Tag Archive | reproductive endocrinology

Financial Assistance for Fertility Treatments or Adoption

Not only are you struggling with getting pregnant and carrying to term, but you are now facing some tough financial choices. Or worse, you think you have no choice when it comes to the money you need to get testing, hormones, meds, procedures or maybe adoption. Fertility Within Reach has compiled a list of resources for grants and financial assistance. Included are tips for filling out applications and a list of mistakes to avoid. There may be a surprise piece to your puzzle here.

Have you found resources that have been helpful to you in paying for expenses related to becoming a parent? If so, what has worked best for you? If you have insurance, who is your carrier and does your carrier support fertility treatments and/or adoption? Please share in the comments box below. Let’s help each other find solutions.

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Your Journey Continues

There are many visitors to this blog whose fertility journey continues or is just beginning. I’m so excited to be joining you on this journey. To keep this blog alive, I’ll be administering and responding to comments as they come in and creating new posts. We may have a guest blogger or two from time to time as well. Thank you, Coach Louise for the many posts you’ve created here and for so generously sharing your own journey with us.

I am Julie Pierce and my focus is on coaching women like you through your unique fertility journey, enabling you to cope with fertility challenges through education, mindset/perspective training, decision-making support, resource referrals, and emotional support. I was on my own long, sad, and frustrating fertility journey for about 10 years, and I would have greatly benefited from having someone to talk to, who had gone through similar trials, who could help me navigate all the information, decisions, and emotions. Looking back, I realize just how all-consuming the pursuit of motherhood had become for me; I really lost sight of the bigger picture of my life. It is my mission to help you stay connected, feel clear and stable, and continue to pursue motherhood for as long and in as many ways as correspond with your value system.

For more information about me and how I can support you, please click over to Whole Vision Coaching.

I spent a Friday and Saturday in May at the Seattle Reproductive Symposium learning about the latest trends and research in reproductive endocrinology, infertility and advanced reproductive technologies. I’ll be sharing some insights from the Symposium here over time. Attending conferences and symposiums is just one of the ways I stay on top of what’s happening in the world of reproductive research and technology.

Please keep the comments coming and if there’s a topic that you’d like to see, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you about your journey, what challenges you’re facing, and how you cope with the roller coaster that is often a large part of the experience.

Fertility Journey Survey: Findings

Many women would have liked the support of a fertility coach from the beginning of the fertility journey and believe it would have reduced much confusion, fear, frustration, overwhelm, and the slide toward depression.

In February 2012, I began surveying women about their experience with the pursuit of parenthood and the fertility challenges that came up for them. By the end of March, I closed the survey so that I could take some time to organize and reflect on what participants had shared with me.

Depending on the ability to coordinate schedules and each woman’s desired level of participation, some surveys were conducted on the phone, in person, or via an electronic form. Much of the survey content is derived from the story-telling of each journey, but there were some yes/no and categorized-answer questions as well.

While each journey is significantly unique, there are some very clear common threads, the most obvious one being the focused, driving desire to become a parent. This focus is usually directed toward becoming pregnant, but sometimes intended parents find themselves making choices from a menu they had never considered part of their palette.

Here are some of the highlights:

93% of survey respondents have had, are having, or plan to have fertility treatments of one kind or another. Treatments are defined as actions on the physical body to enhance chances of conception and delivery. These actions may include acupuncture, herbs, dietary changes, application of oral or injectable medications or hormones, medical investigative procedures, and surgeries.

67% of participants who are no longer trying to conceive and deliver their first child said they would have liked the support of a fertility coach during their fertility journey. Many sought out support from online forums and friends who had also experienced challenges. Many expressed an interest in a managed and directed support group for women specifically going through same treatment protocols provided by fertility clinics. Many also believed that having the support of a fertility coach from the beginning of the journey would have reduced much confusion, fear, frustration, overwhelm, and the slide toward depression.

On average, women tried for 3 or more years before actually conceiving and carrying to term or giving up on the idea of carrying their own baby. This includes women experiencing secondary infertility as well as those trying to have their first baby.

It surprised me that only 17% of the women I surveyed were considering adoption or had found adoption to be the right answer for them. Those who have adopted are consistently and markedly passionate about their choice, and they generally feel moved to encourage others to include this option on their list of possibilities.

In general, the use of donor eggs and the option of surrogacy were not included in the vision of possibilities even when I asked the question directly. The idea of donor eggs evoked sadness at the thought that they would not be part of the makeup of their child. Some women were turned off by the cost of these two options, which is interesting in light of the fact that almost 20% would consider adoption even with it’s high cost. However, it is informative to remember that foster-to-adopt programs greatly reduce the cost.

94% of the women I surveyed responded that they experienced a couple or all of the following feelings: failure; disappointment; betrayal.

67% of the participants believe they would make different choices if they were to rewind and start over. The most popular changes mentioned include:

~ Moving forward with life goals and activities instead of putting life on hold while trying to conceive
~ Letting the desire to be a parent affect them sooner rather than waiting for the “right” time
~ Discontinuing relationships that got in the way of pursuing the desire to become parents
~ Getting clear on the desire to be parents and seeking help sooner
~ Pursuing satisfying information and answers, no longer tolerating unanswered questions and confusion

Although there are plenty of other larger, more clinical and academic surveys done in this area, I wanted to do my own query into the things that struck me personally as important considerations. The questions I created were initially sparked from reflecting on my own fertility challenges and the desire to have a fuller understanding of the vast range of experiences encountered on this path. I have learned so much by connecting with the survey participants and their stories, and I know that the quality of the service I can provide has improved as a result of this expanded perspective.  Thank you to everyone who contributed and participated.

If you are interested in sharing your fertility journey story with me — whether you’re just beginning, are in the middle of it, or have moved on — I would love to hear from you. Please contact me in any of the ways mentioned on my Contact Page. If you have comments or thoughts about the results I’ve presented here, please share in the comments thread below the post.

Have you been the partner, friend, or relative of someone facing fertility challenges? I’d love to hear your observations of their journey too. Please contact me using any of the ways presented on my Contact Page.

I look forward to hearing from you and thanks for reading.

Fertility Awareness: Am I Infertile?

Graphic courtesy of RESOLVE niaw page

April hosts National Infertility Awareness Week. What exactly are we talking about here? As a general rule, the medical community considers a couple to be infertile if they have not been able to conceive after one year of regularly trying without contraception. If a woman is 35 or older, six months without a conception under these circumstances gets her this charming label.

I disagree with this classification. Infertile means you can’t conceive. While there may be challenges and obstacles in the way to achieving conception, simply the result of no conception without further investigation does not lead to the condemning classification of infertility, in my humble opinion.

New science is finding that the widely held belief that at birth we get all the eggs we’ll ever have as a female is being dismantled. We are also learning that there are in fact actions we can take pre-menopause to still influence the quality of our eggs.

In the meantime, the CDC and other sources indicate that approximately 12% or 1 in 8 face the challenges of infertility. Well, to be accurate, these sources actually declare these women and couples to actually be infertile. Just because you haven’t conceived for a year or more of trying, doesn’t mean you ultimately can’t. And beyond that, none of this means you can’t one day still become a parent.

If you are concerned that you might be infertile, start asking a lot of questions. Start with other women who are moms. I bet you’ll find more women than you thought had a challenge or two to overcome before they joined the Mommy Club. Get some testing done. If you’re primary care doctor won’t help you out, find a specialist in your area. If you are hearing answers you don’t like and you still have questions, go for another opinion. There are a lot of things that can get in the way — physical and emotional — when it comes to conception. And, thankfully, there are many ways to remove these obstacles and a variety of options that support your desire to become a parent.

Do you have fertility concerns? If so, are you taking action around these concerns? What do you think about the medical definition of infertility? Please comment below. I always love to hear from you.

Coach Louise and Coach Julie

Dear blog reader,

Coach Louise began this blog with the intention that it be a place to share stories, ask questions, get support in a safe place of understanding and compassion, as well as a source for information on the topic of infertility, miscarriage, treatments etc. I am so excited to be taking over the administration of the blog and continuing on the mission of supporting you on your unique fertility journey. If you’d like to know more about me and what I offer, please click About Julie or visit Whole Vision Coaching. I’m so glad you’re here. Most importantly, I really want you to understand that you are not alone and this part of your adventure does not define who you are.

Having experienced the frustrations of unexplained infertility personally, I recognize that the experience can be isolating when the people around you don’t necessarily understand what you are going through. It is also often the first crisis couples come up against where there is really no control over the outcome. I want to connect with you and give you as much support as possible to lead a life full of joy and balance no matter the outcome of your pursuit of parenthood. I can also help to guide you and propose different alternatives that you might not have considered yet from a purely objective point of view.

Ultimately, I can offer you a space like a comfy sofa that you can fall into to feel comforted and reassured and so much more while on this unexpectedly challenging journey.

With love,
Coach Julie

Endometriosis: An Infertility Factor? and an update.

Hi Everyone,

Spring is round the corner!..

Spring is round the corner!..

Conceive wrote an interesting article today, which I found interesting because its been something I have been wondering about for myself.  I have had severe period pain ever since I started in my early teens, and now I am 40 and I am still having great discomfort at that time of the month!  I am questioning in my own mind now, why my RE hasn’t recommended that I have a laparoscopy to check out what’s been going on inside.

Conceive wrote:

Endometriosis—which occurs when tissue that’s supposed to be lining the uterus winds up outside it—can be mild or severe, with symptoms or without. Some women with the disease will have no trouble getting pregnant. But others will need proper treatment to conceive.

To read Conceive’s article click on this link:

http://www.conceiveonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=142&Itemid=126

An update with where we are right now…

Well, nowhere to be exact!  We are in discussions (DH & I) as to whether to do a final IVF treatment or not.  He is steering towards the No and I am steering towards the Yes.  He will do it, but I want him fully invested in the process.  Why should should us women be the only ones to do any preparation… it takes an Egg AND…a sperm!!

Can you tell I have some emotion around this! Well yes, I am working on it, and know for sure that it has to be something we both want to do – together!

Warmly,

Coach Louise

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A New Study in Fertility might mean no injections!

dr-woman

Hi All,

I would love to deliver good news to you all who have endured so many awful progesterone injections during the IVF treatment!  There is a possibility that this new study that was published today, might mean a much less painful experience for those women going through fertility treatments.

Here is an excerpt of the article….

SEATTLE, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ — Patients undergoing in vitro fertilization self-administer daily injections of progesterone from two to eight weeks after the egg retrieval procedure. The outcome of a new study of an investigational formulation of progesterone could replace these painful intramuscular injections of progesterone in oil with less painful subcutaneous injections.

Seattle Reproductive Medicine (SRM), along with eight other large fertility centers across the country, has been selected to participate in a study designed to compare the safety and effectiveness of an investigational aqueous formulation of progesterone that will be compared to a form of progesterone administered intra-vaginally.

“For years patients have complained about these injections….

to read more go to this link:

http://sev.prnewswire.com/health-care-hospitals/20090114/AQW08414012009-1.html

and for further information go to http://www.SeattleFertility.com

I hope hearing this gives some of you with needle and pain aversion some hope!

Warmly,

Coach Louise

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