Egg Freezing News and More
It’s been some week in the fertility treatment world. Below are just a few of the happenings that have gone on.
Conversation about egg freezing, vitrification and the difference between the two, Katherine Scott, BA,MSc, RMACT’s IVF Laboratory Manager, weighed in on that one. So did Rachel Gurevich with a blog written just for us. If you missed it, please do read it, Rachel’s point of view about egg freezing is well worth the look. Amy Demma, Terri Davidson, Sharon LaMothe and Darlene Pinkerton also expressed their opinions, always appreciated. Who’s paying for what, why and why not were just a few of the questions asked about Facebook and Apple's new policies regarding fertility coverage. We were lucky enough to get lots of opinions and feedback.
Single Women Pursuing Parenthood
We were all supporting SingleMomstoBe and getting the word out there about a fabulous, free event, “Single Women Pursuing Parenthood,” geared towards educating, supporting and networking for single women who are going ahead with creating their families. Starring RMACT’s own Surgical Director, Spencer Richlin, MD; Lisa Schuman, LCSW, RMACT’s Director of Mental Health Services will also be speaking as well as Jane Mattes, LCSW, Founder of Single Mothers By Choice. This event is free, but registration is required. To Register, please call Courtney at 203-750-7427 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and enter "11/2 Event" in the subject line. Brunch will be served and the event will be hosted at the EVEN HOTEL NORWALK: 426 Main Avenue 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM. All are welcome in any stage of their parenting journey. Read here for Dr. Richlin’s blog about what is making this event so compelling to attend. And please share this on your Facebook page, in your Tweets, etc.
Breast Cancer Awareness Walk
As we move our way to the end of October, we had a personal account of a breast cancer awareness walk from one of our RMACT team members. She walked and we were moved. How lucky we are to have such passionate and committed people to work with. Is there anyone reading this who has not been personally affected by breast cancer?
Personhood in Legislation
A few more important things to consider. One, personhood is on the rise again. It’s hard for me to talk about without getting kind of loud and very upset. Resolve does a great job explaining what it’s about and why it’s important even if you don’t live in North Dakota or Colorado. Read here about personhood for more information. It matters. Whether you are in fertility treatment or you are remaining childfree by choice or you simply believe that people should be able to build their families, it matters. We’ll talk about it more next week.
I realize that this barely scratches the surface of what’s going on in the fertility world this week. Those are some of the big things. Here are a few of the so called smaller things that felt pretty big to me as well.
Ladies Night In - Trumbull, CT
Ladies Night In - Trumbull. Big laughs. Lots of gratitude. Beautiful, honest, open women sharing hopes, dreams and disappointments. The genuine pleasure and excitement that greeted the announcement of a pregnancy. Discussing IVF and demystifying the process as well as taking the scare element out of it as only someone who’s been through it could do. An honor and privilege to be there with them.
Fertile Yoga - Norwalk, CT
Fertile Yoga tonight in Norwalk. One of the lovely students showed up with home baked cookies to share and a homemade stew just for me with ingredients specially picked out. As a thank you to her and to the rest of the class, a guided meditation, a mantra and a new tool to help break them out of obsessive style thinking with regards to pregnancy and fertility treatment. There is something incredibly tender and loving about taking care of someone else. My thanks to my students who did that tonight for me. An unexpected delight.
Up for next week? Well, we will see. Meanwhile, there’s Fertile Yoga Friday night in Bethel at the beautiful Yogaspace from 6-7:15. Hope to see you there.
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Egg Freezing Explained by RMACT's IVF Lab Manager
From Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT)'s IVF Laboratory Manager, Katherine Scott, an explanation of egg (oocytes) freezing procedures, as promised. She’s busy answering the following questions and more:
What is egg freezing? What is vitrification? Does it matter where you freeze your eggs? What are the chances of pregnancy after thawing the oocytes? What do we know and what do we still not know about freezing?
This is not about feelings or thoughts or ideas, this is about science and facts and explanations that are based on research and data. This is about differences and similarities. This is about truly understanding from someone who can explain it from top to bottom. ~Lisa Rosenthal
What is egg freezing?
This is a term that is often used and sometimes misused to mean cryopreservation of a woman’s oocytes for fertility preservation.
What is oocyte vitrification?
Vitrification and warming of human oocytes (women’s eggs) is a high complexity process. Each step must be followed precisely using exact amounts of cryoprotectants in the correct order in order to achieve the best possible outcome. One needs to remember that every woman is born with a finite number of oocytes; no additional oocytes will ever be created. In humans the oocytes are the largest human cell measuring around 0.1mm, however bigger is not always better. Fertility preservation for women has been historically less efficient due to the fragile nature of oocytes. Oocytes have a large surface area, high water content, and delicate chromosomal arrangement. Slow cooling oocytes meant they were actually frozen and stored in a large volume of cryoprotectant solution. It was the freezing itself that was a major concern, because when a solution freezes it forms ice crystals which can cause the cells to lyse (break).
Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) uses a process that is quite different and is called vitrification. Vitrification is different from slow cooling because the oocytes are never actually frozen; instead, they are taken to a glass like state using a specialized type of media and container, removing any possibility of ice crystals forming and cells breaking. Survival rates are greatly improved using vitrification as opposed to slow cooling in preserving oocytes.
RMACT only uses the vitrification process to cryopreserve our patients’ oocytes. When the patient is ready to move forward with starting their family, the lab will warm their oocytes on the day of the patients choosing and fertilize them using the ICSI process. The blastocyst embryos are then transferred on Day 5 of a fertility treatment cycle with any supernumerary embryos being vitrified for future cycles.
RMACT’s IVF Laboratory Manager, Katherine Scott, was one of the authors of the 2012 study demonstrating that implantation rates from vitrified oocytes are equivalent to fresh oocytes and that there is no increased risk of aneuploidy (chromosomal abnormalities) once embryos reach the blastocyst stage. See more: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22608316
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Today we are taking a break from the conversation about egg freezing and what it is, what it is not, what it could be. Tomorrow, please read what Katherine Scott, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) IVF Laboratory Manager, describes as the medical and scientific description of egg freezing versus vitrification.
For today, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Me? I don’t want any more awareness about breast cancer. I want a cure. And a cure takes money. A cure takes enough of us saying that it’s time, it’s overtime. Demanding a cure says that we are done losing beloved sisters, mothers, daughters, aunts, friends and wives. Taking action is what’s necessary and so today’s blog is about just that; taking action.
Following is a touching and compelling account of an experience at The American Cancer Society – Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, at Sherwood Island State Park, in Westport, CT, undertaken by one of RMACT's team members. We are so proud to be able to honor one of our beloved employees by posting the thoughts and ideas that ran through her mind while she spent her time and energy at this important event.
While she has asked to remain anonymous, and I of course will honor her wishes, I also applaud her commitment to a cause that she feels so strongly about. I thank her personally, for taking on the demon of breast cancer and fighting back.
It is inspiring~ Lisa Rosenthal
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk
As I walked over the hill toward the beach where the Making Strides event was being held, I was overwhelmed by the color pink. There were so many different hues that it was breathtaking. I felt proud to be looking at the strong survivors who fought such a difficult battle as they walked out of the survivor tent. Their pink sashes were worn so proudly. My husband, who has never walked for a cause before, asked if they are all this amazing. I couldn’t believe the powerful energy was even affecting my husband.
As I looked around to see if I knew anyone there, I saw dogs in pink t-shirts, young girls with pink and white pom-poms in their ponytails, young boys in pink headbands, and spouses who proudly displayed their pink shirts. It didn’t stop there; among the walkers were sons and daughters who were walking for their mothers and grandmothers who had passed away from this cruel disease. It was so touching to be able to stand and walk with such great people. I was truly honored.
The announcer called all the survivors to the starting line to kick off the walk. They made a short speech and then sang happy birthday to everyone. It was so moving that tears rolled down my cheeks. I watched as a sea of people flooded the beach. There must have been more than two thousand people walking. I waited about twenty minutes, then began my walk. I was walking for all my friends and family members who fought cancer; some who were able to beat “the monster” and others who weren’t so lucky. I started remembering my mom’s friend, Audrey, who was the most loving and amazing person I have ever met. Unfortunately, she passed away during her hospice transportation from the hospital to her apartment. That was the first time I learned of cancer and from that moment on I knew I didn’t like the disease. It is a plague that has since taken many loved ones from me.
Halfway through the race, as I reached the first water table, I looked back. There were so many people behind me. I realized my initial guess of two thousand people was totally wrong. There were many more people than that. I do not know the actual count but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were five thousand participants. The momentum of the walk started and before I knew it I was at the home stretch. I looked over to my right and I could see the line of walkers still going strong at the starting line. I was speechless, amazed, and thrilled at how many people were making strides.
At the finish line, there were teams in clusters taking pictures of themselves and each other with the finish line banner in the background. Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw an elderly couple, late seventies to early eighties, holding hands as they walked over the finish line. They looked so proud to be able to walk. I could see how much this meant to them because she was a survivor. They were a little winded, as we all were from the autumn’s cold air. My husband, brother-in-law, and I just stood there for a moment to take everything in. We were all honored to be surrounded by everyone and participate in such an amazing event.
About.com Health and Fertility Advocate on the Egg Freezing Debate
About the Author | Rachel Gurevich
Rachel Gurevich is the fertility expert for About.com and author of three books. She is a 2014 recipient of a Hope Award for Achievement from Resolve: The National Association for Infertility. She invites you to check out her site at http://infertility.about.com and to connect with her onTwitter () or on Facebook at About Fertility.
The egg-freezing debate has the media up in arms over whether these perks, soon to be offered by Apple and already available to Facebook employees, are good or bad for women.
It's 2014, people: let women decide what they want to do.
Now, I'm not saying that egg-freezing is a great solution to work-family balance. I'm not saying I think most women should go for it.
I really think it should be used only in very special cases or in case of medical need.
However, that should not be my decision. It belongs to the woman making the decision about what to do with her body.
Just like I don't want corporations, governments, or insurance plans to decide what birth control I can use, I don't think they should have a say in how I plan my family or handle my fertility.
More Options or Corporate Pressure?
The biggest fire in the debate is whether Apple and Facebook are somehow trying to hint that women should freeze their eggs so they can advance their careers.
But can't the same be argued for covering birth control? Or fertility-ending procedures like vasectomies or tube tying?
Medically speaking, birth control is way more likely to help a woman push off having kids than egg-freezing. Egg-freezing doesn't keep you from getting pregnant...
Remember, too, that some insurance plans don't cover egg-freezing even in the case of medical need.
I’d be willing to bet that even those that do cover egg-freezing before cancer treatment may not cover cryopreservation for women with a family history of early menopause or primary ovarian insufficiency.
These women have just as much of a medical need to consider egg-freezing as a cancer patient, but they probably wouldn’t be covered. But Apple and Facebook’s plans would cover them.
Coverage, in whatever way, should be celebrated, not demonized.
But Isn't Offering Egg-Freezing So Freely Dangerous to Women?
There's definitely some disagreement in the medical community on whether egg-freezing should be used to put off childbearing. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists don't recommend it.
I agree with them. However... no one is currently saying it shouldn't be an option. Only that women who choose that path should be well-informed of all the risks.
As an aside, egg-freezing is not the only optional medical procedure being covered by insurance providers that may have more risks than benefits.
For example, there's lap band surgery.
This elective surgery is marketed to obese individuals who have not been able to lose weight through traditional means.
The surgery is highly controversial. Many physicians are against it as a solution to obesity, and for a good percentage of people, it’s not a good long-term solution. It also has some seriously long term side effects. It’s way more risky that egg-freezing.
But it's still covered.
Bottom Line on the Egg-Freezing Debate
It’s not a big shock that there’s debate over this issue. It follows along with the general pattern that tends to occur with all women’s health issues in this country, especially reproductive issues.
There’s this theme that women can’t be trusted to make informed choices.
It also follows the pattern of fear and stigma that surround assisted reproductive technologies.
But that’s okay. We know you can make choices for yourself. We also know that sigma only lessens when things are talked about.
We, as a nation, need to talk about all these issues.
Let them talk... maybe it’ll lead to even more coverage for fertility.
For more on this debate, including some things to consider before you freeze your eggs, please read my article here at About Fertility.
The Egg Freezing Debate Continues
Here are some additional comments about the egg freezing debate that arose last week after the announcement that Facebook and Apple are “paying” for egg freezing. These comments were made by some of the top professionals in the fertility field. The PathtoFertility blog on Friday elicited some of these comments. But like any conversation, of course, it took on a life of its own. Please send any thoughts or comments to me--I will keep them anonymous if you would like--at FertileYoga@gmail.com. This is an important conversation and it’s a way to become more educated, especially for younger woman. I was fascinated by what I learned last week. What do you take away from this conversation?
Professionals Weigh In About Egg Freezing
Thank you for such a well thought out blog. I agree that this is most likely a marketing ploy as well as a recruitment tactic on the part of APPLE and FB. I also agree with Sharon that women need to fully understand the full process, risks, and success rates before undergoing an egg retrieval to freeze eggs. With that said, I am glad to see that this is bringing the issue of women's fertility and egg quality related to age to the forefront. There is such a lack of information and education for women about this subject. The reality is that women can't wait as long as men before having their children. We are taught we can have it all and postpone having children, but not many women understand the risks that come with that postponement...potential infertility. Egg freezing is not perfect. Egg freezing is not a guarantee that a woman will have viable eggs when she is ready to consider using them...but I still think it is worth careful consideration. Will APPLE and FB also pay for embryo freezing? Embryo freezing is actually much more successful in producing a child than egg freezing. If a woman has a spouse or partner, then this offers an even greater option for women who are in a relationship but want to postpone pregnancy. I haven't seen any comments about this.
Not to stir up this pot even more... but...if people are offended by what is going on with APPLE and FB and feel it is simply enticing women to prolong pregnancy, how do you think they will react to the news that some of the IVF centers are now offering women the incentive of getting a couple of frozen eggs for free if they will donate eggs to the center for their egg bank...Egg banks that then sell that woman's eggs to others for a profit? On the surface it looks like a nice gesture to give a donor 1-2 eggs for freezing for herself, but all the literature says a donor needs 10-20 frozen eggs to have a successful pregnancy. What the egg banks are offering is not going to get women what they want or need with egg freezing, but it is going to entice women to donate eggs to that center's egg bank in the belief that they are getting the golden ticket of some frozen eggs for their own use and for free. In the meanwhile, the center is making a profit off of her donation and she could end up with nothing. This is happening now. I find this far more disturbing than anything that APPLE or FB might do. I look forward to your response.
~Darlene Cummings Pinkerton (@apmpresident)
I personally believe that every healthy woman who is considering egg freezing so she can have an "insurance policy" for her future child(ren) needs to be fully educated on what are the possible percentages that her eggs will make the thaw, fertilize and become the pregnancy she was waiting for. And what of the cost of IVF because NOW that she is using frozen eggs the only way to use them is via IVF. Let’s not forget the cost of medication both for the egg retrieval but also for the embryo transfer. (12 weeks of progesterone shots anyone??) So while I think it's great that some companies are expanding their family building option coverage, education is still a key factor for choosing the seemingly convenient choice of putting off child raring for a few more years. (But still with no guarantees!)
~Sharon LaMothe (@SharonLaMothe)
I don't think anyone is arguing the tremendous benefits (potential?) of egg freezing. And for those of us with young daughters, a huge hooray. Even here in this thread, though, we are giving corporations way too much credit. While the outcome may very well be (not sure how it can turn out any other way), that women will have lessened the burden of career pursuits and or finding a partner in a culture where marriage/family making is of less priority to a certain demographic, I find it pretty far-fetched that we assign this level of awareness, compassion or sensitivity to decision makers at a company like Apple. Yes, the benefits to women are many (although someone else, I think it was Risa, cited the economically challenged woman for whom this benefit might be a deal breaker in terms of optimizing her fertility)....if you have been recruited by and are hired by Apple, for the most part, you have already been wooed with the promise of a significant financial package with all sorts of bells and whistles. All of us in this field understand the benefit of this, through our own personal journeys, through the folks we assist and for some as we think about our own daughter's fertility. So, on all of these matters, I agree with all of you (who couldn't, who wouldn't?).
~Amy Demma (@AmyDemma)
Honestly, you would think Apple and Facebook were offering their employees exposure to Ebola with the amount of controversy that has been generated from this news. The sky is not falling because they did this. It may not be perfect, but what I am most surprised about is the low opinion of the intellectual capacity of female Facebook/Apple employees from people who consider themselves feminists.
~Terri Davidson (@marketingmaven)
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Discovering Fertile Yoga While Trying to Conceive
Timing is everything. Or lack of timing. I'm off by about a month, as it's October and I just remembered that September was National Yoga Month.
I spent quite a few Septembers in treatment. And I'm so thankful for the day that I rediscovered yoga while in fertility treatment. It filled me in a way that nothing else did while I was trying to conceive.
Yoga changed my life. With no exaggeration, it may have actually saved my life. An old tired joke I only brag about on special occasions is that while yoga may have saved my life, without a doubt it saved my husband’s life.
Before you get the wrong idea, my husband rarely, if ever, does yoga. He would simply rather not. Yoga is not for everyone, although the benefits are available to anyone even if they do not enjoy the practice. I suspect that the people who do not like yoga have not tried enough different types of classes. I actually do believe there is a yoga class out there for everyone.
Yoga saved my husband’s life not because he participated or practiced yoga but because I did. I was so angry, hurt and resentful that I was lashing out at everyone in my life. Especially those closest to me, including my husband.
So how did yoga save his life?
Relief from Fertility Treatment Stress
The practice relieved stress. Mine. Accumulated from life but more specifically from fertility treatment stress. My heart rate was lower at the end of class in Sivasana than it was first thing in the morning. I felt calmer, less reactive and more capable of handling the frustrations of life.
I felt good about my body, which I was so angry at for failing me in the quest to become pregnant and ultimately create a family. I got to feel my body, in loving and tender ways, even though I couldn’t get pregnant. This was huge. I enjoyed the moments of movement and meditation, unattached to TRYING TO CONCEIVE.
And while I enjoyed the movement and poses of yoga while I was in class, I also found that I was more relaxed and fit even out of class. I felt stronger and more comfortable in my own skin. I breathed more deeply. I ate less because I was less anxious and even a little less sad so my weight came down, lowering my BMI. Because I felt better about my body, I started walking again which created better cardiovascular health.
All of this was great. It was only the tip of the iceberg.
The biggest piece of all was the calm that came through the practice of yoga.
I felt calmer. I breathed more easily. I was less reactive and much less angry.
I felt peaceful.
All those benefits and it saved my husband’s life as well.
If there is no class around you that is dedicated to fertility and yoga, find yourself a gentle, restorative class.
What have you got to lose?
Weight, stress, anxiety, anger and sadness.
Please, do yourself a favor. Give yourself a gift.
Give yoga a try.
CT Fertile Yoga at RMA
I founded and created Fertile Yoga six plus years ago. It was so that I could share and pass on what I had found and discovered for myself. I felt in some ways that I'd found the magic key.
Fertile Yoga, offered through Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT), free and open to the public, is available three days a week. Wednesday in Trumbulll at RMACT's office from 5:45-6:45. Thursday in Norwalk at RMACT's office from 5:45-7:00. Friday in Bethel at Yogaspace from 6-7:15. Join me.
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Egg Freezing Debate from Apple and Facebook: Echoes IVF
I’m a skeptic. I freely admit it. If by being a skeptic means I want proof that something’s valid, that’s me, absolutely.
I also have faith, which I define as a belief in something that can’t be proven.
So which is it that comes out with Apple and Facebook’s announcements about “paying” for egg freezing? Skeptic or faith? Is it really true that they are now covering egg freezing? Something that medical insurance companies are most assuredly not covering, except in very specific health-related cases (primarily fertility preservation due to cancer).
It turns out that yes, they are covering egg freezing. Kind of. Sort of. It may be more of a repurposing of money and it does come at a cost. It will come out of other fertility and/or surrogacy benefits, which may also be needed. It sounds like this move is more of a shift in how women are able to use benefits that may already be in place. And it’s certainly not that they are “paying“ for egg freezing. Frankly, none of it is really clear.
Implications for Reproductive Choice
What is clear to me is that this is unequivocally great news for a few different reasons. It’s a giant step forward in assisting women to have reproductive choice, in terms of delaying motherhood until it’s the right time to start their families. Reproductive choice means having children or not, as you determine the time is right for you. That’s choice. It’s also a step forward in setting precedence.
Being able to freeze eggs, first because the technology is there to support the effort, then because the finances are in place to support the effort, gives women a new aspect of reproductive choice that has never existed before. I can understand why it’s being likened to the freedom that the birth control pill offered. In terms of career and being able to be financially sound before starting a family, there couldn’t be better news.
I’m reading that this is partly because Facebook and Apple are in a “perks” race. And that quite a few of the Silicon Valley companies are also involved in that race for their employees.
Great. Keep it coming. Any way in which employees can be treated more humanely and compassionately, I am in favor of.
Is this a subtle message that becoming a mother and working at these companies are not compatible? I saw that question raised in the NBC News article. I can understand the question. Given the other benefits that are being offered, I’d like to think that this is not the case. That’s where my faith comes in.
Still the skeptic in me is not sitting quietly. This is too complicated to be put to rest quickly and easily.
Here are other complications that need to be considered. Oh, yeah, there are quite a few. One that was brought up via a Twitter conversation had to do with the fact that while ASRM and SART may have lifted the term “experimental” for egg freezing, in no way do either of those reproductive health organizations endorse egg freezing or deferring childbearing via egg freezing. In fact, it’s important to keep in mind that this technology was developed primarily for fertility preservation--for when women had life- and fertility-threatening treatment. It has evolved since then, to the point that there is now “social egg freezing”. That is what this conversation is really all about.
Another point being discussed is the health and well being of the children born via egg freezing and thawing. And the health and well-being of the women who choose this, who need to be stimulated with medications and then have the eggs surgically removed from their ovaries.
If you are now considering egg freezing, if this perked your ears up a little bit, to hear how mainstream this has become and will likely continue to become, please consider a few very important factors.
About Egg Freezing: Factors to Consider
First, choosing who freezes and stores your eggs is a crucially important decision that you will need to make carefully. Not every fertility program is created equally. Here at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT), we have state of the art freezing capabilities. This coming Monday, Katherine Scott, BA, M.Sc., our IVF Laboratory Manager, will discuss what RMACT has to offer that makes us clinically, medically and scientifically different than other REI programs.
Next, is there some possibility that Facebook and Apple are doing this because it benefits them? Well, I’d be truly surprised to find out that wasn’t true. Take a look at the media coverage and exposure they are getting by announcing this. If nothing else, they’ve benefited from that.
Finally, the piece of the conversation regarding long term research and data is eerily familiar to the arguments raised about IVF from several decades ago. Neither of those were in place then either. We didn't know how the health and well being of either mothers or babies would be. Physicians and scientists felt more than reasonably sure based on the research that had been done and their understanding of the science that this was a safe advancement for women who were unable to conceive any other way. But we didn't know. We know more than that now about egg freezing but long term research about the children's health? We still don't know that. This piece of the puzzle raises questions far exceeding this topic of "social egg freezing". Go back further in women's reproductive health history and one will find similar questions regarding the birth control pill.
The skeptic in me in regards to Apple and Facebook covering egg freezing is alive and well. So is the believer in me. I believe that there are ways that women will benefit from this step and conversation and I realize that there are darker sides to this as well.
Most important, is the conversation.
Thanks to everyone who has been participating in this conversation. Special call-outs to Amy Demma, Terri Davidson, Kimberly Logan, Sharon LaMothe, Miriam Zoll and Darlene Cummings Pinkerton. You all made for a very lively, fast moving and compelling conversation.
Next up, Katherine Scott will explain to us what you need to know if you are interested in freezing your eggs.
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Fertility News Recap
Huge day out there for fertility news, conversations, and issues.
A small recap:
Egg freezing - is the conversation piece in the media today. Facebook and Apple offering to allow women to shift some of their fertility/surrogacy benefits to use for egg freezing instead. Amazing. More to follow tomorrow, promise, including our lab at RMACT adding their expertise.
Personhood legislature - in Colorado and North Dakota. Yes, about embryos. Conferring personhood on embryos, why we should all care, whether we live in those states or not. Look for it on Friday.
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month - How many of us out there feel this one deep down into our very souls? A beautiful piece to read and share, please: "The Loneliness of Grief" from The Broken Brown Egg. Rocked me at the same time it comforted my heart.
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National Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Words of Hope
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To help raise awareness, the National Cancer Institute has also designated two specific awareness days during the month: Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day (10/13) and National Mammography Day (10/17). In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Deb Chitwood from bitsofpositivity.com shared this word art freebie based on Emily Dickinson’s words of hope. I love it. Hope you like it too.
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Our CT Fertility Acupuncturists - A Vital Piece of Our Practice
It’s Medical Monday here at PathtoFertility. Taking liberties with that this morning, by turning towards a different kind of medicine. Acupuncture is an important, vital component of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut’s (RMACT) fertility treatment. It’s not a little something we think you should consider. It’s something that our fertility specialists (board-certified reproductive endocrinologists) really encourage. Really want you to do. Because they think it can help support your quest in becoming and staying pregnant.
So I’m introducing our fertility acupuncturists here today. They are dedicated women who have been in the field of infertility for quite some time. They are gentle warriors and strong advocates for men and women who are trying to conceive. More than that they can help you become pregnant. They can help you become healthier, in all sorts of ways that have nothing to do with conception. They can help you relax. They can help alleviate all sorts of symptoms that are uncomfortable and difficult to live with; they can help you feel better in your own skin.
I waited a long time to try acupuncture. For many usual and typical reasons: scared of pain, worried about bruising, fear of needles, skepticism about it working. I waited twenty years. I did it, I loved it, I recommend it.
Don’t wait twenty years. Try it.
Meet RMACT’s acupuncturists below. Then make an appointment and meet them in person. It will be one of the best decisions you make during this fertility process.~ Lisa Rosenthal
Acupuncture and Fertility
Amy Matton, MS, LAc, A graduate of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine with a master’s degree, Amy is a licensed acupuncturist and certified herbalist. While attending the four-year master’s degree program at Pacific, she was awarded the prestigious Kamwo Award for academic excellence. Her clinical internships included Fortune Society and the Hospital for Joint Diseases. At the Hospital her worked focused on disabled women and issues of pain management, sleeplessness, medication side-effects and depression. Her extensive study includes training at the distinguished China Beijing International Acupuncture Centre. Ms. Matton’s areas of expertise include women’s health and fertility issues, pain management, stress, and adjunctive cancer care. In addition to a decade in private practice she has been working with Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut for the past six years providing traditional and laser acupuncture to women undergoing treatment for infertility. For more information or an appointment, please call Amy at 203-858-6286.
Jing Zhang, MS, Lac joined our infertility treatment center in August 2006. Jing holds a M.D. degree from Capital University in Beijing, China, and has fifteen years of experience in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. While in the United States, Jing completed a three year postgraduate acupuncture program at the AIA Institute in New York. Besides her work at RMACT and her private office in Stamford, she is an instructor at the Acupuncture Institute of the University of Bridgeport. Her areas of interest include infertility, anxiety, menstruation disorders, weight control and gastrointestinal problems. For more information or an appointment with Acupuncturist Jing Zhang, you may call her at 203-981-5439 or 203-329-9048.
Elaine M. Malin, MTCM, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist and chinese herbalist who works with RMACT patients in the Trumbull office.
Elaine completed an intensive 4-year Masters Program at Five Branches University in Santa Cruz, California, a highly reputable Chinese medicine school founded over 25 years ago. Her Masters of Science degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) included significant Western medical training. She is Board Certified in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine as a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM-Dipl.O.M.), and is licensed in both Connecticut and California.
Elaine completed an externship at Zhejiang Chinese Medical University in Hangzhou, China, where Chinese and Western medical disciplines are integrated and performed in hospital clinics. Elaine is the Treasurer and a Board member of the Connecticut Society of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine.
Elaine has specialized training and experience in women’s health issues including fertility, pregnancy, menopause, hormonal and menstrual issues. She has been an acupuncturist with Norwalk Hospital’s Integrative Medicine Program since its inception in 2010.
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