Despite our best efforts, end of the year, holidays can be painful, stressful, and unhappy. A lot can be expected of us. We are under the pressure to attend various events, put on a happy face, and enjoy every minute. Experiencing infertility during this time can add a large amount of emotional stress to an already stressful situation.
We may not be able to take away all of that stress, but we do have some tools for you to help combat some of those negative feelings and emotions. Our friends at RESOLVE have compiled an excellent list of Dos and Don’ts during the holiday season.
DO: Be selective about accepting invitations to parties and holiday celebrations, especially the ones at which you know there will be a lot of children or pregnant women. Remember: you don’t have to say yes.
DON’T: Feel guilty about not participating in all the traditional family events. You’re going through a difficult time, and you need to concentrate on helping yourself and your partner get through the holidays.
DO: Plan to spend time with couples or friends who don’t have children if family festivities are too much to bear this year. Consider arriving just in time for the holiday dinner, rather than the night before if you find it painful to be around your young nieces, nephews and cousins.
DON’T: Rely completely on family traditions to fulfill your present needs.
DO: Spend time doing things you like best.
DON’T: Pretend that there’s nothing wrong and carry on with “business as usual.”
DO: Decide in advance how you will handle difficult and insensitive questions.
DON’T: Be caught off guard by unexpected or embarrassing questions about your plans for having a family. Plan your responses, but don’t feel that you have to disclose all the details of your situation either!
DO: Try to help others in need. Visit an elderly or bed-ridden relative; volunteer at a hospital or nursing home; or participate in a holiday program to help the homeless. Cheering up other victims of the holiday blues has a rejuvenating effect.
DON’T: Close yourself off to positive feelings and new experiences. You may find that you have a special ability to make others feel good, even though you’re not feeling upbeat yourself.DO: Set aside time to share your feelings with each other.
DON’T: Get caught up in the whirlwind of the holidays and forget about each other. You need each other’s comfort more than ever.
Bottom line, even through this overwhelming time, you are not alone. Your holiday cheer might look a little different this year, but the Center for Reproductive Health is fighting beside you, every step of the way. Please do not hesitate to reach out. We are here for you. (509) 462-7070
Dr. Edwin Robins, Center for Reproductive Health’s Medical Director and Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist answers your top questions about fertility treatment.
There are a number of fertility issues that can be addressed with medication – in particular, irregular ovulation. Normally, the menstrual cycle has a two-week period when you are getting an egg ready, then ovulating the egg, then another two-week period of time when you are waiting for the next menses and you could potentially be pregnant during that time. If you don’t have a regular menstrual cycle, it is likely that ovulation is not occurring. There can be ways to induce ovulation with medication such as Clomiphene or Clomid. It’s a pill that increases your follicle stimulating hormone and will get many people to ovulate. There are also several other oral medications that can be used for ovulation induction or other fertility treatments. At Center for Reproductive Health, we work closely with our patients to ensure we are addressing their individual diagnosis and using the most effective treatment regimen.
Let’s say that a patient’s blood work looks good, they are ovulating, there are no sperm concerns for the partner and the anatomy is working as it should, but they are still unable to get pregnant. That is likely what we call, ‘unexplained infertility.’ In these cases, we sometimes say we are going to start with an Intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatment method, but we aren’t going to do a lot of them because it eventually can become cost and time ineffective. Even when IUIs have failed, other Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) can be a successful treatment for patients.
ART stands for Assisted Reproductive Technology. It’s a general term for treatments such as IVF with embryo transfer. It includes fertility treatments that handle both a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm.
IVF success is dependent on a number of things, including diagnosis and age. If you look at general numbers reported from across the country, you will see that pregnancy rates through IVF decrease as patients get older. After 35 years, there is a 10-20 percent drop in pregnancy rates every two years. That’s why we say the older you are, the sooner you need to come in and seek care. Most people over the age of 35 should see a fertility specialist if they have been trying to get pregnant for 6 months without success.
I’ve been treating patients in Spokane for 20 years, but I’ve also been a patient. My wife and I got pregnant though IVF treatment many years ago, so I am very aware of how patients feel, what time means to them, how anxiety builds and depression can set in. I make it a priority to be able to see patients at every appointment, throughout their entire process. This is a very personal and often complex process, so it’s important to be able to have consistency and someone you can ask questions to at any time. Center for Reproductive Health is also the only full-service fertility clinic in the Inland Northwest. All of the procedures are done in Spokane and you won’t be required to travel.
If you would like to make an appointment with Center for Reproductive Health, they offer free consultations for new patients. You can call (509) 462-7070 or contact the expert staff online, here.