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Archive for the ‘TTC’ tag

The Best Way to Survive Mother’s Day When Infertile

By Tracey Minella

May 11th, 2017 at 9:06 am

 

photo credit: ryanmcguire/gratisography


This might seem unconventional for an infertility blogger to suggest, but…

Stop looking for something online that will make you feel better this weekend. Chances are it isn’t out here. And even if there was one special nugget of wisdom that might somehow ease your pain, you’ll have to sift through so much useless and painful content that your heart will be in shreds before you find that elusive gem.

The worst place you can be when you’re infertile is on social media on Mother’s Day. The day photos of moms and babies posted are multiplied 10,000 times more than the already unbearable daily number you endure. Why subject yourself to millions of pictures of mothers and children or hundreds of blog posts like this one – – trying and failing to make you feel any better? Please hide. Resist the habit of Facebook. Protect your heart.

Yes, I’ve been in your shoes, but it was before the hell that is social media. I only had to endure real life pregnant people and babies in my actual face—not the flood of thousands of them in my virtual face 24/7. You have it so much worse in that respect—though IVF success rates have soared since I did it. Our experiences are the same, yet different. Only other infertile women could understand how you are feeling–currently infertile women.

Ten stressed-out Mother’s Days without a baby I suffered. I have walked that long and lonely path you are on now, and I do remember it like it was yesterday. Yet I know my well-meaning words of hopeful advice– that I so want you to find comfort in today– can’t help but somehow fall short because I finally became a mom while you are still waiting for your day. I walked before you, and it’s frustrating to know that I can’t comfort you the way someone walking beside you can. So while I do remember, speaking to you from where I am now instead of where I was then makes my words just one small step above those of others not currently walking in your shoes. Maybe the words of one who succeeded at IVF, even after many, many failures and losses are as unwelcome on such a difficult day as the words of those who conceived easily and effortlessly.

So on this hardest day of the year I won’t try further than to say that I know you can get through this day and I’m sorry for your pain. There is no magic answer in this post or any of the others you may read about Mother’s Day.

Despite constant advances in assisted reproductive technologies, no one can promise you a baby this cycle or in the future despite the technology advancing with lightning speed. For me, not knowing if it’d ever work was the hardest thing. Had I only known for certain that at some point– even years away– I’d definitely have a baby in my arms, it would’ve made all the difference in managing the highs and lows during those 10 long years. But there is no crystal ball. While many people might become parents if they just kept undergoing treatment, many people’s wallets are exhausted before their spirit is ready to stop treatment—or even before they can begin it. That fear kept me up at night.

You know what you need to get through this day– and only you know what you need. Time as a couple, alone time, or time with family and friends. Do what you need to do so it will pass.

For what it’s worth, know that I and the many women who walked before you will be looking backwards on Sunday with hope and strength for you as you walk on. Strength to get through this day– and hope that by this time next year you will be looking back on your journey as well.

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Listen Up! World Parenthood: It Takes a Village

By Tracey Minella

April 24th, 2017 at 9:06 am

Hope you can all hear me from up on this soapbox*. So LISTEN UP:

Those tree-hugging hippies who imagined we’d have world peace if we all just loved one another…like, right now…were on to something. Not sure it works for the world peace thing, but for World Parenthood—oh, yes. Definitely. If we all just loved one another, we could all become parents. (No, I don’t mean it that way!) But it will literally take a village to bring parenthood to the world.

Here’s the plan:

To the women who never had fertility problems or experienced loss. Be quiet. Really. Your nagging questions are hurtful, your advice is unsolicited, and you don’t understand. You never will understand. Don’t pretend you can. Want to help? Really want to make a difference? Just say you’re sorry and “listen up” if and when we choose to speak about it. You wish you could do something more? Well, you can.

LISTEN UP: You’ve got working parts—use them for others. Donate your eggs. Donate your uterus and be a surrogate or gestational carrier for another couple. Do it for someone you know. Or for a stranger. Whatever works for you. Too much to ask? Then donate money. Give to a couple that can’t afford fertility treatment. If handing over the cash is awkward, then buy them something they need or pay for a service they use so they can put that freed-up money into their fertility fund instead. Stop with the sweaters and give cash or a credit card gift card for holidays. Give to fertility fundraisers, grant programs, and infertility organizations like Resolve. Just help someone. And for the love of all things holy, lighten up on the relentless Facebook baby posts and false pregnancy jokes.

To the women who overcame their fertility problems. You know better. You do understand. And yet you are different now. You are on the other side. Don’t you dare pretend it didn’t ever happen—or that it was just a black hole in your past. Don’t just move on with your miracle. Look back.

LISTEN UP: You have an obligation to those who haven’t left their journeys—and to those who will suffer after you. Do something. Offer something. Anything. Educate others. Become an infertility advocate. Raise awareness by participating in a Walk of Hope or other event. If you are able to do so, donate eggs or lend your uterus to a needy couple. And please, please, please…if you did IVF and your family is complete, consider Embryo Donation of the embryos you won’t be using—it would be the answer to another couple’s prayers. If more couples really considered and felt comfortable with this option, rather than discarding or donating them to research, the impact on world parenthood would be monumental. And always, offer the right words of encouragement as only you can. Or the shoulder you needed to cry on.

To all men and women, heterosexual or homosexual: Unite. Donate what you have to your cause and the cause of others. Be supportive.

LISTEN UP: We all need something from each other to create our families. Gay men need eggs or embryos and a uterus. Women need sperm. If you have something someone else needs—eggs, sperm, embryos, a uterus—consider giving or lending freely. Make a real difference. Help create a life that will be loved beyond measure by a loving person or couple desperate to have a baby. Your contribution may make the process affordable for couples who would otherwise not be able to access or afford these services on top of standard IVF costs. Look into your heart and see if there is something you can do to help someone else become a parent. Someone you love needs help having a baby. Your help. Give that gift.

It takes a village to make world parenthood a reality. Step up. LISTEN UP.

*This post, for National Infertility Awareness Week 2017, is the view point of the author and may or may not reflect the position or feelings of Long Island IVF and its physicians.

http://www.infertilityawareness.org/

 

 

 

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Infertility, Lucky Charms, and St. Patrick’s Day

By Tracey Minella

March 11th, 2017 at 10:32 pm

 

image: wpclipart


 

Let’s raise a glass to one of the few holidays that’s not focused on children!

 

Other than spotting those little scouts at a local parade, St. Patrick’s Day—or night—is a time where a good part of the country…legit Irish or wannabes…gets downright hammered. (Not that we advocate that or anything…wink, wink.)

 

So what are you going to do?

 

If you’re a cycling infertility patient, you’ll likely resist the urge to drown your TTC sorrows in a pint of green beer, sacrificing the party for the benefit of the potential life you’re trying to create. Hey, there’s no shame in being sober on St. Patrick’s Day! Be the responsible designated driver–it’s great training for all the parental responsibility and sacrifice that might be just over the rainbow for you.

 

So what about all that “luck o’ the Irish” stuff? As a half-Irish lass myself, and one who did my share of IVFs before having success, I thought it was a farce—a scam. C’mon, if I was really lucky, I wouldn’t have needed IVF to conceive. And, might I add, I’d have had a pot o’ gold to finance it all. But, nooo.

 

Do YOU believe in lucky charms for fertility?

 

There are more symbols associated with good luck and fertility than you can shake a shillelagh at! There are frogs, acorns, and of course, eggs. You can buy statues and jewelry of these and other symbols. I once bought a cheap pewter Chinese fertility symbol on a thin black leather necklace. Couldn’t hurt, right? Today, there are many fertility jewelry sites that make beautiful handmade items if you’re open about the struggle.

 

I also had a lucky charm. It was a gift from a casual friend from work who was moving out of state and knew of my infertility secret. She gave me a pretty mirrored compact with a little cameo angel on top…for luck. I had it with me when I finally had my IVF success. After my angel was born, I tucked it away, figuring I’d give it to my girl one day and tell her its special story.

 

But a few years later, I had a co-worker who was TTC and was moving to Florida. I thought of my lucky compact and everything suddenly became clear. I told her the story and gave it to her on the following condition: She was to use it as long as she needed it and then pass it along to someone else who was TTC, with the same instructions.

 

This travelling compact is touching lives and spreading love and luck throughout our sisterhood.

 

Now that’s worth doing a jig over.

 

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Have you given or received a lucky charm? What is it and what is the story behind it?

 

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Infertile on Valentine’s Day

By Tracey Minella

February 14th, 2017 at 12:13 pm

 

image credit: OZphotography/ freedigitalphotos.net


Most holidays are hard on those struggling with infertility, but Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be one of them. It’s one of the few holidays that are focused on couples, not children. You’re expected to be alone as a couple…no family gatherings to endure.

While a fancy dinner, candy, roses, or even diamonds can’t substitute for the gift you really want to give or receive from your partner today, try not to focus on the baby quest for just this one day…or at least for a good part of it…and instead focus on your partner.

Battling infertility can make you lose sight of pretty much everything else. It can make you understandably cranky and depressed. And it can make you take your loved ones…especially your partner…for granted.

If you’ve fallen into that rut, today is the perfect day to change things. Start by stealing a moment and clearing your mind of everything else. Then, make a list of five things you love about your partner. If you need help getting started, think about how he/she is right beside you in this battle. What have you weathered together already? Remember how much he/she can make you laugh or the special inside jokes only you two share?(Consider telling your partner you’re doing this and ask them to do the same so you can exchange lists over dinner tonight or wait until you’re together tonight and make the lists together.)

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to cost a lot, especially when financing infertility treatments. If you do want to go out, kick back and enjoy yourself knowing that most places will be child-free tonight.

Of course, a great Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to cost anything at all. A quiet and simple dinner at home may be all you need to spiritually reconnect. Candles and the right companion can make even mac and cheese incredibly romantic. And those lists of what you love about each other will be treasured keepsakes to look back on later. Trust me.

And having walked many miles in your shoes let me tell you a little secret…

Infertility can be a gift. A twisted kind of gift on nobody’s wish list, of course. But it’s a gift that is often not realized until after the battle is won. If it doesn’t break your marriage, infertility can make your love stronger than you ever imagined it could be. Every tear and painful loss or setback can be cement for your union. Many infertile couples look back and feel that if they got through infertility together, they can handle anything else the future may throw at them. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, as they say.

So this is a night to give thanks for…and celebrate… your soul mate and your union. Focus on that. Reconnect. It will strengthen you for when you resume the battle again tomorrow.

Now, pencils ready…

 

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How do you celebrate your love when battling infertility?

 

 

photo credit: OZphotography/freedigitalphotos.net

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Tips to Surviving Another Infertile New Year’s Eve

By Tracey Minella

December 29th, 2016 at 11:38 am

 

photo credit: Ambro/freedigitalphotos.net


And so we move on toward yet another new year. Another supposed-to-be Happy New Year.

Holidays aren’t happy when you’re trying to conceive. They just aren’t. And sticking the word “happy” on them only adds to the stress. Isn’t it enough to have to face another year without a baby? Now you have to be “happy” too?

The passing of time is unsettling and the countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve can be panic-inducing in a way that’s hard to describe.  It’s like the world sees a regular clock and infertiles see a biological one. Clocks and other reminders of the passage of time are not welcome to many infertiles. How many of us have morphed into hermit couples over time? There is actually a pattern to it.

One year, you’re typical party-goers hoisting champagne at some big, loud gathering and confidently proclaiming to all within earshot “This year is the year we’re having a baby!”

Time passes. It’s New Year’s Eve again. The crowd you’re celebrating with has dwindled to a few close friends or family and the scene is more low-key. You trade in the bubbly for an alcohol-free toast because you’re doing everything you can to make that baby wish come true and maybe, just maybe, you’re even pregnant right now. You no longer say out loud that “This is the year”. You’re still hopeful, but uneasiness dampens your party spirit.

More time passes. It’s just the two of you now. You don’t want to be out with others. Maybe you’ve suffered losses or are frustrated by financial roadblocks to necessary fertility treatment. You’re depressed and are simply too exhausted to pretend you’re happy…especially when surrounded by people who don’t understand your totally understandable depression. You’re tired of saying “This will be the year” only to find another year goes by and you’re making the same wish over and over. Maybe you’re kicking yourself over all the years you did say it out loud or are just consumed with the thought that if you don’t get pregnant by March, you won’t have a baby in 2017 at all. Time is twisting your mind and manipulating each moment. You’re hope is dangerously depleted and you officially loathe New Year’s with all its shallow celebratory nonsense. Prolonged infertility has stolen your happiness.

It’s okay. It really is okay not to be happy on New Year’s. There are plenty of people who are down or are fearful of what lies ahead.

But it is not okay to lose hope. You need to keep hope alive. Nourish whatever bit is left. Breathe life back into it. Even if there is only a glimmer remaining.  Find a way. Because your dream needs hope…and more…in order to come true. Depending on your circumstances, it may also need some combination of action, money and/or a miracle to come true.

So, from someone who ushered in about a decade of consecutive frustrating infertile New Year’s here’s some advice on how to make the best of a tough night.

  • Don’t think of yourselves as alone.  Remind yourself of why you chose and love this person and reconnect. Realize the power couple you are. You’ve been blessed with each other to get through this journey and, hard as it is, it’s making you stronger. When you finally do have a child, you will be ready for anything life throws your way. Take the night to make a written plan for 2017. What is the next step going to be? What do you need to get there? And how will you get it? Real steps. In writing. Make the plan.

 

  • Acknowledge the elephant in the room…the baby that is not here yet. Instead of focusing on what’s missing, why not play a game? Similar to the movie “The Odd Life of Timothy Green”, you and your partner can brainstorm on the character traits you imagine your future baby will have. Boy or girl? Good at soccer or music? Quiet or loud? And so on. Positive visualization can do wonders. If you write it all down, safeguard it to look back on someday.

 

  • Offer to babysit. For those up to it emotionally (and it’s okay not to be), consider offering to babysit for a friend’s baby or children overnight. You get a real taste of parenting and you get to help out a friend who may want to go out. When you have your own baby, maybe they’ll return the favor!

 

  • Have a plan for an outing. If you are venturing out into the fertile, celebratory world you need a plan. If you’re with people who know you are trying, tell them up front that the topic is off limits tonight. If not, try to have a planned response ready for any possible nosy comments so you are not caught off guard. Have a secret “signal” with your partner that means “It’s time to leave…NOW!” Preparation is the best defense.

Wherever you are, kiss at the stroke of midnight. It’s the best way to enter the New Year. And it’s bound to fill your heart with hope.

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What are your plans and tips for New Year’s Eve?

 

 

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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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Infertility, Mother’s Day, and Something Promising

By Tracey Minella

May 8th, 2016 at 4:59 pm

Hands down, Mother’s Day is the hardest day of the year if you’re an infertile woman. There are just too many ways you are suffering with hearts too heavy for words to soothe.

Most ache from the pain of not having children yet or of having suffered the loss of children through miscarriage, stillbirth, or death. Some suffer from not being able to have additional children and the lack of sympathy toward secondary infertility. Then, there are the painful assumptions of strangers wishing all women a “Happy Mother’s Day” and the agony of spending Mother’s Day in the company of women with young children. Finally, there is the special darkness that infertile women who have lost their mothers feel.

Nothing I say will help your heart feel better…so I will speak to your head instead.

I’ve got something more tangible than just hope that next Mother’s Day will find you pregnant or celebrating. Something promising that may make a big difference in your journey to motherhood.

What if I told you there is a time-tested, holistic treatment that may improve the chance of your IVF cycle succeeding? And what if the cost of that treatment was less than $200? And what if it might even help women who have experienced failed IVF cycles in the past? Would you want to know more?

I’m talking about fertility acupuncture. Long Island IVF’s Dr. David Kreiner is the only reproductive endocrinologist in the region who is also a certified acupuncturist. This treatment…an Eastern medicine therapy to complement Western medicine’s cutting-edge IVF technology…is now available to all IVF patients at Long Island IVF.

Why not promise yourself this Mother’s Day to learn more about whether fertility acupuncture is right for you? You can take back some of the frustrating lack of control over your fertility by learning about all the possible treatments that may optimize your family-building plans. It’s impossible to know for sure, but maybe this is the missing piece. You owe it to yourself to learn more.

Join us on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at our Melville office for an exciting Acupuncture Symposium and listen to Dr. Kreiner and a full panel of 7 other medical experts discuss how IVF success may be improved with acupuncture and holistic therapy. The event is free, but registration is required.

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Will we see you on Thursday night??

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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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Stop April Fool’s Day Pregnancy Jokes

By Tracey Minella

March 30th, 2016 at 6:45 am

 

image credit: nenetus/freedigitalphotos.net


Even a holiday as insignificant as April Fool’s Day has become a minefield for the infertile.

What should be a harmless day of dodging innocent pranks always turns ugly with the inevitable April Fool’s Day prank post: “I’m pregnant”.

Just. Stop. Now.

It’s not only soooooo last year (and the year before that… and the year before that) but it’s not even believable or funny anymore. In fact, it never was. It’s simply hurtful to those who can’t have children. And we are not oversensitive. Infertility is no joke. It’s a disease. Would you joke about having cancer? Of course not.

So how about you think before typing that lame joke this year? Think about all the infertile couples who suffer every day of the year as their newsfeeds are bombarded by countless legit pregnancy announcements, baby pictures, and other kid-related posts.

Give us a break. Better yet, post something that is actually laugh-out-loud funny. Lord knows, we could use a momentary diversion from the pain with a rare and honest belly laugh.

Don’t be the Fool this April 1st.

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Are you bothered by April Fool’s Day pregnancy pranks? How do you respond?

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Oh The Irony: It’s National Condom Week

By Tracey Minella

February 18th, 2016 at 8:24 am

 

photo credit: scottchan/ freedigitalphotos.net


Once upon a time, in a cruel twist of fate, a couple that didn’t yet know they were infertile used condoms for birth control. Eventually, they gave them up to start a family long, long ago. A family they are still trying to conceive. So condoms are the furthest thing from their mind (unless they are for specimen collection, of course).

Sound familiar?

Ever wonder what’s happening in the condom world since you’ve been gone? Well, thanks to the internet and the site http://www.wheredidyouwearit.com/  people can anonymously check in online with their (protected) geographic location, gender, and relationship info and then share such details (through a drop down menu) as why they used a condom, where they used the condom, and finally, how they’d rank that particular sexual encounter.

For the love of Pete, is there nothing sacred anymore?

This is actually not something conceived by sex-obsessed college guys. It’s a campaign that’s part of Planned Parenthood®’s quest to reduce STDs (which may cause infertility) and promote safer sex through responsible condom use. It’s an awareness-raising initiative that’s making condom use cool instead of lame or taboo and it’s been around awhile.

Feeling nostalgic? Considering buying a pack for old time’s sake? The top “encounter” ranking is: “Ah-maz-ing–Rainbows exploded and mountains trembled”.

You go, Tiger.

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Do you think you would ever go back to using condoms??

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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 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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In the “IVF Oscars”, the Nominee for Best Supporting Role is…

By David Kreiner MD

February 2nd, 2016 at 6:54 pm

 

image courtesy of wpclipart.com


Many husbands complain that they feel left out of the whole IVF process as all the attention and care is apparently directed towards the woman.

If anything they may feel that at best they can show up for the retrieval at which time they are expected to donate their sperm on demand. If you should fail at this then all the money, time, hope and efforts were wasted all because you choked when you could not even perform this one “simple” step.

I have not witnessed the terror and horrors of war but I have seen the devastation resulting from an IVF cycle failed as a result of a husband’s inability to collect a specimen. Relationships often do not survive in the wake of such a disappointment. Talk about performing under pressure, there is more at stake in the collection room than pitching in the World Series.

Husbands and male partners view IVF from a different perspective than their wives. They are not the ones being injected with hormones; commuting to the physician’s office frequently over a two week span for blood tests and vaginal ultrasounds and undergoing a transvaginal needle aspiration procedure. At least women are involved in the entire process, speak with and see the IVF staff regularly, understand what they are doing, and are deeply invested emotionally and physically in this experience.

So what is a husband to do?

 

Get Involved

Those couples that appear to deal best with the stress of IVF are ones that do it together. Many husbands learn to give their wives the injections. It helps involve them in the efforts and give them some degree of control over the process. They can relate better to what their wives are doing and take pride that they are contributing towards the common goal of achieving the baby.

When possible, husbands should accompany their wives to the doctor visits. They can interact with the staff, get questions answered and obtain a better understanding of what is going on. This not only makes women feel like their husbands are supportive but is helpful in getting accurate information and directions. Both of these things are so important that in a husband’s absence I would recommend that a surrogate such as a friend, sister, or mother be there if he cannot be. Support from him and others helps diminish the level of stress and especially if it comes from the husband helps to solidify their relationship.

Husbands should accompany their wives to the embryo transfer. This can be a highly emotional procedure. Your embryo/s is being placed in the womb and at least in that moment many women feel as if they are pregnant. Life may be starting here and it is wonderful for a husband to share this moment with his wife. Perhaps he may keep the Petri dish as a keepsake as the “baby’s first crib”.  It is an experience a couple is not likely to forget as their first time together as a family.

With regards to the pressure of performing to provide the specimen at the time of the retrieval, I would recommend that a husband freeze a specimen collected on a previous day when he does not have the intense pressure of having to produce at that moment or else. Having the insurance of a back-up frozen specimen takes much of the pressure off at the time of retrieval making it that much easier to produce a fresh specimen. There are strategies that can be planned for special circumstances including arranging for assistance from your wife and using collection condoms so that the specimen can be collected during intercourse. Depending on the program these alternatives may be available.

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Do you agree that the man should be more involved or would you prefer not to be? Why or why not?

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