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Are Secondary Infertility Patients Like Second Class Citizens?

By David Kreiner MD

November 1st, 2014 at 10:13 am

 

Credit: stock photos/free digitalphotos.net


Sometimes my patients who have difficulty conceiving their second child feel like second class citizens in the infertility world.

Unlike their infertile peers without a child they perceive that friends, family and even their doctor’s offices do not have the same sympathy and concern for them as they observe others without a child receive.

I have had patients express guilt and anger in addition to the routine sadness often associated with the inability to conceive.

Those of you with secondary infertility need to know that you are not alone in feeling this way. My patients all express this alienation which exacerbates the depressing effects of infertility universally experienced among those affected. You have as much a right to fertility care as anyone else as well as the respect and care.

There are some unique characteristics to patients with secondary infertility that are worth discussion. Those of you who have had a caesarian section, ectopic pregnancy or abdominal surgery are more likely to have a tubal factor causing your infertility. Scar tissue can form that can obstruct, or displace a fallopian tube making it more difficult for the tube to pick up an ovulating egg or the fertilized egg to make it to the uterus.

Borderline sperm counts and endometriosis typically make it more difficult to conceive so that it is not unusual that it took longer than expected to conceive the first time and now you are not experiencing any success at all.

We perform a semen analysis and hysterosalpingogram and consider the potential benefit of laparoscopic investigation. Alternatively, if the semen analysis is not too bad and the HSG is normal, patients may benefit from insemination with hormonal stimulation. Otherwise, in vitro fertilization either with minimal or full stimulation will offer significantly superior success rates.

Facing secondary infertility may be as difficult emotionally as infertility for those without prior pregnancies. However, treatment options are available that are highly successful in delivering you the family of your dreams.

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If you’re experiencing secondary infertility, what’s been your experience with the support (or lack thereof) of others and with your own feelings?

Photo credit: stock images/courtesy of free digital photos.net http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Family_g212-Beautiful_Mom_Kissing_Her_Pretty_Daughter_p111862.html

 

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There’s No Sugar-Coating Halloween’s Impact on the Infertile

By Tracey Minella

October 31st, 2014 at 11:59 am

 

Credit; Stuart Miles/free digital photos.net


I’ve got nothing.

Usually, I can muster up some tips to get you through the roughest days of the year. But this one is hard and I find the tips I’m brewing up are either too lame or too sinister to share. What makes Halloween so tough?

Halloween is the one universal children’s holiday…celebrated by all children. We all remember Halloween fondly, the costumes, the candy, the parties, the doorbells. The sugar-rush, shaving cream fights, and the eggs… for you rebels out there. Bolting from house to house for hours, until our feet dragged from the weight of a pillowcase that rivaled Santa’s sack. Mom and dad watching from the curb.

“Just one more house, PUH-LEEEZE?”

Halloween by its very nature is the most “in-your-face” of the holidays. Literally. It’s an onslaught. Even worse than Christmas or Chanukah… where you only have to deal with the kids in your immediate families. Today, kids are everywhere. All day and night. In the streets and at your door. You can’t hide. No place is safe.

Childhood memories of Halloween make us want to be kids again. And simultaneously makes us want to have our own so they can experience the same wonder. And so we can be the one at the curb today, the one who checks the bags for safety, the one posting 102 pictures to Facebook.

And not having it feels like a little pirate’s plastic dagger in the heart.

Another year that the dream of dressing up a little boy or girl in the perfect costume hasn’t come true. Another year to wait. How can I sugar-coat all this pain?

So I’m telling you to hide as best as you can. Stay off social media once the onslaught begins later. If you can go to an adults-only party or a romantic restaurant to escape children tonight, that’s great. But if it hurts to answer the door 372 times, lower the lights, put a bowl of treats out, and retire early… with a bag or two of your own favorite candy.

Or you could always open the door in the middle of an injection, screaming “TRICK!” and frighten the bejeebers out of the nineteenth Anna and Elsa that come knocking. (Oops, did I just say that out loud?)

The choice is yours. You can “let it go”… or you can be a witch if you want to. After all, it is Halloween.

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How do/did you handle Halloween when infertile?

 

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: Stuart Miles/free digital photos.net

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/halloween-kids-indicates-trick-or-treat-and-children-photo-p271393

 

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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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Long Island IVF Hosts Free Donor Egg Recipient Seminar

By Tracey Minella

October 9th, 2014 at 10:47 am

 

On October 21, 2014, Long Island IVF is hosting free event that could potentially change the course of your family-building journey. The topic is egg donation.

There are many reasons women ultimately choose to use donor eggs to build their families. Women whose eggs have been compromised by advanced age, cancer treatment, poor general quality, or other factors, have many ways to build a family through the donor egg and donor embryo programs at Long Island IVF. For many of these women, a healthy egg is their only obstacle to pregnancy.

Admittedly, conceiving with donor eggs or embryos is rarely the first choice, but often is chosen after weighing many personal physical, emotional, psychological, and financial considerations. Decades of happy moms would surely agree that using donor eggs was the best decision they ever made. In fact, you can ask one yourself at the seminar as one or two often stop by to share their experience!

You may or may not yet be ready to act on the information you’ll hear. But it’s never too early to become informed about your options… and knowledge is power, right? So why not come out and just listen to our team discuss the many different egg and embryo donation options?  Victoria Loveland, RN & Donor Egg Nursing Coordinator, Aviva Zigelman, LCSW & Donor Egg Program Director, and Steven Brenner, MD will all be there to answer your questions, privately if you prefer.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised when we tell you about how affordable and stream-lined our programs can be, especially our embryo donation program. And how competitive the success rates can be, as well.

Long Island IVF offers several different egg donation options, including Sole Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, Shared Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, Frozen Egg Donation, and Frozen Embryo Donation cycles. Each option offers its own unique benefits, costs, and other considerations. We have young, healthy, pre-screened egg donors representing multiple ethnicities ready to help you build your family.

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. Light refreshments will be served. Bring a friend. Please RSVP to Debra Mathys at dmathys@longislandivf.com and say you’ll be there, but walk-ins are always welcome.

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

Date: October 21, 2014

Time: 7:00 pm

 

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 there?

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Tracey Minella

October 3rd, 2014 at 6:01 pm

 

 

image: wpcliptart.com


Those desperate to have a baby may feel that nothing is more devastating than suffering from infertility. But if anything can trump infertility on the list of unfair hands dealt, it would most certainly be cancer.

So, in the spirit of raising breast cancer awareness this month, there are two important messages to share.

First, is to echo the bandwagon message about staying current with preventative measures like vigilant, routine breast self-exams between equally-vigilant annual exams at the gynecologist’s office. Also keep current with your annual mammogram. If you are still walking around with that tattered mammogram prescription in your bag, pick up the phone today and schedule that appointment. Go on, now.

This is particularly true for infertility patients who have understandably had enough of daily paper gowns and stirrups, and mistakenly assume that the constant medical “activity” down there takes the place of a GYN exam. The stirrups at the RE’s office are not the same as those at the GYN’s office. Staying current with your pap, mammo, and other GYN matters is especially important when trying to conceive. The last thing you want is to find yourself finally pregnant and then facing what might have been a preventable GYN issue.

The second message is spread awareness of fertility preservation to those facing a cancer diagnosis. Men and women, and teens, too. Fertility preservation through egg/sperm/or embryo freezing… when done prior to certain cancer treatments that may impair future fertility… is an important but often over-looked part of the cancer patient’s experience.

Understandably, newly-diagnosed cancer patients (breast or otherwise) are grappling with so much and are focused on saving their lives. When the patient is only a teen, the last thing worried parents may think of is the child’s future fertility. But fertility preservation must be considered early in the treatment plan.

Here’s how you can help others. If your friends or family are diagnosed with cancer during fertile years (including young teens), gently and quickly remind them to ask their doctor if the cancer treatment being recommended will affect or destroy their fertility and, if so, whether fertility preservation prior to cancer treatment is an option.  (Yes, it may be uncomfortable treading in such a personal area, but they will thank you when they can think clearly.) Fertility preservation can usually be done very quickly and the cancer treatment may be able to accommodate it. That way, when the cancer battle is won, the survivor will have more options when they’re ready to move forward with any family-building plans.

Fertility preservation offers a great window of opportunity for many cancer patients, but it sadly is not open indefinitely. Sharing this information may be the difference between a cancer survivor being able to have his or her own genetic offspring one day…or not.

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Did you know that fertility preservation was an option for cancer patients?

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 in the Health and Wellness category, here: http://bestof.longislandpress.com/voting-open/

 

Photo credit: public domain image provided courtesy of wpclipart.com

http://www.wpclipart.com/medical/breast_cancer_awareness/breast_cancer_ribbon_black_bg.png.html

 

 

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Long Island IVF-Cade Foundation Dancing Event Wrap Up

By admin

October 1st, 2014 at 9:08 am


It was a blur. Glossy wood floors, brass accents, perfect lighting. Intoxicating music and palpable excitement filled the air.

Stepping off the red carpet and into the breath-taking Dance With Me Studio… onto the very dance floor that Dancing With the Stars® champion dancers have graced… made most attendees feel like celebrities themselves.

Be sure to check out a slideshow of some of the photos on our website and Facebook page and You Tube http://youtu.be/w5_mHGkl4Xk

And, like those champions, many attendees were on that floor with the dream of winning. Not a trophy, but something even better… a chance to build a family. They were there hoping to win the free IVF cycle door prize donated by Long Island IVF for themselves or a loved one.

And while there were understandably some disappointed hearts, every attendee should realize that as a result of their support of this event, the Cade Foundation raised funds that will be used to help infertile couples receive education and financing opportunities for fertility treatment or adoption. In fact, ideas for next year’s big event are already being discussed.

Nothing brings us greater satisfaction than being able to give away such a valuable door prize as an IVF cycle to a couple struggling to conceive and who would not otherwise be able to proceed with their infertility treatment.

This year’s winner donated the IVF cycle to her friend. We wish her, and everyone still on their journey, the best of luck.

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Any suggestions for next year? Should we consider a new venue or dance the night away again? Would you prefer a different time of year? Let us know what you think so we can craft the night of your dreams.

 

 

 

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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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Ready, Set, Save On IVF!

By David Kreiner MD

September 3rd, 2014 at 7:46 am

 

credit: stuart miles/free digitalphotos.net


A pharmaceutical company started a new program designed to attract a larger market share by discounting its fertility medications by 50%.  What a novel idea!

Who would not choose to save over a $1000 if given the choice?  It got me thinking…

Do patients know about the many discounts offered by Long Island IVF?  

Here at Long Island IVF, a full stimulation IVF cycle is offered to qualifying patients earning under $100,000 per year at $7,500 and somewhat higher to those earning up to $200,000 per year.  Anesthesia is an additional $525 and medications… including the savings through the new Ferring® rebate program… would range in cost from $1500- $3500 depending on the needs of the patient.  For example, an “average” patient receiving 20 amps of Bravelle® (FSH) and 10 amps of Menopur® would pay about $1,050 for these medications and hundreds more for Novidrel® (hCG)  and Endometrin® (progesterone).  Of course, those requiring more medication would have proportionally higher costs for their medications.

We offer other cost-savings programs at Long Island IVF including up to three frozen embryo transfers for the cost of one and free cryopreservation to patients electively transferring a single embryo in their fresh cycle.  More details on our Single Embryo Transfer (SET) Program and its financial incentives are available here: http://bit.ly/WpzCvv

 

We also offer a minimal stimulation IVF, also known as Micro IVF, at $3900. Because patients using this treatment protocol use less fertility medication to achieve their minimal stimulation than is used in in a full stimulation IVF cycle, there are significant savings on medication costs as well. Patients are encouraged to ask their doctors if they are candidates for Micro-IVF. More details on our Micro IVF Program are available here: http://bit.ly/12ZjvaD

 

Most importantly, these cost savings programs are available with the same high level of service and comparable success that Long Island IVF is famous for where we offer patients as good a chance of achieving a pregnancy as nearly anywhere in the nation.

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Have you researched the many grants and other cost-savings programs available at Long Island IVF?

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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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Where Were YOU When We Gave Away a Free IVF Cycle?

By Tracey Minella

August 27th, 2014 at 5:45 pm

 

credit: J.Upham


On Saturday night, Long Island IVF and the Cade Foundation hosted a fabulous infertility fundraiser…Dancing for the Family… at the breathtaking Dance With Me studio in Glen Head, NY—home of Dancing with the Stars® champion dancers.

There was music and dancing with all attendees enjoying professional dance lessons. Food and drinks and desserts for all. A silent auction. All for only $65. And perhaps the best part: a fabulous door prize of a free IVF cycle, valued at approximately $10,000 to help one infertile couple start or build their family. To have a baby through a treatment they otherwise may not be able to afford.

This free IVF cycle was transferable, meaning that someone could win it for someone else. So friends and family could come down and not only have a fun night, but could possibly become some couple’s hero by winning the prize for them. So many people who are open about their infertility struggle have loved ones who want to help them and this was the perfect opportunity.

And that’s what happened on Saturday night. Someone won it for her friend. What a gift! Can you imagine what happened between them when she shared the news?

Plenty of folks were out there on the dance floor, taking advantage of this fabulous opportunity to win the chance for themselves or their friends to have a baby. They all enjoyed a fun evening while also raising money for the Cade Foundation to continue to fund infertility and adoption grants and educational programs in our area and throughout the country. But…there was room for more. The night had it all: music, dance lessons, food, drinks, dessert and the best door prize imaginable. And everyone who came felt the magic in the air.

So…where were you?

Seriously, we want to know what kept those of you we missed from attending. Because we want you there the next time. Would you take a moment to let us know?

Did you not hear about the event in time? Was the ticket too costly? Did you stay away for privacy concerns? Was the location inconvenient? Was the dance night theme unappealing? Was the date inconvenient or did it conflict with other vacation plans? Was it something else?

Help us help you. Let us know what kept you and your friends from being part of this fabulous event. Your suggestions may help us plan our next amazing event.

And for those who were there…thank you for making it such a special night. We know that not winning the door prize hurts. A lot. That’s the hard part for us, too. But we encourage you all to research the grant options available through Long Island IVF and the Cade Foundation on our respective websites. And keep following us for any future special events.

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What did you think of the event if you went? And if you missed it, let us know why.

 

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