How to Make Fertility Treatment Decisions

fertility treatment decisionsOur wonderful new addition to the Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) team, Lisa Schuman, has shared some thoughts about how to make decisions while in fertility treatment.

 

Her thoughtful blog just might be a place to start to shift your thinking from being desire-centered to healthy-centered. You'll know what I mean when you read it. Enjoy. ~Lisa Rosenthal

 

Another way to look at fertility treatment, it may be wise to think twice… 

The process of going through infertility treatment is often difficult.  In fact, we know that it can be incredibly stressful and even depressing.  When we are in a stressed or depressed state it is hard to think clearly. 

 

When we are stressed we often turn to things that will make us feel better or will quickly reduce our stressors.  We may eat that extra piece of cake, have more to drink or skip exercise.  We can also skip our appointments with our primary care physician because one more medical appointment is too much. Or we stop or delay fertility treatment.  This is all understandable and of course we need to have room to be human and not judge ourselves.  However, we can attempt to be thoughtful about our decisions by asking ourselves one important question: “What is in my best interest?”

 

This question is complicated.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that we do what we feel, it doesn’t necessarily mean do what we “think” we need to do and it doesn’t necessarily mean we push ourselves harder, although it can mean any of these things.  Confused?  Lets look at our decision making from a different lens.  Our goal can be to make the choice that requires us to think about our needs, our desires, our relationships and our long and short-term goals.

 

This requires us to pause and often make a collaborative plan with our partners.  A plan that will explore all roads before making a decision.   Therefore, if our doctor says it would make sense to try again and our partners want us to try right away but we are tired and want a break we need to consider that.  But the thinking doesn’t stop there.   If it’s a quiet time at work so we can get to appointments more easily than usual and we are concerned about our biological clock, we must consider that too.

 

Each element carries different weight.  So if our partner has a strong feeling about moving forward, that carries a lot of weight.  If we have many pregnant friends and we feel pressured to catch up then that would carry less weight--not in terms of acknowledging our feelings but in terms of taking action.  Sometimes, in the moment, it is hard to distinguish the important from what feels urgent or immediate.  It’s also hard to have respect for our feelings but not necessarily act on them.  Yet if we are truly going to make good and thoughtful decisions about our choices then we need to think about what is in our best interest. 

 

This process does not have to happen alone.  We have a great team of social workers to help you talk things through and a great nutritionist, acupuncturists and Fertile Yoga teacher to help with stress reduction and the improvement of your overall health.  We know that when we feel better it’s easier to have the peace of mind to work things through. 

 

Ultimately, thinking twice by really thinking through our decisions is the best we can expect from ourselves. At the very least we know we can end each day having completed the goal of being the star player on our own team.  There are very few right answers but if we think through our decisions we can be clear about the answers that are right for us.

 

~Lisa Schuman

 

Topics: Partnership, RMACT Team, Health, Fertility Choices, Fertility Treatment

Lisa Rosenthal

Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.

Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.

Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.

Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.

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