter-and-aunt-photo-p200021

 

 

 

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Long Island IVF’s Annual Family Reunion is Coming!

By Tracey Minella

October 17th, 2014 at 7:10 am

 

credit: imagery majestic/ freedigitalphotos.net


With a feeling of thanksgiving in the autumn air, we’re eagerly preparing for LIIVF’s Annual Family Reunion…a celebration of the births of our newest batch of special babies.

I remember waiting a long, long time for my chance to attend this special celebration. I actually aspired to it. It was one of those things on my mental list of perks of getting pregnant. I’d heard talk of it in hushed tones among newly pregnant patients in the waiting room. My turn finally came on the LIIVF 10th Anniversary in 1998.

Back then, it was held outside the Long Island IVF office in Port Jefferson, behind Mather Hospital. And a huge fire truck…the kind with the bucket that soars amazingly high…would arrive to take a group photo of all the parents and their babies. Shortly thereafter, space limitations unfortunately necessitated limiting the attendees to the most recent crop of newborns.

If you haven’t experienced or heard of it, the reunion is a fun-filled, camera-clicking day where proud new parents show off their little miracles and our doctors and staff gets to meet the latest additions to the LIIVF family. (Just ask any “alumni” parents of our older babies if their infants’ reunion party was special.)

We know it may be hard to hear about this event if you’re still on your journey to parenthood. And we’re really sorry for that, and look forward to seeing you at a future reunion. But we want to be sure we haven’t missed any patient who is eligible to attend this year…

So… if your special little bundle was born between January 1, 2013 and today, please email Lindsay Montello at lmontello@liivf.com  so we can put you on the invitation list. (And if your baby’s older and you missed the last reunion…or you just really, really want to come this year, please email Lindsay anyway!)

This year’s event will be held on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 from noon until 2:30 pm, so save the date! More exciting details will come in your invitation.

We’re so looking forward to seeing you again and meeting your new little pumpkins!

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Have you been to a reunion? What’s the best part?

 

LONG ISLAND IVF was nominated BEST IN VITRO FERTILITY PRACTICE in the Long Island Press’s “Best of Long Island 2015″ contest. If you’d like to vote to help us win, you can vote once per day from now through Dec 15 here: http://bestof.longislandpress.com/voting-open/

 

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net and imagery majestic http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?id=100116728

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Remembering 9/11 Thirteen Years Later

By Tracey Minella

September 11th, 2014 at 1:40 pm

You will always remember where you were that fateful day. And so will I.

I was working as a medical assistant for Long Island IVF. I was also a patient there…and about 9 weeks pregnant with my son. Could life be any happier on a blindingly clear, crisp September morning?

It started out as a typical day, with the usual morning rush. Lots of busy women…many trying to get their blood and sono done so they cold hurry off to work. A few rushing to catch a train to the city. Men dropping off specimens on their way to the office. Some trying to catch a train to the city.

A train to the city.

By the time news of the second plane crash hit, most of the morning’s patients had already been seen and were gone. Disbelief was quickly followed by panic as we and the rest of the nation scrambled to figure out if our friends and family who worked in NYC were ok.  And what about our patients?

Doesn’t “So-and-So” work downtown? Isn’t “Mr. X” a trader on Wall Street? We spent the morning pouring over the employer info in the patients’ charts, making calls on jammed phone lines, and accounting for everyone’s whereabouts.  We went through the motions of the day on auto-pilot, glued to a 13” black and white TV in the nurse’s station, watching the horror unfold. What kind of world was I bringing this baby into?

But just as there were stories of heroism, good deeds, and miracles amid the atrocity of the attacks, there was something positive that day in the IVF office.

A patient learned that, despite the chaos unfolding around her, it was indeed going to be her insemination day. When it’s your day, it’s your day. Not even an act of war will intervene. And 9/11 was to be her only day. One insemination. That afternoon. Amid the sadness and silence and muffled sobs of the patient and everyone in the office.

And we came to learn a couple weeks later, that on the day the Twin Towers and the lives of so many innocent people were lost, we had participated in one ironically beautiful beginning. That patient got pregnant and had…twins.

Usually, it’s the patient who is thankful to the doctor and staff. But I will always be grateful to that patient for giving us one little happy something…well, actually two…to remember from that fateful day. And for being a sign to me that the world would go on, that we’d keep making babies, and that maybe it was going to be alright.

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Where were you?

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Infertility and the Back-to-School Blues

By Tracey Minella

September 2nd, 2014 at 10:51 am

 

credit: vectorolie/freedigitalphotos.net


 

It’s right up there with Christmas morning and Mother’s Day. The first day of school.

Today, many area school children go back to school. They’re out there in droves on the street corners, decked out in the latest trendy clothes, complete with cool backpacks. Suddenly, navigating the neighborhood can feel like some twisted horror movie for many infertile folks longing for a child of their own.

If you’ve ever gotten stuck behind a big yellow bus, you know the special pain of driving about 3 miles per hour and stopping at every other corner to allow yet another pack of 15 kids on board.

Am I really the only one in the neighborhood without a kid on that bus?

And what’s the etiquette on waving back? When following the bus, do you avoid eye contact and pretend you don’t notice the 4 little monsters waving their arms at you madly from the back seat? Or do you muster the courage and quickly wave or smile…only to find your acknowledgement has fueled their relentless and continued arm-flailing! Have you ever *gasp* made an ugly face back at them in a weak moment?

And you’re not off the hook once you get off the road. Beware the Facebook assault as every fertile person you’ve ever known floods your newsfeed with pictures of their children and grandchildren getting on the bus this morning. And just to twist that knife, they’ll throw in a complaint about having to wake up early.

The first day of school is a lousy day for infertiles. Alter your routine… if you can… to minimize the exposure. Tweak your travel time or route. Stay off social media. And treat yourself well today.

If you have room in the budget, consider something many moms burdened with back-to-school expenses may not indulge in often…like a nice massage, a romantic dinner, or buying that new bag you’ve wanted. Or commit to something new that could impact your fertility plan…like exercise, healthy eating, acupuncture, or a mind-body program. For info on Long Island IVF’s recommended acupuncture and mind-body counseling programs click here: http://bit.ly/16Kn5go

And remember, next year you may be looking at things differently. That long ride behind the bus isn’t so bad when there’s a sleeping newborn in your car seat. You may even find yourself smiling and flailing…

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What do/did you do to get through the first day of school?

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“Happy Easter. We’re Infertile”: Kicking off National Infertility Awareness Week with Easter Survival Advice

By Tracey Minella

April 20th, 2014 at 11:56 am

 

credit: stock images/free digital photos.net


Like most holidays with a focus on children, Easter can be hard on the infertile. No baskets to fill or cute outfits with little bonnets to buy. And well-meaning but annoying family nagging you as to why.

National Infertility Awareness Week starts today. Maybe it’s the perfect day. If you haven’t shared your struggle with your family or friends and you’re leaning towards doing so, today could be the day. After all, you’ll be together. And someone is bound to throw the annoying baby question out there. Again.

Take control. At a loss for how to start? Here’s a script that works both as a response if you are put on the spot, or as an opening if you don’t want to wait: “Anyone know what today is? It’s the start of National Infertility Awareness Week. [Pause a second for effect]. And we want you to know we’ve been struggling for some time.”

No script needed after that. Expect some to be shocked, while others will say they suspected something was wrong. Some will ask questions. Remember, just because they ask a question, doesn’t mean you have to answer. Share what you want and if you don’t want to say more, just say “We’d rather not get into details right now, but just wanted you all to know where we’re at and hope you’ll be supportive.” Releasing the burden of “the secret” is empowering. Of course, only you know your family best and on rare occasions, the support you seek doesn’t follow. But in most cases, couples who open up about their infertility don’t regret doing so. 

Regardless of whether you spread awareness today… and in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week… Long Island IVF has a special treat this week for those trying to conceive. A free gourmet dinner and cooking demonstration, featuring fertility-friendly foods! Yes, it is free. Please join us for “Fun in the Fertile Kitchen” this Thursday night, April 24 in Islip.

Who couldn’t use a fun night out being catered to by a professional chef among a crowd that gets exactly what you’re going through? Registration is required, attendance is limited, and we have to give the chef a final headcount soon so don’t delay. You do not have to be a Long Island IVF patient to attend. The event details are available here: http://bit.ly/1pRhSan

Give yourself a treat this Easter. Call or email to register today. binabenisch@gmail.com or (516) 398-5248.

 

 

How do you handle Easter? Will we see you on Thursday night?

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TCM and Infertility Part 6: TCM Pathogens of Wind, Cold, Heat, Dampness, Dryness, Phlegm and Emotion

By David Kreiner MD

April 18th, 2014 at 10:27 pm

 

credit: stuart miles/freedigitalphotos.net


Welcome, to my new world where I often feel like Robert A. Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land”.  

UnIike Heinlein’s protagonist, I am not accustomed to eating the bodies of the dead (though some natural holistic purists may consider this act the ultimate in sustainability.)  But to the previously unexposed who’ve been brought up from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, perhaps some of the Western Medical physicians’ practices may appear a bit barbaric.

In our recent Western Medical history such practices as lobotomy for psychological disorders, certain hard core diet therapies including high risk bowel resection surgery, and nearly routine hysterectomies for perimenopausal women would be considered potentially dangerous malpractice today.  However, if we thought drastic high-risk unnecessary medicine were a thing of the past, then consider the fact that excessive plastic surgery and some other unnecessary current Western therapies are more common now and have resulted in occasional deaths and disfigurement. 

Greed is a strong motivator and is one of the ills pervading our society… and the health care field has not been immune to its seduction.  Greed too often factors into determining the direction of treatment for individuals today.  Corporate greed is the reason insurance companies fail to cover many in need of health care and force physicians to see more patients than they have time to care for.  It is also a reason some providers order and perform some expensive and potentially risky tests and procedures.  

Western Medicine has had its share of iatrogenic disasters, yet I have seen many ill or infertile patients reap the benefits as a result of modern Western Medicine.  Even so, I as well as other physicians am left without answers all too often to explain or cure some of the complaints we hear from our patients.  For this reason I study TCM to learn its explanations and its treatments for some of these common ailments and complaints that elude the expertise of the Western physician.

I have been involved in the health care field for 37 years and I am quite comfortable communicating about pathogens such as bacteria and viruses and parasites and about pathophysiologic processes such as atherosclerotic heart disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, pelvic inflammatory disease and endometriosis to name a few.   Today, as I study Traditional Chinese Medicine, I now read and speak an additional language.  

The pathogens of TCM are Wind, Cold, Heat, Summer Heat, Dryness and Dampness, Phlegm and an individual’s emotions.  They may attack from outside the body such as wind cold (the equivalent to the common viral cold) or internally as a result of a disharmony among one or more of the organ systems.  Emotions such as Grief and sadness, anger, fear, worry and even joy according to TCM can be pathogenic when carried to an excess and lead to a disharmony of an organ system or to a blockage of the flow of Qi which can result in dampness and other pathologic events or pathogens. 

These pathogens are the “root” cause of the individual’s disharmony resulting in the manifestations or symptoms.  For example, complaints such as fever, cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, etc. ., are the result of these pathogens.  Interestingly, ancient Chinese texts refer to insects or bugs as being carried by the wind as a cause of some syndromes such as the Wind Cold referred to earlier.

There are also multiple ways to categorize and classify pathologic syndromes. They may be classified as cold or hot, internal or external, excessive or deficient or yin or yang conditions.  They may be identified as affecting one of the organ systems which are defined more based on their physiologic role from a traditional Chinese perspective rather than by their Western anatomic and physiologic identity that we learn in medical school.  There are four different layers of pathogenic attack from the most superficial to the deepest and most internal. There are even other theories of disease which may be used to classify pathology usually described as a disharmony affecting one or more organ systems.

The treatment prescription is based on the identified syndrome(s) and may be geared towards eliminating the root cause of the disease as well as the clinical manifestations and associated symptoms.  One may use acupuncture to tonify a particular weakened organ or Qi, yin or yang.  Acupuncture can eliminate heat or cold from one or more of the channels of Qi.  Or there may be excess body fluids in the form of edema, dampness or phlegm that needs to be eliminated.  Chinese herbal prescriptions are often given as an adjunct to the acupuncture to improve the efficacy of an individual’s treatment.

It does sound bizarre to this Western-trained physician, but I am impressed that the science of TCM has lasted thousands of years.  I imagine there must be something to this needling patients to modify the Qi in the body that has some benefit to the patients’ health and well-being.

I look forward to new adventures and greater understanding as I become more familiar navigating this strange land.

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Do you believe that TCM pathogens could be impacting your fertility?

 

 

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Nutrition, BMI, and Infertility

By Tracey Minella

March 28th, 2014 at 5:38 am

 

credit: surachaifreedigitalphotos.net


The practice of eating well while you’re pregnant is pretty common.  Most women know that, in addition to taking prenatal vitamins, eating the right foods during pregnancy can have a positive impact on their baby’s development. Even women who didn’t have stellar eating habits before conceiving often make healthier choices once they learn they are eating for two.

But did you know that proper nutrition and reaching a healthy weight for your height (also known as having a healthy body mass index, or “BMI”) prior to conceiving may help boost your chances of conception, whether naturally or through assisted reproductive technologies like IVF?

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine*, a BMI outside the normal range of 19-24 can impact the fertility of men and women. Obesity can contribute to low sperm count and motility in men and can cause irregular ovulation and irregular cycles in women. Underweight women may also experience irregular cycles or stop having periods altogether. In addition, there are several conditions that can impact achieving or maintaining a pregnancy… including PCOS, thyroid disease, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia… which are often obesity-related.

To help you get to your nutritional peak and optimum fertility BMI, Long Island IVF offers nutrition counseling and safe, effective weight loss planning. If you are overweight, we can help you reach a healthy weight in a quick but safe way through the Take Shape for Life/Medifast program. In addition to medically- supervised weight loss, clients in the program learn lifestyle and behavior changes that support maintaining their weight loss success and improved health. If you are underweight, we offer nutritional counseling and life style change suggestions as well. If interested in either of these programs, please contact Mary Ann Vuolo, RN in the Melville office.

If you’d like to learn how fun eating fertility-friendly foods can be, join Long Island IVF for “Fun in the Fertile Kitchen”, a live cooking demonstration and multi-course dinner event on April 24, 2014, in celebration of National Infertility Awareness Awareness Week. For more details on this exciting, limited seating event, please see our website, our Facebook, or the previous blog post. To RSVP, contact our patient advocate, Bina Benisch at binabenisch@gmail.com

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Do you struggle with maintaining a healthy BMI? What tips have you tried, or foods have you eaten, to improve your BMI or overall nutrition?

 

*https://www.asrm.org/Weight_and_Fertility_factsheet/

 

 

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The Role of Luck in Infertility

By Tracey Minella

March 17th, 2014 at 11:44 am

 

credit: Gualberto107/freedigitalphotos.net


Shamrocks are the symbol for the luck of the Irish. And a four-leaf clover is the luckiest. But if you’re reading this, chances are you are suffering from infertility. And feeling quite unlucky.

The connection between luck and fertility goes way back. Can you remember a time before you’d give your right arm to get pregnant? I’m talking waaay back when a pregnancy would have been an unwelcome surprise. Maybe, like Rizzo in Grease, you too dodged a bullet. A false alarm. You felt lucky.

Then your situation changed and you were ready to start a family. You stopped birth control and wondered how quickly you’d conceive. What did you figure? Maybe a month or two?  If you were lucky.

But it didn’t happen for you. Your family and friends got pregnant easily though. They were lucky.

This “luck” obsession follows you everywhere. Even into the IVF clinic. So you sit in the waiting room with all the other so-called unlucky ones. And you notice some of the same faces during morning blood work and sonos. You are cycle-mates with these women. You know some of you will succeed and some will not this cycle. Maybe you even silently torture yourself… playing a game in your head trying to figure out the odds. Who looks older or less healthy? Oh, that one with the stroller will obviously succeed. Wait, did that older woman say she’s using donor eggs? (Like I said…it’s torture.) And you wonder …who will be the lucky ones?

In the spirit of the luck of the Irish, I offer you this hope:

Though you may enter the IVF clinic feeling unlucky, every single patient who comes in is in a position for their luck to change. You are taking the steps to change your luck simply by being there.

So remember that as you sit waiting. (And if you have lucky charms with you, hey that couldn’t hurt either.)

Some patients’ luck changes after a simple office procedure, hormonal therapy, or surgery. Others may find luck with IUIs or IVF.  IVF success rates continue to rise due to skilled doctors and better technology, but there will always be some element of luck involved. How else can you explain the picture perfect, highest-graded, double embryo transfer not resulting in a pregnancy or the less promising, lower-graded, single embryo transfer scoring a solid positive beta?

There’s an expression for good luck in infertility circles…it’s called “baby dust”. And people all over the blogosphere wish “baby dust” on those trying to conceive. Since I personally loathe that expression…and everyone deserves alittle luck of the Irish today…I will send out my own Irish fertility blessing to all ye lassies:

May there be a baby in that pot at the end of your rainbow. Well, not instead of the gold—more like nestled on top of it. Lord knows you deserve the gold, too. (Besides, a baby in an empty pot is just creepy.)

Oh, and may the rain stop soon so you can find it.

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What lucky charms or lucky traditions do you have or do on your fertility journey?

 

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