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Infertility, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and the First Quarter Blues

By Tracey Minella

January 4th, 2018 at 11:56 pm

depressed woman

image credit: nenetus at freedigitalphotos.net

Infertility and depression go hand-in-hand. Just ask any woman who’s not able to conceive or maintain a pregnancy without medical intervention. You’d be down, too. But some couples–yes, men have feelings, too–are seriously depressed. Maybe even clinically depressed.

Any number of factors could impact a couple’s ability to cope with their infertility struggle. There’s often misplaced guilt or blame over whose “fault” the problem is– or alternatively the complete frustration of facing an “unexplained infertility” diagnosis. Some couples may be completely overwhelmed upon the initial diagnosis while others spiral downward as more time passes without a baby. And the stress of the financial burden of infertility treatment on a couple’s budget doesn’t help matters.

But could there be more to “being down” at this time of year?

Many people actually suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder* (“SAD”) –a form of depression that comes and goes with the seasons. Generally, the onset of symptoms begins in the fall, continues or escalates through the winter and eases a bit as spring arrives. This actual syndrome causes those affected to become more depressed in the cold, dark, dreary winter season than they tend to be during the sunny, warm, longer and somewhat more carefree days of summer. Therapy may help ease the symptoms.

So, is it harder to be infertile during the winter months? Does it feel that way to you?

It’s certainly understandable to be down after the holiday season is over and to be exhausted by endless weeks of wearing a fake smile and dodging nagging personal questions –all while surrounded by the babies and pregnant bellies of others. The bitter cold weather on Long Island lately would make anyone want to pull the covers over their head and hibernate. Unless you have an upcoming vacation to look forward to, the first quarter of the new year could seem pretty bleak.

However, if you’re feeling particularly depressed and your depression is interfering with your ability to get through the demands of your day, it may be more than just the winter blues. And it might be time to seek counseling from a caring therapist who specializes in helping infertile couples cope with the stress of infertility.

Among the many offerings of the Long Island IVF Mind-Body Program are individual and group counseling sessions with Bina Benisch, M.S., R.N. In addition, we offer special workshops hosted by Bina for individuals and couples covering topics like how to “come out” to friends and family about your infertility struggle or how to keep passion in your relationship during your infertility treatment.

Whether you are interested in individual or group counseling with Bina or you want to register here for her upcoming, pre-Valentine’s Day workshop on “Rekindling Romance in the Face of Infertility”, help is here for you. And you don’t have to be a Long Island IVF patient to participate. In fact, many couples’ first experiences with our practice began with Bina’s counseling, or by taking advantage of our free workshops and seminars during the year. Becoming patients—and hopefully parents—often follows that initial contact.

Long Island IVF is celebrating a milestone this year: 2018 marks our 30th anniversary! The same team of doctors who founded the practice responsible for bringing Long Island its first IVF baby, its first baby from a cryopreserved embryo, and its first donor egg baby is still together three decades later and continues to pioneer breakthroughs in the field of assisted reproductive technology. We love what we do and the birth of every baby we’re responsible for is just as exciting as that very first one. Let us help you celebrate a milestone this year, too. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

 

*Source: The Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651

Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/nenetus

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A New Year’s Plan Beats a Resolution When Infertile

By Tracey Minella

January 2nd, 2018 at 8:41 am

breaking resolutions

image credit: Ryan McGuire-Gratisography

We’ve barely cracked into the New Year and I’m already tired of hearing about people’s resolutions. Including yours, I bet. And here’s why…

We all make them. We all break them. The thing that frustrates me about other people’s resolutions is that they are generally related to things that are within the maker’s control to make happen. Something the person can do themselves… or can stop doing. Something that doesn’t require the assistance of somebody else. Something that could be guaranteed to be successful if the person merely put in the required effort.

That’s what’s so hard about infertility and the fertility-based resolutions that come from its sufferers.

How many of you struggling to have a child made the same New Year’s resolution yet again…To have a baby this year?

It’s a wish. It’s a dream. And, yes, it’s everything… but it’s not a resolution. At least not to infertile people. Because it is not something within your power to control. At the very least it requires a third-party – – a reproductive endocrinologist– to make it happen. Plus, it requires money which could be an obstacle for some people.

So, the outcome of your so-called “baby resolution” is not in your sole control. And as important a role as your doctor plays, and as great as IVF success rates have become at a quality practice, success is not guaranteed on the first try– or even at all in some cases. The sad reality is that only the fertile folks can make baby resolutions.

Making a resolution to have a baby is setting yourself up to fail, like the dieters who have already cheated and the smokers already back outside puffing away in the bitter cold. And don’t we already heap enough feelings of failure on ourselves?

So, make a New Year’s plan not a resolution.

It may sound like semantics, but the mere word “resolution” in general is tied so often to failure that you need to leave it behind when it comes to your fertility. Choose to plan.

When you plan, you take action. When you plan, you take control. Rather than weakly resolving that you’re going to have a baby this year, get proactive and plan for it. Take control of what is within your control.

So many factors that could positively impact your fertility (as well as your general health) are within your control, so:

 

  • get adequate sleep,
  • drink lots of water to stay hydrated,
  • eat healthy and/or organic foods,
  • take vitamins and exercise with your doctor’s approval,
  • lose excess weight with your doctor’s approval,
  • stop bad habits like smoking or drinking excessively,
  • consider complementary holistic mind-body therapies and fertility acupuncture,
  • research financial options for infertility treatment.

 

Long Island IVF’s payment options, including grants, may help finance your infertility treatment. While it’s never easy to change jobs (or add an extra job) especially in economically-challenging times, more companies are offering insurance coverage for infertility treatment these days, including positions that don’t require special skills or advanced education, such as at Starbucks.

Listen to the voice in your head if it’s telling you something may be wrong and stop delaying having a consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist about the state of your fertility.

In fact, even if you are not currently trying to get pregnant, you may benefit from a fertility screening to see if there are any noticeable “red flags” about your reproductive health that might impact your future fertility plans. While it might be scary, knowing is always better than not knowing because it can let you take proactive steps before it’s too late, such as freezing your eggs while you are younger as “insurance” for use later if needed. Or just bumping up your baby plans if there are signs that that would be advisable, like a diminished ovarian reserve.

If you would like a fertility screening, or if you have been unable to become (or remain) pregnant and would like an initial consultation for fertility treatment, please contact us at any of our Long Island or Brooklyn offices.

2018 is a milestone year for Long Island IVF as we are celebrating our 30-year anniversary this summer. We are proud to have pioneered IVF here and to have brought Long Island its first IVF baby… and we treasure every baby we’ve helped bring into this world ever since.

Let us help you make 2018 a milestone year as well. Contact us today.

 

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Coming Out for the Holidays

By Tracey Minella

December 29th, 2017 at 4:24 pm

image credit: jeshoots.com

“Coming out” has a special meaning in the LGBT community. And all members who are “out” remember the way it ultimately happened—and the stress, fear, worry, and hesitation that surrounded that revelation. And the liberating feeling that followed… regardless of the initial response.

Heterosexual couples “come out”, too. But their “coming out” is in reference to breaking their silence about suffering from infertility. Similar feelings–stress, fear, worry, and hesitation. Now, mix that with a bit of unwarranted, social stigma-based shame over not being able to conceive naturally. Come out, and you get the same liberating feeling.

But sometimes, LGBT couples have to “come out” twice.

Consider this: You’ve met someone special and are ready to start a family.

Obviously, biology is a problem. Everyone knows that. It’s why LGBT members—even those who might never have had any problems conceiving if they were heterosexual– need the services of an infertility specialist. In virtually all situations, LGBT unions will require a “missing piece”—either a donated egg, sperm, or embryo—from someone outside the partnership in order to have a baby that’s connected biologically to at least one member of the couple. At a minimum, lesbians need donor sperm. Gay men will need two pieces—a donated egg and a gestational carrier’s uterus to carry the baby to term.

But sometimes, it’s more than basic biology or just getting the “missing piece”. Sometimes, there are issues with the “non-missing piece”. For example, a gay man may have a sperm issue, too. Or a lesbian may have poor egg quality, uterus issues, or other female infertility-related problems.

For these community members, it’s time to come out …again. This time as infertile.

Cue those hard feelings again. And now add in the worries or doubts that—despite great IVF success rates– you could possibly not be able to have children. Because when you are infertile, you just worry. It’s what we do when something so important is outside of our control.

So as the holiday season is in full swing and some family interaction is likely, consider dropping the truth bomb before the ball drops. Free yourself from the burden of the secret and come out about your struggle to conceive. You never know who may step-up and help in some way.

If you need help coming out to your family and friends, Long Island IVF’s caring counselor and Mind-Body expert, Bina Benisch, M.S., R.N., specializes in helping heterosexual and LGBT couples trying to conceive with the many challenges this journey brings.

Coming out may not get you the emotional support you need—but then again, it may. Either way, it’s liberating.

Long Island IVF has been helping the LGBT community become parents for decades. With a staff that includes both heterosexual and LGBT employees, we pride ourselves on understanding and satisfying each couple’s unique family-building needs. We are proud to partner with the LGBT Network in bringing cutting-edge reproductive medicine education and family-building technologies to Long Island’s LGBT community. If you are ready to learn more about your parenthood options, please contact us to schedule an initial consultation with one of our physicians in one of our conveniently-located offices throughout Long Island and in Brooklyn.

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Long Island IVF Joins Lobbying Efforts for Mandated IVF Coverage in New York State

By Daniel Kenigsberg,MD

June 7th, 2017 at 10:10 am

 

Dr. Daniel Kenigsberg, Co-Founder Long Island IVF

 

I am lobbying for passage of Senate Bill S3248, a bill sponsored by Sen. Diane Savino of Staten Island, N.Y. which would mandate In-Vitro Fertilization (“IVF”) coverage in New York State –just as it is in neighboring states including Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Our patients and other New Yorkers struggling with the significant emotional and financial burdens of infertility are under the impression that they live in a progressive state, but little do most know how poorly served they are by existing New York law.

Currently, the law mandates coverage for “correctable” medical conditions causing Infertility–but specifically EXCLUDES coverage for IVF. This has resulted in much emotional and financial cost spent on inferior or inappropriate treatments which ARE covered when, for over 50% of infertile couples, IVF was the best or only treatment.

IVF is far safer in terms of reducing multiple pregnancy risk than less successful and often inferior treatments like ovulation induction and intrauterine insemination (IUI). There has been waste and needless sacrifice for insured couples denied IVF.

Further, not covering IVF treatment has a disproportionate effect on women (name one male treatment not covered by medical insurance). In Massachusetts, 5% of births result from IVF. In New York, it’s 1.5%. That is how dramatic the current arcane New York law hurts the population it is supposed to protect.

You can help right this wrong. And it won’t take more than 5 minutes of your time.

Call, write and email your state senator. You can find your senator here. Please note that mine is John Flanagan of Smithtown, Senate Majority Leader.

Also, contact Senator Savino of Staten Island because it is her bill to push and prioritize (or not). You can contact her here.

If you are currently suffering from infertility, it can be an overwhelmingly difficult time, but if you have a moment to reach out to your senator and Senator Savino, and any other local representatives, the combined effect of all of our voices can make a big difference. Or if your infertility journey has already been resolved, please reach out as well for the benefit of all that are now– and will someday be– following in your footsteps. And please share this with your family and friends so they may do the same. Thank you.

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Teacher Appreciation Day: When Will it be YOUR Turn to be the Parent?

By admin

May 9th, 2017 at 3:27 pm

 

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We know it’s a tough job to be a teacher…especially when you are struggling with infertility. To spend all day, each day surrounded by little faces—playing a big part in not just in educating these children entrusted to your care, but also in raising them. It’s not a job you can turn off when the final bell rings. You keep thinking about them 24/7. Just like infertility.

When will it be your turn to be the parent at the parent teacher conference?

Well, maybe we can help you get that family started.

Did you know that Long Island IVF is a designated Center of Excellence for the Empire Plan, the insurance provider for many local Teachers as well as other NY State and Local Government Employees? That’s great news for Long Island’s insured teachers and others who want to take advantage of the substantial financial benefits that come with choosing a COE provider for your fertility care and have those services provided on Long Island.

Even those who aren’t able to take advantage of the Empire Plan’s COE benefits can confidently trust Long Island IVF with their fertility care. Our doctors are consistently voted Top Docs and Super Doctors by their peers. We brought Long Island its first IVF baby and many other firsts in the field.

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

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

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

We look forward to welcoming brand new patients as well as patients transferring from other practices for insurance reasons. Let’s start building that family together this summer. School is almost out. Sounds like the perfect time for a personal project.

Call our New Patient Coordinator at 877-838-BABY to schedule your initial consultation today.

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

 

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“New Beginnings through Donor Egg” Seminar at Long Island IVF

By Tracey Minella

April 14th, 2017 at 9:15 am

Right on the heels of National Infertility Awareness Week (April 23-29) is a seminar especially for women who think they might need an egg donor to build their family. It’s called “New Beginnings through Donor Egg”.

Have you ever met a woman who became a mom through egg donation? Wouldn’t it be helpful to hear about her experience and ask her questions in person knowing she once shared the same concerns you may have about the process?

Well, you won’t want to miss this seminar! The donor egg recipient mom who is coming can’t wait to tell you all about her experience. Like many women who turn to donor egg, she suffered through disappointment and loss before finally considering and then deciding to use an egg donor to build her family. Her story is fascinating and her heart is big.

On Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at 7:00 pm, Long Island IVF will host a free event “New Beginnings through Donor Egg” that could potentially change the course of your family-building journey. Our caring doctors and staff…and that happy donor recipient mom… will go over everything you could ever need to know about egg donation.

Women whose eggs have been compromised by advanced age, premature ovarian failure, failed IVF treatment, cancer, or poor egg quality should consider donor egg therapy. Long Island IVF offers many ways to build a family through the donor egg program. Gay men wanting biological children also need the help of an egg donor.

Admittedly, conceiving with donor eggs is rarely the first choice, but often is an acceptable alternative after weighing many personal, physical, emotional, psychological, and financial considerations. Decades of happy moms agree that using donor eggs was the best decision they ever made and many wish they’d come around to the idea sooner.

Maybe you’re not yet ready to act on the information you’ll receive. No problem. We’re just here to offer information and emotional support. So, why not attend the seminar and learn about Egg Donation as an opportunity to create your family? It’s right before the often-dreaded Mother’s Day and a perfect time to get educated and empowered about this powerful family-building option.

Victoria Loveland, RN & Donor Egg Nursing Coordinator, Aviva Zigelman, LCSW & Donor Egg Program Director, and Long Island IVF partner and reproductive endocrinologist Steven Brenner, MD will all be there to answer your questions. You can even speak to them privately if you’re more comfortable.

Long Island IVF offers several different egg donation options, including:

  • Sole Recipient Fresh Egg Donation,
  • Shared Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, and
  • Frozen Egg Donation.

Each option offers its own unique benefits, costs, and other considerations. We have young, healthy, pre-screened, anonymous egg donors representing multiple ethnicities ready to help build your family. Or you can use a known donor if you prefer.

Register here for “New Beginnings through Donor Egg”. Walk-ins are always welcome, too. Bring a friend or partner. Take that first step, even if you’re hesitant. We look forward to seeing you and answering your questions about the exciting option of egg donation. This seminar is generally intimate, low-key and not overly-crowded.

Location: Long Island IVF 8 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 101, Melville, NY

Date: Tuesday May 2, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm- 9:30 pm

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Will you be there? If you’d like to attend but can’t, please call anyway and ask for Vicky Loveland, so we can make other arrangements to help you.

 

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Long Island IVF Hosts Holistic Approaches to Fertility Event

By Tracey Minella

July 31st, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Ever since we brought Long Island its first IVF baby over 27 years ago, we’ve always been pioneers in the field of infertility treatment. And we continue to innovate today.

Don’t miss our free event, “An Evening of Holistic Approaches to Fertility” in our Melville office on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 6:30 pm.

Keep reading for details!

You won’t find another practice on Long Island that integrates the best of Western medicine’s cutting edge assisted reproductive technology with the holistic principles of Eastern medicine and the power of a Mind-Body Program. No one else offers all this support.

Long Island IVF’s Mind-Body Program… led by our own caring psychologist, Bina Benisch M.S., R.N… is packed with an arsenal of tools to help manage the stress and frustration of infertility. Tools like breath work, meditation, and Reiki. Plus Bina offers wildly popular individual, group, and couples’ counseling specifically geared for infertility-related issues.

And you have to meet Jim. We promote fertility acupuncture to, among other things, increase blood flow to the uterus in the hope of maximizing the chances for conception. Don’t miss the live demonstration and presentation by Jim Vitale from Suffolk County Acupuncture.

We also encourage many holistic principles like massage, fertility yoga, and optimizing fertility through a healthy diet.

Are you doing everything you can to maximize your fertility?

Why not come down to this free, fun, and informative event to find out if any of these practices may complement your own fertility treatment plan. Here’s the exciting lineup:

Bina Benisch, MS, RN— Relaxation techniques, Reiki live demo!

 

Dr. Kreiner— Welcome and Western Medicine vs Eastern Medicine!

 

Jim Vitale from Suffolk County Acupuncture– Acupuncture live demo!

 

LI IVF billing team–Offering financial counseling and info and applications re: Jade grant, DOH grant, etc

 

Watch Jim do acupuncture. See Reiki with Bina. Apply for a free IVF grant. Nibble on Dr. Kreiner’s famous fertility trail mix as he explains the fascinating way holistic and Eastern medicine can complement traditional Western medicine when treating infertility. It’ll be the most fun you’ve ever had on a Tuesday night!

Please RSVP to Lindsay at lmontello@liivf.com and bring a friend or partner. All are welcome, you don’t have to be a LIIVF patient and there is no cost to attend.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there. And hey, we’ve got that trail mix…

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Is there anything you’re particularly interested in learning about at the seminar? Let us know!

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

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 contest.

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 27 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.

 

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Long Island IVF Announces Office Hours in the Hamptons

By Tracey Minella

July 22nd, 2015 at 9:41 am

Forget the beautiful beaches and trendy shops. There’s a bigger draw to the Hamptons. And it will last year ‘round.

Long Island IVF is happy to announce that two of its reproductive endocrinologists, Dr. Daniel Kenigsberg and Dr. Kathleen Droesch are seeing patients in the Hamptons. Until now, infertile couples in Eastern Suffolk County had to travel exceptionally long distances to reach us for fertility treatment. Now, those in the Hamptons area… for the summer and year round… will have the convenience of expert care closer to home!

For more information on the days and hours of doctor availability and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kenigsberg or Dr. Droesch in the Hamptons, please contact our Stony Brook office at (631) 331-7575.

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How long do/would you travel for fertility care?

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Long Island IVF Brew for the Family Event Wrap-Up

By Tracey Minella

June 11th, 2015 at 12:20 pm

We’ve hosted some fun gatherings in the past, but the Long Island Brew for the Family 2015 ranks right up there among the all-time best. It was a SOLD-OUT event!

Last Thursday, over a hundred hopeful infertile folks… many joined by their friends and families… kicked back at the Great South Bay Brewery and enjoyed a night full of music, tons of delicious food, multiple samplings of craft beers, a brewery tour, vendor giveaways, souvenir glasses, and a silent auction. Many of the LIIVF doctors  were mingling with the crowd.  There was so much going on in this hip, relaxed setting that it may even have distracted the attendees’ attention—briefly– from the prize most of them came hoping to win… the free IVF cycle door prize donated by Long Island IVF.

The event was co-sponsored by the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation, a nationally-recognized charitable organization dedicated to helping people overcome infertility. The Cade Foundation fundraising events raise money for infertility education as well as for grants of up to $10,000 to off-set the costs of infertility treatment or adoption expenses. Many other regional sponsors also contributed, including Kings Pharmacy. Kraupner Pharmacy, EMD Serono, Enzo, South Shore Acupuncture and Fertility Wellness, Morgan Stanley, Acupuncture for Fertility, Counsyl, Damianos Realty Group, Suffolk County Acupuncture and more.

The event venue and theme was appealing to local infertile couples, who live with the stress of infertility. It offered them a chance to relax for a few hours and reconnect with each other or the friends who came to support them and help increase their chances to win the transferable free IVF cycle door prize. In fact, it was a brother-sister team who won the prize this year. The sister needed IVF and her brother attended to give her a second chance at the prize. Their shrieking, hugging and high-fiving celebration upon winning won’t soon be forgotten.

As happy as we are to offer this door prize to a lucky winner, our hearts did break along with those of the other hopefuls who came out that night. If you were one of them, we’d like you to know that there is still hope. We strongly encourage you to apply for one of the Cade Foundation’s Family Building Grants, which are awarded twice per year and allow you to use your choice of fertility practice. Because the grants are for up to $10,000 each and they don’t have to be repaid, it’s like a second chance to win that free IVF cycle. The deadline for the current fall grant program cycle ends on July 1, 2015 so please go check that out and apply today. All you need is to be a legal permanent US resident with a medical diagnosis of infertility. It’s easy. http://bit.ly/1GwCvXk

There are also several grants available at Long Island IVF, including the exclusive, new Jade IVF Grant, so please call the office and speak to a financial services rep for more details.

The doctors and staff of Long Island IVF thank everyone who attended or was in any way involved in the Brew for the Family event for supporting this worthy fundraiser designed to help overcome infertility. See you at the next big event!

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Were you at Brew For the Family? What was your favorite part?

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Is Clomid Right for You?

By David Kreiner MD

May 22nd, 2015 at 12:27 pm

 

Photo: imagery magestic/ freedigitalphotos.net


It has become commonplace for women who have been frustrated with repeated unsuccessful attempts to conceive naturally on their own to see their gynecologist who often times will try clomid therapy on them.

Clomid, the traditional brand name for clomiphene citrate, is a competitive inhibitor of estrogen. It stimulates the pituitary gland to produce follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which in turn will stimulate the ovaries to mature follicle(s) containing eggs. Estrogen normally has a negative effect on the pituitary: Clomid blocks estrogen and leads to pituitary FSH production and ovarian stimulation.

Infertility patients — those under 35 having one year of unprotected intercourse without a resulting pregnancy and those over 35 having six months without pregnancy — have a two to five percent pregnancy rate each month trying on their own without treatment.

Clomid therapy increases a couple’s fertility by increasing the number of eggs matured in a cycle and by producing a healthier egg and follicle. The pregnancy rate with clomid therapy alone is approximately ten percent per cycle and 12 -15 percent when combined with intrauterine insemination (IUI). Women who are unable to ovulate on their own experience a 20 percent pregnancy rate per cycle with clomid, the equivalent to that of a fertile couple trying on their own.

Clomid and Your Cervical Mucus

Women who are likely to conceive with clomid usually do so in the first three months of therapy, with very few conceiving after six months. As clomid has an anti-estrogen effect, the cervical mucus and endometrial lining may be adversely affected.

Cervical mucus is normally produced just prior to ovulation and may be noticed as a stringy egg white-like discharge unique to the middle of a woman’s cycle just prior to and during ovulation. It provides the perfect environment for the sperm to swim through to gain access to a woman’s reproductive tract and find her egg. Unfortunately, clomid may thin out her cervical mucus, preventing the sperm’s entrance into her womb. IUI overcomes this issue through bypassing the cervical barrier and depositing the sperm directly into the uterus.

However, when the uterine lining or endometrium is affected by the anti-estrogenic properties of clomid, an egg may be fertilized but implantation is unsuccessful due to the lack of secretory gland development in the uterus. The lining does not thicken as it normally would during the cycle. Attempts to overcome this problem with estrogen therapy are rarely successful.

Side Effects

Many women who take clomid experience no side effects. Others have complained of headache, mood changes, spots in front of their eyes, blurry vision, hot flashes and occasional cyst development (which normally resolves on its own). Most of these effects last no longer than the five or seven days that you take the clomid and have no permanent side effect. The incidence of twins is eight to ten percent with a one percent risk of triplet development.

Limit Your Clomid Cycles

Yet another deterrent to clomid use was a study performed years ago that suggested that women who used clomid for more than twelve cycles developed an increased incidence of ovarian tumors. It is therefore recommended by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine as well as the manufacturer of clomiphene that clomid be used for no more than six months after which it is recommended by both groups that patients proceed with treatment including gonadotropins (injectable hormones containing FSH and LH) to stimulate the ovaries in combination with intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization.

Success rates

For patients who fail to ovulate, clomid is successful in achieving a pregnancy in nearly 70 percent of cases. All other patients average close to a 50 percent pregnancy rate if they attempt six cycles with clomid, especially when they combine it with IUI. After six months, the success is less than five percent per month.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a successful alternative therapy when other pelvic factors such as tubal disease, tubal ligation, adhesions or scar tissue and endometriosis exist or there is a deficient number, volume or motility of sperm. Success rates with IVF are age, exam and history dependent.

Young patients sometimes choose a minimal stimulation IVF or MicroIVF as an alternative to clomid/IUI cycles as a more successful and cost effective option as many of these patients experience a 40 percent pregnancy rate per retrieval at a cost today of about $3,900.

Today, with all these options available to patients, a woman desiring to build her family will usually succeed in becoming a mom.

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Did you start out with Clomid? Did you have success with it or did you move on to IVF?

 

photo credit: imagery majestic http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Couplespartners_g216-Young_Romantic_Couple_p75136.html

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