"In the midst of winter, I finally learned
that there was in me an invincible summer."
What is Fertility Family Services
How Can Therapy Help You?
Assisted Reproductive Technology / Alternative Family Building
Assessment and Evaluation
Facts & Stats About Infertility
Articles of Interest
Fertility Family Services: Goal and Mission
A counseling, consultation, and resource service for individuals and families who are on their journey to family building. Services include psychotherapy, consultation, assessments and evaluations, education, and referrals.
Fertility Family Services aims to provide various support services, promote awareness and psychosocial education for issues related to fertility, reproductive health, and the various family building options. Fertility Family Services provides support for people throughout various family building stages. This may include those who are trying to conceive, dealing with pregnancy loss or post-partum depression, considering or undergoing infertility treatments such as IUIs or IVFs, third party reproduction using gamete donation, surrogacy, egg freezing, adoption, single parenthood, or same sex families.
Infertility is typically defined as the inability to achieve pregnancy after one year of unprotected intercourse. If you have been trying to conceive for a year or more, you should consider an infertility evaluation. However, if you are 35 years or older, you should begin the infertility evaluation after about six months of unprotected intercourse rather than a year.
Psychological counseling - Seeking support from a therapist who specializes in infertility is an important first step to regaining your strength and control.
You may benefit from counseling if you experience any of the following:
- Thoughts about having a baby consume most of your time and energy
- You've stopped enjoying life or have a diminished interest in pleasurable activities
- Feeling lonely and isolated from the rest of the world
- Feeling envious of others
- Feeling depressed, anxious, or frequently angry
- Feeling hopeless, helpless, or out of control
- Feeling worthlessness or experiencing excessive guilt
- Feeling hypersensitive or easily agitated
- Feeling conflicted or confused about the various treatment or family building options
- Frequent conflicts with your partner over decisions
- Experiencing sexual strain in your relationship
- Changes in appetite, weight, or sleep patterns such as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping more than usual
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Increase use of drugs or alcohol
- Get clarification of the issues you are facing
- Get assistance with decision making
- Have a safe and confidential place to express your thoughts and feelings
- Learn healthier ways to cope
- Get support dealing with painful or intrusive medical treatments
- Improve communication with your partner in order to decrease stress
- Improve your sexual relationship to reduce feelings of pressure
- Learn and practice use of stress management and relaxation techniques
- Achieve balance in your life
- Learn tools to identify and manage your fears
- Learn ways to communicate comfortably and effectively with colleagues, family, friends
- Get assistance dealing with secondary infertility
- Get help with grieving the loss of pregnancy or miscarriage
- Get help for postpartum depression
- Prepare for single parenthood
- Prepare for parenting after infertility
- Prepare and deal with life without children
- Explore what it means to have a child that is not genetically related to you
- Explore various treatment options such as Assisted Reproductive Technology (IUI or IVF)
- Discuss family building possibilities to determine which option is most suitable for you (donor egg, donor sperm, surrogacy, adoption etc.)
- Explore differences between a known donor (such as a sibling) or an anonymous donor
Consultation services can help you explore the various options of becoming a parent and help you identify which is most suitable for you.
Some options include:
- Intrauterine insemination -IUI treatments
- In Vitro Fertilization - IVF treatments
- Donor egg or sperm
- Surrogacy or Gestational Carrier
- Single parenthood
- Child-free life
- Egg donor or sperm donor evaluation
- Gestational carrier evaluation
- Intended parent consultation
If you are considering any of the above options, your clinic may require the donor to go through clinical interview, psychological evaluation/test along with a report to determine the suitability or appropriateness of the donor. Additionally, it may also be recommended for you and your partner to consult before proceeding with your family building plans. This can be an emotional process. My role is to help facilitate meetings in my office between donors or surrogates and intended parents as well as between known donors (such as siblings etc.) and recipients. Regardless of how you choose to start your family, I will walk you through it and provide a safe, private, and non judgmental atmosphere that allows for open discussion and psych-education regarding the various issues.
Therapists who specialize in working with infertility couples and individuals should meet specific qualifications. In addition to a having a license to practice therapy, it is important to have special clinical training in the medical, legal, and psychological aspects of infertility and reproductive medicine. This includes understanding the current treatment options, third party reproduction, as well as various legal and ethical issues that impact reproductive health.
For more information, read About Me
American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)
American Fertility Association (AFA)
Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART)
Center for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC)
The Donor Sibling Registry
Parents Via Egg Donation
Single Mothers By Choice
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network
Fertility Family Services provides a trusted network of referrals and resources including various support groups, fertility clinics or reproductive endocronlogists, genetic counselors or testing, family attorneys, donor or surrogacy agencies, adoption agencies, etc.
Facts & Stats About Infertility:
According to Reproductivefacts.org
- At least one out of seven couples has trouble conceiving.
- Infertility is NOT an inconvenience; it is a disease of the reproductive system that impairs the body's ability to perform the basic function of reproduction.
- Infertility affects about 7.3 million women and their partners in the U.S. -- about 12% of the reproductive-age population (Source: National Survey of Family Growth, CDC 2002).
- Infertility affects men and women equally.
- Twenty-five percent of infertile couples have more than one factor that contributes to their infertility.
- In approximately 40 percent of infertile couples, the male partner is either the sole cause or a contributing cause of infertility.
- Irregular or abnormal ovulation accounts for approximately 25 percent of all female infertility problems.
- Twelve percent of all infertility cases are a result of the woman either weighing too little or too much.
- It is possible for women with body weight disorders to reverse their infertility by attaining and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Men and Women who smoke have decreased fertility.
- The risk of miscarriage is higher for pregnant women who smoke.
- Up to 13 percent of female infertility is caused by cigarette smoking.
- Chlamydia causes about 4 to 5 million infections annually in the United States. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause infertility.
Couch potatoes have lower sperm counts
University of Michigan Health System
Yoga proves to reduce depression in pregnant women, boost maternal bonding
Article by BioNews
Divorcee must support donor-conceived children born during marriage