FEATURED BLOGGER

Path To Fertility Blogger Lisa Rosenthal  

Lisa Rosenthal has over twenty-five years of experience in the fertility field, including her current roles as Coordinator of Professional and Patient Communications for RMACT and teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a class designed to support, comfort and enhance men and women's sense of self. Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association, where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director

Lisa Rosenthal's Google+

Subscribe by Email

Your email:

Browse by Tag

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Ladies Night In Schedule - A Few Reasons to Come

  
  
  

Ladies Night In ~ Fall 2014

ladies night in peer support groupThree nights a month we meet for Ladies Night In -- support, conversation, laughter, tears and more. Once a month in each of the following locations: Danbury, Norwalk, Trumbull. If you are not talking to your usual support system of friends, colleagues and family about your experiences with infertility and fertility treatment, this is a safe and confidential place to come and share what you are going through. A place to talk freely with no fear of judgment. Carrie and I would love to meet you. Tomorrow night in Norwalk, right after Fertile Yoga (5:45-6:30-no prenatal yoga).  ~Lisa Rosenthal

Peer Support Group with Lisa & Carrie - Details                     

At this peer support group, come and meet a terrific group of women that gather monthly to share their stories, feelings, questions and laughs. Experience the relief of talking with other women who understand what you are going through. Build friendships with women who will be by your side throughout your family-building journey.

 

Danbury (6:00-7:30) 67 Sand Pit Rd

 

Tuesday Sept 9th

Tuesday Oct 7th

Tuesday Nov 11th

 

Norwalk (7:00-8:30) 20 Glover Ave

 

Thursday Sept 18th

Thursday Oct 16th

Thursday Nov 6th             

 

Trumbull (7:00-8:30) 115 Technology Drive

 

Wednesday September 3rd

Wednesday Oct 22nd

Wednesday Nov 19th

 

To RSVP or for inquires please email Carrie at cvansteen@rmact.com. RMACT also offers a private Facebook page for our patients who can use support 24/7; email Carrie for that information as well. Ladies Night In is free of charge and a light dinner is provided. 

 

 

Follow Lisa on Google+

 

 

Fertility Doctor, Dr. Joshua Hurwitz, Explains PCOS and Treatment

  
  
  

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Fertility Doctor Dr. Joshua Hurwitz About PCOSBy Joshua M. Hurwitz, MD

Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut

 

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition that causes infertility by preventing women from ovulating. It is a common condition, affecting 5- 10% of women of reproductive age.  In terms of conceiving a baby, the hormonal imbalances created by PCOS prevent the ovary from ovulating and releasing an egg to meet with the sperm.

 

The goal of fertility therapy for patients with PCOS is to restore hormonal balance and induce ovulation.  This is achieved by treatment with stimulatory medicines that can either be oral pills (such as clomiphene citrate or letrozole), or injectable medicines, termed gonadotropins.  Some patients with PCOS need more advanced fertility treatments, such as IVF, if their ovaries are either resistant to initial treatment or respond too well to treatment.

 

Many women with PCOS have ovaries that are producing excess hormones, specifically the male hormone testosterone.  In addition, they can have a decreased sensitivity to insulin for which their bodies compensate by over-producing insulin. The overactive ovaries and high levels of insulin may contribute to the development of hirsuitism (excessive body hair) and worsen the already present ovulation disorder.  There is evidence that excess insulin plays a role in the development of PCOS, it is therefore hypothesized that reducing the circulating levels of insulin may help restore normal reproductive function. This may be accomplished by weight loss, improved nutrition, and exercise. These lifestyle changes should be the first line of therapy for any woman with PCOS.

 

Additionally, there is some evidence that insulin sensitizing agents can aid in both the medical and fertility therapy of PCOS.  The best studied insulin sensitizing agent available in the United States for women with PCOS is metformin (Glucophage®). Metformin reduces circulating insulin and androgen levels and may restore normal ovulation in select women with PCOS.  The most current scientific evidence shows that metformin alone does not usually restore ovulation, but in some women it may possibly improve the ovarian response to fertility medications. Most patients with PCOS do not need metformin, and the decision to prescribe metformin is made by your physician on a case-by-case basis to ensure personalized treatment plans. 

 

In addition to these infertility and reproductive problems, there are also health issues for patients with PCOS that include: irregular menstrual periods, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and a pre-disposition towards Type 2 diabetes.  Some of these symptoms, if left untreated, can lead to heart disease later in life.

Diagnosing PCOS: Symptoms and Tests

Diagnosing Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome  (PCOS)We can diagnosis women with PCOS by reviewing your symptoms: infertility, irregular menstrual periods (or skipping them entirely), severe and chronic acne and excessive body hair growth.  The symptom that brings most women to see a specialist is irregular menstrual periods.   If you are having fewer than 4-6 menstrual periods per year, you should have the lining of your uterus evaluated for overgrowth, a condition known as endometrial hyperplasia. You should also have a fasting sugar test to make sure you do not have a pre-diabetic condition called Insulin-Resistance that is common in patients with PCOS.  Additionally, cholesterol levels and blood pressure should be checked regularly.  It is also important to maintain a routine of diet and exercise.  Many studies have shown an improvement in every aspect of PCOS with a sustained loss of 5-10% of your body weight, regardless of your starting weight.

 

Treatment of PCOS: Four Main Goals

 

In terms of treatment, there are four main goals. 

 

  1. If you are trying to have a baby, you should see a fertility specialist, called a Reproductive Endocrinologist & Infertility specialist, as soon as possible. 
  2. Maintain the health of your body to prevent heart disease and diabetes. 
  3. The severe acne and excessive hair growth of PCOS can be treated both medically and cosmetically. 
  4. If you are not interested in becoming pregnant, your OBGYN can help regulate your menstrual periods in order to protect the lining of your uterus from overgrowth.  This is usually accomplished through the use of birth control pills for cycle regulation.

 

Helping patients with PCOS achieve their family-building goals is our primary goal here at RMACT, but we never lose sight of the medical issues associated with this common condition.

 

Please visit the following websites for more information:

 

http://www.pcosupport.org/

http://www.asrm.org/Patients/topics/pcos.html

http://www.asrm.org/membersonly/practice/Insulin_sensitizing_agents.pdf

http://www.asrm.org/membersonly/practice/Androgen_Excess.pdf

http://www.atime.org/scripts/main.cgi?action=show_facts

www.healthfinder.gov

 

 

Lisa Schuman Joins Leading Fairfield County Fertility Practice RMACT

  
  
  

RMACT Hires Lisa Schuman, LCSW, as Director of Mental Health Services

integrated fertility wellness at RMACTBelow is our formal press release, detailed with information about RMACT's new hire of Lisa Schuman, LCSW. You've all ready had a peek here of who Lisa Schuman is as she has all ready written a blog that is relevant and timely.

 

I admit to being prejudiced towards Lisa. She is a friend of mine for decades and I have seen her in the worst and the best of situations.


This is the best of situations. I know we’re lucky to have her and that she’s lucky to have us too. I believe we (RMACT) will have a stronger foundation for patient support with Lisa.


Like I said, I’m completely prejudiced. Come meet Lisa in her weekly support group, every Monday from 8-9 or the third party group that she is running once a month. Also, Lisa is a mover and a shaker, I suspect that we will be seeing more possibilities as time goes on. ~ Lisa Rosenthal


Lisa Schuman, LCSW to Counsel Fertility Patients, Expand Mental Health Offerings

 

Lisa Schuman joins RMACTNORWALK, CT – Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) has hired Lisa Schuman, LCSW, to be its Director of Mental Health Services. Schuman will provide patients with support, guidance and education, and as part of the Connecticut fertility practice’s Third Party Reproduction Team, she will screen and counsel egg donors and gestational carriers. She is also responsible for RMACT staff education concerning patients’ emotional needs, stressors, and ways to offer additional support.

 

“Lisa has an impressive reputation in the fertility field for her extensive work with fertility patients and patient advocacy groups,” says Dr. Mark Leondires, Medical Director at RMACT. “Lisa’s past work and her open, gentle approach is a good fit with RMACT and will bring comfort and guidance to our patients.”

 

One of Schuman’s first actions is to start weekly drop-in support groups. The first group will follow morning monitoring on Mondays from 8 – 9 a.m. For fertility patients, morning monitoring can evoke strong emotions, especially if they have received disappointing news, such negative test results. The second weekly drop-in will address the unique needs of recipients of donor eggs and donor sperm every Tuesday from 8 – 9 a.m. These couples can find comfort with other patients going through similar situations, as well as share their questions and emotions. To find details about the days, time and locations of these support groups, go to:

http://www.rmact.com/events/

 

“Fertility treatment can be like running a marathon, and our RMACT Team understands that sometimes patients need emotional support in order to stay in the race.” says Schuman. “When seeing infertility patients – as with all patients – my goal is their goal. Some patients come to me with a finite goal, such as making an important decision about treatment. For others, the goal is ongoing, such as managing stress or addressing conflicts in their relationships.”

 

Beyond her work with patients, Schuman has extensive academic experience. She has received several awards for research projects at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s (ASRM) and the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society’s annual meetings. She has also presented at ASRM symposiums and roundtables. In addition, she is chair of the Oocyte Cryopreseration Task Force for the Mental Health Group for the ASRM.

 

Schuman completed college at Northeastern University and received her MSW at Yeshiva University. Before entering the world of psychotherapy, she worked in advertising and business. After seven years in the business world she decided her calling was in helping people and went back to school to get her graduate degree. She then completed four years of post graduate training in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, studied short term therapy and became a licensed substance abuse counselor as well. Her desire was, and continues to be, to continue to grow and learn with the aim of having added skills to help her patients.

 

 

The Sink or Swim of Infertility - Do the Back Float!

  
  
  

The Sink or Swim of Infertility

fertility treatment choicesThere are a heap of clichés about the ins and outs, ups and downs of trying to conceive, about infertility and fertility treatment. Heap being a good word to use as they pile up.

 

There’s the roller coaster, which fits quite well and has been talked about often. The traumatic ups and downs, even when starting to try to conceive at home. You don’t have to be in fertility treatment for this one. Each month, your hopes rise and you keep your fingers crossed NOT to get your period. Each month, your heart sinks with disappointment when you do start menstruating.

 

One that is not used as often is sink or swim. Maybe because the extremes level out to something different. With a roller coaster, there is always that hope for things to rise again. Sinking, when trying to swim, well, that’s just sinking. Drowning.

 

I like the metaphor for other reasons as well though. On a roller coaster, you hold on for dear life. And that’s pretty much it. You don’t steer, you don’t command it to stop and have that work. You don’t get to decide that some of the curves are too much or that some of the drops are too long. You are simply on it.

 

With sinking or swimming, you have some control. There are actions that can make all the difference.

 

Here are just a few actions that come to mind:

 

1. Paddle slowly

2. Float on your back

3. Do the dead man’s float, coming up for air frequently

4. Leisurely side stroke, one of my mom's favorite

 

Those are only examples if you are actually IN the water. If you're in a boat, that's a whole other matter. It's really a matter of extremes, isn't it?

Fertility Treatment Choices

You can make choices in fertility treatment. The choices may be rather awful. The choices may be really awful. The choices may be simply slowing down or taking a pause. Still, there are choices.

 

I know it doesn’t always feel that way. We all know that feelings aren’t facts though. You can take a minute and regroup. You can pause. You can even float on your back and close your eyes.

 

There’s more than one way to make a decision that is very challenging. Demanding of yourself that you make the decision while on a wild ride may not be the best way to do it.

 

Me? I like to float on my back. Let go of the struggle. For a moment or two.

 

Then decide.

 

 

Follow Lisa on Google+

 

 

September is a Time That We Remember. With Love.

  
  
  

September: A Time to Remember. With Love.

american flags for september 11September is a month that holds a lot of beautiful memories and images. It also holds the promise each year of visual loveliness that can bring me to tears. Of weather that feels so perfect on my skin that I wish it would last forever.

 

September is the month of my sister’s birthday. This is our families' first year without her. I’m not looking forward to that. We will spend it together and I know that we will laugh and cry and remember her. Still, it will be incomplete without her and I feel bereft as it nears.

 

September forever dimmed on the eleventh day in 2001. Our country and our communities first shocked, then saddened. September holds the memory, always, of people who gave their lives and families and communities who lost loved ones. Our hearts continue to go out to those men and women who are lost to violence and hatred. As September approaches each year, the mood sobers and becomes more reflective. We remember. With love.

 

 

Follow Lisa on Google+

 

 

Tags: ,

Posting Comments to PathtoFertility - Continuing the Conversation

  
  
  

Path to Fertility Questions and Comments

woman screaming about path to fertility questionsI have a problem that is driving me to distraction. Without a doubt, it is less of a problem than infertility was and that’s good to remember. That’s actually a yardstick that I use on a consistent basis. Is this as important or have the essential and significant consequences that fertility treatment cycles not working has? No? Ok, good to know and take it down a notch or two. Or eight.

 

Still, I am upset about this problem. I write these blogs, for you. About you. To you. With you in mind. You get the idea. It’s not all about me, at all. It’s actually all about you.

 

And so many of you wonderful readers respond. Often with thoughtful, honest and open hearts. With comments that are helpful and kind and educational even.

 

So here’s my problem, at least for right now. Because we are doing everything behind the scenes to correct this problem.

 

My problem is that I cannot respond on the blog itself to you, as I used to be able to do. In the past, you would write a comment, I would respond to the comment, you would see the comment. Right now, I cannot respond to you via PathtoFertility comments. Did I mention that we are working on this?

 

Here’s why it’s a problem. I love hearing from you. And I believe that it’s very discouraging to not see your comments post or to see them post and not see my response to you. It cuts into and stops the dialogue rather than continuing it.

 

It’s closing the door on a conversation instead of inviting someone into it.

 

Not my style at all.

 

So for the time being, I’ve decided on this. I will post your comments and respond to you all privately. That I can do. I can also post your thoughtful comments into a blog itself, which is also what I will do.

 

I have a great team who is continuing to find a way to have this work more smoothly. I have faith that will happen.

 

And so the conversation continues. I have a question.

 

What closes a conversation for you? What feels like an open door to more interchange?

 

 

Follow Lisa on Google+

 

 

PCOS Women to Women-Free and Open to Public-Tomorrow Night

  
  
  

PCOS Support Event "Women to Women"

In the nearly five years that I have been writing and publishing the PathtoFertility blog, I have rarely (once or twice) ever repeated a blog in it's original form. Today is an exception. Tomorrow night's event on PCOS is so important and so potentially life changing that I am doing it. I'm reposting. If you have PCOS or suspect that you might, RSVP and join this group.

 

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of infertility. It is also one of the most common, if not the most common, endocrine disorders for women. Given that it is so common and that some of the symptoms can be so very challenging to manage, why manage it alone? PCOS can cause symptoms that are embarassing, discouraging and health threatening. There are scientific, data and research driven ways for you to combat these symptoms successfully.


Our PCOS Women to Women Night is a great place to start. Find out what you can do to be proactive with your health and emotional well being. This evening is free and open to the public, but we do need you to RSVP. 


Do this for yourself. You deserve the help and support. ~ Lisa Rosenthal

PCOS Women to Women Night

An Interactive Group for Women with PCOS

 

PCOS Support RibbonYou are invited to chat, make new friends, get support, & Learn more about PCOS.  There will be a brief presentation followed by a light dinner and social time to connect with others with PCOS.

 

Topic: Stress and PCOS

  • How stress can affect PCOS
  • Share ways that you might self nurture and exhibit self compassion
  • Learn how practicing a mindful lifestyle can improve your quality of life

 

Where:

RMA CT Norwalk

10 Glover Avenue

Norwalk, CT 06850

 

When:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

6:00pm-7:30pm

 

This group is free and open to the public.  A light dinner will be served.

 

RMACT presenters are:

Carolyn Gundell, MS, Nutritionist and Melissa Kelleher, LCSW, Mind Body Specialist


RSVP required: Please contact Carlene at 203-750-7491 or cstahlnecker@rmact.com


 

Follow Lisa on Google+

 

 

Medical Monday - ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Go RMACT!

  
  
  

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - Medical Monday News

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge   RMACT 1 resized 600I know I’ve raved about Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) before, and with good reason. They’re a group of fabulous fertility doctors, with amazing clinical medical staff and a passionate, compassionate, dedicated rest of the team. I could brag on them forever. And I love them.

 

But. Today is Medical Monday. So for today, I focus on the medical issues around infertility.

 

Except. Sometimes things are too good to pass up.

 

So for today, here’s RMACT’s taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and passing it on. Challenged by RMA of NJ, RMACT accepted the nomination for the ALS #icebucketchallenge and nominates Coastal OB/GYN and RMA Michigan. The only sad piece is that we weren’t all in one place and so only some of the staff was able to participate.

 

Come on. Best Medical Monday ever, watching our RMACT team get dunked, don’t you think?

 

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge   RMACT

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Lisa on Google+

 

 

Fertility Treats for Fabulous Friday-Not Alcoholic, Caloric or Caffeinated

  
  
  

Fertility Treats for Fabulous Friday

fertility treats 1Fabulous Friday. That’s what I’ve decided today is. Fabulous.

 

I’ve still got to work. And I love what work is for me. Still, it’s not all fun and games and it’s certainly not free, “Lisa” time.

 

BUT, I am making a decision. Today is Fabulous Friday. Not just get it over with Friday to get to the weekend. Enjoy all the big pieces and all the subtle nuances Friday.

 

What didn’t I notice in fertility treatment? With my head down, focusing on what was right in front of me about my diagnosis, prognosis, each shot and every procedure?

 

I didn’t notice all the loveliness in the world.

 

If you’ve read this blog before, I hope you all ready know that I am not shaming you for what is escaping your attention. That I’m not suggesting that you “pick your head up and enjoy the moments of your life”.  We both know if you could do that, you would. We both know that you are doing the very best you can possibly do.

 

And that is very, very good. Yes, even if it means that you had a cup of coffee. A real cup of coffee. With caffeine in it. Gasp! Or a cookie. A genuine, full of sugar and fat and CALORIES cookie. Catch me, I’m swooning. Maybe you even had a glass of wine in the last month. Alcohol. Calories. Sugar. Oh my.

 

Yes, even if you have indulged in any of those things or others I’ve not mentioned, we know that you are doing your very best. We know that infertility, fertility treatment and waiting for results are a stress and strain that almost feels unbearable. And if you have “treated” yourself to something that someone, even one of us here at RMACT, has told you not to, that you are still doing your best.

 

After all, what’s the point of a treat if the end result is guilt and shame?

 

If you’ve had your treat, let go of the aftereffects of shame and guilt. Know that you are doing your very best. And know also that your very best is very good indeed.

 

fertility treats 2

So, no, I’m not shaming you about what you have or have not noticed recently. Any more than I am shaming you about a treat or two that you might have had that maybe is outside of the usual things that you ingest or partake in.

 

I’m here to offer you a few things to feast your eyes on that are not alcoholic, caloric, caffeinated. In other words, shame and guilt free.

 

A treat that you can sink your teeth into, so to speak.

 

Enjoy.

 

Fabulous Friday. Yes it is.

 

Follow Lisa on Google+

 

 

fertility treats 3 fertility treats 4 fertility treats 5

PCOS Women to Women-Free Support and Help You Deserve-Open to Public

  
  
  

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Support Group

integrated fertility wellness at RMACTPolycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of infertility. It is also one of the most common, if not the most common, endocrine disorders for women. Given that it is so common and that some of the symptoms can be so very challenging to manage, why manage it alone? PCOS can cause symptoms that are embarassing, discouraging and health threatening. There are scientific, data and research driven ways for you to combat these symptoms successfully.


Our PCOS Women to Women Night is a great place to start. Find out what you can do to be proactive with your health and emotional well being. This evening is free and open to the public, but we do need you to RSVP. 


Do this for yourself. You deserve the help and support. ~ Lisa Rosenthal

PCOS Women to Women Night

An Interactive Group for Women with PCOS

 

PCOS Support RibbonYou are invited to chat, make new friends, get support, & Learn more about PCOS.  There will be a brief presentation followed by a light dinner and social time to connect with others with PCOS.

 

Topic: Stress and PCOS

  • How stress can affect PCOS
  • Share ways that you might self nurture and exhibit self compassion
  • Learn how practicing a mindful lifestyle can improve your quality of life

 

Where:

RMA CT Norwalk

10 Glover Avenue

Norwalk, CT 06850

 

When:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

6:00pm-7:30pm

 

This group is free and open to the public.  A light dinner will be served.

 

RMACT presenters are:

Carolyn Gundell, MS, Nutritionist and Melissa Kelleher, LCSW, Mind Body Specialist


RSVP required: Please contact Carlene at 203-750-7491 or cstahlnecker@rmact.com


 

Follow Lisa on Google+

 

 

All Posts