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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

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Fertility Counselor Talks With RMACT Couples - April 11

  
  
  

Fertility Counselor Hosts Couples Evening on April 11

Mars and Venus on the Fertility Journey 

By Lisa Tuttle

 

CT Fertility Counselor, Dr. Lisa Tuttle

Last night I ran into a couple that I worked with over 7 years ago, when they were patients at RMACT. After exchanging hugs and updates about the present ages and activities of the couple's “miracle babies”, they explained that they were heading out for a “date night”, and they walked away looking as happy as newlyweds.


How thrilling it was to see how far this couple had come from the first time I met them! Part of what I remember most about working with them is that this couple had clearly loved one another so much, and still they had struggled in their efforts to understand and support one another through their fertility journey. It was so sad for them that they were not “on the same page” during that very difficult time; not able to comfort each other as easily as they wanted to, and not coping in the same ways. They participated in the first couple’s workshop that I ever offered at RMACT, and last night they reminded me of how helpful and reassuring that workshop had been for them. How it had allowed them to complete their family-building journey feeling much more connected and comforted by one another.

 

Infertility Affects Men and Women Differently

One of the sad truths about infertility is that it affects men and women quite differently. At exactly the time that couples could REALLY use each other’s support and understanding the most for infertility, they may find that they are not “getting” each other. I have run support groups for women and support groups for men, and I can tell you that the conversation and concerns of the two groups are quite different! Both groups are experiencing real distress, but the sources of their distress are not the same. For example, women who are struggling to get pregnant are more likely to be preoccupied with the demands of their fertility treatment, the difficulty of being surrounded by fertile friends and co-workers, and fear that treatment will never work. They are more likely to be depressed and anxious. On the other hand, men in this situation tend to be more optimistic that treatment will work, hence they are less anxious and depressed. They tend to be primarily worried about their wives, feeling helpless to make her feel better, feeling guilty for the treatments that she has to endure, and they lament how their lives have been derailed by the process. They often don’t feel the social strain and jealousy of infertility because “pregnancy” and “babies” do not dominate male conversations in the same way that they do for women, so they may not feel the same need to withdraw socially as their wives feel.


To make matters worse, the ways that men and women cope with the stress can be completely opposite…. What is helpful for one partner might actually be hurtful to the other. For example, a wife might find relief in talking about her infertility and the related emotional pain at great length, whereas a husband might find that these conversations only make him feel worse. So no matter how much the husband and wives love each other, and no matter how much they want to “be there” for their spouse, they may find it nearly impossible to get it right.


At these times, it is really helpful for couples to be CLEAR about why this disconnect happens, and how normal it is. It is helpful for men to hear that their wives reactions are “normal”, and for the women to hear that their husbands’ ways of coping are “normal”… so that both sides can be more accepting, and ultimately be more empathetic. It helps couples to feel less upset about the “disconnect”, and to know that it’s not a sign of a bigger problem in their marriage. It helps for men and women to understand why the opposite sex is acting and feeling the way they are, rather than trying to decide which of them is “right”.

 

A Fertility Seminar for Couples


I’m excited to be offering another couples workshop at RMACT on April 11th, as part of our “A Fertility Seminar for Couples” evening. The fertility journey can be so difficult, but a little understanding can go a long way toward helping couples feel more connected as they travel the road to parenthood… together.

 

 

 

Top Infertility Program- A Therapist Can Make All the Difference

  
  
  

Top Infertility Practice- Therapists help make fertility treatment easier to manage

At Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT), we know how important it is to treat a person as just that, a whole person. Not as a walking infertility problem.

 

We have two therapists who work with RMACT to compassionately support and guide our patients. Below are frequently asked questions that they have answered. If you have more, please post at the end of the blog. Questions and comments will come directly to me. I will forward them to either Jane or Lisa if you would like. RMACT Infertility Therapists- Dr. Lisa Tuttle and Jane Elisofon MSC, LCSW


1.    What kind of therapist are you? 

 

Jane Elisofon is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with a four year post Masters certificate in psychotherapy and Lisa Tuttle has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Both Jane and Lisa specialize in fertility counseling and are part of the Integrated Fertility and Wellness Program at RMA.   (To learn more about us, click here to read our professional biographies)



2.    What services do you offer for fertility patients?

 

We individualize the counseling depending on what each patient is struggling with and looking to accomplish. We try to understand our patient’s feelings and help them learn ways to manage these emotions more effectively so that they do not feel overwhelmed, unfocused, and upset with themselves. Our non-judgmental responses and our validation that their feelings are ‘normal’ in the context of their situation, can be a relief to them.  Sometimes suggesting a different way to view a situation brings clarity and the awareness of better choices.



During the initial session, we will work with the patient to determine what their needs and wishes are, and develop a treatment plan based on this information.  The frequency of patient sessions and whether the sessions are individual or include their partner are part of this treatment plan.  Many patients find themselves grappling with ‘next step’ decisions, such as considering IVF or egg donation, and often a couple find themselves not on the same page about what they want.  Many patients are experiencing deep feelings of loss due to a miscarriage or due to being informed that they cannot conceive without an egg or sperm donor.  Although these emotional reactions are normal, professional help can assist you in grieving and moving beyond your loss. Our counselors can provide you with ways of thinking about your decision so that as a result you have made the best individualized decision for yourself and your partner. Some patients may want to focus on learning stress reduction and relaxation techniques.  We are flexible to accommodate their wishes and their financial realities.



3.    Does insurance cover my seeing you?

 

Both Jane and Lisa are not “in network” for insurance, however, we have all of the credentials necessary for you to receive ‘out of network’ insurance coverage.  Patients are asked to pay us at the time of our visit and we give them a receipt that they can submit to their insurance company for some reimbursement. Since both Jane and Lisa lead or co-lead educational support groups, patients may choose this help modality as it is free to RMA patients.



4. I’ve always been able to handle my own problems before, why should I come see you with this one? 

 

There are very many high-functioning people who find themselves really struggling when they are faced with the stress of infertility.  It is a profound life crisis. Often this life crisis brings to the surface past losses
and painful experiences. Thus the emotions can be overwhelming and confusing.
Some couples feel "stuck" in their attempt to make an important decision in this
process. To make matters worse, they may feel as if they are at opposing
viewpoints and can see no point of resolution. We are experienced in the
particular issues of infertility patients, and aware of the medical aspects as well.
Our ability to introduce you to new ways to discuss these issues  can make us particularly helpful to you. Our goal is to assist you in the exploration of your particular issues in ways that can benefit you long after you have completed this fertility process.



5. I don’t want anyone to know that I’m coming to see you. Will this be confidential? Even from the doctors or my partner?

 

The sessions with our counselors are confidential.  Certainly patients can, and often do, choose to have some information from their counseling sessions shared with the RMA medical team, when it can be helpful to their treatment. .  
    

Patients who are planning to use donor egg, donor sperm or gestational surrogacy will be required to meet with Jane or Lisa for a “recipient consultation”.  In this circumstance, the counselor must submit a brief report to the doctors summarizing the discussion of the questions asked in all of the donor recipient consultations.  The doctors only need to know that you have thought through the issues pertinent to donor recipients so that the RMA staff knows that you will not be faced with unexpected issues after your child is born.
   

The entire RMA staff is aware that a patient’s trust in us is a necessity and protecting your confidentiality is an important part of this trust.



5.    I know I shouldn’t be feeling a lot of the feelings that I am feeling. Isn’t there a way to handle this without coming to see you? 

 

Don’t assume that you “shouldn’t be feeling what you are feeling”.  There is a wide range of “normal” feelings for fertility patients to experience that includes grief, anxiety, depression, anger, jealousy, hopelessness, and so much more.  Feelings are not “good” or “bad”; they are just feelings and cannot hurt anyone.  We can help you learn to understand, accept and cope with these emotions in ways that will result in your having compassion for yourself and feeling better about yourself.



6.    Will I need medication and if so, can you prescribe them? 

 

Some patients might benefit from medication for depression or anxiety, and this will be something that we help you to evaluate. Of course, the decision is yours.  If you decide that medication would be helpful, we will refer you to a psychiatrist that can prescribe the appropriate medication that is also safe for a woman who is trying to become pregnant.



7.    The idea of counseling is scary to me.  How do I know that it will help, not hurt?



Many people are uneasy about getting counseling because it is unknown and unfamiliar.    A skillful counselor is able to make certain that patients are benefitted by the time they spend in counseling, and that no harm is done. There are many ways in which we can help reduce your distress: help you put your feelings into words, which can bring relief and comfort; explore new ways of viewing an issue so as to open up new options when you have felt stuck with no options that felt right for you; or, teach you stress reduction techniques that you can use at particularly stressful times or to help you cope more easily with your daily routine and sleep.



9.  How do I know if I should see a mental health professional?


Certainly if you are having trouble sleeping, eating, or concentrating, these are signs of distress. If you are arguing a great deal with your partner or other people, you are probably overwhelmed and unclear about what you are feeling.  You may be simply feeling sad, alone, angry and hopeless, or feeling intense anxiety or stress and would like some relief.  Or perhaps you are unable to make a decision about what to do next… another medical treatment, adoption, egg or sperm donation, or childfree living?  In all of these cases, it is very likely that counseling would be helpful.



More questions? Ask us here, we will get you an answer. We're here to help.

Leading Infertility Program in CT- Offers Patients Support, Education and More

  
  
  

Leading Infertility Program in CT- Offers Patients Education, Support and More

There's barely enough room to list all the goings on at RMACT for August. The response, your response, patients and none patients, has been so positive that we are offering even more.

Read below for what we are offering in August to support people who are experiencing infertility or endocrine disorders.

Some of the seminars are for active patients in the RMACT practice, but most are open to the general public.

RMACTPre-Conception Health & Nutrition Matters
Fertility Seminar Series

RMA of CT is providing interactive educational seminars as part of our comprehensive approach to fertility treatment.  Led by Monica Moore, MSN, RNC  and Carolyn Gundell, MS Nutritionist, this series provides essential health, medical and nutrition information to our patients to increase fertility , optimize maternal health and lay the foundation for a safe and uncomplicated pregnancy and of course, a healthy baby.  All seminars are held at our Norwalk office and require a reservation.  Each topic meets just once.  Seminars are covered by insurance, but please bring co-payment in the form of cash, check or credit card. Active patients of RMACT only.

RMACTPre-Conception Wellness Matters
Health and lifestyle changes made prior to pregnancy help to increase fertility, reduce complications in pregnancy and delivery, and help to improve the health of the baby.   Participants will learn how to optimize their health prior to conception through prevention and management of medical, behavioral, and social risks to a woman’s health and pregnancy outcome.  Prenatal nutrition, environmental concerns, and the health of both partners will be discussed.Active patients of RMACT only.
Saturday, August 6th 8:15am – 10:00am

RMACT

 PCOS & YOU:  Teens to 20’s

An Interactive Group for Young Women with PCOS
Monday Evening July 11th 6:00-7:30 pm

Monday Evening August 8th 6:00-7:30 pm
Location: 898 Ethan Allen Highway

Suite 5   Second floor

Ridgefield, CT (near Danbury line Rte 7/35)

Topic: PCOS – Diagnosis & Beyond

o Did you feel disbelief and confusion when you were diagnosed with PCOS?

o Do you feel that PCOS and stress have taken over your daily life?

o Are you struggling to look good and feel happy?

o Would you like to learn more about PCOS meal planning and exercise?

This peer group will be facilitated by Jane Elisofon, M.S.W. Clinical Social Worker & Carolyn Gundell, RMA Nutritionist
RSVP at the Front Desk or with Justine or Melissa 203-750-7484

http://tbs-demo.com/rmact

Free Admission
Healthy light refreshments included

RMACTI am Pregnant, Now What?
This seminar will discuss the key components of a health-promoting lifestyle during pregnancy–including appropriate maternal weight gain, physical activity, essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, environmental toxins and risks, and food safety.   A few common concerns and frequently asked questions in pregnancy will be identified along with ideas on how to manage or minimize them with diet and lifestyle–from morning sickness, constipation, anemia and maternal weight, to gestational diabetes and hypertension.  Both partners are welcome to attend. Active patients of RMACT only.

Wednesday, August 10th 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Please call Justine at 203-750-7484 or Soochi at 203-750-7425 to make your seminar reservation.

RMACT

Starting a Family as a Lesbian Couple

Wednesday, August 10th, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
10 Glover Ave, Norwalk, CT

Please join us for a social and information gathering for same sex couples using donor sperm.

This is a chance to meet other couples who are building their families through sperm donation, and to discuss the issues that are unique to same sex couples in their family-building efforts.

This group is free of charge.  It is facilitated by Lisa Tuttle, PhD, clinical psychologist.  If you have any questions, please call Lisa at (203) 852-9099.

Light refreshments will be served.

RSVP to Cori at (203) 750-7492

RMACT

Starting a Family as a Single Woman

Thursday, August 18th, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
10 Glover Ave, Norwalk, CT

Please join us for a discussion group and social gathering for Single Women pursuing parenthood…or seriously thinking about it!

This is a chance to meet other women to talk about the decisions, anxieties, excitement and opportunities that you will face along the way to becoming a mother.

Possible topics may include:
•    choosing a sperm donor
•    talking to friends, family, and co-workers
•    creating a strong support system
•    what do I tell my child?
•    the stress of fertility treatment

This group is free of charge.  It is facilitated by Lisa Tuttle, PhD, clinical psychologist.  If you have any questions, please call Lisa at (203) 852-9099.

Light refreshments will be served.
RSVP to Cori at (203) 750-7492

RMACTRMA’S Norwalk  and Danbury Offices

Ladies Night in Summer Series

Come and meet the 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 that will be by your side throughout your family-building journey.

General Peer Support Group w/ Lisa & Carrie
Thursday, August 18th @6pm- Norwalk

Thursday, August 25 @6pm- Danbury

This group is free of charge and dinner is included.

It is facilitated by Lisa Rosenthal & Carrie Van Steen. Carrie and Lisa are both former fertility patients and offer the support and suggestions many of our patients are looking for and really need.

If you have any questions, call Carrie at 731.2520 ext 289. Or email her at cvansteen@rmact.com
RMACT


Fertile Yoga is Ongoing- Please check events calender for dates

Yoga, meditation and deep relaxation can help men and women experiencing the challenges of infertility. Yoga can help couples relax, and relaxation can help one make more satisfying decisions, communicate more clearly with their doctor, and sustain treatment with a more positive perspective.

 

We will be offering free yoga classes to our patients. The classes will be on-going and you may come every week or once in a while, whichever suits you. Come alone or bring your spouse, partner, friend of family member. In Norwalk, we will spend the first half hour as an informal peer support group, chatting and keeping in touch with one another.

 

Please wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing. Bring a yoga mat (bought easily and inexpensively almost anywhere including TJMaxx, Target, Walmart, etc.), a bottle of water and two pillows that can easily have the pillow cases changed. . Class is at 9:30 am so please, no food after 8:00.

 

Classes in Norwalk will begin at 10:00. From 9:30-10:00, we will have a peer support group meeting where there will be a chance to share experiences, lend support and find comfort from those experiencing similar feelings around the challenges of infertility. You are always welcome to join us at 9:30 or at 10:00.

 

Classes will be led by Lisa Rosenthal RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher). Lisa is a former fertility patient, who also worked for over 17 years as a national patient advocate for couples going through infertility. Lisa trained with Lotus Garden for her 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher, through Yoga Alliance. Lisa is uniquely qualified to understand the specific stresses and challenges that couples trying to conceive encounter. The class will be designed for women and men with all different diagnoses, being mindful that stress reduction is a major component to these classes.

Classes are Free

RMACT

Top Infertility Program Offers Emotional Support With Groups for Women

  
  
  

Infertility Blog- What's going on at Reproductive Medicine Associates of CT- Support groups

It's summer time and we've got a lot going on at Reproductive Medicine Associates of CT (RMACT). Fertility Specialists- RMACT - Dr's Joshua Hurwitz, Spencer Richlin, Mark Leondires (Medical Director) and Cynthia Murdock

 

It starts with a wonderful, compassionate group of board certified reproductive endocrinologists (fertility doctors) and continues from there.

 

These are the things that we have going on in the next several weeks at RMACT. Support for women.

 

Support for women deciding or considering if it's time to have a child, with or without a partner.Led by Dr. Lisa Tuttle, a mental health professional experienced with all aspects of infertility. She's excited to have a group of women who are truly connecting! Come join them.

 

Peer Support Groups or as we call them, Ladies Night In! Carrie Van Steen and I lead them, next week, in both Norwalk and Danbury. Come eat, chat, laugh and share with us. Find some relief!

 

Read on for the details about those events. And there is Fertile Yoga, meeting on Saturdays in Norwalk and Brookfield. See below for details about that as well.

 

Starting a Family as a Single Woman

 

Thursday, July 21st, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

10 Glover Ave, Norwalk, CT

 

Please join us for a discussion group and social gathering for Single Women pursuing parenthood…or seriously thinking about it!  This is a chance to meet other women to talk about the decisions, anxieties, excitement and opportunities that you will face along the way to becoming a mother.

Possible topics may include:

• choosing a sperm donor

• deciding to adopt

• talking to friends, family, and co-workers

• creating a strong support system

• what do I tell my child?

This group is free of charge.

It is facilitated by Lisa Tuttle, PhD, clinical psychologist.

If you have any questions, please call Lisa at (203) 852-9099.

Light refreshments will be served.

 

RSVP to Cori at (203) 750-7492

 

RMACT Danbury and Norwalk Offices

Ladies Night in Summer Series

Come and meet the 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 that will be by your side throughout your family-building journey.

Wednesday, July 27th @ 6pm- Danbury

Thursday, July 28th @ 6pm- Norwalk

General Peer Support Group w/ Lisa & Carrie
Thursday, August 28th  @ 6pm

General Peer Support Group w/ Lisa & Carrie

This group is free of charge.

It is facilitated by Lisa Rosenthal & Carrie Van Steen. Carrie and Lisa are both former fertility patients and offer the support and suggestions many of our patients are looking for and really need.

If you have any questions, call Carrie at 731.2520 ext 289. Or email her at cvansteen@rmact.com
Dinner is provided!

 

Fertile Yoga in Norwalk and Brookfield

 

Peer support group from 9:30-10:00 in Norwalk, followed by gentle, restorative Fertile Yoga.  Wonderful for calming some of the turmoil and upset that infertility often brings.

 

5:15-6:30 in Brookfield (777 Federal Road, YogaSpace).

 

Not every fertility specialist is a board certified reproductive endocrinologist. Not every fertility program offers these types of groups either. Come and find what others have found. A group of people who understand.

 

You are not alone.

 

If you feel like you are, come join us, we'd love to have you.



 

Starting a Family As a Lesbian Couple? RMACT Group Tonight!

  
  
  

Starting a Family as a Lesbian Couple at Reproductive Medicine Associates of CT

 

Starting a Family as a Lesbian Couple Lesbian Couples Starting a Family- Reproductive Medicine Associate of CT

 

Wednesday, June 15th, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

10 Glover Ave, Norwalk, CT

 

Please join us for a social and information gathering for same sex couples using donor sperm.

 

 

This is a chance to meet other couples who are building their families through sperm donation, and to discuss the issues that are unique to same sex couples in their family-building efforts. 

 

This group is free of charge.  It is facilitated by Lisa Tuttle, PhD, clinical psychologist.  If you have any questions, please call Lisa at (203) 852-9099. 

 

Light refreshments will be served.

 

RSVP to Cori at (203) 750-7492

 

Integrated Fertility and Wellness Program- What Makes a Fertility Clinic Great

  
  
  

Wednesday textYesterday I was interviewed, along with a beautiful pregnant woman and Dr. Mark Leondires, by Channel 3.

 

The interview was about Fertile Yoga. One of the points that I wanted to make was that Fertile Yoga is part of a bigger plan at RMACT.

 

Here's why.

 

Three and a half years ago, we had several components of a integrated fertility wellness program. Acupuncture was well established as well as a thriving mental health program within the practice.

 

The belief that our patients need to be treated as people, not infertility diagnoses is strongly rooted with every one of our board certified reproductive endocrinologists. This is a philosophy that everyone in our practice supports.

 

And so we went farther at RMACT. For the last three years, Fertile Yoga has been financially supported by RMACT. I created the program after having been a patient for six and a half years, a patient advocate and educator for almost twenty years and a certified yoga teacher of three years.

 

Fertile Yoga is free of charge to all students, open to everyone.

 

RMACT believes strongly that the relaxation and stress reduction that Fertile Yoga brings is both helpful to the patient's quality of life as they go through treatment as well as enhancing the possibility of conception.

 

Almost two years ago, a nutritionist was brought to our program, part time. This past January, Carolyn Gundell, MS, joined us full time. Her experience with PCOS patients in the last decade (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) had, over the past two years brought dramatic changes for many of our patients. This little understood and often misunderstood endocrine disorder can severely hamper one's ability to become pregnant. Carolyn's expertise, as well as her consulting with our physicians, have helped our patients immeasurably.

 

Several years ago, there was a large scale study done with RMANJ (Reproductive Medicine Associates of NJ) on the advantages and effects of Laser Acupuncture. Today, our acupuncturists, Amy Matton and Jing Zhang have an onsite space where acupuncture can be done, either traditionally or with laser, right before retreivals and transfers.

 

Our mental health professionals include Dr. Lisa Tuttle and Jane Elisofon, MSW, LCSW. They both see patients individually, as well as couples, counseling donors, run support groups and more! Lisa and Jane are resopnsive and sympathetic to patients emotional needs in ways that only therapists so immersed in infertility and treatment can be. Our patients, and our practice, are lucky to have them.

 

So while I was being interviewed about Fertile Yoga, these other wonderful professionals kept me company in my brain and heart. 

 

Our Integrated Fertility and Wellness Program is one that we have created thoughtfully. That we have built, one piece at a time. A program that our patients benefit from, that we all benefit from.

 

Who knows what's next?

Fertility Treatment Doesn't Last Forever

  
  
  

Friday text
I was trying to conceive for six and a half years. Maybe it's silly of me to continue to mention the "half" year. For those of you who are trying to conceive, you probably don't think it's so silly.

 

It was six months of hoping, thinking it possible and then having those hopes go up in smoke with another negative pregnancy test.

 

Six months is a long time when you're trying to conceive. Maybe not the first six months when you're just hopeful and assuming it will happen this month, or next month. If those six months are in the middle of fertility treatment, then it can be six months of many doctors appointments, blood draws, ultrasounds, rounds of medication, missed work time, missed vacations and other peoples baby showers.

 

If six months is a long time, then absoloutely, six and a half years is a very long time. So, yes, I still say six and a half years, not just six.

 

Here's a possible positive spin on the ticking of a woman's biological clock though. You can't be in fertility treatment forever. Whether it's your age, your financial resources, your emotional resources, there is a time when it becomes more and more clear that you need to stop. Sometimes it feels like the clearing of the clouds, sometimes it feels like the clouds turn into thunderstorms.

 

When leaving treatment is done without a pregnancy or child, it is painful, difficult and often done with resentment and regret. At least at first. Some of us think we can do this forever and we'll stay in it until we have that pregnancy or child. Other's realize full well that their personal psyches will have them finish earlier than that, even if it means no child.

 

We'll talk about resentment and regret next week. Today is all about not being able to be in fertility treatment forever.

 

That's the silver lining, I think. That there's a limited time for treatment, no matter how long you are in it. You cannot be in treatment for 30 years. You simply can't. Ok, maybe you can, but in the 22 years, I've been involved with infertility, I have not met someone who has stayed in treatment for that amount of time. Not even nearly that amount of time.

 

At a certain point, we will exercise options we had not considered before, be that donor egg, donor sperm, gestational surrogacy, adoption, childfree living, or fostering a child.

 

At a certain point, we will move out of active fertility treatment and onto a different option.

 

You may not believe that you will do that unless you are pregnant or have a child.

 

The other incredibly great news? With the pregnancy rates that we have? Chances are, you will leave either pregnant or with your second (third, fourth, etc.) child.

 

If not, we are still here for you. Helping you move on without regrets, knowing that you have done, that we have done, what we can to help you achieve your dream of having your family.

 

We know that even with our fabulous pregnancy rates, not everyone gets pregnant or has a child. We're here to help you with that as well, if it means seeing one of our therapists, Dr. Lisa Tuttle or Jane Elisofon MSW,LCSW, if it means attending a support group. If it means just a lot of loving care, here, on the blog.

 

We're here for you.

Fertility Treatment and Sex On Demand-Not Always Possible

  
  
  

Monday text
What to blog about first. Some weeks, some days, I can’t think of a single thing to write about. That’s a little scary. Other days, I have 49 million ideas floating around in my head and it’s all I can do to stay focused on one idea about infertility and life.

 

Here’s a head’s up for this week, as long as we’re on the subject of topics. Sex. Sexuality. Dualism. Birth control. Spring (you know how much I love the weather), events coming up at Reproductive Medicine Associates of CT, pre-natal vitamins. Those days with 49 million ideas can be a little scary too.

 

Today, I’m going with sex. And it wasn’t really my idea. Not exactly, anyway. I did bring it up in the blog last week and then the conversation continued this week end in the peer support group. Interesting twist, perhaps predictable for infertility challenges, sex on demand.

 

There are times, while in fertility treatment, that you are asked to abstain from sex. Seems a little ironic. Want a baby? Don’t have sex. Ok, but it you’re in treatment, you know that things are timed very carefully, very methodically. Now, if you are laughing, don’t worry, I am too.

 

Yes, everything’s timed very carefully. And then your blood levels go up, go down, follicles appear, get larger, more of them, some blood levels go down, test results come back differently then expected and so on and so forth. The best laid plans of mice and men. Everything’s timed perfectly, except that each of us unique beings react differently to medication and stimulation, as well as having our own private rhythm. It is amazing how the body, mind and heart can override even the most powerful medications. So just when you think you have it all figured out, what to tell your co-workers about absences, planning your time off, it all changes.

 

How does this relate to sex? Don’t have sex. Do have sex. Don’t have sex now. Do have sex now. Plan having sex around work, travel, meals, etc. Turns out that this is not the most sexy, romantic, heart throbbing way to have sex.

 

I don’t say enough about men in this blog. One, I’m not a man. Two, I’m married to a man who doesn’t say a lot, doesn’t complain a lot and is very cooperative. (Most of the time.) But how about if your partner or husband isn’t like that? What if he would prefer that his sexual relationship with his partner not be dictated by someone else?

 

What about the pressure to have sex when the last thing that you’re in the mood for is sex? Again, not a man, but this pressure makes me, a woman, wince. How about a note of sympathy for the guys who manage the erection under pressure? How about a round of applause for all of us who manage to have sex and even enjoy it, even when spontaneity and desire are not even remotely involved?

 

It didn’t occur to me just how much men might not only resent being told when, but also might not be able to. Is there anyone out there, man or woman, who can’t get what a blow to the ego that might be? Even more than a blog to the ego, the sense of self and manhood that already probably feels under attack, has got to take a huge hit if, when under pressure, getting and maintaining an erection is impossible.

 

Sex on demand. Infertility and fertility treatment being it’s most invasive.

 

As usual, I have no answers. There are many simple answers that I can give you. This is not a simple problem and probably requires the two individuals in the situation working it out together.

 

I will tell you that my solution was to go to a therapist. My husband and I went for two years while we were in fertility treatment and I am quite sure that it not only saved my marriage, but quite possibly his life!

 

It’s not necessary to wait until you are on the verge of divorce or murder to seek help. Our two mental health professionals provide just the type of support that can help this type of situation, as well as address the other stresses that infertility challenges bring. Dr. Lisa Tuttle and Jane Elisofon LCSW, both have the experience and compassion to help. You do not have to do this alone.

 

Thanks for reading today. Comments? Suggestions?

 

 

Fertility Specialists Need to Know Accurate History- So Do Our Partners

  
  
  

Friday text
I saw an interesting article about what you need to tell your obstetrician if you are trying to become pregnant.  I think I’m way too old to be as naïve as I am. I assumed that you tell your doctor everything. Then I started thinking. If I had a sexual history that I was ashamed of or embarrassed by, perhaps I wouldn’t tell my doctor. Or at the very least, I wouldn’t want to tell them.

 

Then there’s the issue of having a consultation with a fertility doctor, often sitting there with your husband or partner. Have you shared your past with him? What kind of things would you prefer not to share? Possibly a sexually transmitted disease in your past? Possibly an abortion? Possibly the age at which you first had sexual intercourse?  

 

I do think that if there are things that your partner or spouse doesn’t know, revealing those things in a fertility consultation with a doctor present doesn’t seem quite fair. Maybe those things are better discussed first, knowing that being truthful will be necessary for you to get the best fertility treatment possible. You put your fertility team at a disadvantage if they don’t have all the information they need to create a treatment plan.

 

Being truthful with your partner at a time when you are both feeling apprehensive about going to see a fertility specialist may feel especially hard. It may make you feel even more vulnerable than you already do. You have my sympathy. Doing something hard is simply that, hard. Obviously, the fear of your partner’s reaction is at least part of your reasons of not sharing your history before this. This may be the time to seek out professional help, have a safe place to share things that you are not comfortable sharing.

 

We are very lucky to have Lisa Tuttle, PhD and Jane Elisofon, MSW LCSW, available to see patients and prospective patients. If you are struggling with your medical, sexual or emotional history, consider making an appointment with them and let them help you find a way to say what you need to say. We all need help at some point or another. If this is a time that you need help, then let either Lisa or Jane help you, it will be a decision that you will feel grateful about over and over again.

 

You don’t have to do any of this alone. That is really the point. This is not a journey you need to take alone. We are here to help.

Pregnancy After Infertility- How to Move On

  
  
  

Tuesday text
We’ve been talking about getting pregnant at RMACT (Reproductive Medicine Associates of CT) a lot lately.When you are with a top fertility program it happens. Patients get pregnant.Pregnant belly You stay with us for a while but sooner than later, you transfer back to your OB/Gyn (Obstetrician/Gynecologist). Sometimes the transition is smooth as silk. Sometimes it is not.

 

When you are used to seeing your doctors or fertility team 2 or 3 times a week and you then go to seeing your OB/Gyn once a month, it can be a bit startling. Monica Moore, MSN & RNC, our nurse coordinator, will be addressing that in this blog soon.

 

We  want to address a different part of moving on after you have an established pregnancy. Pre-natal yoga. RMACTis being gracious enough to offer up the space for our patients or any students who may feel perhaps more vulnerable than other pregnant women about going to a typical class. Lisa Tuttle, PhD, our mental health professional at RMACT, reminded me recently, that it is most typical that our patients, YOU, go on to have healthy, normal pregnancies and babies.

 

We  also know that our patients  aren’t always so sure that’s what’s going to happen when they  get pregnant. So we want to make the landing softer with our transition programs.

 

Pre-natal yoga will be a series of classes offered to our patients who have had positive pregnancy tests and feel ready to leave Fertile Yoga. For some of you that may be five minutes after you have that positive pregnancy test. For others, it may be several weeks before you move on.

 

Here’s how it will work. Pre-Natal Yoga will be offered from 11:45-12:45 at 20 Glover Avenue, same location as Fertile Yoga. Classes will be sold in packages of four week sessions for forty dollars per session, ten dollars per class. If you are interested in more details or would like to take this class, please leave a comment on this blog. The comments come directly to me, they will not post automatically, nor will I post them.

 

For those of you ready to join the pre-natal class, rest assured that my yoga training contained extensive information about pre-natal yoga and I’ve taught many classes in this area over the last three years. I’ll bring the same gentle approach to pre-natal classes that I’ve brought to Fertile Yoga, with more emphasis on safe movement.

 

For those of you not ready for pre-natal yoga, please do join us in Fertile Yoga. The pre-natal classes were created because of the need, because of the pregnancies occurring. They do happen, and not only to everyone else. There may very well be a pregnancy waiting for you in the future.

 

When that happens, we are here to help you in those vulnerable next steps.

 

 

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