“Infertility” … “Fertility Challenged” … Insurance Coverage?

qmarkI’m wondering how folks feel about the word “infertility” vs. “fertility” and how you all feel about having fertility challenges considered a disease. I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings.

From my point of view, of course there are a variety of physical conditions that can impact fertility negatively and some of these are classified as diseases. However, reading and hearing the label “infertility” rubs me the wrong way. It seems to infer hopelessness.

My experience involves a long 10-year road of “unexplained infertility” and I bristle at the notion of it being a disease. On the other hand, I can see where the labels of “infertility” + “disease” bring the advantage of validating the need for insurance coverage for “treatment.”

Another question I’m pondering:

If insurance is covering fertility “treatments,” what specific treatments do you believe should be included in that coverage. For example, do you believe all physical/medical treatments/technologies should be covered? Do you believe psychological/emotional/mental treatments/technologies/therapies should be covered? Do you feel/believe that any treatments that are currently available should be classified as elective, and if so, how should that impact insurance coverage in your opinion?

Please let it rip on your most heartfelt thoughts and feelings on these ideas.

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IVF Statistics – Is it really all that?

in vitroIVF is not the only road to the holy grail of conception for those facing slim odds.  Some look to it as the magic bullet — the one “sure” way to be parents using “our own” eggs and sperm.  Even though it permeates the pop-culture mindshare — for example, HuffPost: IVF — it really is not the only answer and it’s not necessarily as reliable as it is often made out to be.  And for some, it is simply not a realistic option.

However, for those who will go the route of IVF, there is good news.  The advent of embryo vitrification (super-fast freezing) has greatly improved the viability of those embryos.  In fact, the trending thought in the ART community is that a frozen embryo transferred into a womb under “natural” cycle conditions (rather than “stimulated” conditions) has a better chance than a fresh transfer.

Dr. Geoffrey Sher calls for a revision to the way IVF success rates are reported so that patients TTC can make better-informed decisions. He suggests that going forward, IVF success rates should be reported as “live births per embryo transferred.” For more on his reasoning, his post Taking a Fresh Approach to Reporting IVF Success Rate Statistics makes a lot of sense and sheds clear light on how results of the current technology can be best assessed.

Are you considering IVF? What about vitrification? Have you discussed the choice of fresh transfer vs frozen transfer with your clinician? What have you tried to alleviate your fertility challenges before going to IVF?

IVF = in vitro fertilization
ART = assisted reproductive technology
TTC = trying to conceive

Infertility & Recurrent Pregnancy Loss – Could It Be Thyroid Autoimmunity?

Leslie Oldershaw, L.Ac

Leslie Oldershaw, L.Ac

On July 24th, Leslie Oldershaw, L.Ac  will be teaching about the connection between thyroid autoimmunity and infertility, early term miscarriage, and poor fetal health on a live free webinar. Thyroid autoimmunity is commonly found in women experiencing infertility or recurrent miscarriage. It can dramatically interfere with conception, increase the risk of first trimester miscarriages, and result in poor fetal development. You can significantly reduce these risks with appropriate management of your thyroid hormones and your immune system. Learn how TCM and functional medicine may be combined to the greatest advantage for a successful pregnancy outcome.

If you know you have a thyroid condition or if you are curious whether this might be a piece of the puzzle for you, click this link on Wednesday, July 24th at 5:30 pm (Pacific): http://bit.ly/Oldershaw  Leslie will be presenting through audio and a slide presentation.
MediGogy usually archives the free teleseminars, so you may try to click through after the date and time have passed if it’s not convenient for you to attend the live presentation.

Free Fertility Support for You from 20 Holistic Experts!

onphoneholdingbellyI know you’re struggling to conceive or panicked about miscarriages or you wouldn’t be visiting this blog. Well I’ve got something totally exciting to share today!! My friend Mayer Goyer has put together a series of training calls to support you — with the help of 20 fertility experts. Learn how you can use their advice as you develop your very own holistic plan — one that works with your body and your values.

This FREE online event is designed with your needs in mind. Mary and 19 of today’s top experts in the field know your’re looking for straight talk and proven advice on:

  • How to clear away the toxins and sources of stress that make conception difficult
  • Ways to open up constriction in your body and improve reproductive circulation
  • Natural remedies for fibroids, PCOS, and many other physical issues you face
  • Emotional and spiritual absolutes — to stay sane, peaceful, and connected

I know you’ll want to grab your spot right away. Click here to register — you’ll get 20 training call for free! And if you can’t make a call live, replays will be available shortly after each call.

Embarking on the Infertility Rollercoaster

roller_coaster
An Interview with Julie Pierce

click to listen

Have you been trying for a baby for a while now, and you’re now having to seek alternative methods to conceive successfully?

Have you been going down the road of IUI’s and IVF’s and still on that rollercoaster journey?

Have you experienced loss during your journey – with miscarriage in early stage or even late stage of pregnancy?

Wherever you are on this journey, it’s becoming commonly known that there are few things everyone experiences:

  • obsession with the fertility process
  • loss of balance with self, life and partnerships
  • a seeking for supporting the body and mind through alternative therapies
  • a confusion on which choices to make and when

and so much more…

In this interview, I’ll be sharing what to expect through this journey in much more detail and informaiton on how best to support yourself during your experience.  I’ll also share about my journey of heartache and success, and what I know you can do differently to feel whole, balanced, and healthy on your journey.

Please share this with anyone you think might also be interested.

Talk to you soon!

Pursuing Parenthood – Evolving Perspectives

Perspective BlocksWhen we are trying to conceive but don’t, or when we do conceive and then lose a pregnancy, we mourn a life that has not been realized. This can happen to us month over month or pregnancy after pregnancy. Each of these experiences of loss and missed expectation creates a growing mountain of compounding grief that we carry around, cope with, and suffer through one way or another. We can stay stuck in the perspective that there is only one acceptable way to achieve our goal around parenthood. Or, consider this … we can find a bit of relief in creating our own experience of expansion.

Once my partner and I had fully committed to the idea that we truly wanted to be parents, I approached conception like all of my other goals. My targeted focus and consequential achievement had been a reliable pattern … till now.

When I was trying to get pregnant month after month, I felt that my body was laughing in my face with the arrival of my period. I see now that my reaction was to dig my heels in even deeper with the determination that I was so totally going to do this thing. Does this ring any bells for you?

You could not tell me that I was not going to get pregnant. You could not tell me that I was infertile. The fact that none of the “experts” could give me and my partner a clear explanation about why we were not conceiving was frustrating, but it also gave me continuous hope that in the absence of any biochemical reason standing in our way, there was no real reason that we would not get pregnant. And therefore, of course we should keep doing it the good ol’ fashion way and eventually the sperm and the egg would get their acts together. As I’m sure you can relate, this was a huge tax on our relationship and our enjoyment of sex. “Perform, damn it! Now’s the time!” — we went through this pressure repeatedly.

As time continued to tick, tick, tick away — my eggs were not getting any fresher — I reluctantly went on to open up bit-by-bit to more medical investigation and eventually intervention, otherwise known as assisted reproduction. I was standing in the attitude of, “Seriously, I need assistance with this?” I was used to being self-sufficient, independent, in charge of my own outcomes. Turns out this was really not a helpful attitude or perspective. Over time, my attitude softened … I was, in a way, forced to surrender more and more of my constricted definition of what was an acceptable way for me to become a parent. As I moved into a more expanded perspective, I experienced a lightening of the intensity and stress. This was not the ultimate magic bullet, but it was definitely a useful evolution in supporting my health, my significant relationships, and the enhancement of my ability to conceive and carry to term.

I’m wondering how your goal of family building could be requiring you to find a new perspective, one that you may not have originally planned for. How has your fertility journey changed your perspective on growing your family? Please comment below.

You’re Not Alone – Small Groups and Workshops

group_feetDo you feel like a freak?

Let me assure you, although your body is not doing what you expected it should do — and most likely what you had been actively preventing it from doing for many years — you are in good company. Knowing that fact and connecting with others who are experiencing similar frustrations and disappointments can go a long way to keeping your sanity in residence.

It’s old news that reducing stress is one of the most important things to do when you’re trying to conceive or heal in any way. But it’s also well-known that the very message “stress less” is like saying, “don’t imagine Super Man flying.”  Too late!

What if you could be part of a group that wasn’t just set up for complaining and commiserating, but provided acknowledgement of your painful reality as well as proven ways to relieve that pain?

Because I know the value and strength that you can draw from being a part of such a community, I am putting together small groups and workshops specifically for women who are facing or who have faced fertility challenges. These are small groups specifically for women like you and me.

If you’d like more information about these opportunities, please contact me to let me know which of the following small groups interest you:

  • Repeatedly trying to conceive with no conception
  • Compounding grief due to repeated miscarriage
  • Compounding grief due to late term demise

I’ll send you details as I get a feel for how many are interested and where most of us are located. And if you like being able to participate in a group remotely, there will be opportunity for that as well. So for all the details, let me know who you are and how I can reach you.