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Archive for the ‘LGBT’ tag

The Reveal: A “Coming Out Infertile” Day Workshop Event

By Tracey Minella

November 4th, 2016 at 1:30 pm


Long Island IVF is proud to sponsor the second annual “Coming Out Infertile” Day on November 17, 2016 and The Reveal: a special pre-holiday season workshop for those suffering in silence from infertility.

Infertility is a devastating disease that affects 1 out of every 8 couples. In addition to the pain and fear that comes with this diagnosis, many couples feel the unwarranted stigma of shame and guilt. Consequently, they keep their infertility a secret—even from their family and closest friends.

They are often afraid…or don’t know how… to tell their families and friends (or their employers) that they are having trouble getting or staying pregnant and need treatment. So they suffer in silence. Often for many months or years.

Coming Out Infertile Day (andThe Reveal workshop) was conceived to encourage those suffering from infertility to “come out” to their families, friends, and/or employers if they feel ready to do so… and to help them with the tools they need to do so. And most importantly, to come out in a way that feels right for them.

The holiday season, with its focus on children and families, is a particularly hard time for infertile folks who are easy targets for nagging personal questions about baby-making plans.

What we wouldn’t give to have a pregnancy test kit with two lines on it.  

Coming Out Infertile Day…seven months after National Infertility Awareness Week in April and right before the stress of the winter holidays…is a timely public reminder of the pain of infertility and a chance for those suffering to come out and get support.

Long Island IVF is offering a The Reveal—a free Coming-Out Infertile Workshop on November 17, 2016 from 6:30-8 pm at its offices at 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York. Led by our own Mind-Body medicine expert and psychologist, Bina Benisch, MS, RN, who specializes in counseling infertility patients, attendees will be given the support they need to come out infertile in a manner that’s right for them. In addition to this free group counseling, attendees will receive sample scripts and template letters to customize to help them. Are you ready to tell just your parents? Or your best friend? The whole family? Need to know how to break it to your boss? We can help. All are welcome. The workshop is free but pre-registration is required,  so register here:  http://bit.ly/therevealCOI2016.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. So, for those ready to fully and publicly come out, Workshop attendees will be able to be part of Coming Out Infertile Day’s social media campaign where you can easily upload and share your photo with the official #Comingoutinfertile hashtag and graphic on various social media platforms by using the easy and free app, PicStitch. You do not have to be a Long Island IVF patient to participate. All are welcome and encouraged to be part of this empowering event!

Or be with us virtually!! Those unable to attend can use the #ComingOutInfertile social media PicStich app instructions coming soon. So, like our Long Island IVF Facebook page and/or the Coming Out Infertile Day page to stay on top of this movement.

It’s time to end the stigma of infertility. It’s time to unburden yourself from the added weight of this secret and get the support you need. It’s time to #comeoutinfertile. Join us in person or on social media on 11-17. Be part of the movement no matter where you are in your infertility journey.

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What is holding you back from coming out infertile? Are you ready to join the #comingoutinfertile movement?

 

 

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National Coming Out Day and Reproductive Options for the LGBT Community

By Tracey Minella

October 11th, 2016 at 6:29 pm


Long Island IVF has been proudly building families for the LGBT community for decades and we are mindful and supportive of LGBT rights and days of significance to the community.

Today, we mark National Coming Out Day—a day to support the men, women, and gender-fluid among us who are, in some cases, summoning the courage to “come out” to their friends, families, and others and begin to live their lives in an open and true to themselves way. Some of these people are teens, or even younger and sadly, the threats against them from various sources are very real. Laws may change, but people often do not…or at least not as quickly.

Long Island IVF is a long-time friend to the LGBT community, and has partnered with the Long Island’s LGBT Network to present seminars specifically designed to address the unique family-building needs of the LGBT community. The next free seminar will be on October 25, 2016 at the Long Island IVF Melville office. Register here.

Reproductive options for lesbian couples will be discussed including topics such as donor sperm insemination, in vitro fertilization, reciprocal IVF, use of gestational carriers, donor eggs, and more. The limitations and the workup for women wishing to donate eggs and/or carry a pregnancy will be covered. Surrogacy and gestational carriers for gay male couples will also be addressed. In addition, the fertility preservation options available to transgender people prior to transitioning will be covered. The social, legal, financial, and medical issues will be discussed.

If you are…or love…a member of the LGBT community, you won’t want to miss this information–packed seminar.

Long Island recognizes that your needs and rights to parenthood are universal, but that the approach to your care and particular fertility obstacles is unique. Our staff, some of whom are members of– or parents of –the LGBT community themselves, is sensitive to your needs and eager to help you build your family.

You may have come out today. Why not come meet us in two weeks?

If you would like to attend our next seminar, please register here.

 

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Reflections on Pridefest 2016 and #OrlandoStrong

By Tracey Minella

June 20th, 2016 at 11:10 am

On June 11th, from our table in the Family Services Pavilion at Pridefest 2016, the Long Island IVF team was able to witness the pride and happiness of the LGBT community mingling peacefully and openly on a beautiful sunny afternoon.

Little did anyone know at that time that only hours after the event would end, the worst mass shooting in US history would happen in Orlando.  Fifty innocent lives would be taken and as many others would be injured. People just like those whose company we had just enjoyed. Regular people with their whole lives in front of them…targets of hatred in an increasingly unstable world.

It didn’t feel right to post Pridefest photos or talk of the positivity surrounding it in the wake of such a loss. But continued “radio silence” on Pridefest would be a disservice. It would be a lost opportunity to talk of and celebrate all that it was and, more importantly, all it must continue to be. There must be pride. There must be solidarity. In the face of hate, there must be love. And there must be real change.

There must be more than just a uniting of the LGBT community within itself –there must be support from those outside the LGBT community, too. Just as the world came together in vigils to support the LGBT community and to mourn those lost in Orlando, it must continue to look out for all people until the hatred is replaced by acceptance. Until there isn’t a need to designate “communities” anymore.

Prejudice and ignorance are frustratingly slow learners, so this change will require persistence. But despite the Orlando tragedy, we mustn’t lose sight of how far the gay rights movement has come, especially in recent years. And Pridefest is one of so many milestones of the movement.

Long Island IVF is proud to have supported the LGBT community and helped its members fulfill their dreams of parenthood for decades. None of us can undo these senseless deaths, but we can join together to create new life. If you’re ready to become parents, we can help you create your family. The next generation.

In the face of hate, there must be love.

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If you were at Pridefest, share your favorite memory.

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Long Island IVF Sponsors LI Pride 2016

By Tracey Minella

June 10th, 2016 at 9:16 am

Long Island IVF is proud to again be the sponsor of Long Island Pride’s Family Services Pavilion on June 11, 2016 in Suffolk County’s beautiful Heckscher Park in Huntington, NY. http://lgbtnetwork.org/pride.  There will be 10,000 Maniacs at this fun annual event—that’s the headliner musical act, of course!

LIIVF has been creating families for the region’s LGBT community for decades. We’ve always believed that every person has a right to be a parent. We pride our practice… which includes members of both the non-LGBT and LGBT communities… on acceptance and inclusion. And we address the unique aspects of LGBT family-building from both a personal and medical perspective. In many ways, your needs are the same as the non-LGBT community, but in some ways they are different. We get that and embrace it.

Why not stop by our booth at LI Pridefest and meet some of the team on Saturday! Our prior successful LGBT parents always stop by for impromptu reunions throughout the event, too, and are often eager to share their experiences as well. The Long Island IVF booth will be in the Health & Wellness area of the Family Services Pavilion the entire event, from noon until 5:00pm.

Don’t want to stay long or chat with so many festivities to see? Swing past and grab some of our fun giveaways, including bracelets, balloons, and informational brochures to read later. We’ve even got water bottles if it’s a hot one!

You can also get to know us later this month as we host “Family-Building the LGBT Way”, a very special event with the LGBT Network at our Long Island IVF office at 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York on Monday June 27, 2016 at 6:30pm. Some of our doctors will join other key LIIVF team members to bring you a seminar on everything you ever wanted to know about today’s LGBT Family-Building options. Please pre-register for this free event by emailing lmontello@liivf.com. Light refreshments will be served.

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So who is coming to Pridefest?!

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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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Dr. Kreiner Hosts Talk on Fertility Preservation and Reproductive Options for the LGBT Community

By Tracey Minella

November 1st, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Dr. David Kreiner, reproductive endocrinologist and co-founder of Long Island IVF, is excited to be presenting an interactive lecture and Q&A session on Fertility Preservation and Reproductive Options for the LGBT Community at the 20th Annual Long Island LGBT Conference.

The conference will be held at the Charles B. Wang Center at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, on Tuesday, November 17th, from 8:30 am- 2:00 pm. The conference is sponsored by the LGBT Network and any questions or registration should be directed to them. Admission is free to SBU students and is available for $20-30 for other age groups.

Dr. Kreiner will introduce the medical options available to assist LGBT family-building with special emphasis on the importance on advance planning for fertility preservation. Topics will include:  donor sperm insemination, in vitro fertilization, reciprocal IVF, use of gestational carriers, and also fertility preservation in the transgender community. The social, legal, financial, and medical issues will be discussed.

Reproductive options for lesbian couples will also be discussed. The limitations and the workup for women wishing to donate eggs and/or carry a pregnancy will be covered. The legal, medical and financial issues involved with surrogacy and gestational carriers for gay male couples will also be addressed. In addition, the fertility preservation options available to transgender people prior to transitioning will be covered. If you are…or love…a member of the LGBT community, you won’t want to miss this information–packed seminar.

Long Island IVF has been a supportive provider of assisted reproductive family-building services for the LGBT community for decades. We recognize that your needs and rights to parenthood are universal, but that the approach to your care and particular fertility obstacles is unique. Our staff, some of whom are members of the LGBT community themselves, is sensitive to your needs and eager to help you build your family.

If you would like to attend Dr. Kreiner’s lecture, please register by contacting the LGBT Network. http://bit.ly/1N77BrP

 

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Do you have any questions you would like Dr. Kreiner to address either before or at the lecture? If so, please comment below.

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ASRM 2015: Looking Back and Moving Ahead “We Could Always Do More and Do Better”

By David Kreiner MD

October 18th, 2015 at 12:58 pm

It was fitting that this year’s national infertility meeting, the ASRM was held in Baltimore, the city where the recently deceased Dr. Howard W. Jones Jr. first trained and rose to prominence in the field of reproductive medicine.  In the 1950′s and during his career at Johns Hopkins, he was involved in the controversial biopsy of cervical cancer patient, Henrietta Lacks, which led to the most widely utilized and researched cell line of all time.  Thereafter, he became an expert in genetic disorders and reproductive developmental issues that led to his opening the first transgender surgery clinic.  Remarkably, however, “Dr. Howard” (as we students called him) is best known for work he performed after his retirement from Hopkins when he moved to Norfolk and started the first IVF clinic in the Western Hemisphere resulting in the birth of the country’s first IVF baby, Elizabeth Carr, in 1981.

 

My first ASRM (called the American Fertility Society at the time) meeting in 1983 was a showcase of this brand new technology of IVF despite a success of 10% in the best clinics. Reproductive surgery was still more successful than IVF so there were presentations by the premier microsurgeons, laparoscopists and hysteroscopists who were demonstrating the latest advances that were becoming available as instrumentation had improved and laser had become a tool of the reproductive surgeon.  IVF was performed laparoscopically and ovarian stimulations were being performed with some variation of human menopausal gonadotropin, Pergonol, derived from the urine of menopausal women and Clomid.

 

In 2015, we reviewed the impact of social media in the opening presidential lecture urging members of the Reproductive Science community to spread the word about reproductive technology advances and utilize social media tools to educate the public.

 

In this meeting, it was now recognized that the LGBT community needed to become a special interest group within the ASRM with focus on alternative family-building that was available not just to lesbian couples but to gay male couples and transgenders.

 

With the successful fertilization and subsequent pregnancies achieved through egg freezing, fertility preservation for women undergoing cancer treatment, gender reassignment or aging prior to a time when they are ready for motherhood is now available. The technology of egg freezing thrusts upon women important new options to be considered (often on an urgent basis) when preparing for chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy or surgery… or simply before aging does irreversible damage to one’s fertility.

 

There was an Acupuncture symposium that presented research demonstrating improved success with IVF when utilized twice a week for at least 4-5 weeks prior to retrieval, before and after transfer.  The use of the mild male hormone, DHEA, was discussed in yet another symposium as a potential benefit to patients with diminished ovarian reserve to optimize number of eggs and embryos and improve pregnancy rates.

 

Elective freezing of embryos to transfer in a non-stimulated cycle and embryo-banking combined with complete genomic sequencing of the embryos to selectively transfer only healthy embryos has demonstrated improved success of IVF. And aside from the increased cost and time involved, it appears to be the ideal approach to IVF today.

 

I think Dr. Howard would be happy with these developments in the field and the direction the society is going both towards a more efficient and safer treatment and to widening its scope to be inclusive of the LGBT community.  Though typical of Dr. Howard, he always thought we could do more and better.  Weeks before his death, he called my friend and former fellow, “Richard S”.  He complemented him on his great work but complained to Richard that he wasn’t measuring some hormone or factor that Dr. Howard thought needed to be checked in Richard’s research…

We have come a long way in the 32 years that I have been active in ASRM. I’m proud that Long Island IVF has always been on the cutting edge of reproductive medical technology with programs and practices already existing for this year’s most popular ASRM topics, including social media, LGBT-focused and friendly alternative family-building, egg-freezing, complete genomic sequencing aka PGS (pre-embryo genetic screening), and acupuncture. Let it never be said that the work is done and that we are satisfied with the status quo.  As Dr. Howard would say, “we could always do more and do better”.

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Have you considered using any of these latest technologies or programs in your family-building plans?

 

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Long Island IVF Hosts Seminar: “Family-Building the LGBT Way”

By Tracey Minella

June 15th, 2015 at 11:42 am

If you’d like information on family-building from a practice that’s been helping the LGBT community become parents for decades, we’ve got the event for you!

We’ve partnered up with the LGBT Network to bring you a very special seminar on June 25, 2015 from 7-9 pm at the LGBT Network Community Center in Woodbury, NY. http://lgbtnetwork.org/the-center

Long Island IVF’s “Family-Building the LGBT Way” seminar will answer everything you ever wanted to know about today’s LGBT Family-Building options. Two of our reproductive endocrinologists, Dr. Steven Brenner, and Dr. Satu Kuokkanen, along with other key LIIVF team members will introduce you to the fascinating world of assisted reproductive technology and how it’s used to help the LGBT community become parents. In addition, Vicky Loveland, our Donor Egg Coordinator and Melissa Brisman, Esq. owner and founder of Reproductive Possibilities http://www.reproductivepossibilities.com/ will be there. Ms. Brisman is a nationally known reproductive attorney.

LGBT family-building is different in many ways from so-called “traditional” family-building. As a practice made up of both LGBT and non-LGBT employees, we truly understand the nuances that make your family-building adventure unique to you.

Whether you met us briefly at LI Pridefest 2015 and you’d like to learn more about our LGBT Family Building program at Long Island IVF, or this is the first time you’ll be meeting us, we hope you’ll join us at the LGBT Network Community Center to learn about the many ways we can help you achieve your dream of parenthood.

Please pre-register for this free event by emailing lmontello@liivf.com. Light refreshments will be served.

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Will you be attending the “Family-Building the LGBT Way” seminar? Do you have any specific questions or particular topics you want to see covered?

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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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Infertiles Support Caitlin Jenner and LGBT Community

By Tracey Minella

June 4th, 2015 at 8:30 am

 

image: Stuart Miles/ freedigitalphotos.net


On the heels of Kimye’s pregnancy announcement this week, comes other bombshell news from the same family. In fact, the bombshell is the news.

Caitlin Jenner, the Olympian formerly known as Bruce, debuted her new transgender self in Vanity Fair. Apart from a few trolls who are actually petitioning to strip her of her medals, this news has received a primarily…and deservedly… positive reaction from both the straight and GLBT communities. She’s free at last.

Of course, the many complex psychological issues that surround the transgender decision and process are not something any of us can truly understand unless we’re living it, but there are some common themes that strike a chord with the infertile community. And I think these similarities have generated the overwhelmingly positive response to Jenner’s transformation.

Infertile people can relate to not being able to live the life they dreamed of… and to being denied by some twist of genetic fate of a significant, fundamental right. We know the frustration of having our pain misunderstood or dismissed by society in general. Some of us live with the secret or come out and find no support. We may fear we’ll lose our jobs if our secret is discovered. And we feel like prisoners betrayed by our bodies, too. Not in the same way, but similar enough to generate great empathy for the journey Caitlin and those like her face. We need something from our bodies that we can’t have…something that needs medical intervention to achieve…something that will finally complete us and allow us to be happy.

What a burden for any transgender individual to bear! But how much worse must it have been for Caitlin Jenner, who for millions of people for almost 4 decades represented the embodiment of the ideal man? A chiseled, handsome, athletic, Olympic gold medalist whose celebrity never faded enough to allow him to express his true female self publicly until finally he found the courage to break free. Where others have a more manageable number of people to come out to, Jenner’s journey made world-wide news. What a wonderful role model for transgender awareness. We wish her only the best as she begins this new chapter of her life.

Long Island IVF has been helping the LGBT community on Long Island build its families for decades and is proud to be a sponsor of LI Pridefest 2015. We believe that all people have the fundamental right to a family. Please contact us if you need assistance building your family or come meet us on June 13, 2015 at the LI Pridefest in the Family Services Pavilion. We’re looking forward to reuniting with the families we’ve helped create and to meeting new friends. Or come to our seminar on LGBT family building at the LGBT Network Community Center in Woodbury, NY on Thursday, June 25, 2015 from 7-9pm. Email lmontello@liivf.com to reserve your spot.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

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How do you feel about Caitlin Jenner’s transition? (Please keep responses respectful.)

 

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National Adoption Awareness Month Kicks off with Every Child Deserves a Family Act

By Tracey Minella

November 1st, 2011 at 8:17 pm

The big news to start November’s National Adoption Awareness Month…N.Y. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Every Child Deserves a Family Act.  Read more on the proposed legislation, including interesting facts, studies, and stats, here: http://gillibrand.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=7F6E1235-884D-4361-A281-A9F930ABCABE

The proposed law, announced four days ago, would make it illegal for federally-funded or supported adoption or foster care agencies to discriminate against prospective adoptive and foster parents based on gender identity, marital status or sexual orientation.

Currently, thirty-one states practice some form of discrimination against the LGBT population. And this discrimination exists even though studies have shown LGBT parents can provide just a loving and stable a home as heterosexual parents.

This legislation would enable the more than 400,000 children currently in foster care and 107,000 children currently awaiting adoption…who are languishing away in the system… to be more quickly placed in loving homes with loving families, by opening up the prospective parent pool to include the LGBT population.

Really, doesn’t every child deserve a family?

Those less open-minded to the benefits of this legislation may argue that children adopted by LGBT parents may be at risk of increased bullying and discrimination in their communities.

But sadly, children of many different backgrounds are bullied daily, and it is with help and support from their loving parents that they usually survive. Plus, is the potential for bullying any worse than the known increased risks of not being placed in a loving home? Risks like increased chances of early parenthood or incarceration?

The founder of East Coast Fertility has been committed to family-building for the LGBT population for decades and applauded the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in New York for removing a roadblock that made some LBGT couples reluctant to seek fertility treatment to build their families.

This proposed legislation stands for building loving families…something we at ECF do every day.

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How do you feel about this proposed legislation? Do you think it is fair, with benefits that outweigh concerns? If not, what are your primary concerns or reservations?

Have you adopted or fostered a child, and what was your experience?

Photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=7054&picture=a-childs-gaze

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